Monday, April 15, 2013

Thoughts - On Attractiveness

Thoughts - On Attractiveness

RsonW wrote this, a simple contemplation on attractiveness, and gendered stereotypes.

You've likely been told you're beautiful, hot, etc. by men and boys from a young age. You've seen men and boys blatantly check out your body from a young age. Men way too old to be looking at you that way saying things they shouldn't be saying. And while the media bombards you with the message that unless you're a 5'10", 115 pound waif, you're fat; unless you wear Maybellene, you're ugly; men will tell you and show you that you are, in fact, attractive. It's been going on so long that it's just annoying now, but it happens.

Now, imagine if no man ever looked at you your whole life. No man ever told you how pretty you look today. You can count on one hand how many times a man has looked at you or complimented you in that way. But, dig this, the media's still telling you you're unattractive. The difference now is that you have constant reinforcement that they're right, they're absolutely right. No man truly finds you attractive, your boyfriends and lovers just told you you are because that's what they're supposed to do.

That's what being a man is like. Women don't tell us we're attractive out of the blue. Women don't stare at us. And the media tells us that without P90X we'll forever remain unattractive. And we don't receive any contrary experiences. Girlfriends and lovers tell us we're attractive because that's what we want to hear, not because it's true.

Another poster offers a follow-up thought:

I had a real problem with this in my last relationship. I know I'm a good looking guy, and I know I'm in shape and dress myself fairly well. Despite that I never, unless I really got dressed up, heard any compliments from my girlfriend. Even then it always involved what I was wearing.

As the relationship died and our sex life did as well it became hard not to wonder if she found me lacking some way physically. Was I not thin enough? Muscular enough? Too muscular? She had never in all the years we dated seemed to want to compliment me in that way, and it really messed with my self esteem. I tried to always be generous but honest with my compliments. The lack of reciprocation really hurt and made it harder when we broke up because all I could wonder was, "Is she disgusted by me?"