Why I Feel Sorry for Gorgeous Female Celebrities (The Poor Sweet Dears…)

 

Tom Matlack’s wife and mine are kicking some serious celebrity butt.

 

I’m just going to just say it. I feel sorry for gorgeous female celebrities. Why? Well, several reasons, not the least of which is because they aren’t as beautiful as Tom Matlack’s wife. Or mine.

And, having said that, I’m also feeling sorry for myself for having even attempted to write this article . Because I’m mucking around in such a catastrophic mish-mash of cultural misconceptions that I don’t even know where to start kicking my own ass. And I’m only seven sentences in. But let’s press on regardless, shall we?

♦◊♦

Ah, “beauty?” What could be more subjective, right? We all have our own view of what is beautiful, right?

But we are also subject to our culture’s collective view of beauty. And that narrative is a powerful one, indeed, when reflected back to us 24/7 on every billboard, magazine, video screen and Special K box in the known universe. Typically, a culture’s collective view of beauty is, in fact, a direct reflection of that society’s class structure. In the middle ages, only landed gentry could afford to be well fed or could live in such a way as to have pale skin instead of sunburns from working in the fields, so beauty was pale and full figured. In post-industrial McDonald’s cheeseburger America, only the wealthy can afford a personal trainer or time to pursue a nice golden tan, so tanned and thin represents the unattainable ideal of beauty. It’s all pretty obviously tied to power and wealth and all things unattainable. Did I mention unattainable?

Which poses the question, was Helen of Troy considered to be more beautiful than the rest because of how she looked, or because two powerful kings started a twenty year war over her? Are certain physical characteristics deemed beautiful because the rich and powerful media outlets tell us that they are? And we all fall in line in agreement? Suddenly, we find ourselves wanting to date someone because they fit an external criteria that isn’t even all that central to our own definition of beauty. Remember, men and women will often date someone for the presumed effect they have on others…right? Arm candy? Status wife? Are we all chasing some narrow and ultimately unsatisfying Madison Avenue version of love?

And how bloody long does it take to figure this out?

♦◊♦

Now, I am not a beautiful woman myself, nor have I played one on TV. But I feel empowered to speak to this issue in part because of the innumerable times I have contributed to the interpersonal shitstorm that results when this “Madison Avenue Approved” beautiful women appears. In my youth, I have made the awkward drunken passes (because, in my youth, I couldn’t possibly approach a “beautiful” woman sober). As a twenty-something, I dated “beautiful” woman and then crashed and burned into a steaming pile of self-loathing and insecurity, pleading with them not to take the nearest exit even as I set the theater on fire.

Even in later years, I have stuttered and stumbled and seized up like an engine block full of sugar just because the check-out person was a passable ringer for Tyra Banks. I have done all these things and much more, and I have no doubt created thousands of awkward moments for women who’s only crime is that they are attractive. Now multiply my actions with the current population of hyper-sexualized young men and women on the planet and you see the problem. Just picture the screaming young girls who are going nuts at your local Justin Bieber concert. Why Justin Bieber? Can it really be marketing?

The fact is, young people take in these weirdly narrow ideals of beauty hook, line, and sinker and internalize them to the point that they risk years of debilitatingly low self esteem. Which is terribly sad, because it takes so long to cast off these narrow mass media views of beauty and take ownership of the richer and more diverse expressions of beauty we see staring back at us from our own mirrors.

Yet, somewhere back along the way, I was FINALLY able to let go of that narrow imposed view of beauty and dramatically expand what beauty can be in my life. How it can manifest from my own ideas instead of ideas imposed from outside. And the moment that happened, something shifted for me. Now, I count myself among the non-Tyra-Banks-impaired. (No offense to Ms. Banks.)

 ♦◊♦

And yet, all around us, the battle continues. Each time I see Angelina Jolie being pilloried yet again by the tabloids, I despair for us all. This woman readers are being encouraged to judge harshly, is clearly a decent and thoughtful person. I’m horrified by the combination of media-fueled obsession and simmering resentment that typifies our culture’s response to beauty and fame. Because no sooner does one part of the mass media elevate a woman as a celebrity sex symbol then another part begins tearing her down. It’s a nearly simultaneous construction/demolition process that reflects decades of cynical packaging and marketing of sex and beauty. Like their nasty reality TV counterparts on the more pestilent backwater cable networks, celebrity tabloids invite us to judge and condemn our supposed betters—holding no sympathy or empathy, seeking no sense of what we all have in common. No, this is an invitation to us to condemn, judge and dismiss. As if we’re not getting enough of that in the House of Representatives.

Why are we so nasty towards our celebrities? Clearly, we resent the narrow definition of beauty they have come to represent. A definition that excludes 99% of us. We are not the right shape, or size, or color… Empowering those narrow ideals forces us to buy into self-alienating narratives of beauty. Our collective cultural choices about beauty have been hijacked for cynical commercial purposes, splitting beauty into “them” (beautiful/rich) and “us” (ugly/poor). The fact is, both the range of physical traits AND the actions required for someone to be defined as beautiful in our culture have gone way off the rails. Thin has never been a mandatory prerequisite for beauty, I don’t care what Cosmo Magazine’s last 2000 covers say. Furthermore, if beauty is a marker for lasting lifelong love then, by extension, one’s actions must be understood to inform one’s beauty not the other way around.

If we leave the definition of beauty in the hands of the mass media, we will get back a cynically narrow and therefore, badly distorted view of it. The repercussions of which reach down into our schoolrooms and our bedrooms; into the lives of our children and our selves. It’s not that these images of beauty are false. They are simply too narrow, excluding the much wider range of passion inspiring fantasies and images that can, in turn, empower the vast variety of human beings who come in all shapes and colors.

The fact is, everyone is beautiful. And I mean, Lauren Bacall, “You know how to whistle don’t you?” beautiful. There isn’t a man or women in the world who doesn’t have their moments of divinity. That moment when the light hits them a certain way. That moment when their courage or kindness sets them apart from all others.

Unless we teach our children (and ourselves) how to see and value much wider expressions and ways of beauty, and unless we encourage them to communicate who they are in the world, we leave them with little choice but to mimic what is being sold to them by the mass media.

The narratives we need to encourage in ourselves are not hard to figure out.

1) Everyone has their own special range of beauty. Look and you will see.
2) An honest and open relationship is deeply erotic thing.
3) No one else in the world has what you have. Don’t hide it.

No matter how beautiful a man or woman is deemed to be, we humans inevitably lose interest if the surface is all we are focusing on. So if we, in our internal dialogues, continue elevating one pretty face after another to the pantheon of the ideal, in lock step with the mass media, we miss the beauty in our sweet children and darling spouses because we are not opening our eyes to the rich and diverse markers of beauty in our own lives.

♦◊♦

But here’s the good news. And it brings us back to Tom Matlack’s wife and mine. (Never mind the fact that my wife likes to joke that I’m the wife in the arrangement…) Tom recently penned an article for the New York Times that declared his wife to be the “most beautiful woman on this planet.” Well done, sir! I commend you on your absolute commitment to the truth!

In response,  Joanna Schroeder noted:

But I believe [Tom]. Not because I think that his wife, Elena, is objectively the most beautiful woman in the world. She’s lovely, of course, but the reason I believe him is because my husband feels the same way about me.

And for the record, I feel the same about Saliha. So, how, in a world of seemingly endless super models, have Elena, Joanna and Saliha each become the most beautiful woman in the world? Well, I can’t speak for Joanna’s husband or for Tom, but I have a simple explanation for my own good fortune.  I finally decided to open my eyes to what is truly meaningful and beautiful for me in the world, and there she stood.

I suspect they did the same.

 

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About Mark Greene

GMP Senior Editor Mark Greene is an Emmy Award winning animator and designer. He blogs and speaks on Men's Issues at the intersection of society, politics, relationships and parenting for the Good Men Project, the New York Times, The Shriver Report, Salon, HLN, The Huffington Post, and Mamamia. You can follow him on Twitter @megaSAHD and Google.
Click here to read more GMP articles by Mark Greene. Get Mark's fully illustrated children's book FLATMUNDER for iPad from iTunes about kid's fears and the power of play. For kids ages 4-8.

Comments

  1. Okay, but… this seems to be more about women’s issues, and this site is for men’s issues. Not seeing the connection here.

    • Which is roughly equivalent to saying the ocean has nothing to do with the land.

      • Your analogy makes my point better than yours; oceanographers don’t really study the land that much. Fretting about women’s issues is not the point of this site.

        • Copyleft.
          How is it that you feel you should decide what other men should our shouldn’t talk about here? That’s a pretty comical attitude to take.

          • Copyleft, why bother reading the article if it didn’t infact interest you?

            I don’t read articles that don’t interest me. They pass over my radar because I’m not really interested.

            So I don’t believe for a minute you actually aren’t interested in this topic. The headline wasn’t exactly a big secret about the general topic of where this article was going. You saw the title of the article, it sparked your interest for whatever reason, so you clicked on it and read it. Just like the rest of us. There are plenty..PLENTY of articles on GMP that don’t have anything to do with women and beauty that you could have just as easily spent time clicking on and reading and commenting on. And you very well know it.

          • Really, your both right, Copyleft in the more narrow sence since trying to attain this narrow definition of ‘Beauty’ seems to be something that women do without our encouragement(actually, most guys I know in a stable relationship get dismayed when they feel their wives are ‘chasing beauty’). But, as Husbands, Lovers, Significant Others etc., Anything that affects our women, especially something that affects there self esteem, IS important to us men! After raising 3 daughters, I can tell you that this is also important to us men as Fathers!

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      I think that there is two reason for posting articles on women issues. The first one to give us guys a insight on women lives. maybe the majority dont need that, but its good reading anyway. And the second reason is to attract women on this site. A strategic move so we can have also a more nuanced gender debate. Otherwise it becomes like some women site, a girl club or men sites boy clubs. Instead having a mixed “audience” we get more input and better debates.

      • John Schtoll says:

        Except that accoriding to Tom Matlack this site wasn’t supposed to be about gender debate, this was supposed to be about hearing means stories.

        • My goal with this article is to talk about how we, as men, construct and engage with our ideals of beauty. And how that can create or damage our hopes for a better life.

        • Why can’t we do both?

          I love hearing other mens stories, they inspire me and listening to real stories, lived and experienced by real, breathing people is, I think a good antidote to the usual media portrayals of men.

          And I enjoy the gender debates; they push me to think about things I may not have thought about, and they show me perspectives I may not have seen. It’s challenging, at times, and a bit confronting – but is a valuable endeavour.

          So, I’ll ask again: Why can’t we do both? It’s not like we’re going to run out of space to keep it all…

    • He didn’t just write about how that unrealistic expectation affects women. He wrote about how it limits us as men as well, how it limits our ability to perceive beauty. And we lose out too when we let ourselves fall into those limitations.

      After all, most of us aren’t going to attract someone who looks like a celebrity. But maybe we can all find someone beautiful for ourselves if we have the wisdom to see it.

  2. That penultimate sentence says it all, Mark.
    Thanks.

  3. In my youth I had more than my fair share of crushes on beautiful, “unattainable” women, but my reality was closer in line to what was written here. Every woman that I have been in a loving relationship with was the most beautiful person to me. The sad thing that stands out was the lack of belief of this statement by every single one of them. Sure, they were be happy to hear it, but the doubt was tangible and damaging. In relationships it seems like one of the greatest challenges as a man/woman is to try to “prove” what you feel in your heart to the one you love. You hope that one day you can slowly erase (or realistically- erode) this doubt to the point where it doesn’t feel like shadow boxing impending doom.

    Now that I’m older, I still appreciate how gorgeous a woman looks with fashion, make-up and hair, but it doesn’t hold anywhere near the importance it once had when I was younger. Maybe the most I will do is give a passing glance. Being single, I have learned that this superficial beauty has everything to do with her and nothing to do with me. What really grabs my attention has more to do with how she lives her life and treats people, and with me personally, if she can look me in the eye and is able to regard me more as a fellow human being and less of a preconceived annoyance.

  4. Lisa Hickey says:

    Mark, I read your article this morning and said to myself, “I can now spend 20 minutes putting too much make-up on or I can go read Mark’s article again.” It gave me goosebumps.

    This is exactly why men *should* talk about make-up. It’s not really a women’s issue at all, especially if (as I believe) most women are trying to be beautiful to be attractive to men. (Even ones who are trying to be beautiful in front of other women are actually trying to get their women friends to understand how attractive they are to men*.) And if they think *all* men *only* want beauty in a partner, isn’t that harmful also to men? I quite appreciate Trip’s comment, about “the doubt being tangible and damaging.” Wouldn’t it be better for everyone to close the gap on that damage?

    *I understand I’m being heteronormative here, don’t know the dynamics in same-sex relationships.

  5. I can’t say I share your sympathy for beautiful women. Sure, there are downsides, but there are downsides to being rich, white, male, heterosexual. In any of these other cases, though, it’s generally considered bad form to complain about the downsides of something when the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Being attractive? I’d say the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages, yeah.

    Besides, no one is forcing these women to be celebrities. They’re free to stop acting and get regular jobs. Hell, no one is forcing them to be beautiful. They have the choice to not wear makeup or make an effort to stay in shape. Being unattractive could be as easy as a donut a day – couple that with a boring office job and they’d never have to worry about tabloids again.

  6. Mark, what a fantastically insightful piece. I was actually just talking about this with my Mom. About how we lift celebrities up only to tear them down. I am so tired of hearing all the bad press about this celebrity and that. It’s barely unavoidable. Even when you are watching Diane Sawyer! Kim Kradashian is not my most favorite person but she seems to be revered for her beauty as much as she is hated on and talked down about. I’m just tired of all the gossip and nonsense and the negativity our culture promotes. You do not see this same level of antagonism and hatefulness toward male celebrities either, in my opinion. Not like you do concerning the women and their looks, bodies and fashion choices.

    And I think you made such a fantastic point about how the culture breeds women to be negative and judgemental about other women. Whenever I use to hear a comment about Kim K. I would role my eyes and join in the slander. But I recently asked myself why i was doing this. Why did saying negative things about a celebrity I truly don’t know make me feel better? I had to look hard at myself. It was because it made me feel superior. It was because I felt like I could judge her in ways I wouldn’t even want to be judged for. And it let me forget my own short-commings so I could pinpoint another’s shortcomings. I’m even tired of myself when I do that. I don’t want to tear other people down anyone. I have no place to say anything about anyone. And as a woman, I should do a better job of supporting other women, even in their own flaws and life lessons, rather then adding to the ridiculously pointless gossip.

  7. @Lisa- The thing that stands out to me is that Mark, Tom, and Joanna’s husband are in love. When it comes to beauty, it’s amazing how love can enrich and magnify feelings. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or feels. The one who is in love with you is completely captivated. When I’m in a relationship, a woman who will put on make-up because she feels I may like it just rocks my world. It’s a very loving gesture and I make sure to show my appreciation. It means much more to me than a woman who wears make-up in general when she goes out. It serves her purpose, but to me it’s just impersonal fluff without any emotional attachment which I alluded to prior.

    Now what about men in lust? How does beauty and one’s application of make-up make a difference here? My opinion is that beauty and make-up matter. If attention is what you want, the more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of it- but only in the short-term. Short-term for many women looking for a relationship may be a few dates or a hook-up. If any strong emotions and dare I say love is to develop, you have to bring more to the table. Great personality and compatibility are very much adored and appreciated. This is where even the “plainest Jane” can make up ground and surpass anyone made up to the nth degree. This doesn’t mean that beauty isn’t still in play, it just means that it isn’t the deal-maker it’s made out to be.

    The type of beauty described in Mark’s article is almost like visual white-noise. You immediately acknowledge that it’s there, but over time you just ignore it. Beauty won’t hide any personal deficiencies. Men may not be concerned with cosmetics, but we have tons of other accessories to try to win approval. I’m sure there are many women with stories about guys who look good on paper but are horribly flawed and insecure. Success does not make the man, and beauty does not make the woman.

  8. This is truly an amazing article and I’m so glad a MAN wrote this. Every woman is beautiful! And it can only be something as waveting as high society’s trends that influence BOTH men and women’s idea of ‘beauty’, as these ideals so drastically change from one era to the next! We went from light skinned and curvaceous in the 50′s to anorexic & sun burnt in present day. Not saying these ideals are NOT beautiful (although the latter is not particulary healthy)–rather, they are not the ONLY or ULTIMATE ideals of beauty. As Mark Greene states, beauty is truly a subjective thing

  9. Great article on a tough topic! Culture and soceity really do define that narrow concept of beauty and it’s not even something unique to western culture. Interesting ;tidbit’ I read in the newspaper the other day, it seema that plastic surgery in Pakistan is becoming quite popular. Especially ‘nose jobs’. It seems that more and more Pakistiani women are ‘going under the knife’ to have their noses made LARGER! According to the article, a large nose is considered desirable on a woman in their culture.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Hmm. I can imagine a mutually beneficial trade program between Pakistan and the U.S. Call it “Nose for Nose.” Conservation of matter and all that. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

    • And in American Society for Plastic Surgeons reports that over 200,000 surgical procedures were performed in 2010 on people between the ages of 13 and 19.

      Think about that. 200,000+ / year on kids in middle school and high school, maybe freshman year in college. I’d say the “Beauty Trap” is growing more constricting and dangerous in this country than ever.

      (http://www.plasticsurgery.org/News-and-Resources/Briefing-Papers/Plastic-Surgery-for-Teenagers.html)

      We should all be concerned as a society. Both men and women. Our emphasis on externals not only does damage to self-esteem, but think about the time spent (overspent? wasted?) that girls and women feel they must put into their appearance rather than their skills and competence. Think about the impacts as women’s body’s change with childbirth or illness. Think about what happens with aging, and appearance is no longer a potential edge, but a detriment.

      All of this effects our men – those who are fathers to daughters, co-workers, husbands, lovers, the sons we are raising and what they see in us as we deride ourselves over appearance.

      And don’t think our young men are exempt. I was stunned to see my own sons go through a period of time when they were each convinced they were “fat” and I was constantly making sure they were having an adequate diet. I wondered how much they were picking up from me – my own body image issues. Quite the mirror.

      These are people issues, not gender issues – with health and economic impacts.

  10. wellokaythen says:

    A great example of how obsessed we are with beauty today is how we have come to think that everyone else in the past thought the same way even when they didn’t.

    The earliest written stories of the Trojan War don’t really mention Helen as being beautiful, at least not to anyone except Paris of Troy, and even he may have had more than her physical beauty in mind. The idea that the war was because of Helen’s beauty (“the face that launched a thousand ships”) is actually a very recent invention. Same thing with Cleopatra – there’s no historical evidence of anyone noticing her as being exceptionally beautiful. That’s something we modern day people have read into it.

    Angelina Jolie is a tabloid target because she is widely considered very beautiful. That’s true. There’s some nasty “tear down the rich and beautiful” impulses out there. I’d say it’s just as much because she has the image of someone who takes herself far too seriously. People who are most able to poke fun at themselves are not the ones who get dragged across the checkout shelves. Dress up in a funny costume and make fun of yourself on Saturday Night Live in front of tens of millions of people and the tabloids tend to leave you alone. It’s just not as much fun to read about people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

  11. I certainly didn’t see this as “fretting about women’s issues.” We’re all competitive and comparative creatures. Isn’t it worthwhile for men to hear other men say what they find beautiful in the women in their lives – and why? Isn’t it helpful for men and women to discuss – together – what they consider beautiful, or even the priority of beauty in the grander scheme of things?

    The female currency is typically viewed as beauty; the male currency all too often as money (or power). Aren’t we here because we’re interested in understanding what makes a “good” man? Doesn’t if follow that a good man would put forth what he sees as a “good” woman, in other words something beyond superficial beauty?

    I read that article in the NYTimes Room for Debate and frankly found it to be lackluster. They missed an opportunity to get into some serious issues under the “guise” of makeup. The contribution I found most interesting – as a woman – was Tom Matlack’s, and the way he described his wife. Ironically, someone took exception to a man participating in a debate on women wearing makeup.

    I take exception to that. It’s as silly (to me) as saying that a man cannot and should not comment on a woman’s beauty – inside or out.

    • That seems to be the ‘Catch 22′ about all of this. Many women complain that it’s the fault of men that they chase beauty. That they are only trying to please men. But when a man ways in like Matlack did, he gets crucified! Actually, I would like to ask each and every woman reading this, Can you think of ANY man in your life who at any time tried to tell you what to wear, how to apply makeup, or what jewelry to wear. I know I never have and I personally don’t know of any man who has. There’s a good article in the Sunday NY Post by a woman named Phoebe Baker Hyde who’s written a book titled ‘Chasing Beauty’. She claims that giving up makeup for 13 months left her feeling better about herself and less judgemental about other women.

      • Lisa Hickey says:

        Hi Bobbt,

        I’d like to answer this, since I have written quite a bit about beauty. In fact, over a year ago I wrote my own article called “Chasing Beauty: An Addicts Memoir” — I had the title first!

        The thing I want to point out is this — no — no man has overtly tried to tell me what to wear, anything about make up or jewelry (although occasionally someone will have an opinion). But that’s not really the point. The point is that 100% of the time when I had looked beautiful, I would walk into a room and guys would say “Wow!” or “You look great…” or give one of those long low cat whistles. It didn’t matter whether I was at work, or at a party, or walking down the street. I knew before I walked out the door in the morning if I would get attention from someone based on what I saw in the mirror.

        The flip side of that is — when I didn’t look good, I would never get compliments. Never. In fact, not only did I not get compliments, I would be treated as almost invisible. Maybe it was my own lack of self-confidence, but it always seemed to me that guys didn’t pay attention to me, didn’t look me in the eye, didn’t notice I was there.

        So why *wouldn’t* I chase beauty? If the only way I could even be seen, even be talked to, even get some sort of connection with guys was to look beautiful?

        Let me say for the record, I am not blaming guys for *anything*. It is not their fault I needed that kind of attention, and knew I could get it if I only looked beautiful enough.

        But…can you see the problem from my side?

  12. Hi Lisa,
    Actually, I do remember your article. I also remember several Female respondants specifically blaming this problem on men! Now, I understand in the business world you work in that ‘Looking Good’ is important(My best friend worked in the corporate world for many years which involved dying his hair, hitting the gym, and tanning sessions) Honestly, would you rather have men talk to you because they’re thinking “Lisa looks hot!” or “I like talking with Lisa, she’s so witty and smart, and she’s not bad looking.”

    • Lisa, I do see what you mean, men,believe it or not , often feel this way too. All I’m saying is that the women who just sit back and blame it on Men will never get over this ‘addiction’. They don’t see the answer lies inside them. I think that was the point of Ms. Hydes article (check it out!)

  13. wellokaythen says:

    I appreciate the sentiment that “everyone is beautiful.” Believing that is not a bad way to make your way through the world.

    But, it’s not really accurate, is it. Just feeling good about the statement doesn’t make a statement true. Clearly some people are more attractive than others. It would be extremely odd to think of everyone as totally equally beautiful.

    I don’t think pretty people should get more power than other people. I don’t like the fact that the mass media tends to see such a tiny physical range as beautiful. But, saying everyone is beautiful is just as unrealistic as saying only 1% of the population is beautiful.

    Consider the flipside of the “everyone is beautiful” point of view. That means my wife is really no more beautiful than anyone else in the world. That’s a pretty harsh thing to say. Have you been to the DMV?
    : – )

  14. Your wife wasn’t joking about YOU being the wife.

  15. Sometimes I struggle with how men approach this subject when talking about women’s beauty vs women’s personality. It sometimes comes off to me (this might not be true but this is how I read it), that it’s okay for men to be shallow about women’s looks. But it’s not okay for women to worry about their looks because we are suppose to feel good that our good looks attract a man but our personalities keep him around. I don’t really know what to make of this because it doesn’t really seem like men try to understand the beauty issue so much as setting up more ideals for us to live up to. Such as having to be hot in the begining to get his attention and then making sure we are this perfect personality to go with the good looks so he can have everything he dreamed of.

    Okay, so good personalities help to keep you guys around. But that doesn’t really deal with the struggles women face concerning their looks and how they are treated based on their looks.

    • Hi Erin,
      Thanks for your comment. I think sometimes the pressures we live with in life are those we designate as important from our own standpoint. It was not my intention to heap more expectations on women. I hope most people see what I wrote as a frame which removes some pressures. God knows, women suffer with enough externally induced expectations. As do men.

    • “I don’t really know what to make of this because it doesn’t really seem like men try to understand the beauty issue so much as setting up more ideals for us to live up to. Such as having to be hot in the begining to get his attention and then making sure we are this perfect personality to go with the good looks so he can have everything he dreamed of.”

      Everyone is different. Not all women are attractive to me, just as I am not attractive to all women. The key is finding someone who finds you attractive. What is hot to one person could be neutral to another, or even ugly, there are conventionally attractive people but not everyone finds them beautiful. Realize that a woman who is hot to YOU may not be hot to him, so you may not realize you too can be hot to someone. Not all men care all that much over beauty either, personality matters a HUGE amount and I really think women are underestimating it’s importance for men. You can’t have a long-term loving relationship on physical attraction alone.

      This focus on being hot to get his attention in the first place is a problem, the woman’s insecurity can make her feel like shit because she feels she isn’t hot yet there can be plenty of guys who think she is. Some of the women I’ve found damn hot have thought themselves ugly, it’s sad really.

      “It sometimes comes off to me (this might not be true but this is how I read it), that it’s okay for men to be shallow about women’s looks. But it’s not okay for women to worry about their looks because we are suppose to feel good that our good looks attract a man but our personalities keep him around”
      You can worry if you want but there is a point where it’s unhelpful to worry. If you want to do stuff to change your looks it’s totally up to you but there is this issue with women blaming men for women wanting to change their looks. Is it a man’s fault that he is not attracted to someone? Is it a woman’s? Should women feel guilty or ashamed if they are not attracted to me? I never asked for my attraction system, I didn’t one day wakeup and think ok I want to be most attracted to thin to medium build women, I don’t want to be attracted to men, or women 40 years older than myself, etc. Society may have played a role in what I am attracted to but I do believe it’s partly related to built in instinct along with our experiences when growing up. For example I know a woman who is turned off by muscley men because her bullies were like that, it’s an internal bias but for now she is not attracted to them. Does anyone really ask to have certain attractions? I am attracted to some personality types too, others turn me off, I didn’t decide to be attracted to nice n sweet women who make me feel the most comfortable vs abusive violent women.

      Looks matter to some extent, I need some sexual attraction to someone. I will never date someone I find physically ugly, forcing myself to be attracted to someone is wrong for both them and I, it won’t work and it’ll just end up hurting their feelings. I also won’t date abusive n violent women either. Looks are not the most important thing but they do have importance for me, as a sexual being, I need to be sexually attracted along with attracted to their personality to want to date (as in not just a blind date or first date but long term relationship) someone.

      I will say this to women though, spend as much time working on your personality as your looks because looking pretty will get you noticed but you need to back it up and be able to engage someone to keep interest, although this is less important for casual hookups.

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  1. [...] I wrote about the impact of our culture’s obsession with models and how our collective construction of beauty can be damaging to our personal relationships, [...]

  2. [...] have written previously about how the media loves to build up celebrities and tear them down. For very profitable reasons, publications like In Touch and the National Inquirer have cultivated [...]

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