On the one hand, men are portrayed as ravenous sexual beings who sleep with anything that moves. On the other, they have totally unrealistic expectations about beauty, wanting only the ‘hot babe’. Paradox?
On the one hand, men are super-particular about the kind of women they are attracted to. We men have totally unrealistic expectations about how average women should look, and we hold to this standard even in the face of evidence to the contrary. We are brainwashed to be only interested in women found on magazine covers, on runways, and in porn movies. Virtually all women fall far short of our exacting standards.
On the other hand, we men are ravenous, indiscriminate sexual opportunists. We will hook up with anything with an average of 2.01 legs. We are easily distracted by almost any woman who walks by, and we frequently “cheat down,” i.e., cheat on our partners with people who are less attractive or generally have less to offer than our current partners. In fact, I would guess in most cases men who step out on their relationships don’t leave for someone younger and more attractive, but more likely a “lateral” move or worse. (Tiger Woods, bless his heart, seems like a great example of this. Elin was simply not gorgeous enough, so he cheated on her with more attractive women? Sorry, I don’t see that, no offense to those charming young ladies.) You can’t trust us to be alone with any woman even remotely attractive because we will be easily tempted.
So, we are too discriminate and not discriminate enough. We have high standards and are total opportunists.
If these are both true, how do we navigate all this?
If anyone has any insights on how either men or women negotiate this paradox, we would love to get thoughtful submissions on this topic. Please send posts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Mik’s response to this column: Dear Anonymous Male: Here’s My Take On ‘The Beauty Paradox.’
photo: uggboy / flickr