2022 has been off to a great start. I got COVID-19 on New Year’s Eve and started the year in complete isolation. Just last week, something in our furnace exploded and we had to evacuate the house at one in the morning, waiting for the fire department to check the house in the cold.
While I was thoroughly terrified that our house would explode in the middle of winter, it was also my first time calling 911 for an emergency. It was kind of exciting to have called them for help. It definitely felt like something out of a movie to have a fire truck pull up to your front door, with my roommates and I (along with our three cats) freezing in the snow.
But watching the firemen come to our rescue, I was reminded of how firemen in their uniforms are often considered attractive. I wondered if that was still a thing and what precisely made them so appealing to women. I didn’t find this interaction attractive in any way. I was very grateful for their attendance, but that was about it. To be honest, I don’t even know if some would find this interaction interesting.
I asked my roommates about this and we collectively concluded there are three main reasons for the appeal.
The first thing my roommates mentioned was that the uniforms often come with a sign of respect. This is definitely true: firefighters’ uniforms are associated with a higher social status. They save lives and protect civilians, similar to paramedics, doctors, and police offices. The social position and reputable profession are often attractive factors for women.
The uniform also indicates a sense of competence. Women tend to look for qualities that make good fathers and husbands. The uniform suggests dependability and protection, key characteristics of an ideal partner!
2. The Knight In Shining Armour
It is in their job description to save people and protect them from harm. The idea of being swooped up and carried to safety sounds pretty good. Growing up, the fairy tales we have heard set these standards of a handsome prince who will save us from our “damsel in distress” moment. Firemen embody this heroic role and, therefore, are a perfect match for the ideal fantasy.
3. They are FIT
Firefighters probably have a great shoulder to waist ratio. As it is commonly known, an ideal female body type is the hourglass figure. Similarly, the ideal body physique for men is the “Dorito Bod,” like the marvel heroes. Essentially an inverted triangle: a broad shoulder to smaller waist ratio, which is typical for firemen since they perform heavy lifting duties and are required to be in good shape. So, it is not a surprise that they come off as attractive to the majority of the female population.
However, despite these attractive traits, none of my female friends showcased an interest in the idea of firemen. Although firemen fit the ideal male standard, I think the majority of that attraction comes from the idea of firemen rather than the actual professionals themselves.
In addition, It seems that the general shift in gendered roles and expectations has also changed what younger females find attractive. The traits that were once found necessary are no longer the norm. The characteristics that make firemen attractive are all labelled traits of masculinity: big, strong, dominant men who can protect you from all types of danger. While those characteristics do sound good, these extremely masculine traits no longer hold the same appeal as they once used to.
So, if you find firemen attractive or not, this may be why!