I’m watching a Millionaire Matchmaker marathon on Bravo. Before you judge me too harshly I offer this in my defense
- I’m recovering from a cold and am therefore on mind-altering cold medication
- If I watch any more DIY Network or HGTV I’ll take a sledgehammer to something in a tragically misguided home makeover attempt
But to be completely honest, as a newly single woman tired of being the primary breadwinner I wanted to see what kind of women millionaires are attracted to: what do the women look like? How do millionaires pick the women they date? What kind of woman would a matchmaker pick for them?
If you’ve never seen the show I should describe the process by which the Matchmaker (Patti) selects the matches for the millionaires. She first interviews the millionaire and sizes him up. She’s savvy and a realist, so if a guy isn’t being genuine about what he wants she calls him on it. Then she interviews women that meet the criteria of the millionaire – sometimes criteria he hasn’t voiced but she’s intuited. As a feminist-minded woman it’s a little tough to watch: their appearance and age plays no small part in whether or not they’re chosen to meet the millionaire. That said, Patti does take education and background into consideration.
She seems to have a bottomless pool of women to choose from, which brings to mind some kind of Bimbo Pound with women in cages salivating at the prospect of being adopted by a generous-hearted stranger.
Once the women are selected, the millionaires meet the women in a variety of different forums. On one episode the two millionaire bachelors were in a room full of women all vying for their attention (the “mixer”). It was repugnant and depressing, very Animal Kingdom meets 6th Street: all the women were in their early to mid 20s, wearing short and shiny skin-tight dresses and calling attention to themselves using whatever means possible. On another episode Patti had the men sit behind a two-way mirror while she interviewed the women, and the men later chose their favorites to take on dates. On these dates the millionaires always show off their millions, some in flashier ways than others.
As you watch the show, though, you realize that Patti isn’t a pimp for the moneyed. She has rules for both genders to follow (no sex within “the club” until it’s a monogamous relationship) and she gives really smart advice to both sides. In one of the episodes she made the millionaire meet with an etiquette coach for Gentleman 101. In another she took a budding couple to task for having sex before they were exclusive because it killed what they were building together. She’s a firm believer in sticking to traditional gender roles and while I don’t want to agree with her I find myself nodding my head. Quote: “Women want gentleman, not trash talking *ssholes.”
I learned nothing new or unexpected about the kind of women millionaires pick if left to their own devices: they are men, so just like men of any economic persuasion they pick the hottest woman they can get. At first I loathed them for it, but then I felt sorry for them: these men so often getting in their own way by not being honest with themselves about who they are and what they need. Many of them are what I’d consider social and emotional morons. They might get lots of dates because of their money, but the pool of worthwhile women willing to stick around for something long-term was infinitely smaller. (And sometimes shallower if you catch my drift.)
Maybe I was more susceptible to brainwashing due to my weakened immune system, but what I finally came to realize is that we all get in our own way a lot of the time, and we’re lucky we ever get it right. We could all use someone like Patti to help kick some of the clutter out of our path to love. What does this have to do with a beauty blog? Well, being honest with yourself means acknowledging that we’re all initially attracted to a potential mate based primarily on looks. That isn’t rational or practical or fair but labeling it is pointless: that’s the way humans work. All we can do is get to a place where we feel good about what we’re putting out there, and hope that the right person will give us the opportunity to show we’re more than our mascara.