Lauren says she has "always wondered why so many women let themselves go in relationships"

By Erin Hill and Alex Heigl
Updated May 20, 2016 02:00 PM
Credit: Candice Spears Serendipity Studios

A newlywed blogger is taking some heat for dishing out some controversial marriage advice.

Los Angeles writer Amanda Lauren, 33, married Ethan Kass, 35, four months ago, and says she has vowed to “stay hot” for her husband and “keep trying to look and feel” her best for him.

“My husband and I probably have a more traditional marriage than most millennials,” she wrote in an essay for YourTango, titled, “Staying Hot For My Husband Is ESSENTIAL to a Successful Marriage.”

“If I’m there when my husband gets home from work, I love to make him his favorite cocktail (it’s kind of Mad Men, but it works for us),” she continued. “Sunday is my night to cook dinner. But one of the most important things I do to make him happy is to be the woman of both his fantasies and reality.

“I see the look on my husband’s face when I come out of the bathroom, ready for a night out, or the way he checks out my butt on the way to Pilates class. Having an attractive wife makes him happy. They say ‘Happy wife, happy life,’ but I’m happiest when my husband is happy.”

The newlywed cites April Masini, “a New York-based relationship and etiquette expert and author. “There’s no question about it: men are visual – at all ages – and they want you to look attractive, and they want their friends to be jealous.”

Lauren concluded that, “If men can’t help but be visual creatures, I need to oblige. And while I’m not sure if his friends are jealous so to say, they do acknowledge he has a hot wife.

“All relationships require work, and working on myself is doing the work I need to do for the sake of my relationship. Even if I’m running 15 minutes behind on date night because my hair isn’t straightening, my husband can’t complain if he’s swooning over me.”

Since her essay posted, Lauren has been on the receiving end of some intense backlash for her opinions, but she tells PEOPLE her efforts to look and feel good aren’t just for her husband – “it’s completely for myself,” she insists.

“I am saying what a lot of women are thinking and no one wants to admit,” she continues. “I hate to say it, but there’s a billion-dollar cosmetic and fitness industry. Billions of dollars can’t exactly be wrong – women want to improve themselves.

“Doing things that make you look your best, can make you feel your best. And when you feel your best, we’re better partners. My husband thinks I’m beautiful no matter what.”

She’s also coming to the defense of her husband, who she met through a mutual friend three years ago.

“My husband’s a big guy, but I like big guys. I think he’s a teddy bear. He’s very much my type,” she says, adding, “I think people have been so mean about that. I like being in shape, but it’s not my thing for men.”

She adds that her husband, who “likes to stay out of the spotlight,” is shocked by the attention her essay has received – but he’s happy for her.

“I’ve never really had someone who loves me and understands me and wants me to be the happiest I can be until I met him,” she says. “We really support and appreciate each other.”

And when it comes to her own efforts to look good, Lauren is shutting down some misconceptions. “I work from home, so I basically have two outfits: workout clothes or shorts,” she shares. “There are times when I don’t brush my hair. I’m so not glam every minute of the day. But when it comes to going out and going to events, I definitely take an hour or an hour and a half to get ready.”

As for comments she’s received about being “anti-feminist,” she says, “Being a feminist is about your own choices and saying, ‘This is how I’m going to live my life and I’m not going to let anyone dictate it for me.’

“Everyone has their own definition of feminism, that’s mine. But I know what’s inherently not feminist – bullying other women on the Internet for their life choices.”