Forget Everything You Know About Trophy Wives

Emma Colton Deputy Editor
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“Trophy wife” marriages might be a myth due to biased interpretations of why well-to-do fellas and sexpot women get hitched.

Notre Dame professor Elizabeth Aura McClintock penned a paper studying why people pair with certain mates, and found evidence that couples who fit the trophy wife stereotype actually often hold the same physical attractiveness and socioeconomic status as their partner.

“I find that handsome men partner with pretty women and successful men partner with successful women,” McClintock told The Daily Mail.

McClintock’s research explains that trophy wife arrangements trade beauty and youth for wealth and power, and though these relationships do exist, they are not as prevalent as society has made them seem. Instead, people often look for a partner who is in the same league of attractiveness or success, or they go on the prowl for a mate who holds the same values, like religion or education.

“So, on average, high-status men do have better-looking wives, but this is because they themselves are considered better looking — perhaps because they are less likely to be overweight and more likely to afford braces, nice clothes and trips to the dermatologist,” McClintock writes.

McClintock used the Google founders as examples to back up her research of success marrying success, saying that Larry Page and Sergey Brin both married successful women, one a Ph.D. and the other a wealthy entrepreneur.

McClintock did concede, however, that there are rare examples of stereotypical trophy wife relationships that do exist — citing Donald Trump’s third marriage to Melania Knauss as the exception to her research.

But the scientist explained in the report that these types of relationships are outliers because if studied at a more intimate level, these couples are often more than just a wealthy chap who “bought” a sexy model to be his wife.

“I’ve heard doctors’ wives referred to as trophy wives by observers who only notice her looks and his status and fail to realize that he is good looking too and that she is also a successful professional, or was before she had kids and left her job,” McClintock told the Daily Mail.