What’s With The Face And Why Men Care About It
I don’t know if I’ve ever gone on record to declare the physical quality I find most attractive in a woman, so let me do so right now. It’s her face. And according to an article I read in The New York Times this past Sunday, this is the case for a lot of men, at least when it comes to finding a long term partner.
“More Than Just A Pretty Face: Men’s Priority Shifts Towards Bodily Attractiveness in Short-Term Versus Long-Term Mating Contexts” was a study written by two graduated students and a professor (two women, one man) at the University of Texas at Austin. In a sampling of 375 heterosexual students, women treated face and body alike. Meanwhile, 25 percent of the men chose to see the body when told to consider the person as a long term partner, compared with 51 percent who chose to see the body when considering a short-term partner.
All I could say after reading that is, “Duh.” Here’s why.
A while back I wrote a post about Confusingly Pretty Girls (CPGs), and to this day, I get a lot of questions as to what are the physical characteristics of a CPG. Well, I won’t get into semantics, but I will definitely say one of the hallmark traits of a CPG is an unbelievable body.
As the study suggests, it’s not that men don’t appreciate a woman with a nice body, moreso it’s the way we treat a woman with a nice body. Most women who are sexy have nice bodies, which is why we lust after them so. We see what they’re carrying and we want all of it, right away. For instance, a woman with a nice a**. Some women have such a nice a** that if a man sleeps with her but hasn’t gotten to do so from behind, it doesn’t even count. If a man sees a woman with nice breasts, what’s he want to do? Of course.
This is how men respond to women with beautiful bodies, by wanting to see them naked, and feel them naked. In the Times article the authors of the study even say, “Evolutionary psychology theory holds that men value current fertility (found in the body) more in a short-term mate and reproductive value (found in the face) in the long term.” If we take this out of medical or clinical terms and think about it in music terms, this makes complete sense. After all, think of all the songs men write about women. In uptempo songs about partying with women in the club, don’t most artists generally sing or rap lyrics describing the female body and the way they move it? Meanwhile, most songs expressing love and appreciation for a woman so fine generally compare her face to things angels and talk about features like her smile and eyes. If anyone saw Kanye West’s “Runaway” pay attention to how he falls in love with a woman who has the face of Selita Ebanks but the body of a bird. When it’s pointed out to him that she is a bird (A FREAKIN’ BIRD!), he responds by saying he didn’t notice. Of course he didn’t! Her face is gorgeous!
Now, I’m curious to see how women are going to internalize such news, considering this study just said women should spend more time looking in the mirror than looking at a scale. From where I stand, it seems like a woman’s face is one of the easiest things for her to manipulate. Makeup, fake eyelashes, different looks she can give, all of these things help a woman enhance whatever limitations she feels her face has. Most important to her face is the confidence she wears on it. To those women who don’t have as much confidence in their face as they do their body, may I suggest getting some? Confidence is a face thing. I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out the point an author quoted in the article made. Roy F. Baumeister, author of “Is There Anything Good About Men”, noted how the face is a signifier of emotion and character. Said Baumeister to the Times, “Men who want a long-term relationship are looking for emotional intimacy.” In other words, if a woman wants her man to feel like she’s his, it better be written all over her face.
As for the women who know they’re carrying around the type of body traits men only want to touch and feel, don’t be skeptical of every man who approaches. Desire is the first step towards appreciation. Some men (I believe even more than 25 percent the study suggests) do want long term relationships with women who have lustful figures. Just because we want to take her home on the first night does not mean we don’t want to keep her forever. Even the authors of the study admitted to the Times they never asked exactly why a man chose face over body or vice versa. “We just assumed they were looking to evaluate attractiveness,” said Jaime Confer. She went on to say, “It could have been many other things — personality type, whether there would be a connection. We didn’t even think of it afterward. It was an oversight.”
Well, I may not have taken as many psychology classes as Confer and her colleagues have, but take it from a man who has been with women for both facial and body reasons. Some men (but apparently not as many) want to settle down with a woman who has a great body and an okay face. Other men (apparently most of us) want to settle down with a woman who has a great face and an okay body. But no man will settle down with a woman who we don’t connect with beyond the surface, not even the woman who has both. She can do push-ups and sit-ups, she can even do makeup, but if she makes that face, the one with attitude all over it, no man will want to be with her, no man will stay with her.
The Process: Most of the exercise I’m doing today is mental and I suggest everyone else try it too. See how long you can be happy today.
We’re recording a new podcast tonight, but before we do, click here to listen to the ELEVENTH Edition of the Poppin’ Questions Podcast!