I agree with your view that women should maintain their looks and take care of themselves, but I take exception to the “do what is necessary to keep your man” mode of thinking. Men like large breasts, so we have women rushing out to surgically inflate themselves. Where will it all end? How much money should women spend on keeping flawless skin, perfect teeth and thin thighs? Most women aren’t attracted to fat, balding men, but men are not under the same pressure to keep up appearances (especially after marriage). I am a “barely B” woman involved with a man who thinks women walking around with basketballs on their chests are sexy. Am I supposed to go under the knife? Shouldn’t we all be better than this?

— Deflated

In other words, does what separates the men from the baboons involve anything more than $10,000 in laser hair removal?

You could say men who go for women with tube-top tankers are no better than the boy baboons chasing after the girl baboons with the biggest, reddest rumps. Maybe it’s up to women to be a civilizing force, to teach men what really matters. And maybe women will — just as soon as they’re done posing as bank inspectors to dig up some date’s net worth and sending over private detectives to see whether his “classic car collection” includes more than a Yugo and a Pinto up on blocks on his granny’s lawn. 

Oops, it seems we’re all evolutionarily ugly in our own special way. Men evolved to go for reproductively hot bodies — fertility indicators like youth, clear skin and dangerous curves. Women evolved to go for “providers” — guys who’ll hang around after sex to feed and care for any little knuckle-draggers who result. Times have changed, sure, but our genes have yet to get the message. That’s why a study by Michael Wiederman of over 1,000 personals ads found that women are 11 times more likely to seek a partner with “resources.” And just a guess, but when your mother was telling you the ways of the world, she probably didn’t say, “It’s just as easy to fall in love with a drunk, unemployed one!”

If beauty sells, what’s wrong with buying it? Well, awfulplasticsurgery.com is a pretty good argument against it, with all its pictures of bad boob jobs and “trout pouts” —  collagenized lips the size of car bumpers that make women look like they’ve been body snatched by giant dead fish. Also, for a lot of men, big fake knockers are more scary than sexy. But, if you’d truly be happier with a different nose, or twin Winnebagos where your breasts used to be, why not? The big lie is looks don’t matter. The truth is, love may be blind, but lust has very good eyesight.

Here you are, a girl whose breasts are, at best, a B-minus. Here’s your boyfriend, who’s into women walking around with basketballs on their chests. Just a thought, but if this is a priority, not just a preference, maybe he should be with … a woman walking around with basketballs on her chest? There are guys out there who go for more “athletic” bodies —  guys who’d be all over those bee stings of yours. You won’t need breast augmentation to be with them. You will, however, have to remove that big, ugly growth that’s dragging you down; you know, the boyfriend you suspect lives to hear the announcement, “In case of a water landing, the girlfriend of the man in seat 5D may be used as a flotation device.”

Cluster luck

I’ve known this girl for about two years. We went out once when we first met, but it didn’t work out. Now we know each other well, and I guess you can say I “love” her. I’m hesitant to ask her out because my friends tell me she likes three guys right now (including me). On the other hand, she tells me she “loves” me and “only likes” the other guys, but wants to “try them out first.” What should I do?

— In Line

You love her; she loves a parade. So you’re hearing a lot of static. Ignore it, gather up some guts, and ask her out. That’s what it takes to get girls — not a long, polite wait with the crowd behind the police barricades. If she turns you down, at least you can still leave with your dignity. It beats sticking around to hear her bleating about how she “loves” you, too — and plans to express it by tearing off all her clothes and test-driving the giant helium Garfield, Goofy and Papa Smurf.