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A Case for Looks

Looks matter.

The biggest lie we tell ourselves and others is they don’t. That lie is right up there with the devil doesn’t exist and the one about a fat, bearded white man who lives in the North Pole and jumps down chimneys every year on Christmas to give gifts while we sleep. As a matter of fact, that lie is more believable than the one about looks not mattering.

I, on the other hand, will never tell such a lie to myself or anyone else.

Growing up, I had the good fortune of having a mother and sister whose looks stopped traffic and I always noticed how people would respond to me whenever I was around mom and sis. Women in the mall would take a second glance at me, female classmates of mine disguised their interest in me by complimenting my “beautiful” mother and sister. From a very young age I saw firsthand how people responded to a man who had a beautiful woman around him, even if those women were family.

The attention I received from being around my mother and sister when I was younger has influenced my attitude about beautiful women today. In short, I always want to be around them, no matter the circumstances. If I’m on a bus or train and there’s open seating, I might leave my backpack on the open seat next to me until I see a woman I find attractive looking for an available seat. Whenever I’m waiting for the next available teller at a bank, I’m always hoping the cutest one will help me (even if I won’t say anything). And it all sounds so superficial, but it comes from an honest place.

Maybe it’s different for men and women. In my experience, women are a little more willing than men to make concessions for a man who may not be their physical prototype. Such was the case for an ex of mine: When asked what type of man she usually went for  for she replied, “Blair Underwood.” The number of underlines it would take for me to emphasize how much I do NOT look like Blair Underwood is infinite. But, what my ex did not say, nor did she believe is I wasn’t attractive at all. I don’t even look like Blair Underwood’s cousin, but to her, I looked good and at least she understood that much.

We all have our own idea what kind of people we find beautiful. As I always like to say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It just so happens I want to be holding the most beautiful woman in the room, but then again, who doesn’t? Even if it’s not true to others, let it be true to ourselves because here’s what happens:

Stay with a person long enough and eventually the things we found most beautiful about them when we met — whether it be their eyes, their smile, their body  — fade. I  want to get as far out in front of this inevitable happening as I possibly can by dating a woman I find most attractive. It’s like my favorite joke: I never laughed harder than I did when I heard it the first time, but that’s not why it’s my favorite. It’s my favorite because even after I say it or hear it a thousand times, at the very least, it makes me grin.

The other thing about a beautiful woman is the feeling I have the first time I see her; it sticks to me no matter how brief or long the encounter. If it so happens the beautiful woman I see becomes a woman I get involved with, the feeling is like a life jacket for the times I’m drowning in her bullshit.

Ideally, I will end up in a relationship with a woman I can call my best friend — a woman who’s my intellectual equal, spiritual, and compassionate — but she has to make me weak in the knees too. As Chris Rock once said, when we get married, we got to love the ugly in our spouse. All I want is to be with a woman whose ugly is most fine.

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  • BoomShots

    Looks do matter and the devil only exist if he is the fat bearded white man at the north pole. Their is no doubt in my mind that their is a certain cache that goes with being described as beautiful in the standard sense. I like my woman to be attractive but I have to say what is most attractive to me is not what most others will celebrate has been so.

    I have always described myself as average looking, compared to my parents’ looks I would probably be considered a disappointment. But as a man, I can tell you that being tall and athletic looking more often than not trumps just a pretty face.

    When it comes to the women I dated, I will admit that I have been very lucky moreso than I would expect. But I believe it is because when engaging women I focus so little on their physical attributes and much more on their mind and prsonalities. Many of them come to find me much more appealing even with with my average looks. Some beautiful women are funny like that!!

  • Danielle D

    So Looks Matter, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and whats good looking to you may not be good looking to all. “All that glitters isn’t gold,” also comes to mind. I think I understand what you are trying to say but I am confused at the same time. But I a story…I LOVE MARQUES HOUSTON. I am a huge fan and I find him to be sexy as hell. I think he is goodlooking. Others don’t. My mom for example thinks he is not good looking I would say she thinks he is ugly but those aren’t her words, I don’t think she likes his features. And for many guys I have like and boyfriends I have had she didn’t really think they were “all that”. I am one who doesn’t fall for looks in most cases, but for personalities. Maybe girls aren’t as focused on looks as men. I would rather be treated well. Some men who are good looking are so concieted or know taht they look good and are players because of this fact. When people ask me about my “type” I don’t think about looks I think about traits like: plays an instrument, is cultured, good perspective about life. Maybe my thinking is flawed. When I think about a type as far as looks I think a guy with a football play build. I am currently dating a guy with a basketball player build…not what I like at all, but I have never had so much fun in my life and I am extremely happy. I guess what I am thinking after I read this entry is that Looks in most cases do matter, but someone else might not think that person is beautiful and maybe that is your point but if that is your point then can looks really matter? I guess I just can’t see how looks matter, and I feel the same way about size…cause that would be the female response, many woman say that it does but many others say that it doesn’t…

  • K

    I agree. Looks matter indeed. But, it’s a slippery slope. For instance – yes, you have your own definition of what you find beautiful; Yet part of your beauty/fine rubric includes “amount of head turning.” So it seems that what you consider as beauty is married to others’ perception of your lady. How much do we let other people’s standards of beauty inform and influence our choices? I mean, this is true for almost everybody. If other chicks don’t dig my dude – I’ll doubt a little. =)

    Also, my standards of beauty fluctuate depending on whether I want the dude as a jump off or something more official.

  • http://theloudprotestant.wordpress.com/ loudmouthprotestant

    Yeah yeah, looks matter, I get it. I don’t refute the point, but do you really put your backpack in public transportation seats and not move it until you see attractive women? I really hope that was a joke because if not, that really makes you seem like a really shallow person–because I understand we all are a bit shallow when it comes to things like this. I don’t mean to get at you like that, but it makes me sad that looks matter to you so much that you wouldn’t want an unattractive person to sit next to you. God forbid this person had been searching for a seat all day and needed just one person to be nice to them and move their backpack, Whole Food bag or ego to let them take a seat. I know it’s not even meant to be taken this deep, but you just can’t put stuff out into the atmosphere like that. Unattractive folks need love too.

  • Delishia

    Lol @ life jacket when drowin n her bull

  • Catch

    If you truly believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then you must consider that the most beautiful person in the room could vary depending upon the people you ask. Your definition of beauty appears to rely heavily on the opinion of others, so consider this: If you took a poll of this proverbial room and the results show that the most popular “beauty” is not your original choice, would you choose again?

  • yl

    “If it so happens the beautiful woman I see becomes a woman I get involved with, the feeling is like a life jacket for the times I’m drowning in her bullshit.”

    Amen to that! and I’m a heterosexual woman.

  • Vanessa

    Don’t be fooled, we women care about looks and the build of a man’s body. Sometimes its the face that catches me,sometimes its the body. But the personality, kindness, humour, and character need to to be there if anything more than a physical fling will occur.