Dorothy Heller

A writer, blogger, mother, medical interpreter, bookaholic, grandmother, shower singer, translator, tea-aholic and an aspiring songwriter. Still writing her novel and wants to write at least one good song.

The Mature Single, Sushi, and Sexual Objectification

A misguided ad agency recently published a graphic of an attractive young blonde with all her body parts labeled as cuts of meat. The almost naked model was a prime cut. What does this have to do with mature singles and sushi, you may ask? Wait for it.

This ad didn’t last long. In addition to howls of outrage by feminists, religious leaders, and delicatessen owners, it had to be acknowledged that the sales message just didn’t match the target market. The buying public for human cannibalism is (thankfully) too small to justify the advertising dollars.

As bizarre and distasteful as this ad was, it is another illustration of a generally accepted universal truth. Men, it seems, have no problem sexually objectifying women by labeling and rating the sex appeal of their various body parts.

So what’s a girl (of any age) to do? Especially my age–mature boomer.

Even when screeching at rock stars, drooling over Chippendale male strippers, or peacefully enjoying the sight of a football huddle (those pants are tight), women tend to go for the whole package and fantasize more about the person/relationship than the specific body part. (Not to minimize the necessary, pleasurable, and useful role of body parts).

Nevertheless, having one’s person dissected and graded, if not degraded, can get a girl down. It may feel good to be looked at and considered attractive, but it stinks to be compared with various members of the animal kingdom (let alone a shrink-wrapped comestible) or have your physical attributes get a failing grade and rate a One, not a Ten. Or for women of “a certain age” to be considered invisible and not seen at all. It’s actually called The Invisible Woman Syndrome–the opposite of being seen as a juicy main course, sizzling on a platter.

(We won’t even get into women’s own participation in the body part dilemma, where we grade and label ourselves, hating our thighs, chins, forearms…. The late, great Nora Ephron titled one of her last books “I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts About Being A Woman.”

Let us not forget that the whole origin of Facebook and social media was an effort by Harvard undergraduate men to find a way to rate female students’ attractiveness. Facemash–to compare college women’s hottness.

The Love, Illusions, and Longing blog has long searched for a solution for women tired of being viewed as nothing more than an assemblage of cold cuts. How can women do a little sexual objectifying of their own and restore some balance to this lopsided equation?

Inspiration struck while out to dinner. Welcome to the Sexual Sushi Bar.

It’s so simple. Just mentally strip any guy, upend him, and imaginatively place him on a bed of vinegared rice in a cute little serving dish. Put the dish in one of those little wooden sushi bar boats that go around and around until you decide whether or not to pick them up.

As you’re waiting, you can decide if the fellow in question most resembles Tamago—a sweet but cold, bland egg omelet, Toro—a fatty tuna belly, unagi—long tubular pieces of dark roasted eel, or ebi—a shrimp. Some large gentlemen belong in a sushi wrap or roll, such as futo-maki, a fat roll filled with rice….” If your modesty or sense of decorum boggles, cover or garnish the problematic parts with wasabi and slices of gari–pickled ginger. I’ve gone out with samples of each of the above types of male sushi, and I know now from experience when I smell a fish.

Let’s take the sting out of this sexual objectification stuff with the Sexual Sushi Bar.

L.I.L. spent a pleasant evening imagining every past and present male of interest in her life, bedded down on their rice pillows, floating past, waiting to see if they piqued her appetite.

Start your sushi research with Wikipedia, plus the above graphic, and let your imagination run free over the whole sushi bar spectrum.

Of course, men and women could just look into each other’s eyes and relate to each other as whole human beings.

Just saying.

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