What Is It about a Man in Uniform?8 July 2008
Especially in bygone days, but even now, it has been common to hear women say, “I love a man in uniform.” They mean it romantically/sexually, but their attraction clearly stems in large part from the kinds of associations they gather from a uniform. What women ostensibly mean when they refer to “uniform” are not refrigerator repairmen and Arby’s employees; they mean police officers, military, doctors, firemen. Notice how each of these uniforms indicate key traits:
- Economic viability
- Physical strength and vigor
- Mental acuity
- Social status
That is, women can “safe-sexualize” a man in a uniform because he is a known entity. Other types of uniforms may provide a stereotype for more daring sexual fantasies, such as the shirtless Harlequin romance beefcakes or Diet Coke’s “Lucky” commercials. But for the most part women fall back on men whose occupations are indicated in safer, more professional garb, making transparent a whole other host of socio-economic qualities. Uniforms signify a kind of homogeneity useful for identification of one’s rung on the social ladder. Think about it: it’s indicated in the name itself, uni-formity.
How interesting that men tend to like women in outfits, not uniforms. Barring the nursing profession, occupational garb isn’t as important for men, who generally look for women who are able to accentuate their lives, not women who provide a financial or class-status cornerstone. Thus men like changing appearances, whether that be the changing fashions from day to day or the erotic role-playing in the bedroom. But these trends may be reversing in some part as women play a greater role in business outside the home and men identify less with their roles as breadwinners and defenders.
Any further thoughts or observations?