Blame Angelina Jolie or Sarah Palin, Tory Burch or Heidi Klum: Macha is the new macho.
Women everywhere are competing to see who can have the biggest careers and the most babies and the skinniest bodies and the hottest guys and the most money and the coolest houses, all at the same time.
But that’s not even enough. To be the machaest babe in town, you’ve also got to have other, harder-to-define and even more difficult-to-get qualities: A priceless yet groovy vintage wardrobe inherited from your mother, for instance, or a royal ex-husband. A MacArthur “Genius” Grant or a magical, memorable name—think Ferebee—you did not bestow upon yourself.
If you are vegan or you raise and slaughter your own exotic pigs, get 50 bonus points.
How macha are you? Use our simple algorithm to calculate your level of machisma:
What is your job?
- Get 100 points if you are an international superstar, an international supermodel, an Olympic athlete, or if you own your own country or established your own religion.
- Gain ten points if you’re the leader of a corporation or one of those really impossible combinations such as immunologist/indie filmmaker or Supreme Court justice/lingerie designer.
- Throw in a couple of dozen extra points if in your spare time you also: a) Deactivate landmines that are seconds away from disfiguring innocent children, b) Build hospitals with bricks you fire in your own kiln, and/or c) Compete on Dancing With The Stars.
- No matter what else you're doing, ultimately claim "Motherhood is my most important, rewarding job" or deduct all your points and spend a weekend in the house alone with your kids, no nanny.
How many children do you have?
- If three or more, get a point for every child; after eight, win 100,000 bonus points and get invited for latte with the pope.
- One extra point for multiples, international adoptions, and any children conceived with a new baby daddy before the one you were already pregnant with was born.
- If you have one or two children, no points but you’re still in the game. No kids: Go drink a cup of decaf. You’re out.
And what about the man in your life?
- Rack up 25 points for each of the following that are true: It was love at first sight. You left other people for each other. You were pregnant at the time, not necessarily with his baby. Though through the transcendent power of your love you changed it to his baby. He is royal (but that has to be duke or better, and not of a country that no longer exists or that you’re not allowed to visit). He is more than ten but less than 40 years younger than you. You have to wear a burkha for him, but it’s totally worth it. He is a she, even though you’re not even the tiniest bit gay!
So how do you stay so slim and chic and sexy?
- Get one point for every hour a day you work out up to four, when you have to start deducting points for every hour. Get 100 extra points if you helicopter to the top of Swiss mountains and then ski down without poles, surf nude, or if you would have won the New York City marathon if you’d only been able to stop running when you reached the finish line.
- If you are vegan or you raise and slaughter your own exotic pigs, get 50 bonus points.
- If you claim to lie around on the couch every day eating chocolate peanuts and watching Lifetime Television, we’re going to cut out your tongue for lying. But we’ll give you 100 points anyway because we really wish it were true.
What about your home life?
- If you move around the world from fabulous mansion to amazing penthouse, dragging an army of servants, gain 1000 points and our eternal envy.
- If you live in a Tuscan villa you bought for a dollar, furnished with antiques and Picassos you found on the street, eating deep-fried Milky Ways with famous guests who just happen to drop in, you also get 1000 points and our eternal envy.
- If you live in an Upper East Side townhouse with a dining room painted the perfect shade of red brewed from the menstrual blood of Tibetan nuns and kitchen counters fashioned from volcanic rock specially harvested on Venus, and you have fresh mangosteen flown in from Thailand along with fugu from Japan which you then only pick at, you win our eternal scorn but you still get the 1000 points.
The most important question: Shoes. Yes, shoes.
- So you claim those $1,200 Louboutins with the six inch heels are the only shoes you can walk in? You’re obnoxious, but you get 100 points.
- You make your own cowboy boots using the hide of gazelle you shot in Africa? You too are obnoxious, but you also get the 100 points.
- You wear pink Chuck Taylors with everything from Chanel suits to size 6x jeans? You know what, we’re sick of you, you’re out. Out!
- And you there, hanging around looking left out in your flat black ankle boots. Perk up! We’re giving you 10,000 points just because you’re, well, us.
AND NOW FOR THE SCORING
- If you have a million points, you are obviously Angelina Jolie or Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece. Congratulations, you define machisma.
- If you were actually able to figure out how many points you have, you too are extremely macha plus you win Harvard’s Whoa! A Girl Can Do That? award.
- Everybody else, okay, you can be macha too.
- Except the skinny bitch in the Chanel suit and the pink sneakers. Didn’t we tell you to leave?
Pamela Redmond Satran is the coauthor with Linda Rosenkrantz of nine bestselling baby name guides, including Beyond Jennifer & Jason and Cool Names for Babies, and a developer of the new baby-naming site Nameberry. A former fashion editor for Glamour, she is also a columnist for that magazine, writes for The New York Times, and is the author of five novels. Her children are named Rory, Joe, and Owen.