Visiting Ukraine during summer, and even during mid-season, you will certainly notice the Ukrainian women. They are pretty, they are everywhere, and they dress in ways that in other countries would make it difficult to tell which ones are the hookers and which ones are not.
They are beautiful—and not only do they know it, they show it off every minute of every day.
Ukraine is such a paradoxical country. It’s confusing, and exciting. This is a country of poverty and powerlessness. There isn’t enough money to go around. The food is amazing, the streets are ugly, the cars are dirty, small, and broken. At the same time, Kiev has an incredible number of super expensive luxury vehicles. The government is pathetic. The Russian mafia and their friends in Kiev bought (or took) everything of value after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Now they run the country exactly like Moscow did, without the [usually] subtle charm of communism.
So why is the average young Ukrainian woman dressed like a Miami hooker? Why the stripper heels, micro-mini skirts, push-up bras, and look-at-me cleavage for everyone under 30? I’m not complaining, but in a country where doctors make $500 per month and live in 5-story walk-up apartments, it is striking.
Of course I have been asking about it and generally I got the same answers: It’s a matter of national style, most young women are hoping to marry out, and the simple competition for male attention.
Many people said, with some pride, that this is how Ukrainian women dress. “They (or we) are beautiful, and they (or we) like to show off,” said many. So they’re flaunting their sexuality? Not exactly, it seems. Surprisingly, many people insist that it’s beauty on display, not sex. It’s an interesting distinction.
In such a though country, which is fun for visitors but hard for the residents, most young women (along with young men) are eager to emigrate. There are marriage bureaus in every city and getting an Ukrainian girlfriend is more than easy even if you don’t speak Russian (perhaps better if you don’t speak Russian).
But there is also the competition factor and that is the most intriguing. I was told over and over that Ukrainian women dressed to kill because there are too many women chasing too few men. Why? The answers reveal plenty about Ukrainian society.
Men in this region are dying at a much faster rate than women, which is one reason why there are millions more women than men in Russia and Ukraine. Of the Top 10 Cities where women outnumber men, Moscow comes often at #7 and Kiev makes the top spot at #1.
Of the Russian and Ukrainian men who aren’t drafted in the army, half are disabled, unemployed, in prison, or alcoholics. Many men drink so much that they’re uninteresting companions, poor sexual partners, lousy marriage prospects, or violent. Many men clearly have poor job and financial futures: They’re under-educated, under-motivated, and living through a poor economy. Finally, many men are so chauvinistic to the point of being unprepared for women who are now feeling more entitled and more independent. Wars, crime, accidents, binge drinking and poor health system also left many men injured, handicapped, or in some other way incapacitated or undesirable.
The few guys who are good catches can be very, very picky. Foreign men can be even pickier!
Taken together, the three theories (national style, desire to emigrate, and local competition) say a lot about this country and this world. Whether a society is communist, capitalist, corrupt, or confused, female sexuality is still a desirable currency. And it’s too naive to say that women who take advantage of it are simplistic or devoid of values.