Curves (or Lack of Curves) Don’t Make The Woman

When it comes to idealizing one body type over another, Danny says, “Screw swinging the pendulum to the other side! It’s time to tear that damn pendulum down!”

This picture (above) has been making its rounds on the internet for several months now and I have say that this is a sign that some people may be taking the idea of being fat doesn’t make you unattractive a bit too far. On top of that, there seems to be a bit of a thing going on around here the last few days where everyone is chiming in on what they find attractive. All of this makes me feel a need to talk about what makes a woman attractive.

As a person that finds women attractive, I don’t like the idea that something is wrong with finding skinny women attractive any more than the idea that something is wrong with finding fat women attractive. If you look throughout the ages the ideas of what body type of women is the established norm of what is attractive have changed. And just like any established norm those who do not match that ideal are ostracized and left on the fringes.

That’s not a good place to be and takes me to what I find a bit wrong with the photo up above.

The photo asks, “When did this (images of skinny women) become hotter than this (images of not so skinny women)?”. I get a tone from that that seems to say that not so skinny women should be the norm of attractiveness over skinny women. This thought only pushes the pendulum to the other direction.

The problem with thinking that skinny women are the established norm for attractiveness isn’t that women who are not skinny are left on the out of being considered attractive. The problem is that there is an established norm for attractiveness.

When I look at women I’m not thinking, “Oh this woman is _____ so she can’t be attractive.” Yes there are times when I think that a women is not attractive in my own opinion but that doesn’t mean that that woman is objectively unattractive. Over the years I’ve found a wide variety of women to be attractive ranging from what others would say, “Put the fork down and back away from the table!” to “You need some beans and cornbread!” (that being a Southern way of saying, “you need some meat on your bones”).

But at the end of the day they are just my opinions. I have my opinion of what is attractive just like anyone else but when dealing with established norms it becomes bigger than just what an individual person finds attractive.

When something becomes the established norm you will have a division where people are either part of the “in group” or “out group”. What happens is that the opinions of the in group become the truth rather than just their truth. In other words its cool because the cool kids said it is.

The solution to this is not to just replace one body type with another as the norm but to get rid of the very idea that there should be, or needs to be, a norm in the first place.

What do you think? Is there such a thing as an objectively attractive person? Or should we try to get rid of the society norms that tell us what makes a person hot?

 

For more on the debate about whether one “type” is hotter than another, read these articles and join in on the conversation:

How We Talk About What Turns Us On by Justin Cascio

In Praise of Small Breasted Women by Mark Radcliffe

In Praise of Large Breasted Women by Josh Bowman

In Praise and Appreciation of Women by Collin Slattery

In Praise of Jewish Men by Laura Bailey

 

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About Danny

Part techie, part gamer, and part cook, Danny can often be found tinkering with a PC, pondering short story ideas, or playing a game. When asked, “If you're so opinionated, why don't you start your own blog?” one time too many, he did just that. As a result, Danny's Corner was created as a place for the rage, confusion, comedy, and calm that are natural for one that's pondering the basics of being a man. He can also be found haunting Twitter from (@dannyscorner).

Comments

  1. I would challenge the idea that women who aren’t skinny are “ostracized and left on the fringes.”

    I don’t see this happening anywhere. I see women of all sizes and shapes enjoying full social lives.

    To answer your question, all those women are hot, but bottom left takes the cake. Are you saying that we shouldn’t show pictures of beautiful women? That we shouldn’t show pictures of skinny women? That we shouldn’t show pictures of naked women? How about fat women? How about white women?

    Political correctness is a plague and criticizing skinny girls is just as bad as criticizing fat girls.

  2. Joanna Schroeder says:

    Whenever I see this photo I feel really bummed for Kirsten Dunst, whom I think looks like she got into this meme by being pale and awkward more than emaciated. Her body looks healthy and feminine to me. Just because she’s not an hourglass doesn’t make her “bad”… Which I guess is precisely Danny’s point.

  3. This boy I knew in 8th grade grew up to become a writer…his book was about his relationships with the hot girls he knew in school (and in the background was his tumultuous relationship with his anorexic, hypercritical mother)….one of his main hangups was wanting the sexy girls, who were splendid in their variety and attributes, even though he could hear his disapproving mother’s (newly feminist) voice in his ear….secretly he would obsess about a girl’s ass or another’s boobs (“like a French model’s”), but he would never let on how much he was taken by them….he always tried to act real cool and disinterested (to me, he was very rude and mean in his comments)…

    One passage that bothered me the most was about a girl who talks about her awful physical features (and truth to tell, she was one of the most beautiful people I have ever seen): ” her hair was too frizzy, her ass was too fat, and her thighs…Oh! She balled her hands into fists and when she shook her breasts shook as well…I didn’t say anything…because when a girl talks herself down, you don’t try to stop her….Her tirades about her body were so awful and yet thrilling….”

    It seems the physical criticism of a woman’s body or the praise of another’s just serves to focus women’s attention on self-hatred and to undermine her self-esteem, and, therefore, all the better for a boy like that to take advantage of that ….I think if women stopped thinking so much about their bodies, they could focus on more important issues (instead of going out with a narcissistic boy for 4 weeks who will then write a terrible memoir about it decades later)….

  4. I think men and women both need to move away from the notion that a members of the opposite sex only ‘count’ when we find them attractive. That dorky guy in a white button-up, dockers and a bad haircut is still a man. The flat-chested chick with messed-up teeth and acne is still a woman. It doesn’t matter if you want to sleep with them or not; you should still respect the fact they are a man or a woman.

  5. While my point was about attraction I do agree with what you say here. Its one thing to say “that ___ isn’t attractive to me” but another to treat them like they aren’t even a ____ because you don’t find them attractive.

  6. It’s true that a person’s attractiveness shouldn’t affect how you treat them as a person.

    It’s NOT true that there’s something inherently wrong with being attracted to one type of appearance over others, or that a thought crime has been committed if you don’t find all women equally attractive.

  7. Hot, sexy, beautiful isn’t the same for any 2 people. While I dont find the women at the top of this image attractive, who am I to judge someone else for liking it!?! Hell, I don’t think I’m attractive as far as men go, but I know someone who’ll disagree with me (and probably kick my ass over it, too).

    We shouldn’t be upset with eachother, we should simply refuse to accept any societal “norm” and don’t judge ourselves against that ‘accepted’ image. Be happy with yourself and others will be happy with/for you!

  8. wellokaythen says:

    Sexual attraction can be emotionally complicated, and there is a real difference between being beautiful and being sexy.

    For me, the photo of Keira Knightley is visually stunning. She looks good and beautiful and sexy to me, and yet the photo doesn’t really prompt much lust in me. When I see that photo, it’s more envy than lust – God, I wish I had a core like that!

    • “There’s a real difference between being beautiful and being sexy.”

      I feel like I could write a whole book on that topic.

      For instance, sexual attraction in men is primarily visual, and emotional attraction is emotional.

      With women, these two basically seem to overlap and conflict with each other.

      But we can certainly agree that there’s a difference between someone you would sleep with, and someone worth waking up to.

      There are those girls who give you erections, which is like, okay. But then there are those girls who give you braingasms. Jealousy just sort of dies off. Her smile sticks with you the whole day.

      This is something that happens when the emotional and physical attraction mix well. That is, their outer self resonates with their inner self.

      So I mean, you can have sexy, and you can have friend-worthy or admirable. But beauty only comes from the combination.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Actually, it doesn’t require a strong core to have well developed abdominals. All you need is very little body fat and taut skin.

  9. Matthew Orifice says:

    physically… purely physically i am attracted to fit ( slightly muscular) curvy women… that said, what KEEPS a woman being attractive to me is about her personality, i have known women who my first opinion was pretty low become raving beauties in my eyes, and drop dead knockouts that took my breath away become repulsive. my lady doesn’t have a type, she finds bodies of all types akward and limiting it’s all about the person ( which makes me DAMN proud let me tell you). but i understand the issue. I’m the father of three daughters all beautiful (17,16, and 9) i have heard my 9 yr who is a little whisp of a thing without an ounce of fat on her body worry about getting fat and unnattractive 9 yrs old. my eldest who is built like jessica Rabbit has had someone come up to her and say that her chest ( on the large size ) makes her look like a prostitute… my middle daughter is more like a very feminine linebacker and she gets the cuts that would go with that. what is attractive and what is dominantly considered attractive effects our you women hugely… My son (15) he gets incredibly uncomfortable because he is what young ladies currently are considering attractive and he’s not sure what to do with it. this whole “this is attractive that’s not” stuff is really eating our children up. how about we try to see people as looking like themselves?

  10. I think the photo resonates with women because most of us have a lot if self hatred about not being skinny enough. Even if you eat right, work out and watch your weight, it is very, very difficult (short of actual starvation) to achieve the bony/skinny look that seems to be the current cultural ideal. We worry that’s what all men want and we feel a deep despair about ourselves becsuse we can’t possibly achieve it (at least that’s true for a lot of women). Women also impose horrible standards on each other and idealize skinniness probably even more than men do.

    • VolitionSpark says:

      Sarah: The only women who impose superskinny on other women are the type of women who are obsessed with that. And I agree with you that this current ideal is impossible for many many people.

    • “Even if you eat right, work out and watch your weight, it is very, very difficult (short of actual starvation) to achieve the bony/skinny look that seems to be the current cultural ideal. We worry that’s what all men want and we feel a deep despair about ourselves becsuse we can’t possibly achieve it (at least that’s true for a lot of women). Women also impose horrible standards on each other and idealize skinniness probably even more than men do.”

      A very important point, I really wish people would understand there is NO universal attraction and beauty differs person to person. What I find hot others find ugly, we need to understand that usually there is someone who finds our body hot, and another who doesn’t. It shouldn’t matter what some think when others like how we look (in regards to dating as it matters a bit). It’d be great to see some diversity in media as well, I’ve seen fat with thin, old with young, black with white, bulky/muscly with thin/low muscle, fit with unfit. I’ve seen guys bigger than I am with absolutely drop dead gorgeous women and vice versa, why can’t we focus on all of them instead of what some media editors feel is beautiful?

      I find both top and bottom women to be attractive, I personally like thin to medium body-types which includes some women who other people think are too thin. My friend who is an ex model has a thin and athletic body, others tell her she is too thin yet she is healthy and fine. It pisses me off that she cops flack over her body when it shouldn’t matter. She isn’t dangerously thin, she’s actually very beautiful (with a personality to match), yet some people think she needs to put on weight. She actually tried to without success, I guess she has “lucky” genes but why should she have to change for others?

      Now if I don’t find a woman attractive, it doesn’t matter because I’m sure someone else does. There are are plenty of people I don’t find attractive and plenty that I do find attractive, both groups are dating, married, etc. I’m sure there are people who find me attractive and others who don’t, that’s fine, I do see though a certain body type is favoured for men which does make me quite insecure (toned/chiselled look) as I don’t have that body. But I do my best to ignore media and look at real couples and I see such a variety of people that I feel much better.

      Beauty of course is only part of the dating game, imagine if people spent 1/10th the time on their personality as they do their looks….

  11. bryanatoms says:

    I agree with much of what you said above. “Hotness” as the world looks at is objective. But truthfully if we are looking at a woman just to judge her beautiful or not objectifys the woman anyway. Now, I don’t want to get into a bunch of arguements about that. I am hooked on women in a good way. I think they are god’s most beautiful creation but like the author I have found some rotund women extremely attractive and then thinner. Is there such a thing as an objectively attractive person? I think God inteneded men to be attracted to women by our eyes or else we wouldn’t be. Objectively, I have seen the best looking women marry the homliest guys and vice versa. Beauty is truly objective. I agree with most men a foxy woman to me may be a skank to someone else.

    Or should we try to get rid of the society norms that tell us what makes a person hot? Saddly this will never happen. As long as porn is out there, various magazines with supermodels on the front, and beautiful women on TV shows, there will never be a true norm. Women are sold to us as men. Their “hotness” is marketed to us so we will find them sexually attractive. They are literally prostituted to us. Sold for eye candy and then lusting therefore judging who is or not attractive based on that sexual appeal.

  12. VolitionSpark says:

    My body type requires many adjectives. Technically I am a mesomorph, which means I have a heavier skeleton and a bit more muscle. But I am heavy chested and have been since I was 9. I wear a size 6, not the 0 or 4 required to be stunning. I am neither tall or short (5′ 6″) I am in very good shape, with fairly low body fat..I run, mountaineer, etc. I am bothered that I could be considered “fat” by people just because I am not extraordinarily thin. And I am bothered that to be considered beautiful, I would have to present the body image I had at about 9 or 10.

    • Beautiful to whom though? Chances are there are probably quite a lot of men who find you stunning.

    • Archy’s correct, at least as far as men are concerned.

      Numerous studies have demonstrated that men prefer “toned” to skinny, and that the “male fantasy” body weight is usually between 10 and 15 pounds heavier than what women tend to think it is.

      This is probably because it’s easy to get hung up on a number (i.e. “I don’t know when I look ‘toned’ but I can be certain when I have lost 5 lbs…”), but the fact remains that the problem exists squarely in the heads of women, not in the desires of men.

  13. VolitionSpark says:

    Most of the women considered beautiful are either the very skinny, adolescent/androgynous/ectomorphic build (Giselle Bundchen, Keira Knightly, Angelina Jolie) or the truly adolescent, tiny girl look (Mila Kunis, Kourtney Kardashian, Jessica Alba, etc.) I think back on the women I saw when I was very young, like Lynda Carter, Angie Dickinson, Jayne Kennedy, Mariel Hemingway….these women would never be stars today. They did look like women to me. Now you must look like an adolescent girl for the rest of your life and when you try it, people get mad (people were upset with Angelina Jolie, for instance, about her skinny leg)

    • Christina Hendricks, Kate Winslet, Queen Latifah, Katherine Heigl are some who either don’t fit the teenage look or have larger bodies (not just fat, but muscle, bone structure, shape, etc). There are plenty of actresses that don’t have the adolescent look, probably far more than I can name.

  14. JoAnne Dietrich says:

    It shouldn’t matter whether a woman is thin, heavy or somewhere in between. We need to stop the big girl/skinny girl wars. It is so damaging to women. All shapes and sizes should be acceptable. Why are we still letting men dictate what is attractive? This is the year 2012. I feel it is acceptable for men to be attracted to a certain type of woman. All women need to be respected.

    • Why are we still letting men dictate what is attractive?
      You say that like men are somehow maintaining this war all on our own. Unless the women that have asked me, “How in the world can you find her attractive?” throughout the years were just figaments of my imagination.

      • JoAnne Dietrich says:

        Danny, I agree that there are women who are critical of other women. I have known some catty girls myself. Not all men are hung up on superficial beauty. Our society is still ruled by men. They are still the main source of objectifying women.

        • Objectification or Body Policing in general? I’m mainly talking body policing in general and in that I’m not entirely convinced that men are the main source. And I especially don’t think its related to the few men that rule society.

        • JoAnne,

          I’m sorry but what you’re saying just plain isn’t true. Please look beyond Radical Feminism and recognize that women have real agency in the world.

          Women don’t have to buy fashion magazines: they choose to. This cannot be explained through male “objectification” because if a product is not desired by its primary consumers, it fails and the company goes out of business. This happens every day to dozens of companies and untold hundreds of products.

          It might be easy to say “Oh men run everything, it must be their fault!” but this simply ignores millions of choices made by millions of women every single moment. A woman at a newstand could grab the New York Times, it would be cheaper than Cosmo, and no one would judge her for it. She grabs Cosmo anyway. Don’t pretend she doesn’t want to read Cosmo, and don’t pretend she doesn’t like what she sees and reads.

        • “They are still the main source of objectifying women.”
          Isn’t it convenient to blame the men? Ever read women’s magazines recently? Most stuff I hear about a woman’s looks in a critical way comes from women’s lips, even worse than the guys get. I think women really need to take some responsibility in their role towards these issues.

    • soullite says:

      There is a difference between treating someone with respect and being attracted to them. Everyone is owed a certain basic human level of respect – not worship, or admiration, but simple respect. Nobody is owed attraction. Men will always determine what’s attractive in a woman, and women will always determine what’s attractive in men – that’s just zoology.

      Attraction is not objectification. You conflate the two to too great a degree.

      • Nick, mostly says:

        Men will always determine what’s attractive in a woman, and women will always determine what’s attractive in men – that’s just zoology.

        Well, not entirely. Our norms are heavily shaped by culture, and shifting attitudes on what is considered attractive as well as differences in those attitudes across time and space suggest the cultural component may play a very heavy hand indeed.
        I recall one argument that had gained some currency suggesting that it was a question of what was “attainable.” A couple centuries hence it was supposedly more difficult (read: expensive) to be plump, and therefore women who exhibited such were desirable and idealized. Today the suggestion is that being thin is more difficult (i.e. requiring leisure time and dedication) and therefore it is now more desirable. I don’t know how closely such an explanation matches reality, but it does play into the cultural aspect.

  15. VolitionSpark says:

    What I will say to all the women out there is to find someone who loves you. That may not be a large pool of men, but even if its only about 4, go out and find one of those four. By the way, I found out already that many of the reasons for the lust for tall skinny women or short skinny women have to do with sex and the insane fears of women being “too large” or of those of us with breasts or hips getting fat. Wow. Women should ignore all of the “what you should look like” stuff period. I am grateful to be with a man who is truly attracted to someone with my bodytype, too.

  16. A body type becomes the norm because it’s what a large number of men find attractive.
    This body type is then shown in magazines, tv and movies.

    You don’t have to accept it but know that there’ll always be one.

    • soullite says:

      Then explain why the women in p0rn look the way they do…

      • Clearly you haven’t seen all of the variations of porn out there! There is a TON of BBW type stuff!

        • JoAnne Dietrich says:

          I agree there are all types of porn out there. There is something for everyone!

        • soullite says:

          That’s kind of my point. More specifically, the type of woman dominant in p0rn is a lot thicker than the dominant type in magazines or TV. Christina Hendricks is kind of thick, but you can’t get heavier on TV and still be treated as attractive (ask Sarah Rue). And she’s nowhere near what you get at the outside-edge of even mainstream p0rn.

  17. VolitionSpark says:

    JoAnne I agree. I am simply stating how I feel about being judged this way SPECIFICALLY. Men dictate what women should look like ONLY because women don’t want to be lonely. And I know women who are lonely because they don’t look like the “standard”. I also know women who are stupid, mean, unaccomplished, loud, cruel, and any other negative thing I could think to say about them but who have men only because say they are very short or very thin or many other superficial things I could name. This is what REALLY makes me angry. I have a sister who is very pretty and overweight. She is not the type who will be thin, no matter what she does (think Kelly Osbourne). And she does it all and is in really great shape. She is also nice, lots of fun, a great cook, a professional, very friendly, pretty with beautiful hair, warm and great in bed according to her one ex boyfriend. To be honest, she should have someone even more than I do or my youngest sister. But disgusting men can’t get past her size. It makes me furious. Again, I know some of the worst women in the world who have husbands and boyfriends but they look like various actresses or models and this is the main reason they have them.

    • JoAnne Dietrich says:

      Volition, I agree with everything that you say. I have also known women who were considered beautiful by men’s standards. They were also cruel and hateful women. I am sorry to hear about your sister. She sounds like a beautiful and intelligent woman. I hope some man will come along and notice her for her beauty. There are good men out there who can get past fake beauty.

    • I swear that there are men out there who would definitely be into that. Tell her not to let a couple of duds blind her from the studs! We all have varying tastes, nothing wrong with that. I know some women who will never be skinny by model standards, women who are bigger than any of the ‘plus’ size models that are becoming the newest fad, and they are GORGEOUS and they know how to be sexy with it. Women simply need to OWN it. Not all men are into bigger or skinny women. Tastes vary, always have, always will! I’ve dated the whole range, and personality is always what turns me on most. One of the hottest women I know is a plus size woman, but she’s passionate and sexy in all her curves!

    • I’m not super model by any stretch of the imagination. I have managed to find partners over the years and except for my more hypersexual years the line of genuine potential partners have become few and far between at times. I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard, “I’d love to date you but I’m not sure what my friends would think about me dating someone like you because I only date hot chicks.” Or “I never thought I’d settle for a girl like you.” And yeah these are people with crappy filters in general but it kind of makes me disenchanted with the idea of finding a meaningful relationship. On the opposite side I have absolutely no difficulty finding strictly sexual partners because heavier women are fetishized. But being someone’s fetish and being someone’s partner are two different things.

      But I guess I’m concerned about the peer to peer pressure. I know I’ve had men in my lives that my female acquaintances say are sleezy or that they can’t believe I’m dating or hooking up with them. I defend my choice as I’m not dating someone to please them. But they can be relentless sometimes. And I’m thankful they’re not my friend. I wonder how much pressure men get to not date certain types of women or be at risk for relentless teasing. If I found my partner was being tormented because he was with me I would probably have an honest talk about if it’s appropriate for me to stay in his life if he’s suffering like that just because of wanting to date someone like me and give him the option of an out. No one should have to be tormented because of who they are dating.

      So I feel for your sister Volition. And I think that the answer to the why ventures more into a peer pressure issue than people just not being attracted to her.

      • Yes peer pressure can sometimes play a part in it, but alot of people are too quick to use that as the “go-to” excuse as to why certain woman aren’t seen as attractive.

  18. None of the women on the bottom row are fat…and Marilyn Monroe is the only one in those pictures that even looks “not-so-skinny.” I know thats not the point but it just bothered me.

  19. @soullite
    You can have different type of figures being shown and still have a norm.
    Christina Hendricks is where the buck stops, curvy without being too thick

    Curvy doesn’t depend on thickness, A woman can be curvy without putting on weight.

    @VolitionSpark
    Have you seen Kelly Osbourne lately ?
    So men who don’t find your sister attractive are “disgusting” ? who are you to tell men what they should be attracted to.

    @JoAnne
    Fake Beauty ? lol that’s a good one.
    Men want to be with a woman they find physically attractive, if a woman can’t understand that can of course she’s gonna find herself alone.

    • JoAnne Dietrich says:

      William, there is nothing wrong with men wanting to be with women that they find physically attractive. Some men like thin women while others like more full figured ones. There is nothing wrong with that. All women should be respected.

  20. See, this is why I so love this site. It takes everything I’ve been thinking and lays it out in front of me, giving me a page to link to.

    I’m going to say right off the bat I have a preference towards thinner women. Does that automatically exclude everyone else? Not necessarily. But you can’t be attracted (or attractive) to everyone. And I’m sick of my preference being demonized. I mean…I’m a thin guy. does it not make sense for me to prefer my own body type? At least it’s not hypocritical.

    I think it’s a misunderstanding as well. There are major cues women pick up on to tell what kind of a guy they’re looking at: It’s why they get all hot and bothered if a surfer says “hey, sexy”, but freak out and reach for the pepper spray if a short, skinny guy gives the same gesture. But people don’t have as much a problem with this. And this is much how my own attraction works. It’s about how their physical self relates to the big picture.

  21. Oh FFS. Those women in the picture are ALL thin. And ALL beautiful.

  22. I quite like the general idea of this text and can only agree that attractiveness is much more then only one specific bodytype. Or hair color, size of breats or whatever.
    But as nice as it would be to have no “norms” at all, it also is a naive idea. There always will be some kind of “ideal XYZ” or bodytype. And it will change. I think there are 2 more “realistic” approaches to the topic: 1. While there always might be some kind of norm, it is important to stretch the point that no norm is ever the ONLY acceptabel thing, or the ONE thing everyone shoudl try to be like. Let there be diversity…
    2. Let’s be careful what norm we support. While attractiveness is a very personal thing, it is a fact that young girls (and boys!) tend to try hard to reach these norms. So let’s not support unhealthy norms. And I think this is what the above picture is trying to do… Not just replacing one norm by another. But trying to find a more healthy one…

    • Who’s says the 4 woman at the top of photo aren’t healthy ?
      The only one who’s had possible problems with her weight is Nicole Richie.

  23. Krishnabrodhi says:

    ‎”Pretty power” is not a power possessed…. it is a power given :)

    • So is a lot of so called male privilege that people go on about. But that doesn’t stop people from condemning the use of it and condemning the people who use it.

  24. This post is brilliant. Totally on the money.

    For the record, out of that picture, I find Keira and Elizabeth to be the most attractive physically. That’s just my own personal opinion and all others are just as valid.

    Matt

    • Keira and Bettie got it going on in that pic. That’s my word.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      So, I think I know who Keira is (I mean, I don’t know if I’ve seen any of her movies, but I recognize the name – misspelled as it is) but who are the other three in the top row? And who is “Shirley” in the bottom row?

      • I think these are right…
        Left to right,top: Heidi Klum, Nicole Richie, Keira Knightly, Kirsten Dunst
        Left to right, bottom: Bettie Page, Shirley Temple, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marilyn Monroe

  25. Jonathan G says:

    I like the idea of getting rid of an established norm as to physical attractiveness, but I think that notion has some major roadblocks. One of the biggest is the dirty, little secret that not all romantic relationships are based on agape-type love, or a deep, intimate connection with one’s partner’s true, inner self.

    No, a heck of a lot of attraction is predicated on social factors. Namely, we humans tend to want to establish our social status by being seen to possess something that everybody else wants. Conversely, we tend to want what we see that other people want. What we find physically attractive in a partner is influenced, more or less depending on the individual, by what our society finds attractive.

    The scientific research shows that there are some universal determinants of physical attractiveness, but much of it is culturally-determined. The ideal changes over time with the fashion of the day, of course, but with this human tendency to jump on the bandwagon with what other humans deem desirable, I doubt that having an ideal will ever go away.

  26. Even as a woman, I find most of the bottom row women too heavy. Keira has a lot of muscle on that small frame! I think being lean and strong is a lot more attractive than having curves due to excess body fat.

    • JoAnne Dietrich says:

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We are all attracted to different people. Some women are petite and naturally thin. Other women are either very curvy or have a large frame. All body types should be considered attractive.

  27. Hi Danny, thanks for the article.
    By listening to others and others telling us what is hot does a disservice to both men and women, whether gay, straight, transgender et al. It’s a challenging one because media is always giving us these stories on who’s hot and who’s not.
    I know when someone is “hot” for me and I don’t need anyone to tell me. My body reacts in a very simple way, it gets “turned on”.

  28. Of course, you know what the problem with all this is, right? It has little to do with what, specifically, men find attractive. We all have varying interests.

    The primary problem, which floats around beneath the radar, is that we attach so much of our respect for women to their attractiveness. No one would dispute the importance of Bill Gates, despite his relative unattractiveness. Same with almost any member of congress.

    But the moment a woman is in such a position, everyone goes nuts about her being “too big” or not attractive enough in some way. Umm…who cares??

    I still see jokes about Michelle Obama’s appearance. “She’s too fat”, “She has an awkward face”.

    Even if these were true, I can guarantee there are far less attractive men in congress, and we really don’t care. Why? Because we shouldn’t. The physical attractiveness of a woman is only relevant to the dating world. We should keep it that way, and then maybe people won’t get so uptight about what guys find attractive or unattractive.

  29. I completely agree. I was very annoyed when I saw this thing going around. Men have a variety of interests and tastes when it comes to what is attractive, and this obsession with “redefining the ideal” seems to be set on insisting that thin women are unattractive and that men who are interested in thin women are inherently shallow. Let’s break the pendulum.

    Also, Web, you are absolutely right!

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