Do looks matter in dating
But that’s not the end-all and be-all of attraction.In fact, the issue of how much looks matter to women – and what is considered “attractive” in the first place – is actually far more complicated than we think.‘s 60th anniversary issue, Gilbert Gottfried penned an essay entitled “Women Say They Want A Guy With A Sense of Humor.They Don’t“.1 This lengthy screed goes on about the apparently pernicious myth that women want a sense of humor, how being funny never got him laid and gets interspersed with complaints about the apparent cultural message that women only care about a good personality – which is frankly news to me. From the article: Guys are constantly being told that a good personality is the only thing that matters to women.It’s like those women who claim they have crushes on Woody Allen or Larry David.If you’re looking for a Larry David type, they’re everywhere.In fact, one of the most common selling points to various Pick-Up Artist gurus’ products is the promise that if you follow their secret system, you can attract 9s and 10s without effort, no matter what you look like.
Similarly, skin-lightening creams are incredibly popular across India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines – having lighter, whiter skin is considered to be more attractive – while plastic surgery minimizing the epicanthic eye-fold is all the rage in Korea.
and even then, an attractive husband meant someone who promised financial stability and buy into this myth, apparently sublimating their own sexual desires to the point of not recognizing their own arousal.
The Madonna-Whore dichotomy is still very real, and with it comes pressure for women to pretend that they don’t get the screaming thigh-sweats when Tyson Beckford or Joe Manganiello take their shirts off and start offering to wrestle Alexander Skarsgård in a tub of baby oil. Let’s be frank: we want to date someone we consider “hot”.
Right now, for example, the facial features most that are most commonly considered attractive are Northern European – wider eyes, high cheekbones, smaller chins, smaller noses – and there is a great deal of pressure for women of color to conform to them.
This has less to do with any sort of racial or geolocational superiority and to do with cultural hegemony and class structures.
In fact, what we consider to be “attractive” is dependent on cultural transmission. In the US, this is absurd to the point of sounding like bad comedy2 right up until the episode of South Park that focused on gingers.