Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Eye Candy"


"You're our eye candy." he said to me.

I won't say who, and I won't say when. That isn't important. What's important is the statement itself. I'm a woman who considers herself well-educated, independent and on most days, a professional. I'm not a feminist, but I also don't believe a woman's place has to be in the home. We now have the choice. It's also my prerogative to feel the way I do about the terminology "eye candy". What does it mean to you? I'm curious because I've been taught that, "the only message that matters is the message that's received." It wasn't received well, not on my end anyway.

Like the highly-sensitive woman that I am, I've given the term "eye candy" a lot of thought. I googled it, finding various definitions. I also googled images associated with the words "eye candy". Half naked women popped up on my screen. Enough said.

Either way, this definition quite possibly describes it best and underscores why it was so offensive to me. EYE CANDY: "Visual images that are pleasing to see but are intellectually undemanding."

INTELLECTUALLY UNDEMANDING? Intellectually undemanding? It carries a negative connotation. As if to say that women whom are considered "eye candy" are not intellectuals. And that couldn't further from the truth for most of us.

I asked both female and male co-workers about it. Perhaps to make me feel better about my discontent.

"Would you be offended if you were called eye candy?", I ask a female co-worker.

It's rude she replies, "I'd be offended."

But then I turn to a male co-worker who explains to me that "Men are hard wired to be visual animals." I think he used the word PIG in that sentence as well.

"We're genetically designed to ogle, to stare and to say it." He goes on to explain, "It's not our fault."

I laughed out loud. "Don't worry" I assure him. "I won't use your name when quoting you in my blog."

He breathes a sigh of relief because he knows that his opinions are not the most popular statements. But at least he's honest, and providing a perspective that I may never understand. It did, however may me think about all the "things" we're offended by. Perhaps I'm getting worked up over nothing.

No, I decide. It was offensive. I'm not going to apologize for being myself. I'm standing up for my feelings, and all the women who've worked hard to be taken seriously in the corporate world.

There. I feel better now.

16 comments:

Jeremiah said...

I would have been offended too.

Kristy Mouti said...

I think the excuse that "men are hard-wired to be visual" is a cop-out. This reduces them to nothing more than animals and relieves them of responsibility. They, like women, are intellectual beings. That is one thing that separates us from animals. I'm not saying that we don't all have insticts to be drawn to other attractive humans. But humans have reasoning capabilities so as not to act on instinct alone.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't there, so I don't know the whole context, but me may have been just trying to give you a compliment and it came out wrong. Or, maybe he's just a shallow pig.

It's true, men are very "visually oriented". But the difference is that is about as far as some get, and some actually think and go farther than that, and appreciate more than just the looks.

Anyone who can't see you are intelligent isn't very bright themselves. Some just don't care, though. Some do.

- Danton

Anonymous said...

You are the best. I enjoy wathing your news cast and reading your posts. I love the woman in my life and I never want anyone to think of her as eye candy. I would be jealose, but I remember my sisters having posters of boys or men on their walls were they eye candy? My girlfriend has Alexander Fernandez on her desktop, eye candy? The word is offensive, yes. The idea of thinking of humans and just a thing is terrible, but I dont think you can rewire the mind not to look at beautiful things and to not go to that place in our imagination were maybe it should not be.

Cheri Chesley said...

Of course the term "eye candy" is offensive to women. The major problem with men, such as they are, is that they are not emotionally aware enough to realize what they say may be offensive. In their defense, they don't mean to be pigs. But my belief is that we're here to better ourselves, to overcome our baser instincts--and that includes the predilection to stare, ogle and the like.

The problem with being an attractive woman in our visual society is that her intellect falls on the back burner. She may be intelligent, educated and well spoken but if she's also "hot" those things lose significance. That's what is truly sad.

Free_Hawaiian said...

I would say, don't take it so hard. Nineveh, you are so beautiful, both intellectually and physically. I think that's what your viewer may have meant, at least I hope so. I know being in the public eye, you probably have seen your share of "oogling" from viewers from time to time. It's gonna happen. The best thing to do is to understand there are going to be those out there that are, shall we say, "intellectually challenged", that will continue to "oogle"! Don't take offense! What's important is YOU know who you are and what you're capable of, and what you have accomplished in life. You are in control of YOU. Those guys will move on and "oogle" someone else, while you are stuck with the anger. Trust me, there's a lot of us out here that love your skills and appreciate all the work you do! Forgive and live...we love you!

Anonymous said...

Stick it to the man Nin!

Anonymous said...

I am a man....I wish I could be referred to as eye candy.....I could see how being called that in the workplace would be offensive though.

Anonymous said...

Woof! (pant pant pant)..ok now that we've established that I'm a guy and I've got that out of my system let me add a different twist on all the hubbub brewing off of this post (I'm reading the comments on FB too).
As an intelligent woman, I'd hope that you recognize the inadvertent gift this guy gave you rather than getting riled up over a perceived "dis".
In this world, our relationships, both business and personal are like one giant poker game, with every party showing you what they want you to see, holding back other, possibly crucial, information. This guy (and I'll assume he's a coworker or supervisor related to work) just tipped his hand with you about his own weakness. That, my friend, is valuable information. Not valuable as in blackmail or human resource retribution, but value as in how to manage the relationship with this person and possibly even work his spilled attitude against him for your own gain.
Perhaps the hard truth is attractive gets more opportunity, whether that's opportunity for advancement, monetary gain, selecting mates or just to be heard. Never view being attractive as a burden, it's an undeniable competitive edge.
Sounds jaded and a bit cold? That's the business world and I know in that business in particular, you have already been learning those lessons. Don't get upset, upset is a distraction that steals focus from goals. Use what you learn and find ways to make that knowledge your opportunity. This would be how I'd tell it to my 4 daughters.

Anonymous said...

I think that maybe the problem is there are so many different thoughts about it. I like candy. It usually makes everyone smile. It is rarely disgusting and or unpleasant. Therefore, Eye candy, to me, is something that would be pleasing and Happy for the eyes. We enjoy looking at it. I think here in Utah it is something different. FYI. women are the same as men. Case and point; if you go into a restaurant and the lady serving you is hideous , you ladies are less likely to return then if she were attractive. Or closer to home, Newscasters, When you are beautiful and nice to look at, (eye candy) i promise your ratings go up. just look at your competitors, their ratings suck. when you cant hear what she says because you cant get over her teeth , she belongs on the radio. I think it is just the human response to attractiveness. After all it is attract-ivness. we are attracted to beauty. So, I guess i am saying try not to be offended it is usually more of a compliment. the real problem guys have is that we misunderstand and we, like you, wish you would or could read our thoughts and knpw we mean well.
(only sometimes,(when we make ass's out of ourselves) most of the time we are glad you cant read our minds lol)

Anonymous said...

Some (read shallow) would have taken it as a compliment. You're not wrong to be offended.

Anonymous said...

"Woe is me. I'm so beautiful that it just makes life so difficult at times, what with men telling me as much. I wish they'd just see me for my brain."

Like this garbage hasn't been uttered a million times before.

How about you just take the good with the good? In other words, you have both beauty AND intelligence going for you - they aren't mutually exclusive, you know.

Why must it be that men are stupid, or emotionally stunted? Why can't it just be that there are millions of ways to express a sentiment, and not everyone ties the same meaning to everything that you do?

Yes, you are beautiful, and therefore, eye candy - particularly to those that don't know you. However, your intellect would surely be something that would shine through, given the opportunity to know you. Right?

Men AND women are visual creatures, and like it or not, visual/physical attractiveness is the *first* thing that either sex notices. We're programmed that way, for purposes of perpetuation of our species.

Anonymous said...

nin you are the definition of eye candy,, wow u are beautiful, intelligent eye candy

Anonymous said...

i agree,Nin is the defenition from head to toe. Nin is the assyrian dream and their is nowhere she could go without people looking at her, male and female alike. When you are that hott, you cant stop the stare down. Everyone likes candy and Nin would make a diabetic od on candy. Nin you are all of this and more, we as fans enjoy watching you and appreciate all your other talents as well. Most people are just jeaolous that you are involved with a major lucky someone and wow is he lucky. I hope he realizes that and im sure he does. I must admit I was quite obsessed the first time I saw you on television and you are the hottest ever, so their is nothing wrong with the word eye candy in my opinion as long as that is kept to your self and you are respectful. By someone saying youre my eye candy to your face is direspectful, but you are the best to look at listen to and dream about. You are so awesome.

Anonymous said...

Good thing I never got called that abominable word. I would have been offended to the core and would have to work very hard not to show my offence physically if you catch my drift. And surprise, surprise the 'eye candy' incident comes once again from the USA. Strong emphasis on visual and sexual appeal in the US will ruin it in the long run. Just think cheerleaders, ring girls, Hooters, slutty dresses for teenagers,etc all is discrediting women as daughters, sisters, mothers,community members. Bascially, society has lost a sense of respect and honour. It's natural to look at an attractive person it's a sense of pride and respect that makes you not say it to them.If you see an attractive man what stops you from saying it to him is the fact that's it's someone's father brother and maybe your future husband who should get your highest respect. I am a white woman who left her culture and married into a different one precisely due to how superficial and unhonourable it ahs become.
Dignity and respect is all.

Indian4life

Anonymous said...

Some (read complicated Arabs with too much pride) would have taken it as a compliment. You're not wrong to be offended.
She is wrong, but she's Muddle Eastern so she has too much pride

"How about you just take the good with the good? In other words, you have both beauty AND intelligence going for you - they aren't mutually exclusive, you know."

Hey, she's Arab. They can't take the good with the good, they live in lala land where ONLY the inside matters. That's why they have the urge to walk around like mummies. The are TOO good to be looked at

"Forgive and live..."
Muddle Easterns don't forgive. They can't. Why??? Pride. It's hardwired

"What's important is YOU know who you are and what you're capable of, and what you have accomplished in life. You are in control of YOU."
A normal, non-desert woman like me wouldn't need to be told this, however, Arab ego is very fragile, they need constant reassurance, just like 5-year old kids. I wouldn't have been offended

"I would have been offended too."
Are you form the desert as well?

I don't know if there is a God but the existence of the Arabs sure points to the fact that there is a Devil. Who else would have created these over-proud, concieted, vindictive, clannish, tactless, shifty so called people???