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Old 10-20-2006, 02:10 PM   #76
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I'm not really worried about impressing anyone but myself, yes I like when other women give me compliments. Occasionally a guy will and it will be sincere, but I don't live for it. Yes it sucks sometimes to feel overlooked, but you get used to it I suppose- and I don't let it destroy me. Honestly I gave up on any notion of impressing men regarding looks a long time ago A. when I realized it shouldn't be a priority of mine and B. when I realized I didn't have what it takes for many/most of them to be "impressed", and when you're over 30 that tends to be even more so. I hate to sound so negative about men but it is just my experience. Luckily I do still know some, and encounter a few in places such as FYM, who aren't like that. If a guy chose me over any woman from Playboy or FHM, well yes that would impress me.

Yes I know that womens' magazines do it too, but that doesn't make the idealized images of magazines such as Maxim et al any easier to deal with. I find that most of the guys who are attracted to a certain type, well they're certainly not my type anyway. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with admiring beauty (I certainly do), but there is a line that is just self-evident for me.
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Old 10-20-2006, 02:58 PM   #77
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I'd say there is definitely a higher standard set for women than men in attractiveness... just look at the music industry. Watch the rap videos with huge, unattractive men surrounded by beautiful, practically naked women. If the roles were reversed, people would freak out, calling it "gross." But it's totally okay for a guy to be physically unattractive, because he's got bling. And it's not just in rap music; it's in any genre. When was the last time you saw a girl without an outrageously perfect body in any music video? Many guys in rock bands are just average looking, yet they're successful because of their music (which is how it should be). But you won't see "average" looking women in music.

I'll also say that men I think are "hot" upon first glance are nothing more than eye candy. All the guys I've truly been interested in only became attractive to me as I got to know them, and it was their humour, personality, and intelligence that later made them also seem more physically appealing. Beauty really comes from the inside... but it seems to me guys judge much more on appearence intiially than girls. I'll go out with a guy if he seems "nice" and we have some things in common even if I'm not that physically attracted to him. I would wager that most guys initially look for physical beauty, and then later personality and intelligence and all that (though do all guys want a smart girl? I don't know). But that is a generalization and it could be more prevalent in guys my age (18).

One more point... I sometimes think that when it comes to physical attraction to the opposite sex (don't know about the same sex), girls are much more attracted to face while guys are much more attracted to body. If a guy has a perfect body but an average face and another guy has what I view to be a very attractive face (nice smile, eyes, nose, mouth, all of it...and hair too) and an average (or even less than average) body, I'd pick the second guy every time. My guess is that most guys, unless a girl is truly "busted," would pick a nice body and average face over a pretty face and average body. But that's just my theory. Anyone care to disprove it?
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:13 PM   #78
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I've never bothered looking at either thread until now, but since it came up, I went and looked through every page of the "Hottest Chicks" thread, then went and looked through every page of the "Beautiful Men" thread over in PLEBA. And I'd have to say the "Beautiful Men" aren't a very diverse lot either--only two nonwhite men in the whole 24 pages for example, and for the most part not even remotely "typical" looking guys in terms of face and body. And the very few who aren't exceptionally conventionally attractive aren't some ordinary guy off the street--they're classic iconographic types in some other way, guitar gods etc. To the extent that either thread is meant to uphold some kind of "standard" about what's attractive, it's not a standard the average person of either sex could ever hope to live up to.

The thing about both of these threads is, they're about FANTASY, not statements as to What I Expect And Demand Anyone I Would Deign To Go Out With Must Be Like. My guess is that most of the men posting in Hottest Chicks in fact have or have had quite "ordinary" looking, not-at-all-famous-or-celebrated partners whom they adore(d) and are/were very happy with, and that most of the women posting in Beautiful Men have or have had the same. Playboy is not meant to be a prospective girlfriend directory. Why grant this kind of stuff more power than it deserves? Most people of either sex are never going to be admired, envied or sought after by large numbers of people--that's just reality. It's such a waste and a shame to chronically beat up on yourself for failing to "achieve" that, when you already have friends, family, coworkers and maybe a partner who love, appreciate and respect you for what you are, even if they let you down sometimes, as all people do.

I think so much of this self-loathing comes from fear that you'll never be "truly" admired and desired by someone of the opposite sex, and it's just so hard to speak convincingly to that fear. It definitely is true that conventionally attractive people of both sexes get more initial interest and this can be painful to accept, but at the end of the day that's just the vain side of human nature talking (on both sides usually). "Beautiful" or not, "successful" or not, you're not going to win anyone's love or hold their interest for very long if your personality doesn't attract them too. Looks and success are a lot easier to quantify than "personality" though and in some ways that actually makes them less threatening as "standards"--unfortunately, this also makes it easier to fault yourself if some hoped-for connection doesn't work out, because it gives you something tangible to compare yourself to and come up short. Which is just wrongheaded thinking from the beginning; love generally fails (or fails to happen) for far more fickle and complex reasons than the people involved not "deserving" each other in some quantifiable way. We could all make out our own lists of "What I really find attractive in a man/woman" or "Why I really love my partner" etc., but these things never capture the reality, not even close; invariably the resulting list could just as easily apply to any one of millions of people, most of whom we wouldn't in truth feel much of anything for, not even after a hundred dates. It would be reassuring, if maybe also depressing in some cases, if these kinds of lists lived up to their premise, but they never do. I am happily married and most days endlessly grateful for it, but there's absolutely nothing about me that makes me more innately "deserving" of it than anyone else, that much I'm sure of. I am no one special.
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:03 PM   #79
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Originally posted by U2democrat
It's so hard not to compare when you're bombarded by "perfect" and "beautiful" women all the time...through TV, magazine covers, movies, etc. It's the society we live in, and it's sad.

I try not to compare myself to famous women but sometimes I just can't help thinking "Why can't I be pretty like her?" Even when I know that it's silly for me to even begin to compare myself to some celebrity.

It's a rough world...
Describes me too.

It's hard to be a girl. That's all there is to it. For some reason men desire the ideal--and they generally find it. There are seemingly plenty of perfect girls out there. What the rest of us are supposed to do, I have no idea.
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:50 PM   #80
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Originally posted by AvsGirl41
It's hard to be a girl. That's all there is to it. For some reason men desire the ideal--and they generally find it. There are seemingly plenty of perfect girls out there. What the rest of us are supposed to do, I have no idea.



well, serves me right for never going into pleba - i didn't even know there was a beautiful men thread.

and yolland, i just wanted to say that your posts in this thread have been very thought-provoking for me. thank you.
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Old 10-20-2006, 09:01 PM   #81
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Yolland is right on the money about the fantasy comment. I usually refer to most car magazines like Car & Driver as car porn. Because when they compare a 2006 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti ($265705) to an Aston Martin V-12 Vanquish ($236600). Those cars are unattainable for 99.9% of the population of the world. Kind of like the appearance of the models in magazines, virtually unattainable considering all the help the behind the scenes people give them.
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Old 10-20-2006, 09:21 PM   #82
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Originally posted by AvsGirl41

It's hard to be a girl. That's all there is to it. For some reason men desire the ideal--and they generally find it. There are seemingly plenty of perfect girls out there. What the rest of us are supposed to do, I have no idea.
Okay, this is weird. This thread is mirroring my conversations at work this week.

A girl I work with said almost the same thing today.
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Old 10-20-2006, 09:56 PM   #83
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Originally posted by yolland
I've never bothered looking at either thread until now, but since it came up, I went and looked through every page of the "Hottest Chicks" thread, then went and looked through every page of the "Beautiful Men" thread over in PLEBA. And I'd have to say the "Beautiful Men" aren't a very diverse lot either--only two nonwhite men in the whole 24 pages for example, and for the most part not even remotely "typical" looking guys in terms of face and body. And the very few who aren't exceptionally conventionally attractive aren't some ordinary guy off the street--they're classic iconographic types in some other way, guitar gods etc. To the extent that either thread is meant to uphold some kind of "standard" about what's attractive, it's not a standard the average person of either sex could ever hope to live up to.
I don't know, tons of people here are obsessed with Bono for example, and he's got an average body and not necessarily a conventionally handsome face (though really that's all down to personal preference; I find him insanely attractive).

As for diversity, well, that's just the crowd here. I wouldn't say the ideal is white or black or whatever; it differs for various people. Most of the girls at my school are actually generally attracted more to black guys (and a lot of them seem to go crazy about asians too).

I do agree that men are often held to high standards in physical attractiveness as well, I just don't think they are nearly as much as women are. And I'm sure it differs from person to person. As I said before, guys that have nice bodies don't really mean anything to me unless I'm attracted to some facet of their personality. But I'm not that attractive to begin with, so I wonder if there's a correlation between personal physical attractiveness (or at least perception of such) and standards for others?

anyway, I do agree with the rest of your post. and it's certainly true that when you really fall for someone, you can't narrow it down to a list of traits, physical or otherwise. You could list all the things you love about them, but there is something there you can't put into words. but it's just so easy to think "if only i were hotter, then he'd pay attention to me" Instead of 'it just wasn't meant to work out' it becomes "I'm not good enough for him." I find myself falling into that line of thinking a lot, unfortunatley.
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Old 10-21-2006, 12:37 AM   #84
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Yeah, but the thing is, Bono's a rock star, not your working-class next door neighbor doddering around trimming his hedges, and my guess is you'd probably have little interest in looking at pictures of him if he were (and otherwise looked the same--minus the designer threads, of course). He's a face on TV screens and celebrity mags all over the world, his voice is the soundtrack to a lot of our youths, he's a universally recognized icon that all sorts of impossibly noble and exciting and and desirable archetypes have attached themselves to--some of that self-generated, true, but much of it media-generated and more than a little helped along by already-existing cultural fantasies about the charismatic rebel with a heart of gold. It's kind of like what MrsS said earlier about fairy tales and how the trope of the beautiful heroine being "validated" is so central to them--it's true, but who's doing the validating? Knights, princes, Men of Distinction and Importance whom you ride off into the sunset towards his fabulous castle with. Not some sniveling little peasant bloke--who's going to fantasize about being validated by that?

It's certainly true that improbably good looks are more integral to "ideal woman" fantasies than "ideal man" ones--I wouldn't argue that at all. And I also think it's true that generally speaking, women are socialized in our culture to feel more dependent on validation from the opposite sex than men are--men get a little more ego mileage from earning the respect of their own kind than women do, IMO. But I do think the ideals themselves are comparably improbable either way; they're just different. What's uniquely unfortunate about the situation women are in is that something as precarious and unpredictable and hit-or-miss as romantic attraction becomes so central to gauging one's "success" at proving worthy of admiration and respect. Which makes women more vulnerable to the trap of invidiously comparing oneself to those ideals and failing--it really shrinks the pool of people you can feel good about having won the love and appreciation of. I don't have a solution for that and I sure wish I did, because I have a daughter of my own now and I dread the thought of her being drawn into all this. But like I said earlier, no amount of well-meaning platitudes about "inner beauty" is ever going to prevent that; she'll have to understand first that whether or not a man is interested in her at the moment isn't the end-all and be-all of what she's worth. Making one person very happy in the particular way that romantic love can is a wonderful thing, but there are so many other equally vital and meaningful ways to give something back to the world.
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:45 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

The thing about both of these threads is, they're about FANTASY, not statements as to What I Expect And Demand Anyone I Would Deign To Go Out With Must Be Like. My guess is that most of the men posting in Hottest Chicks in fact have or have had quite "ordinary" looking, not-at-all-famous-or-celebrated partners whom they adore(d) and are/were very happy with, and that most of the women posting in Beautiful Men have or have had the same. Playboy is not meant to be a prospective girlfriend directory. Why grant this kind of stuff more power than it deserves? Most people of either sex are never going to be admired, envied or sought after by large numbers of people--that's just reality. It's such a waste and a shame to chronically beat up on yourself for failing to "achieve" that, when you already have friends, family, coworkers and maybe a partner who love, appreciate and respect you for what you are, even if they let you down sometimes, as all people do.


bingo, thats pretty much it.
its sad for women to feel threatened by the model on a magazine cover.
I for one really hope that we don't honestly think that all men are shallow enough as to ignore us in a bar because we don't look like Kate from Lost. thats not fair and if you think about it carefully, you'll realise its pretty ridiculous.

yeah we might wish we were that pretty but hey, 99.9% of us aren't and are never gonna be, and its about time we realised that our lives are not going to be ruined because we don't look like a bikini model and that men the world over will still find us attractive even if we aren't gracing Cosmo magazine.

whoever mentioned the car magazine theory pretty much hit the nail on the had as well. just because I look at a ferrari and drool at a ferrari doesn't mean i really think i'll ever have one, and that i won't be happy with and love a VW golf.

Quote:
We could all make out our own lists of "What I really find attractive in a man/woman" or "Why I really love my partner" etc., but these things never capture the reality, not even close; invariably the resulting list could just as easily apply to any one of millions of people, most of whom we wouldn't in truth feel much of anything for, not even after a hundred dates.
i had this exact same conversation with my friend a few days back. she wanted a list of reasons why i love my boyfriend and i couldn't/wouldn't give her one for that very reason - nothing I could have said would ever have got to the core of it, so i settled on "because he's him" which i thought was perfect


one more thing i was thinking of:
if you read the original post, this whole body image thing started because one friend got upset when a guy liked her other friend over her. that has absolutely nothing to do with the model in a bikini on a billboard or the girl on the cover of FHM but we blame them....

as a general public these days we spend so much time obsessively moaning over how celebrities make us feel bad, and fat and ugly and blaming the press for making us feel unworthy, when really its the pretty girl in the corner of the bar who has nothing to do with any of that, that's going to cause us grief or make us feel threatened.
while i'm not certain why yet, i think thats a key point worth noting and keeping separate to mull over.
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Old 10-21-2006, 09:26 AM   #86
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I'd say, given my experience and what I know about men and women..that in general women are inclined to blame themselves and feel that they don't measure up to some ideal than men are when they feel ignored or rejected by the opposite sex. A female will wonder why she is "not good enough" or what that girl in the bar (or wherever) has that she doesn't have, etc. rather than come to the conclusion that basically it is the guy's preference or problem or issues or whatever. When they feel rejected, they will fall back on the notion that they don't fit some sort of ideal-whether that ideal is represented by Maxim or the girl in school, at work, wherever that he passes them over for. Combine that with the fact that in general women are more pressured over and valued for their looks and you can have a recipe for disaster.

Whereas in general a male is more likely to brush that off and to feel that he can just go out and attract some other woman and that there is something wrong with that woman (and not him) if she rejects him. They are far more likely and able to externalize it.

So why is that? As women we need to catch ourselves in that mentality and bolster ourselves and each other. I'm not saying it's easy, because I have been through it and still go through it and do do that to myself. But I have found that the more I am aware of those attitudes in me and the more I work to change them, the better I feel about myself and the more attractive I feel. It is frustrating and sad to feel invisible, ignored, rejected-but it feels great to feel good about yourself in spite of all of that. It doesn't mean that you have to let yourself be a pushover and accept what you feel is mistreatment by males, but you just have to persevere in spite of it. And not let it fundamentally change how you feel about yourself.
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:45 AM   #87
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How many men really feel that way, and if they do why don't they openly express it?

After all, they're not buying Playboy for the personalities
I'd say most men feel that way, and I think most would express it. However, most men are also going to find a glamorized naked female form attractive as well. Which is why Playboy etc does so well. I do think that excessive involvement in pornography can get a guy so wrapped in unrealistic, fantasy versions of women that he has trouble appreciating regular "real-life" naturally beautiful women. I can't really gauge that though because I don't make a regular habit of looking at Playboy or any other kind of pornography. That's due to my personal values though, not because that I wouldn't find pictures of nude women attractive. I most certainly would. Perhaps some brave guy who's willing to cop to spending regular time viewing pornography can say whether that has hindered their ability to appreicate real life women. As for myself, I can't really say.

I think other posters have already indicated that such images are fantasy and they don't necessarily expect that fantasy to materialize in their real lives.

I dunno, I just feel like most guys are physically attracted to what makes women women. I really don't think most are super concerned with whether the woman meets some idealized "standard" or not. As an example, today my wife showed me an ad from of her magazines of four women in bikinis from the Dove realbeauty campaign. She asked me, with just the hint of a challenge, "So do you think these women are attractive?" And I was kind of like. . .uh, duh! Of course! Women in bikinis. . .of course they're attractive. And I went on to say, is I liked that the women looked unique, different, a bit flawed you could say. Like I said, that's half the sexiness in a woman.

I'll reiterate again, that physical attractiveness is an important quality to men, not just initially but always. But I don't think that is something that we as men need to apologize for. That's the way we are built. And again, the net is much wider than most women think. And even if a guy doesn't find a woman physically attractive initially, he WILL if the personality and all those other thousand and one factors lead to attraction. I optimistically believe that every woman is or will be the Most Beautiful Girl In the World to some man at some point in their lives. And vice versa.
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:53 AM   #88
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Lotta good points and interesting thoughts in this post:

Quote:
Originally posted by AtomicBono
I'd say there is definitely a higher standard set for women than men in attractiveness... just look at the music industry. Watch the rap videos with huge, unattractive men surrounded by beautiful, practically naked women. If the roles were reversed, people would freak out, calling it "gross." But it's totally okay for a guy to be physically unattractive, because he's got bling. And it's not just in rap music; it's in any genre. When was the last time you saw a girl without an outrageously perfect body in any music video? Many guys in rock bands are just average looking, yet they're successful because of their music (which is how it should be). But you won't see "average" looking women in music.
Sad, but I have to agree this is true. I'd be hard pressed to name an "ugly" female musician. On the other hand, naming an "ugly" male artist would take about five seconds.

Quote:
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I'll also say that men I think are "hot" upon first glance are nothing more than eye candy. All the guys I've truly been interested in only became attractive to me as I got to know them, and it was their humour, personality, and intelligence that later made them also seem more physically appealing. Beauty really comes from the inside... but it seems to me guys judge much more on appearence intiially than girls. I'll go out with a guy if he seems "nice" and we have some things in common even if I'm not that physically attracted to him. I would wager that most guys initially look for physical beauty, and then later personality and intelligence and all that (though do all guys want a smart girl? I don't know). But that is a generalization and it could be more prevalent in guys my age (18).
Basically, I think your analysis is correct, though if you read my post above, I do think that requirement is much broader than most women think it is. I wouldn't quite say though that we look for physical beauty and then LATER personality and intelligence. I would say that we look for all three at the same time.

Quote:
Originally posted by AtomicBono
One more point... I sometimes think that when it comes to physical attraction to the opposite sex (don't know about the same sex), girls are much more attracted to face while guys are much more attracted to body. If a guy has a perfect body but an average face and another guy has what I view to be a very attractive face (nice smile, eyes, nose, mouth, all of it...and hair too) and an average (or even less than average) body, I'd pick the second guy every time. My guess is that most guys, unless a girl is truly "busted," would pick a nice body and average face over a pretty face and average body. But that's just my theory. Anyone care to disprove it?
I care to disprove it. Face trumps body every time for me.
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:56 AM   #89
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I am no one special.
I'd say, based on your amazingly insightful and intelligent posts--I mean you NEVER miss. Never!--I'd say you absolutely ARE pretty special!

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Old 10-22-2006, 10:44 AM   #90
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I'll reiterate again, that physical attractiveness is an important quality to men, not just initially but always. But I don't think that is something that we as men need to apologize for. That's the way we are built.
I don't expect any apology for that, I don't think anything anyone has said here indicates that they expect men to apologize for that. Speaking for myself I expect apologies for sexist attitudes, for disrespecting women and disrespecting our intelligence, for ignoring women because they don't look like something out of FHM or Maxim (and/or insulting them because they don't), for objectifying women and for valuing them only for their looks. I appreciate good looking men and I don't apologize for that, but I also don't do anything to men analogous to what I just mentioned. It's all in the mindset, attitude, and fundamental beliefs behind the appreciation of the beauty.

It's not the importance of physical attractiveness that is the issue, it's the prioritizing of physical attractiveness and the limiting of it to such standards that most women can never recreate in the real world. I'm not saying all or most men do that, but many do. I do believe that the media creates those standards not only for women, but for men too. I find it difficult to believe that men who view porn (or FHM or similar magazines) on a regular basis don't compare the average woman to that. I can look at pictures of good looking men until my eyes are crossed , but I don't go out and compare any or all men to them or have unrealistic expectations because of it. I wonder how (and how much) men and women are different in that regard.
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