Why do people automatically turn to supermodel Miranda Kerr for dating advice? I find it strange that whenever she’s interviewed by a glossy magazine, she’s immediately quizzed for her thoughts on the modern dating landscape. Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Elle – she’s advised all their readers on what she feels is clearly appropriate etiquette despite the fact that she’s been married twice, is no longer single nor a dating expert and the main irk; that her advice is rather primitive and decidedly off-message.
In a new interview with Net-A-Porter’s The Edit, women “need to make a little effort” by dressing to please their men, said Kerr, who married Snapchat mogul Evan Spiegel earlier this year and likes to “empower” him to feel masculine. This ties in with a quote she said to Cosmopolitan: “I take everything off and put on my Stella McCartney silk robe. I’ll put on a red lip or red nails, and it lifts my mood. Sexy underwear also gives you a spark.”
While Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has issued a manifesto urging women to “lean in” to their jobs, Kerr prefers to be “more gentle” and “lean back,” stepping into what she calls a more “traditional role at home.”
“My grandma taught me that men are visual and you need to make a little effort,” she said with a wink. “So when [Evan] comes home, I make sure to have a nice dress on and the candles lit. At work, I’m like, ‘We need to do this!’ and, ‘This needs to happen!’ But at home, I slip into my feminine and empower Evan to be in his masculine.”
There’s nothing wrong with the fact that Kerr chooses to embrace her femininity – this has, in my opinion, been politicised to the extent that wanting to be feminine is seen as a weakness, which of course, it isn’t – nor is it that bad that she prefers to define herself in a relationship in a way that works for her (even if it isn’t exactly a modern, feminist stance), because women dress for different reasons, for different people. Some dress for themselves, some dress for other women, for Instagram fans or, even, an Amazon robot (a bit of a stretch, granted).
But that aside, Kerr does have a responsibility, as a public figure, to be mindful of what she puts out in the public domain. She’s incredibly savvy and successful, but do her thousands of female followers really want to hear a beautiful woman – with clearly no problems in the dating department – emphasise that to win over your man, you should essentially cater to his preferred visual aesthetic? Even if she was well-intended, her sentiment is damaging to other impressionable women who already feel pressure to conform to society’s restrictions placed upon them.
And more to the point, why do people seek validation from celebrities about the dating game at all? Why are so many articles printed revolving around this? I find myself never being able to relate to them, ever, even if I wholly support or am a fan of the woman in question. I just find myself saying, “Where are the women like me?” Those who have struggled, those who at times feel deeply lonely, those who fear they might never find a plus one while watching their closest friends and family tick all the boxes off? Where are those articles?
I don’t want to read about Miranda Kerr’s perfect version of trying to please her man (nor her suggestion that it’s wrong to seek one out), I want to read about real women, in the real world, not one fresh off a rose-tinted catwalk.
And even though I embrace sisterhood as much as the next woman, I want Kerr to do a whole lot better than this.