A couple of weeks ago the gorgeous Eva Mendes said something that's apparently unsayable these days: Women ought to make an effort to look nice for their men.

In an interview with the website Extra the 41-year-old actress revealed her secret for keeping her boyfriend, actor Ryan Gosling (whose baby she's just had), happy at home: looking feminine:

“You can’t do sweatpants… ladies, number one cause of divorce in America, sweatpants, no!”

Oh, man, the firestorm! Some sample comments:

If a guy is going to divorce me cuz I wear sweatpants then I don't need him in my life.

How shallow can a person be to divorce you over what you wear?

it's no one's job to make someone else happy. If a man has issues with his wife being in sweatpants then he just has some serious issues in general and SHE can and SHOULD do better. So what if a woman wears sweatpants? Is she happy and comfortable? That is more important than sweatpants.

I officially HATE Eva Mendez who isn' even married to Ryan. She isn't qualified to make statements about loving relationships between men and women. Real men have no problem being attracted to the mother of their child in yoga pants. That's the mother of their child, their legacy. Eva Mendez obviously has no clue what ' FAMILY' means.

What an awful role model for any wife, mother or woman.
Men won't love me if I don't look perfect. Baby weight should come off quickly with hard work and help in a few months if you plan on being beautiful again. Is she serious?
What terrible, awful, no good, very bad messages to share with women worldwide. Such a shallow, pretentious view on women's issues.
Women's lib just took a giant step back!!

The rage got so intense that Mendes wrote this lighthearted "apology" on Instagram:

"Dear favourite pair of sweatpants. I was just kidding when I said you're the #1 cause of divorce.

"Everyone knows that orange crocs are the #1 cause of divorce. Either way it was a bad joke and I feel terrible if you or anyone thought I was serious. Thanks for understanding sweatpants. Sorry orange crocs."

In fact, Mendes was onto something, actually two things.

First, wives ought to try to look attractive for their husbands, even at home. It's a way of respecting the fact that your looks were one reason why he married you in the first place (men are very visually oriented when it comes to women), and every man wants to be proud of the way his wife looks. It doesn't hurt to try to please the man who's working his tail off to please you. Your husband won't love you any less if you look like a slob all the time–although maybe he will because your clothing may be telling him that you don't care enough about him to bother to look nice. The fabulous-looking Mendes could actually get away with a pair of sweatpants. Most women look terrible in them and should reserve them for vacuuming if they wear them at all. Even if you spend your day in bluejeans, you can dress them up a bit with a cute T-shirt and a pair of ballet flats.

Second, there's the issue of public decorum. Take a look around you the next time you're out. We're a nation of slobs these days, women and men. Sweatpants, sweatshirts, baseball caps, dirty sneakers, uncombed hair. That's where we can learn something from Eva Mendes, who is always dressed, even when she's looking casual. She has superb, age-appropriate taste. Yes, she's a movie star who can afford expensive attire. But anyone can afford a nice-looking T-shirt. Americans during the Great Depression strived to look their best. In our age of plenty we ought to take some pride in ourselves and be doing the same.