Why Men Like Swedish Models
And Why Women Try to Look Like Them
From a set of equally good-looking women, the man who has his choice (let's say Tiger Woods, Billy Joel, David Bowie, or Matt Lauer) will always choose a model over an attractive newscaster or top female athlete. If, as our culture deigns, "A man is what he does, a woman is what she looks like," capturing a woman who can sell her looks for very high prices is a coup, and she is the ultimate trophy wife.
This is true even if the modeling career was brief or minor. I knew a man whose wife had been a child model on a cereal box when she was 13; that she HAD ONCE BEEN a model gave him bragging rights. I saw an alpha male go ape when he heard that a woman new to his circle had once been a model. Not a supermodel, just a local whose career had ended; she was 30. He saw "model." She saw "meal ticket". He went for her, she got pregnant, they married, and each got what they wanted.
In white-majority nations, Nordic-type women are considered the most desirable. Women and men of the Nordic type are naturally white-skinned, blue- or green-eyed and blonde, and this kind of natural coloring, always rare, is becoming even rarer in our global society. Models must be very young, willowy (approaching six feet in height, and, if female, very thin) and photogenic. Finding a woman who fits this description even in Scandinavia is not easy. Models from elsewhere, such as Russia, may be just as blonde and thin but will never have the cachet that Scandinavian models have. And among those, Swedish models are considered the top of the line.
“Swedish” is extra-special because it is almost a brand name for Nordic beauty combined with female sexual availability. Famed Swedish-born actresses Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman, great beauties, had sexual relationships at odds with family values. For a time, Sweden was in fact the most sexually liberal white-majority nation. Sweden pioneered sex education in the 1950s and in the '60s was a leading producer of porn. Homosexuality and prostitution have long been legal and the age of consent is 15. (The age of consent is also 15 in Poland, 14 in Italy, and 13 in Spain.) Even as other countries became more liberal and Sweden developed the world’s toughest and most feminist laws as to what constitutes consent, "Swedish" maintained its mystique, which has become a stereotype. On the 1970s TV show James at 15, young James asked a Swedish exchange student, “Is it true what they say about Swedish girls?” He lost his virginity with her; very much the ultimate boys' fantasy. Then pop culture added tanned and busty to the willowy blonde, and we got as a beer company's mascots the tanned "Swedish Bikini Team." "Swedish Beauty" tanning lotion is available today at the local salon; ironic because fair-skinned people risk their looks and health by tanning.
Although in Sweden today it is legal to sell sex but illegal to buy it, Sweden is still where dream women come from because “Swedish” still connotes sexual availability, and it is pretty clear why that idea plus blondeness excites its male fans. Millions of women have also bought into it, buying blue and green contact lenses and dyeing their hair, which raises their value in the dating and marriage market.
"Swedish model" is the ultimate in female rarity and desirability, and to date or marry one confers the highest status on the man. The Swedish model herself has an eye for a husband who's just as much a trophy. Tiger Woods’ Swedish bride Elin Nordegren had done very little modeling. She was a nanny to another golfer’s children when they met. What else they had in common is unknown. But she was Swedish and had modeled, and he was the catch of the century. Unfortunately it seems that those qualities, and the couple's children, were not enough to keep them happy.