I've been taking a philosophy class and recently, we addressed the topic: "What are you?" I'll spare you the introspection (read: Googling) and let you know that, philosophically, there are three aspects to the self:
In class, the professor asked us to comment on these variables and an interesting discussion ensued. We spoke about which elements we know for sure exist, which tend to dominate our lives. I commented that women seem to be more identified with their bodies than men; in other words, a greater part of our self-definition arises from our bodies than it does for men.
I would have loved to have recorded the debate that followed--most women (one offered the prevalence of wealthy men with "arm candy/trophy wives" as proof) and some men agreed, as I provided socio-biological explanations for why a woman's appearance matters more, but a couple of men (including the instructor) seemed to be taken aback. I offered everything from evolutionary choices (as did an orthopod in the room--we scientists are so transparent) to the differential incidence of eating disorders by gender to prove my point.
As I'm writing this post, I'm thinking of country music (you made the same leap, too, huh?) A number of country music performers have recently crossed over into pop. If you haven't been following pop hits (or itunes favorites), some country artists have high-ranking singles on the charts. But, why is it that certain artists are able to cross over to a larger audience and others aren't? Is it strictly a function of talent?
My hypothesis is that it has to do with their marketability and, specifically, that female country artists are marketable if they happen to be young and pretty (think Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Kellie Pickler). How many unattractive female country artists have made the transition so seamlessly? How many men have made the switch? Top ranking Keith Urban's popularity seems largely derived from his marriage to an attractive female star.
Are women, in fact, more identified with their bodies (by others and themselves), or was I arguing an antiquated point?