In a society obsessed with appearance- are looks all that matter in matters of love?
Okay I admit it. I have been married twice, and both times I’ve been married to gorgeous women. My current wife (I lost my first wife tragically) is in the top one percent in terms of looks and beauty. She is beautiful, she dresses beautifully, and has the makeup and hair and the jewelry. She is the total package. I notice when we go many places the kinds of looks that she gets. If you’re a guy, you know what look I mean; it is “the look.” I also sometimes see men who look at me and look at her, and you can see their thought process, “Hmm … I wonder how he was able to snag her.”
Throughout my life, I have heard many men, when people are trying to fix them up with a blind date, whose first question is always “What does she look like?” So I wonder — does every man want to be married to someone who looks like a supermodel? We often see in our society’s supermodels and celebrities such as Heidi Clum, Halle Berry, or Christie Brinkley who have had failed marriages. I hear people talk about these failed marriages and they say things like “You have to be kidding me — who wouldn’t want to be married to Heidi Clum?” Or “Man- why would a guy let a woman like Halle Berry get away?” or “Christie Brinkley is hot– who wouldn’t want to be married to her?”
So what are we saying when we say those things? We are saying that those women are beautiful and we can’t imagine why anyone would not want to be married to them. That is just based on appearance alone and is not based on personality or character or morals or values or commonality or belief systems or who they are as a person; it is solely based on how they look. It’s the gift wrap and bow, not what is in the box.
For a short time I was single, and I was a member of two different dating sites. Each morning at breakfast, I would grab a bowl of cereal and log on to each dating site to look at that day’s selections of women that I was matched with. It was both fascinating and overwhelming to have so many women that were possible matches for me. I also learned something about myself in that process. I will admit that one of the things I noticed about myself, is that I gravitated toward the women who were beautiful first, and tended to ignore or eliminate the women who were not beautiful. Is that fair? Did I eliminate wonderful amazing women who probably had so much to offer? Maybe.
So here are some questions I think we need to ask ourselves as men in need to carefully examine how we view the world and how we view women.
- Just because a woman is hot or attractive does that automatically mean she would make a good wife or partner? I’m not saying the fact that she’s attractive means that she’s not a good candidate to be a wife, I’m just saying it’s just the packaging. I think we need to look more closely at personality and compatibility.
- If a woman is not a 9 or 10 do we not give her a chance? Far too often we jump to conclusions, and will not give some women a chance as we automatically eliminated them from our list of possibilities.
- Are we shallow? Is the only thing that really matters in life having a beautiful woman on your arm? Are we that egotistical? What about an “average looking” woman who will support you, who will motivate you, who will be your best friend, who will take care of you and be the best life partner ever? Did we miss her because we were looking at the beautiful woman who is beautiful but crazy and has been divorced three times (for a reason?)
- Why do we place such a value on appearance above all else? I understand that one explanation may be chemistry or attraction, because obviously attraction and chemistry play an important part, particularly in the early stages of forming a relationship. But if we place too much value just on appearance, then we lose out on things that may be more important in the long run. Is it a caveman kind of reaction? Are we looking to attract the most beautiful and healthy in order to have more beautiful and healthy children? I don’t know.
- Does someone’s looks change once we get to know them? In high school I knew a young lady who was a friend of mine who was not pretty by traditional societal standards. As I got to know what an amazing person she was, her looks started to change in my eyes. She became more beautiful.
I am blessed to be married to a woman who is beautiful both on the outside and the inside. She is a person of great character, she is kind, she has a great deal of empathy, and is smart and articulate and fascinating and funny. She is also gorgeous. She is an amazing rare combination of beauty and character.
I think that we as men need to take a step back and reevaluate our priorities. I think the reason there are so many divorces around the world, is that we look at appearance on the outside but sometimes don’t look at the beauty that is on the inside, we never bother to find out about who a person really is beyond their outward appearance. So then we marry a person who is beautiful, but they do not have the values or the character that we are truly looking for. We need to stop looking at the shallow and look at the real deal.
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