Life and Style editor Imogen Lancaster discusses how the concept of a trophy wife has become outdated and is evolving in a positive way
The concept of a trophy wife is, and to a certain extent always will be, an out-dated and sexist construction which traditionally positions a man’s wife as a prized possession to show off to his equally misogynistic friends. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with a man being proud of his wife, most definitions view ‘trophy wives’ as young, attractive females who sit around all day looking pretty whilst their powerful, ambitious husbands put the bread on the table. Of course, many would agree with me when I consider this to be a narrow-minded and archaic concept which really doesn’t ring true in many modern-day relationships.
With constantly growing opportunities for women and an emphasis on the importance of equality in the 21st century, many men are starting to value intellectual, empowered, and self-sufficient women. As a result, many men find these attributes to be attractive in potential partners. Thus, in recent years, the phenomenon of a trophy wife has finally been changing – and for the better.
Women are no longer solely passive housewives, and nor should they feel they have to be if they choose not to. Power, dominance, and earning capability are by no means restricted to men anymore. In fact, women are known for multitasking. So why can’t women, say, be beautiful, and successful in their chosen career, simultaneously? Both can definitely go hand in hand – you only have to look around to see this to be the case.
Notable examples include Mark Zuckerberg, who married Priscilla Chan, a Harvard graduate, a paediatrician, and a notable philanthropist. Secondly, Brad Pitt’s new girlfriend, Neri Oxman, is an architect and MIT professor. These successful men, who are very respected within their fields, are clearly not intimidated by a powerful woman being their wife. It is not emasculating, it is equality.
And finally (although definitely not finally because there are countless women that we should credit), Amal Clooney is the epitome of the modern-day trophy wife. An undeniably beautiful woman, yes, but simultaneously a respected woman who is by all means equal to and as successful as her husband. Admittedly, she is not as much in the Hollywood limelight at the infamous George Clooney, but is without a shadow of a doubt a well-accomplished woman. She is a barrister who has done much in the name of human rights, has had many philanthropic achievements and is a mother to two young children. The Clooney’s, as a couple, even partnered together to co-found the Clooney Foundation for Justice – a great example of partnership and equality within a marriage.
These women are successful in their own right and by no means rely on their husband for stability and/or income. These are the kinds of women that we should aspire to become. These are the women who are making us question the old-fashioned, limiting, and downright sexist ideals which unfortunately do continue today. But with such empowering women in the limelight as our role models, it gives us hope for the start of a new era of modern-day trophy wives where men will start or continue to value these impressive qualities. Long live the trophy wife 2.0.