The Butterfly Effect. Everyone’s heard of it. And no, I’m not talking about that ridiculously depressing Ashton Kutcher movie that still makes me cry every time, but the theory developed by Edward Lorenz. The one that goes something along the lines of how a butterfly flaps its wings and causes a hurricane in the next continent. Only this time the butterfly’s wings take the shape of Neil Strauss, author of what I am sure most of you have heard of as The Game.
For those of you not in the know The Game was a book that rapidly evolved into the Average Joe’s bible, becoming a how-to guide for even the most hopeless of cases to transform themselves into ‘pick up artists’, revealing secrets of seduction that would trick any hapless female into bed. This phenomenon spread faster than conjunctivitis at Rococo’s foam party, so that nowadays most guys are familiar with The Game and the theories behind it.
So who’d have thought that some relatively unheard of geek in New York could cause ripple effects that jumped across the pond to the West Country, causing Exeter sports socials to be defined by those all too familiar brightly colored trousers at every Wednesday TP? For it is due to The Game that sales in Topman’s jeans collection have skyrocketed and every hot-blooded male in Exeter is donning bright red/yellow/green/blue trousers, all down to Strauss’s theory of peacocking.
Peacocking. (Pronunciation: /?pi?k?k??/) that delicate art of dressing ostentatiously, to ‘shake your feathers’ akin to a peacock, in order to attract a member of the opposite sex.
While I am still dubious to the success behind this concept you’ve got to give it to Strauss, guys if not girls have certainly clung to this theory like a life raft. So when thinking about all this I couldn’t help but wonder, could there be a Peahenning version for women too? (And yes, in case you were wondering a Peahen is a female version of a Peacock, as I discovered this morning courtesy of Wikipedia). Therefore, o lucky readers, through interviewing several chaps and conducting a bit of market research, I have compiled a list of dressing do’s and don’ts that amount to my theory on Peahenning.
1. Fancy dress – getting the balance right: In order to distract from our rather pathetic array of nightlife options in Exeter many societies and club nights assign a fancy dress theme to an event, creating the perfect occasion for the opportunistic Peahen. The problem with fancy dress is attaining that perfect middle ground. Be too enthusiastic and I doubt any guy is going to go for your ‘fun’ personality when he has fake teeth and a moustache to contend with. Equally, put no effort in and you become the vain princess who is too into herself to condescend to the theme. Therefore, the perfect Peahen will see the costume as a challenge. She will interpret the theme to her advantage, creating an outfit that is still fun and will turn heads, but won’t obscure her natural assets and drive him to utter repulsion.
2. The Kooky Accessory - According to a certain second year Economics student ‘I like it when a girl dresses individually, maybe wears an interesting bit of jewelry or a statement piece of clothing that I can comment on and start a conversation ”. The Peahen will adorn herself with kooky items (kooky as in cute peter pan collars, not Luna Lovegood forks and bottle caps), in order to first of all establish that initial attention, and second of all to throw a rope to the guy if he is really struggling with a conversation starter.*
3. More is More – the Peahen does not demean herself with butt cheek skimming shorts and cleavage kissing bandeaus. Rather, her allure comes from the more subtle method of giving the impression of skin, rather than showing it. I am not saying dress like a nun. While Julie Andrews is pretty banging in a wimple in The Sound of Music, few of us can pull off that look. Waist cinching belts, peplum skirts and lace-cut-outs are a great way to show off your figure without directly revealing it, leaving more action to his imagination than his eyes. Another Peahen trick is to reveal skin that wouldn’t usually be on show, such as tops with the back cut out.
4. Come Hither Eyes – So someone once said that eyes were the windows to the soul; for the Peahen it could just be the window to the bedroom. The Peahen will draw attention to her eyes, maybe through make up, face paint or by the way she uses them. We are all guilty of using ‘come hither’ eyes on the dance floor to that cute guy through the crowd, but most of us don’t abuse this wonderful device enough. Eyes aren’t just a physical tool, they are an instrument of communication. Most guys are usually too nervous to approach a girl, so by making constant eye contact they will be more reassured that you have noticed them and are interested.
5. The psychological sway of Zips – So a lot can be said for the unconscious signals we send, whether it be the way we stand, our facial expressions, hand gestures or dance moves. One that I am sure you haven’t considered is the signal zips give out. Apparently when guys see a top or dress with a statement zip running down the front, side or back they subconsciously think of unzipping it. Therefore they are already thinking of you in a sexual way; all you have to do is make that small step from sex appeal to genuine attraction that little bit smaller. Zips can also be quite a playful point of contact, everyone has acted out the charade where a guy cheekily undoes the fastening of your top and you pretend to be indignant. The Peahen is the master of this pretense.
Now ladies, I am just going to point out here that this article is a guide to initial attraction, not a relationship. I very much doubt those embellished Urban Outfitters platforms are going to directly lead to wining and dining at Harry's. Rather, these tips may lead to that first conversation, a bit of cheeky flanter (flirtatious banter) and a number swap. Or even a spontaneous smooch outside Mega Kebab, depending on how many jaegers you just downed at Arena. So embrace that inner Peahen and go shake those tail feathers.
*The key to pulling off this look is 100% confidence, if you don’t believe you look great he definitely won’t!