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View Full Version : Does society impact our perception of "beauty?"



HappyLady
May 20th, 2004, 06:26 AM
This has been one of my pet peeves for some time.

Have you ever noticed that on some of the most popular comedy shows on prime time TV there is a lard butt, overweight, big-nosed, or balding comedian...with a pretty, thin, and fit wife/love interest? (Dru Carey, Everybody Loves Raymond, Kevin James, The Jim Belushi Show, etc)

Have you ever noticed that runway models are flabby, have almost no muscle tone, no curves, and look like walking dead?

Have you noticed there is no "male reality makeover show" where men undergo ridiculous amounts of painful and life threatening surgery to improve their appearance?

I believe all of these entertainment perceptions trickle down into society.

If a woman has a big nose, she needs a nose job. If a guy has a big nose, he's distinguished. I see plenty of thin attractive women with overweight, sloppy men. I don't see many overweight sloppy women with thin attractive men. A man gets more attractive in his 40's and 50's because society deems him so, while women...just get old no matter how much we spend on cosmetics.

Do you think any of this matters in the bigger scheme of things? What impacts, positive or negative, do our perceptions of beauty have on society in your opinion?

omaysis
May 20th, 2004, 06:50 AM
I see plenty of thin attractive women with overweight, sloppy men. I don't see many overweight sloppy women with thin attractive men.

To quote myself from <a href=http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php?t=925><b>Democrats Have Higher IQs</b></a>, "You've obviously never been to Mississippi" ;)


Do you think any of this matters in the bigger scheme of things? What impacts, positive or negative, do our perceptions of beauty have on society in your opinion?

I don't think it matters much at all. Girls love to read Cosmo or whatever the hot new magazine is nowadays. Girls love to read it, and Cosmo loves to make money. Girls buy the latest fashion, and watch these catwalk shows, and the fashion industry loves to make money. Girls love to watch extreme makeovers, and tv producers love to make money.

Basically you've got a whole other sub-culture going on there. Us guys (straight guys, anyway) don't really have a clue what you girls are doing in the fashion/model/makeover world. We couldn't care less, really.

As long as you ladies aren't trying to start a fashion trend by wearing burlap sacks, we think you look great. We'll love you no matter what goofy fashion or makeup you subject yourself to.

I (and I'll wager to bet most guys) honestly think that you girls just try too hard. Why you do it, I have no idea. I don't think it's for our benefit, though. It seems more like an addiction, to me. ;)

But no, this has been going on since Ughjala of the clan of the Little Heads wore her famous lizard-skull necklace and became the envy of the clan women. It doesn't hurt, unless you're so uncomfortable with your image that you starve yourself to death. That sucks.

But for the most part I think it's harmless fun.

[Naturally I'm a guy, so I'm pretty clueless on the whole fashion issue. Maybe it is harmful. I don't know. You'll have to get the opinion of the other ladies on the forum, if you want a balanced view.]

HappyLady
May 20th, 2004, 07:13 AM
I don't think it matters much at all. Girls love to read Cosmo or whatever the hot new magazine is nowadays.

Why do girls love to read Cosmo?


Girls buy the latest fashion, and watch these catwalk shows, and the fashion industry loves to make money. Girls love to watch extreme makeovers, and tv producers love to make money.

Why do girls love to do this?


We couldn't care less, really.

No, men do care. Stereotypically, you care about looking at barely 18 yr old girls on porn sites, or looking at Pamela Anderson and all the plastic in her body get naked.


I (and I'll wager to bet most guys) honestly think that you girls just try too hard. Why you do it, I have no idea. I don't think it's for our benefit, though. It seems more like an addiction, to me.

Do you think that addiction could stem from society and media manipulating us to make us think we never look good enough? Why do women try so hard?


It doesn't hurt, unless you're so uncomfortable with your image that you starve yourself to death. That sucks.

What about putting plastic and other harmful chemicals into our body or having drastic surgery to achieve the look desired by society? You don't want us to wear burlap sacks, but do you really want to look at a naturally aged 40 year old body in Playboy?


Naturally I'm a guy, so I'm pretty clueless on the whole fashion issue. Maybe it is harmful. I don't know. You'll have to get the opinion of the other ladies on the forum, if you want a balanced view.

It's not only the opinion of women I'm looking for here. This is about much more than the "fashion industry". It's about our perceptions, male and female, of what makes a person beautiful. It would be idealistic to say, "Beauty is on the inside." What we see all around us is so far from that ideal.

Slipnish
May 20th, 2004, 07:23 AM
This has been one of my pet peeves for some time.

Have you ever noticed that on some of the most popular comedy shows on prime time TV there is a lard butt, overweight, big-nosed, or balding comedian...with a pretty, thin, and fit wife/love interest? (Dru Carey, Everybody Loves Raymond, Kevin James, The Jim Belushi Show, etc)

That's true so far as it goes, but what else do all of those guys have in common? Humor. Humor does play a fantastic role for those of us that are the aesthetically challenged, and the truth of the matter is, which would you rather have? The super model male bastion of 6 pack abs, or the funny tubby guy?


Have you ever noticed that runway models are flabby, have almost no muscle tone, no curves, and look like walking dead?

Bones are for dogs, meat is for the man. I hate skinny women. If you look like a dry spaghetti noodle sporting twin raisins, then move along. I like a more "mature" and "voluptous" woman. Something I can hang onto. Being not a small man, myself, I am always worried about injuring those little lettuce leaf munchers... ;?


Have you noticed there is no "male reality makeover show" where men undergo ridiculous amounts of painful and life threatening surgery to improve their appearance?

Queer Eye is close, and there have been some others, but I suspect the truth is, women watch those shows more than men, so the tragets are people they identify with, ie; women.


I believe all of these entertainment perceptions trickle down into society.
No doubt you are correct to some degree. How many girls get eating disorders because they can't be thin enough, or achieve what 6 plastic surgeons and a diet of air and Evian can achieve?


If a woman has a big nose, she needs a nose job. If a guy has a big nose, he's distinguished. I see plenty of thin attractive women with overweight, sloppy men. I don't see many overweight sloppy women with thin attractive men. A man gets more attractive in his 40's and 50's because society deems him so, while women...just get old no matter how much we spend on cosmetics.

Older men have more money. You left that part out. Money will get you a "trophy" date/spouse.


Do you think any of this matters in the bigger scheme of things? What impacts, positive or negative, do our perceptions of beauty have on society in your opinion?

Not really.

Impacts: I think it makes it more difficult on younger folks searching for their own identity. Particularly those with "stars" in their eyes. For the rest of us older and more secure folks, who cares what a bunch of other people do? I for one could care less about someone who lets Body Dismorpic disorder run their lives.

I will admit to being attracted to a woman by her looks in any social setting, but here's the kicker: At 37, once divorced, she better have more than a "great body" to set my heart to pitter pattering.

"Man does not live by bread alone."

Or as my mother used to say, "Sure, she may look good, but what are you going to talk about when you put your clothes back on?"

True statement, and one I try to adhere to...

omaysis
May 20th, 2004, 07:31 AM
Why do girls love to read Cosmo?

Like I said, I haven't a clue. I never read it :)


No, men do care. Stereotypically, you care about looking at barely 18 yr old girls on porn sites, or looking at Pamela Anderson and all the plastic in her body get naked.

Well there's looking and there's loving. No matter how good Pam looks (in fact, I don't find her all that attractive... no booty) I sure wouldn't want to marry her.


Do you think that addiction could stem from society and media manipulating us to make us think we never look good enough? Why do women try so hard?

You say "society", but I really think it's just your female sub-culture. I sure could be wrong, but I don't know a single guy that knows the name of a single fashion designer or line of clothing. [unless they are gay, in which case they probably know more than you :p]

I'm not sure why women try so hard. I think it's an oroborus. You try hard because other girls try hard. They try hard because you try hard. That's my theory... could be wrong :)


do you really want to look at a naturally aged 40 year old body in Playboy?

There again is the difference. Fantasy vs reality. We like to look at fantasy, but we like to marry reality.


It would be idealistic to say, "Beauty is on the inside." What we see all around us is so far from that ideal.

Well that's true. But what can we do about it? People like looking at beautiful people. That's just a simple fact. We're human. People have always liked looking at beautiful people.

But yeah, getting implants and plastic and cutting and what-not, that's just weird. I can't get used to implants. They don't look right or feel right. They're just funky.

But hey, if someone wants to do it for their own self-image, and they are willing to take the risk, who am I to say that's wrong? I'll bet one of these days when I'm 60, I'll probably go in for a workup. If it's relatively safe, I see nothing wrong with it.

HappyLady
May 20th, 2004, 08:07 AM
That's true so far as it goes, but what else do all of those guys have in common? Humor. Humor does play a fantastic role for those of us that are the aesthetically challenged, and the truth of the matter is, which would you rather have? The super model male bastion of 6 pack abs, or the funny tubby guy?

I agree. But why can't we have the "funny tubby girl?" The closest thing to that we have had has been Roseanne, and her hubby certainly wasn't the equal to what Jim Belushi's wife is on his show.


I hate skinny women.

I think this is probably the perception of most mature adults. So, why are they upheld as beautiful in the media? The problem is, the younger adults, not really being aware of what "reality" is, think this is the standard they have to live up to.


Queer Eye is close

This is funny. It's a bunch of GAY men. :lol: Why isn't there a show with Robert Redford as the host highlighting makeovers of Average Joe types? ,


Older men have more money. You left that part out. Money will get you a "trophy" date/spouse.

It might get the "trophy" date, but it also gets society perception of beauty. A gray haired aging man in his 40's or 50's is deemed attractive (mostly because the money gives people that perception.) But an equally successful gray haired aging woman is likely to be told to get some plastic surgery if she wants to be perceived as beautiful.


Impacts: I think it makes it more difficult on younger folks searching for their own identity.

Do you think if there was less emphasis on unachievable beauty, young girls would have a much easier time finding their identity? It would be much more beneficial for them if emphasis was on brains, sense of humor, and personality, than on how perfect their skin is or what their bra size is.


I for one could care less about someone who lets Body Dismorpic disorder run their lives.

I'm surprised to hear that from you. People who allow superficiality to define who they are lack spirituality and emotional depth. Is that really the direction we want society to turn?


At 37, once divorced, she better have more than a "great body" to set my heart to pitter pattering.

I have a personal anecdote not related to the debate. My significant other is 36, I'm 31. His ex wife is 38, pretty attractive, successful, and classy. Being a stay-at-home-mom and in sweats most of the day, I sometimes feel a little beat up in the confidence area when I compare myself to her (which I know I shouldn't do, but it's hard not to do it.) Her kids are older, she can work on her career, she has more time to devote to her body because I'm taking care of her kids most of the time, etc...I was letting him know about my wounds yesterday and he said to me, "You're a beautiful woman. Not just because you're pretty and have a nice body, but because you're beautiful on the inside. My ex-wife might be outwardly attractive, but once you know her for the person she is on the inside, even her best attributes on the outside turn ugly." I thought it was a pretty profound comment, and it's what sparked me to bring this topic to the debate forum.

HappyLady
May 20th, 2004, 08:14 AM
Like I said, I haven't a clue. I never read it :)

You missed the point. Why do women consume themselves with their appearance rather than more fruitful and important endeavors?



but I don't know a single guy that knows the name of a single fashion designer or line of clothing.

You're missing the point. They might not know fashion designers, but they know the names and bodies of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models.


I think it's an oroborus. You try hard because other girls try hard. They try hard because you try hard. That's my theory... could be wrong :)

No, I think you have something there. Women compete against each other. I have said this to my significant other many times when he sees me putting make-up on for some event. "Why are you putting makeup on and doing your hair? You want to flirt with all the men?" I say, "No, other women will be there." I admit I don't put the effort into my physical appearance for anyone other than me so I feel healthy, my significant other, or other women who will harshly criticize me if I don't. ;) (I'm kind of kidding there, but kind of not.)




Fantasy vs reality. We like to look at fantasy, but we like to marry reality.

Yes, that's my problem. Why does there have to be a "fantasy?" Why can't the fantasy and reality be one in the same?


People like looking at beautiful people.

But our definition of beautiful has become something that computer graphics create more often than not. It's almost not even attainable for the precious few anymore.


But hey, if someone wants to do it for their own self-image, and they are willing to take the risk, who am I to say that's wrong? I'll bet one of these days when I'm 60, I'll probably go in for a workup. If it's relatively safe, I see nothing wrong with it.

I'm in a similar boat. But it irritates me that I'm in that boat. I don't want to be in that boat.

chadn737
May 20th, 2004, 08:21 AM
I see plenty of thin attractive women with overweight, sloppy men.

Heres my question, how do these guys do it? I in no way resemble the above description yet cant seem to attract any women. Those men are amazing.


This is funny. It's a bunch of GAY men. Why isn't there a show with Robert Redford as the host highlighting makeovers of Average Joe types? ,

What man, would watch that kind of show? That leaves women and would you rather watch men undergo makeovers or women?


It might get the "trophy" date, but it also gets society perception of beauty. A gray haired aging man in his 40's or 50's is deemed attractive (mostly because the money gives people that perception.) But an equally successful gray haired aging woman is likely to be told to get some plastic surgery if she wants to be perceived as beautiful.

I think its more of just society. Its wired in our brains. Successful men can make better providers. Young healthy women can can bear many healthy children. :)

Which doesnt explain the whole skinny issue. Skinny women will have a harder time in child birth, I think. :?:

HappyLady
May 20th, 2004, 08:53 AM
Heres my question, how do these guys do it? I in no way resemble the above description yet cant seem to attract any women. Those men are amazing.

Because women, in general, are insecure. We tend to shy away from good looking men, because we don't think we are "worthy" of them. There is more security in being with a less attractive man. He won't leave us for another woman, because he can't. ;)

Another explanation is that women tend to choose men based on personality above looks, whereas men tend to choose women based on looks over personality. You might think it's a generalization, but it's not.

However, I don't think this is exclusive to women. I have noticed times in my life where I haven't been the "ideal 5'5" 130", where I seem to get more attention from good looking men, than when I am closer to that ideal. I have asked men I dated about this during both of these times. When I'm closer to the ideal, I get, "I didn't think you'd give me the time of day." I guess when I don't look as good, I'm more approachable? Sad.


What man, would watch that kind of show? That leaves women and would you rather watch men undergo makeovers or women?

I think that is the problem. Media perpetuates the drive for women to be obssessed about our looks. If they didn't put those crap shows on television and they put something on with more meaning, women would likely watch it. Or maybe they wouldn't. That is the reason the frumpy comedians have beautiful wives, too. Men are primarily the ones watching those comedies. Who wants them to have Roseanne Barr for a wife?


I think its more of just society. Its wired in our brains. Successful men can make better providers. Young healthy women can can bear many healthy children.

I think this is true. However, the perception of beauty is getting so skewed that it's going beyond realistic. We don't see "normal voluptious (child-rearing hips)" portrayed in the media anymore. You're right when you say those beanpoles would have more difficulty with childbirth. With what they do to their bodies to get that way, it's a miracle that they can even get pregnant.

Overall, do you think what entertainment and media portrays as beautiful is what society views as beautiful?

Slipnish
May 20th, 2004, 10:49 AM
I agree. But why can't we have the "funny tubby girl?" The closest thing to that we have had has been Roseanne, and her hubby certainly wasn't the equal to what Jim Belushi's wife is on his show.

I don't know. Maybe they just haven't found one with the right mixture of talent and personality. Roseanne does seem to be the exception to the rule. We have had unattractive and funny, but I don't recall tubby and funny now that you mention it.


I think this is probably the perception of most mature adults. So, why are they upheld as beautiful in the media? The problem is, the younger adults, not really being aware of what "reality" is, think this is the standard they have to live up to.

Well, from an aesthetic perspective, they are eye candy. Most of the models are attractive in a vague, sort of ethereal way. They don't appeal to me, but that's just me. One of my best friends would swear that an Ethiopian on a diet was too fat for him though. It just boils down to personal taste to a large degree. Plus, I think a lot of the models are attractive when you look at just their face. I know a lot of that is makeup, witness Oprah with and without. But still, its eye candy.


This is funny. It's a bunch of GAY men. :lol: Why isn't there a show with Robert Redford as the host highlighting makeovers of Average Joe types?
Dunno. I think its a female audience they are targeting. I don't watch the female makeover shows, and I know I wouldn't watch the male ones either, so I think there is just not a market for it.


It might get the "trophy" date, but it also gets society perception of beauty. A gray haired aging man in his 40's or 50's is deemed attractive (mostly because the money gives people that perception.) But an equally successful gray haired aging woman is likely to be told to get some plastic surgery if she wants to be perceived as beautiful.

Hef. Need I say more?

I don't know why older men are deemed more attractive and women aren't. I think you can make it a case by case basis. I have seen a lot of women older than I am that I would take home to meet mom. Or whatever... :evil:


Do you think if there was less emphasis on unachievable beauty, young girls would have a much easier time finding their identity? It would be much more beneficial for them if emphasis was on brains, sense of humor, and personality, than on how perfect their skin is or what their bra size is.

I think we as a species have always found more beauty in the female form than the male. That's why there are more nude women in the museum, than men. After all, stop and think about it this way. If you walked into the bathroom unannounced, and you had a choice between an unknown man, or an unknown woman nude, bending WAAAAYY over to check the water in the tub, which one is more likely to send you into therapy? ;)

I agree that as a culture we do spend to much time on our outside, and nearly enough on our inside. I would love to see my own daughter worry less about her clothes and more about her science and math exams. :(


I'm surprised to hear that from you. People who allow superficiality to define who they are lack spirituality and emotional depth. Is that really the direction we want society to turn?

Well, I have been doing this a long time. The first rule of social work is, you can't change anyone's mind. So, to me, if people want to run into the plastic surgeons everytime some new fad, or some perceived flaw of theirs bugs them, who am I to tell them its wrong.

I think most of them are either too sick or too shallow or a combination of the two, to understand what it is they lack. Furthermore, they may never be able to understand it. Like I said, I won't judge them. If they don't like the way they are, and want to do something, then I'll throw in my two cents. But not unitl they make the decision.


I have a personal anecdote not related to the debate. My significant other is 36, I'm 31. His ex wife is 38, pretty attractive, successful, and classy. Being a stay-at-home-mom and in sweats most of the day, I sometimes feel a little beat up in the confidence area when I compare myself to her (which I know I shouldn't do, but it's hard not to do it.) Her kids are older, she can work on her career, she has more time to devote to her body because I'm taking care of her kids most of the time, etc...I was letting him know about my wounds yesterday and he said to me, "You're a beautiful woman. Not just because you're pretty and have a nice body, but because you're beautiful on the inside. My ex-wife might be outwardly attractive, but once you know her for the person she is on the inside, even her best attributes on the outside turn ugly." I thought it was a pretty profound comment, and it's what sparked me to bring this topic to the debate forum.

Very profound, and it keeps him off the couch and out of the doghouse! :lol:
Seriously though, I've seen your picture here, you have nothing to worry about. ;)

I feel the same way about my ex. She was/is an attractive, professional type too. But inside, something was way wrong. Ce la Vie...

Slipnish
May 20th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Heres my question, how do these guys do it? I in no way resemble the above description yet cant seem to attract any women. Those men are amazing.

Humor. Everytime. Plus you just have to be real. I am certainly no Rock Hudson or Vin Deisel (sp?) but I have done my share of dating. Most of the women I have dated in the past tell me it is one of two things that attracted them to me. Humor and a sense of self confidence. Master those, and the world is your oyster.


Which doesnt explain the whole skinny issue. Skinny women will have a harder time in child birth, I think. :?:

I think you are correct, but a lot of that may depend on the width of the pelvic girdle.

sjjs
May 20th, 2004, 11:30 AM
Humor. Everytime. Plus you just have to be real. I am certainly no Rock Hudson or Vin Deisel (sp?) but I have done my share of dating.

I don't think Rock Hudson actually dated that many women. ;)



Most of the women I have dated in the past tell me it is one of two things that attracted them to me. Humor and a sense of self confidence. Master those, and the world is your oyster.

Cash helps as well. The majority of women want security and a guy with a full wallet and a few decent cars and big house has got it every time.

Would a decent looking woman consider Ted Turner if he was the garbage collector? Or Hefner if he ran the local newsagents?

No way!

Along with a bucket full of money comes power and you usually need confidence to get those so that's where that all comes in to it.

HappyLady
May 20th, 2004, 04:50 PM
I don't really feel like this is being taken seriously. If it's not about religion or politics, then it doesn't matter??


I don't know. Maybe they just haven't found one with the right mixture of talent and personality. Roseanne does seem to be the exception to the rule. We have had unattractive and funny, but I don't recall tubby and funny now that you mention it.

You missed my point. The point is, you have all the fat, frumpy, unattractive comedians with their own shows and very attractive wives on them. Roseanne, who was the only fat, frumpy, unattractive female comedian to have her own show, had a fat, frumpy unattractive husband on the show. I understand this is because these shows are there to "appeal to men", therefore they need a funny man and hot babe for it to be entertaining for them. The reason you don't see fat,frumpy female comedians on television is because they would be told they need to lose 50 pounds and get a nose job before they would even be considered. That actually happened to that one Asian female comedian several years ago. She packed on some weight and they cancelled her show. I saw her in an interview and she said it was because she gained weight.


I think its a female audience they are targeting. I don't watch the female makeover shows, and I know I wouldn't watch the male ones either, so I think there is just not a market for it.

Yeah, I know that. The point is, why? The media has created this. Because they constantly push an unattainable image in our faces and then manipulate us to believe we have to achieve that look, women are drawn to that kind of lame entertainment.


I don't know why older men are deemed more attractive and women aren't. I think you can make it a case by case basis.

It's a stereotype. Older men are distinguished. Older women are just old. It's not a case by case basis.


That's why there are more nude women in the museum, than men.

Are you letting someone else type under your username??? This isn't the little elf I admire so much responding. The reason there are more nude women in museums is because MEN were the only people ALLOWED to be artists and sculptors for centuries.


After all, stop and think about it this way. If you walked into the bathroom unannounced, and you had a choice between an unknown man, or an unknown woman nude, bending WAAAAYY over to check the water in the tub, which one is more likely to send you into therapy?

The visual alone is making me anxious. ;)


I would love to see my own daughter worry less about her clothes and more about her science and math exams.

And she probably would if the media didn't manipulate her to think she HAS to worry about her clothes.


So, to me, if people want to run into the plastic surgeons everytime some new fad, or some perceived flaw of theirs bugs them, who am I to tell them its wrong.

Yes, I understand that. But if we didn't have top entertainment on television upholding plastic surgery like it's buying a new eye shadow, then not as many people would be running to butchers to get it done.


I think most of them are either too sick or too shallow or a combination of the two, to understand what it is they lack.

Uh-huh, and I agree with you. But I'm asserting that the media is one of the leading causes for people being so shallow.



Seriously though, I've seen your picture here, you have nothing to worry about.

Thank you. I find your little elfish nature intriguing. ;)

omaysis
May 20th, 2004, 06:03 PM
The media has created this. Because they constantly push an unattainable image in our faces and then manipulate us to believe we have to achieve that look, women are drawn to that kind of lame entertainment.

The media is just giving us what we want. What the media does is provide content that it thinks the audience will pay for, or otherwise pay attention to.

They are a business. They want money. Simple as that.

Because of this, they are going to put forth whatever WE, the audience, want to see. So if some skinny model is starring in some television show, it's because research has indicated that skinny models are what we would like to see.

So why are skinny, perfect women in the media? Because we want them there. If the media put 500-pound women in bikinis advertising Coca-Cola, nobody would buy another Coke for the rest of their lives.

So the question becomes: why do we like looking at skinny, perfect women?

The oroborus is a pretty accurate explanation for what's going on here. We have an idea of what is beautiful (as is passed down in our genetic code by our ancestors). That idea is replicated and repeated in the media (the media being anything from egyptian heiroglyphs to 3D hologram commercials). That media re-enforces our idea of what is beautiful, and the cycle is amplified again and again, without end, repeating forever redundently, over and over, the same thing all over, ad infinitum.

Slipnish
May 20th, 2004, 06:45 PM
I don't really feel like this is being taken seriously. If it's not about religion or politics, then it doesn't matter??

Okay, for the record, I have rebooted my computer, fought my toolbar into submission, including for some reason known only to Microsoft and Satan, a couple of NEW toolbars I didn't need which randomly placed themselves into various locations on my screen. After contacting a couple of priests, a shaman, and a circle of wiccans, my cross drapped and holy water drenched, powder covered, and incense and pentacled PC has decided to cooperate.

So, yes. Its serious. *pant, pant, pant.


You missed my point.
Yes I did. I am male, hear me fizzle. :p


The point is, you have all the fat, frumpy, unattractive comedians with their own shows and very attractive wives on them. Roseanne, who was the only fat, frumpy, unattractive female comedian to have her own show, had a fat, frumpy unattractive husband on the show. I understand this is because these shows are there to "appeal to men", therefore they need a funny man and hot babe for it to be entertaining for them. The reason you don't see fat,frumpy female comedians on television is because they would be told they need to lose 50 pounds and get a nose job before they would even be considered. That actually happened to that one Asian female comedian several years ago. She packed on some weight and they cancelled her show. I saw her in an interview and she said it was because she gained weight.

Margaret Cho. I would guess the market is more accomadating of one than the other. If you watch MTV or other networks and shows catering to a younger crowd, all of the cast is body beautiful and six packed abs.

In the early evening, my guess is the target is the 30+ crowd and most of the middle aged men I know, are only close to a 6 pack of beer. The pretty wife is just another way to catch the eye...


Yeah, I know that. The point is, why? The media has created this. Because they constantly push an unattainable image in our faces and then manipulate us to believe we have to achieve that look, women are drawn to that kind of lame entertainment.

Yes they are, sadly. I get in trouble for watching the Discovery Channel, or the History Channel. The SO likes the E Channel and videos. Go fig. ;?


It's a stereotype. Older men are distinguished. Older women are just old. It's not a case by case basis.

Yes it is. You are right, I am wrong. *fizzle fizzle.


Are you letting someone else type under your username??? This isn't the little elf I admire so much responding. The reason there are more nude women in museums is because MEN were the only people ALLOWED to be artists and sculptors for centuries.

:lol: Nope!

I just think that most people honestly find the female form more attractive. Men and women. I don't know why. Maybe its a mommy thing...

Your point about the artists etc. is valid.


The visual alone is making me anxious. ;)
:lol:


And she probably would if the media didn't manipulate her to think she HAS to worry about her clothes.

Did I mention she likes to paint her nails black??? Oy! ;?


Yes, I understand that. But if we didn't have top entertainment on television upholding plastic surgery like it's buying a new eye shadow, then not as many people would be running to butchers to get it done.

Uh-huh. Its unnerving.


Uh-huh, and I agree with you. But I'm asserting that the media is one of the leading causes for people being so shallow.

I don't know. I think it makes it easier for people to be shallow, but I don't know if it causes it per se. I certainly went to school with people that were never fascinated by anything we covered. Even in college some of the bright kids dropped out and couldn't handle the stress or whatever.

I don't have a very high opinion of people in general. I was always the bright kid that asked the hard questions, argued with the teacher, and in the 6th and 7th grade, I actually had teachers make fun of me because I knew more about something than they did.

Little horrors that helped shape a jaded Slip.

Most people are just too damn lazy to learn. They don't want to know. I see this a LOT at work. If someone brings up something controversial at the lunch table, and I am interested in the topic, I usually get about two sentences in before someone says either: A. "I don't care." or B. "I am not going to argue with you." Sure they laugh, but ultimately they simply don't want to take in any new information, because their minds are made up. Its frightening. ;?

Oddly though, if they need information about something, I am the one they come to.

The way I see it, these people have the same access to TV, books, and the web that I do. They could educate themselves instead of watching "Survivor" or "Ultimate Supreme Make Over for Life" shows, but they don't. Does that qualify for shallow or just stupid? :lol:


Thank you. I find your little elfish nature intriguing. ;)

Gnomish actually, but thank you just the same. :red:

Slipnish
May 20th, 2004, 06:46 PM
So why are skinny, perfect women in the media? Because we want them there. If the media put 500-pound women in bikinis advertising Coca-Cola, nobody would buy another Coke for the rest of their lives.


Thank you. I now have to go poke out my minds eye with a stick.

A bikini? Dude... ;?

Dionysus
May 20th, 2004, 07:03 PM
<em>"Does society impact our perception of "beauty?" </em>

I think it affects how we perceive ourselves more than how we perceive others. It's a marketing machine designed to make us think we must look better to everyone else in order to be accepted socially. Just look at today's focus on material gain and sexuality. The U.S. has become astoundingly superficial.

Slipnish
May 20th, 2004, 07:15 PM
Hey, hold that thought while I turn on the porn channel on my plasma screen TV, turn on my TiVo, and take a drink of my Dr Pepper. *movement and sounds from offscreen*

Now, what were you saying?

omaysis
May 20th, 2004, 07:25 PM
Thank you. I now have to go poke out my minds eye with a stick.

Hehehe my bad. :p I can be careless with my imagery :)

chadn737
May 21st, 2004, 12:33 AM
I think the media has little impact on how we view the looks of others. I dont look at some woman and compare her to images from the media. Either Im attracted or Im not. Godlesspagan brings up a good point. The most damaging effect is on our perception of our own beauty. As you have stated HL:


Because women, in general, are insecure. We tend to shy away from good looking men, because we don't think we are "worthy" of them.

If it were not for the images portrayed by the media would women be as insecure? If the media did not push the idea perfect looks so hard would women have such low opinions of their looks? I know of no man that walks around comparing women to what he sees on TV.

HappyLady
May 21st, 2004, 05:46 AM
The oroborus is a pretty accurate explanation for what's going on here. We have an idea of what is beautiful (as is passed down in our genetic code by our ancestors).

While this might sound logical, our genetic code would consider beauty to be "healthy, voluptuous, and sexual." With computer graphics, and distorted perceptions, society is altering it's "genetic code" to something incredibly unrealistic. It is gearing away from some genetic explanation because most of the women who are upheld as "beautiful" are significantly underweight and not healthy.

HappyLady
May 21st, 2004, 06:00 AM
If you watch MTV or other networks and shows catering to a younger crowd, all of the cast is body beautiful and six packed abs.

Tom Green, Puck, half the rappers on Hip Hop who are overweight and have crooked teeth, but are gettin' some anyway....that's a lot of examples of puny, unattractive, yet famous men on television in the younger crowd.


In the early evening, my guess is the target is the 30+ crowd and most of the middle aged men I know, are only close to a 6 pack of beer. The pretty wife is just another way to catch the eye...

Uh-huh, and we catch the "eyes of women" with shows like The Swan. Why not the tubby female comedian with the six pack ab hubby?? I find it appalling that the entertainment industry does this to either sex.


I just think that most people honestly find the female form more attractive. Men and women. I don't know why. Maybe its a mommy thing...

I agree with this. I'm more turned on by the female form than the male form, but I don't know that it's relative to the debate other than what kind of female form is upheld as beautiful. I'm sure most would rather peruse firm, young, thin, tall, curvy naked women than 35 yr old women with stretchmarks, eh? Yet we don't make that distinction to the same degree with men. It is likely that we like to look at healthy men, well-toned, but that age and body type would be rather irrelevant. (Granted, no one wants to look at fat slobs, male or female.)


I don't know. I think it makes it easier for people to be shallow, but I don't know if it causes it per se.

http://www.annecollins.com/eating-disorders/statistics.htm

If 80% of the population of women are dissatisfied with their bodies, then what IS causing it?


I don't have a very high opinion of people in general. I was always the bright kid that asked the hard questions, argued with the teacher, and in the 6th and 7th grade, I actually had teachers make fun of me because I knew more about something than they did.

We have a lot in common.


A. "I don't care." or B. "I am not going to argue with you." Sure they laugh, but ultimately they simply don't want to take in any new information, because their minds are made up. Its frightening. ;?

Agreed. That is kind of how I feel about debating with you on this topic. (jk) ;)


The way I see it, these people have the same access to TV, books, and the web that I do. They could educate themselves instead of watching "Survivor" or "Ultimate Supreme Make Over for Life" shows, but they don't. Does that qualify for shallow or just stupid? :lol:

So, you think all of the responsibility rests on the individual? How would that be possible when we are products of our environment? Our environment is flooded with images of unattainable "beauty", over stimulation, subliminal messages, and manipulative advertising. How is one, especially an impressionable teenager, supposed to rise above that and pick up a good book? I think you are underestimating the power of media, and overestimating the average person.

HappyLady
May 21st, 2004, 06:11 AM
If it were not for the images portrayed by the media would women be as insecure? If the media did not push the idea perfect looks so hard would women have such low opinions of their looks? I know of no man that walks around comparing women to what he sees on TV.

Hmmm...if they portrayed REAL women on TV, then that would be who women would compare themselves to, and it would be huge confidence boost.

While you might not compare your average REAL girlfriend to TV or magazine images, there isn't a man I know who doesn't fantasize about at least one sexual encounter with Halle Berry, Shania Twain, Demi Moore or (insert name of underweight woman of your choice here). Or at least think they are beautiful. While men might not compare real women to fantasy women, the sad truth is those fantasy women are real women. They take drastic measures such as undereating, overexercising, and plastic surgery to attain that look. And when that fails them, the magazine publishers airbrush inches off their hips and elongate their legs. But they are still real people. While you might not expect your girlfriend to look like any of them, it doesn't stop anyone from perusing Maxim, porn and Playboy to look at all those airbrushed, computerized images and fantasize about them in some way.

Slipnish
May 21st, 2004, 06:48 AM
Tom Green, Puck, half the rappers on Hip Hop who are overweight and have crooked teeth, but are gettin' some anyway....that's a lot of examples of puny, unattractive, yet famous men on television in the younger crowd.

Yeah, for the hip hop crowd, but look at urban Americana. Brittney, Justin Timberlake, all of those cats. Body beautiful. Watch any outdoors MTV bash at the beach. Where are the ugly, overweight, NORMAL people?




Uh-huh, and we catch the "eyes of women" with shows like The Swan. Why not the tubby female comedian with the six pack ab hubby?? I find it appalling that the entertainment industry does this to either sex.

You keep using these words... Simple, sex sells. Thats it.




I agree with this. I'm more turned on by the female form than the male form, but I don't know that it's relative to the debate other than what kind of female form is upheld as beautiful. I'm sure most would rather peruse firm, young, thin, tall, curvy naked women than 35 yr old women with stretchmarks, eh? Yet we don't make that distinction to the same degree with men. It is likely that we like to look at healthy men, well-toned, but that age and body type would be rather irrelevant. (Granted, no one wants to look at fat slobs, male or female.)

If by peruse, you mean ogle, than maybe. As for actually date, be around, and uh...other things :evil: , I'll take an older woman every time. As someone who has dated the spectrum of younger to older women, I much prefer, "Hey, that's great." to "Hey! What are you doing?" :evil:

It's relative because that innate drive is being exploited by the same people who appalled you in the previous paragraph. :D



If 80% of the population of women are dissatisfied with their bodies, then what IS causing it?

They are doing it to themselves.


We have a lot in common.
Always good to know you aren't alone in the world. :lol:




Agreed. That is kind of how I feel about debating with you on this topic. (jk) ;)
Oh, ha ha! ;)




So, you think all of the responsibility rests on the individual? How would that be possible when we are products of our environment? Our environment is flooded with images of unattainable "beauty", over stimulation, subliminal messages, and manipulative advertising. How is one, especially an impressionable teenager, supposed to rise above that and pick up a good book? I think you are underestimating the power of media, and overestimating the average person.

I have an extremely strong internal locus of control. Probably too strong. I take responsibility for what I do, and damn well feel like other people should too. It is not my fault if someone looks in the mirror and says, "I don't look like Brittney Spears. I must be ugly." That isn't the media's fault, or anyone else. That is an individual's assessment of themselves.

I am not underestimating the media, I know they do it, but I blame the people that allow themselves to be lead like sheep. You usually only have to tell a child the stove is hot once. After they touch it, of course, they have learned the lesson. Same thing here. You can tell them, and tell them, but until someone outside the family sees the beauty of that person, they will never believe it on their own. And of course it will be reinforced after that first breakup. Its a cycle, but hey, you can't fight Mother Nature.

I would be willing to bet, that even if the media, all of the media for that matter, was "teen conscious", and played up the whole, you really are beautiful thing, not a teen would feel differently.

Its a hardwire thing. The media may contribute, but they don't cause it.

I think you just have to raise your children to understand that they are not the sum total of their looks or popularity. Sometimes its okay to not belong to a group. Indepence is a wonderful thing.

HappyLady
May 21st, 2004, 07:22 AM
Yeah, for the hip hop crowd, but look at urban Americana. Brittney, Justin Timberlake, all of those cats. Body beautiful. Watch any outdoors MTV bash at the beach. Where are the ugly, overweight, NORMAL people?

The point is that ugly, unattractive, less than ideal men are found all over television, and ugly, unattractive, less than ideal women are only found on Jerry Springer.


If by peruse, you mean ogle, than maybe. As for actually date, be around, and uh...other things :evil: , I'll take an older woman every time. As someone who has dated the spectrum of younger to older women, I much prefer, "Hey, that's great." to "Hey! What are you doing?"

:lol: Yeah, there was time when I was younger that I liked being the "teacher", but have since evolved to quite enjoy the role of "student." :red:


It's relative because that innate drive is being exploited by the same people who appalled you in the previous paragraph.

It's not relative for that reason. It's relative in that the female form is more attractive than the male form. But look at how the face of "beauty" has changed over the centuries by viewing some of that artwork in those museums. Rubenesque women were once the most beautiful. Those were some childbearin' women! Now, they wouldn't stand a chance of getting on TV or in a magaizine layout. Look back even to the 40's and 50's. Marilyn Monroe was a size 14! That's a plus size now. Many women would be starving themselves and working out 2 hours a day if they were a size 14 now. Yet, I think Marilyn Monroe is beautiful. She looked very healthy to me. I think she is more standard of the "norm".


I have an extremely strong internal locus of control. Probably too strong. I take responsibility for what I do, and damn well feel like other people should too.

Goody goody gumdrop for you. ;)

So, if a child is a victim of sexual abuse, that should not influence their sexuality throughout adolescence? Essentially, what you are asserting is that environmental factors are irrelevant. If environmental factors are irrelevant, then what else is left? Genetic factors? Some kind of internal factors? Please expand.

While I agree there comes a time when everyone has to take responsibility for their actions, and you can't play the blame game all your life, when something like the perception of beauty is encrusted in your culture, how do you get away from it? How can you possibly not be a product of your environment to some degree?


It is not my fault if someone looks in the mirror and says, "I don't look like Brittney Spears. I must be ugly." That isn't the media's fault, or anyone else. That is an individual's assessment of themselves.

But where does that individual assessment come from? We assess ourselves individually by comparing ourselves to the norm, or comparing ourselves to others. We don't make an individual assessment simply by looking within. We can't live on this earth without making comparisons. Comparitive nature is innate.


You can tell them, and tell them, but until someone outside the family sees the beauty of that person, they will never believe it on their own.

And you don't wonder why this is? Not everyone has someone telling them. A lot of teenagers have their peers telling them the same message that the media perpetuates. A lot of teenagers have parents telling them that, too. Where is this voice of reason supposed to come from?


I would be willing to bet, that even if the media, all of the media for that matter, was "teen conscious", and played up the whole, you really are beautiful thing, not a teen would feel differently.

I think you're wrong. I don't think 80% of the women in the 40's and 50's were dissatisfied with their bodies, because the women who were glamorous had the same body types as they did. There was quite a mix of "normal" women who were glamorous back then. Now, it has become an unattainable look with the help of plastic surgery, starvation, and computer graphics.


I think you just have to raise your children to understand that they are not the sum total of their looks or popularity. Sometimes its okay to not belong to a group. Indepence is a wonderful thing.

Uh-huh, but when the parents of the children are victims of the media, too, how can you expect this to be accomplished? Some responsibility lies on the media to stop projecting the unattainable at such an overwhelming rate.

Slipnish
May 21st, 2004, 08:04 AM
The point is that ugly, unattractive, less than ideal men are found all over television, and ugly, unattractive, less than ideal women are only found on Jerry Springer.

Dawn French has a show devoted to big women, check it out. ;)




:lol: Yeah, there was time when I was younger that I liked being the "teacher", but have since evolved to quite enjoy the role of "student." :red:
ROFL! :lol:

Definitely.


It's not relative for that reason. It's relative in that the female form is more attractive than the male form. But look at how the face of "beauty" has changed over the centuries by viewing some of that artwork in those museums. Rubenesque women were once the most beautiful. Those were some childbearin' women! Now, they wouldn't stand a chance of getting on TV or in a magaizine layout. Look back even to the 40's and 50's. Marilyn Monroe was a size 14! That's a plus size now. Many women would be starving themselves and working out 2 hours a day if they were a size 14 now. Yet, I think Marilyn Monroe is beautiful. She looked very healthy to me. I think she is more standard of the "norm".

Marilyn was attractive, but also a "victim" of Hollywood hype. She looks much different without the glitz. Besides, the concept of beauty evolves just like morality does. The Romans certainly had a different concept than we do. Its just the way of things.


Goody goody gumdrop for you. ;)
Thank you.


So, if a child is a victim of sexual abuse, that should not influence their sexuality throughout adolescence? Essentially, what you are asserting is that environmental factors are irrelevant. If environmental factors are irrelevant, then what else is left? Genetic factors? Some kind of internal factors? Please expand.

Okay, I am speaking of passive influence, like TV not active influence like abuse. Vast difference. I am not asserting that all enviromental factors are irrelevant, but that largely they are relevant because we allow them to be.

Genetics certainly do play a role, but I see a lot of it as choice. We choose to feel like we don't measure up to some preconceived notion of what constitutes attractive. Its total bollocks!

Here's a ditty taught to me by a nurse that worked some 20+ years in the mental health field, she said, and I quote: "There is one thing you can always count on for these people. No matter how 'crazy' they are, they always have two things. Momma's phone number and their boyfriend/girlfriend's phone number."

Observation proved her correct. The point is, there is someone for everyone regardless of whether or not you conform to some stupid societal standard of beauty.


While I agree there comes a time when everyone has to take responsibility for their actions, and you can't play the blame game all your life, when something like the perception of beauty is encrusted in your culture, how do you get away from it? How can you possibly not be a product of your environment to some degree?

You have to dare to be different. You have to understand that it is a CHOICE, first, foremost, and last. A personal decision on your part to go with or against the stream. No different than buying a car. Its a decision, that you make.


But where does that individual assessment come from? We assess ourselves individually by comparing ourselves to the norm, or comparing ourselves to others. We don't make an individual assessment simply by looking within. We can't live on this earth without making comparisons. Comparitive nature is innate.

Maybe so, but at some point you learned, as did I, that we don't have to conform to other people's standards to be who we are. We make a choice to look, compare, and decide if its worth changing. A choice.


And you don't wonder why this is? Not everyone has someone telling them. A lot of teenagers have their peers telling them the same message that the media perpetuates. A lot of teenagers have parents telling them that, too. Where is this voice of reason supposed to come from?

No, I know why this is. Because most people are stupid. You have to have a license to own a dog, but if you have functioning genitalia, you can have a kid. And thats the stupidity of our culture. The voice of reason is SUPPOSED to come from the parents. You know, the whole, "Don't cave in to peer pressure." sort of speech? I know it doesn't, but it doesn't absolve the parents from their share of that responsibility.

I don't know. I was always fairly non-conformist. Always have been. Anti-authoritarian. You have to have something other than more time in a place for me to bow down to.


I think you're wrong. I don't think 80% of the women in the 40's and 50's were dissatisfied with their bodies, because the women who were glamorous had the same body types as they did. There was quite a mix of "normal" women who were glamorous back then. Now, it has become an unattainable look with the help of plastic surgery, starvation, and computer graphics.

Oh, I don't know. I bet if you could get in a time machine, there was more than their fair share of folks who wanted to look like movie stars even then.
Another factor is the recent rise of obesity in the states. Back then people in general were thinner over all.

Well, it isn't unattainable, cause Hollywood is full of folks who do it. :p


Uh-huh, but when the parents of the children are victims of the media, too, how can you expect this to be accomplished? Some responsibility lies on the media to stop projecting the unattainable at such an overwhelming rate.

I didn't say all parents would, just that they should.

When you get down to it, here's the gist:

<ul>
<li>People who let themselves be unduelly influenced by TV are stupid.
<li>People who want to achieve some fantasy body image, because they think it will fix the wrongs of their world, are stupid.
<li>People in Hollywood are stupid, but rich.
<li>People who allow their children to be influenced by any of the above, are stupid.
<li>There are a lot of stupid people in the world.
<li>TV and other forms of media, contribute to the average stupidity quotient in the world.
<li>We are all stupid, sometimes. ;)
<li>Stupid, stupid, stupid. :lol:
<li>Compare before you buy. :lol:
<li>Stupid. :lol:
</ul>

I am not removing the culpability of the media, but I am blaming the individuals who fail to understand its role, even more. Individual responsibility always takes precedence in my world. All of these people have the same opportunity to spurn the imagined, trumped up idea of beauty, just as you and I have done on this thread.

If they don't, who do you blame? Not the media, because the media reports on its own impact. They tell you all the time about the impact of the starving waif supermodels and actress bulimia and starvation diets and so on and so on and so on.

The information is available everywhere. On line, in books, on TV. So if the infromation is out there, and people fail to heed it, WHO DO YOU BLAME?

The people.

Refer to the above list.

People, are stupid. :evil:

CC
May 21st, 2004, 01:31 PM
NOTHING improves ones looks like a genuine smile.....


there isn't a man I know who doesn't fantasize about at least one sexual encounter with Halle Berry, Shania Twain, Demi Moore or (insert name of underweight woman of your choice here). Or at least think they are beautiful.

First off, fantasizing about sex with a movie star is MILES away from thinking of them as beautiful.

I do not fantasize about sex with anyone, known to me or strangers to me. I spent over 30 years "womanizing" and got sick of it, (no...not STD type sick)...I have no desire to whatsoever to have sex with any woman other than my wife.

Of course I am not blind. I do notice when someone (male or female) are unusually attractive, (I am a heterosexual) but the thought of having sex with them doesn't even pop up (no pun intended) on my radar screen.

Maybe it's my past. Maybe it's my present. Maybe it's my age (50).

Regardless I believe as we age we become aware that inner beauty means a heck of a lot more than physical beauty. The fact that I happened to marry a very attractive (and smart and kind) woman was simply coincidence....*g*

What I always wonder is that when Hugh Hefner or anyone like him grabs a young woman up to be his mate it is hardly notice.....but when Demi Moore married what's his name it was all over television and print.

Beauty is of course, in the eye of the beholder, (which considering my looks, I am grateful for)........................................

Does the ad market, movies and Television shows give an unrealistic view that everyone is beautiful? Of course, just like West Wing depicts how the government operates....it's fiction and anyone with any sense knows that.

I believe teens try to look much like the TV ads models. They spend too much time combing or brushing their hair, too much time putting on make-up, too much concern over what clothes they are wearing. IMO, the older you get the less that stuff matters........................:O)

HappyLady
May 22nd, 2004, 06:27 AM
Dawn French has a show devoted to big women, check it out. ;)

And this is on NBC on a prime time slot?



The Romans certainly had a different concept than we do. Its just the way of things.

The Romans didn't have plastic surgery and computer graphics to make "blemishes" disappear.



Okay, I am speaking of passive influence, like TV not active influence like abuse.

I'm not so sure I consider media "passive influence." If you have verbally abusive parents who tell you you're a loser from birth into adolescence, is that realllly a "passive influence?" That is what the media does.


I am not asserting that all enviromental factors are irrelevant, but that largely they are relevant because we allow them to be.

So, a person who never learned say, "coping skills" is just supposed to miraculously handle life? Or, a person who never learned "healthy communication" is just supposed to wake up one day and change it? You can't fix a problem if you don't know it's a problem.


The point is, there is someone for everyone regardless of whether or not you conform to some stupid societal standard of beauty.

And wouldn't it be so much easier to realize this if we didn't have Hollywood, or magazines telling us we *should* *want* and *can* *get* Godlesspagan aka Tom Cruise.


You have to dare to be different. You have to understand that it is a CHOICE, first, foremost, and last. A personal decision on your part to go with or against the stream. No different than buying a car. Its a decision, that you make.

Uh-huh, *I* know this. 16 yr olds and many 20 and 30 and 40 somethings don't. But where are we supposed to learn this sense of individuality from when the media/society overwhelmingly tells us we need to conform?


Maybe so, but at some point you learned, as did I, that we don't have to conform to other people's standards to be who we are. We make a choice to look, compare, and decide if its worth changing. A choice.

Uh-huh. And why is this something we should have to spend 30 years or so learning? Why should it have to be learned *in spite of* the media, when the media *could* have the control to HELP us learn it?


Because most people are stupid.

I disagree. I think people are naive. That doesn't make them stupid. If they were led by better leaders, they would learn those more valuable messages, too.


Oh, I don't know. I bet if you could get in a time machine, there was more than their fair share of folks who wanted to look like movie stars even then.

Yes, but the fact was, back then, Hollywood wasn't an airbrushed, plastic surgery dependent culture. Now it is.


Well, it isn't unattainable, cause Hollywood is full of folks who do it. :p

No, it isn't attainable naturally. When you see just about ANY picture in ANY magazine of a celebrity or model, there has been so much "work" done to the pictures (pupils dilated, legs elongated, cleavage enhanced, etc...) that it isn't a NATURAL picture. It isn't attainable yet the media manipulates the people to believe it is.


I didn't say all parents would, just that they should.

And the media should be more responsible rather than just try to make big bucks.


All of these people have the same opportunity to spurn the imagined, trumped up idea of beauty, just as you and I have done on this thread.

That's like saying everyone has the same ability to learn even though IQ's vary greatly. Someone with an 80 IQ isn't likely to pick up Calculus as easily, or at all, as someone with a 130 IQ.


They tell you all the time about the impact of the starving waif supermodels and actress bulimia and starvation diets and so on and so on and so on.

But they don't take responsibility for stopping projecting those images a "beautiful" either.

The media is full of very smart people with no conscience.

HappyLady
May 22nd, 2004, 06:41 AM
NOTHING improves ones looks like a genuine smile.....

I agree. :D


First off, fantasizing about sex with a movie star is MILES away from thinking of them as beautiful.

Apparently you only read that sentence and stopped. I said, "Or at least think of them as beautiful."


Of course I am not blind. I do notice when someone (male or female) are unusually attractive, (I am a heterosexual) but the thought of having sex with them doesn't even pop up (no pun intended) on my radar screen.

So you are probably the exception to the rule. Mostly, people do have "sexual thoughts" about beautiful people.


Regardless I believe as we age we become aware that inner beauty means a heck of a lot more than physical beauty.

I believe this is a lesson that doesn't need to be learned as we age if the media was responsible. This lesson could be taught in childhood and adolescence.


What I always wonder is that when Hugh Hefner or anyone like him grabs a young woman up to be his mate it is hardly notice.....but when Demi Moore married what's his name it was all over television and print.

Stereotypes, that's why. An old guy who gets a hot young chick is cool. An old woman who gets a hot young babe is sick. (But Demi is HOT. I'd do her, and I'm a girl! See...sexual thoughts!)


Beauty is of course, in the eye of the beholder

Is it really? If all you are exposed to is an idealistic picture of unattainable beauty, then that is what you will perceive beauty to be. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. It's in the eye of the media.


it's fiction and anyone with any sense knows that.

I think you are mistaken. Movie stars are REAL people. They aren't fiction. They really do run to the plastic surgeon for face lifts, and have their pictures doctored by computer graphics, and starve themselves and overexercise to achieve that look. It's reality.


I believe teens try to look much like the TV ads models. They spend too much time combing or brushing their hair, too much time putting on make-up, too much concern over what clothes they are wearing. IMO, the older you get the less that stuff matters........................:O)

Uh-huh. That's because teens are products of their environments to a large degree. Actually, it is "normal" for teens to be concerned with their appearance while going through the stage of defining their identity. However, it makes it a much more difficult task for them when the images they are shown are unattainable. Self-obsession with an unattainable appearance should not be something one has to "outgrow." Change the environment and you change the attitude.

FruitandNut
May 29th, 2004, 07:50 PM
If 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' and the beholder is influenced by genetics and experience, then it follows that the various social pressures are likely to influence our perception of beauty. As to what aspect of beauty, (physical or personality), we choose as most important, that again can be influenced to one degree or another by social factors.

Part of our genetic code is 'supposed' to contain ancestoral inclinations, known as 'collective memory', but this 'collective memory' is not identical in nature for everyone, as our ancestral lines vary and can contain 'sports'.

Andacanavar
May 30th, 2004, 09:56 AM
Hmmm.. I have several thoughts on this issue...

Slip is right on the money when it comes down to an individual to decide whether or not they are "beautiful" or whatnot. All of the media, etc. is just a minor role, if any, or should be. I think women in general just tend to get more caught up in this then men do. One must not forget that women force beauty on other women more than men ever do, IMO. At least in this country. It's almost maddening to see the amount of pressure women force ON EACH OTHER. Downright ridiculous sometimes.

Sure, there are plenty of ugly guys on TV. Plenty of "ugly" women too. But how many women lust after the ugly guys? Most girls probably go after guys ranging from Ashton Kutcher and Tom Cruise to Brad Pitt and Tom Brokaw, or at least fantasize about them to some extent.

People need to understand that the glamourous looking people of the world look the way they do because of the money that provides them that look. Britney Spears is nowhere near as hot if she's not rich and famous. Same goes for the Orlando Blooms and Brad Pitts of the world. Due to their fame and money, they have the access to the best gyms, best trainers, best make-up artists, etc. Look at "American Idol" for instance. They take some poor schmuck off the the street and next week they look like they could be on the cover of GQ.

I cannot begin to comment on how this perception started, but it is what it is. Paris Hilton, Gwenyth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, they're all butt ass ugly to me. And these are three women that will be on any Hot 50 list.

Back to my women pressuring women comment, I must add one word here. Confidence, or lack thereof. Men in general, ugly or not, have it. Women, unfortunately, have a harder time mustering that, IMO because of other women more than any issue of "Cosmo". A fat funny guy can still dress nice and impress the ladies if he has confidence, cause he will still be dressed the same as the next guy, whereas a 350 pound female will not dress as sexily as some skinny girl. Hell, you go to any bar or club and the "hot" girls, or at least the ones that think they're "hot" are practically half naked, the "ugly" girls are wearing trenchcoats for chrissakes, while guys all look pretty much the same. I know what I'm saying is kind of incoherent here, but for some reason, I'm fumbling my words. :red:

Look at Missy Elliot. Not attractive at all, in my book, but she has confidence. She practically oozes it, no matter how many people have told her she's fat, ugly, or whatever. And to many, that makes her sexy. While I don't think she is, I have much more respect for her then that piece of trash Paris.

Personally, I'm attracted to someone who can poke fun at herself. Like I said, I'm not the best looking guy out there. I'm lucky (and I know I am) to have a beautiful wife. She's very pretty, but there are also a lot more intangibles than I have time to list that make her even more sensual to me. Thankfully, my daughters look like her. :lol:

littlemama
May 30th, 2004, 05:40 PM
I think of course media affects perception, for many young girls and women. I can only think of a few large women whom are very visable...Roseanne, of course, Camryn Manheim from "The Practice" for awhile...they paired her up with some nice looking guys on that show, Queen Latifah from the old "Living Single" sitcom and numerous movies. To that end, I think movies are much more likely to cast a variety of types than tv shows...I don't know why that is. Most likely because we're looking for movies to both entertain us, and say something about reality at the same time, whereas prime time tv is more just mind numbing entertainment.

I do think how we are raised is VERY important. Although I'm by no means the gold standard of stereo-typical beauty, I have a great deal of self-confidence. My parents instilled good values in me at the outset. As a result, I feel that good health, intelligence, and self worth, are far more important than the false world of Hollywood. I don't even own a scale...lol! And I've never had any problem getting a good looking guy...men seem to love a strong confident sexy woman.

Interestingly enough, I've had my women friends become irate with me for not obsessing on appearance.

KevinBrowning
May 30th, 2004, 06:13 PM
This has been one of my pet peeves for some time.

Have you ever noticed that on some of the most popular comedy shows on prime time TV there is a lard butt, overweight, big-nosed, or balding comedian...with a pretty, thin, and fit wife/love interest? (Dru Carey, Everybody Loves Raymond, Kevin James, The Jim Belushi Show, etc)

Have you ever noticed that runway models are flabby, have almost no muscle tone, no curves, and look like walking dead?

Have you noticed there is no "male reality makeover show" where men undergo ridiculous amounts of painful and life threatening surgery to improve their appearance?

I believe all of these entertainment perceptions trickle down into society.

If a woman has a big nose, she needs a nose job. If a guy has a big nose, he's distinguished. I see plenty of thin attractive women with overweight, sloppy men. I don't see many overweight sloppy women with thin attractive men. A man gets more attractive in his 40's and 50's because society deems him so, while women...just get old no matter how much we spend on cosmetics.

Do you think any of this matters in the bigger scheme of things? What impacts, positive or negative, do our perceptions of beauty have on society in your opinion?
The actual question of your thread is "Does society influence beauty?" The answer is obviously "Yes." I have read about certain Pacific Islanders who have traditionally thought being overweight is attractive. Recently, the spread of Western (especially American) culture has started to change their societal perception of physical beauty to that of being thin. To address your rant about American society's perception of beauty, I mostly agree. There is usually a double standard in the expectations in physical attractiveness for men and women, relative to their age. Men are starting to become more obsessed with physical attractiveness too, though, as evidenced by cultural phenomena such as "metrosexuals" (straight men who act/look/seem gay), and America's growing preoccupation with plastic surgery. Basically, all this means is that America is increasingly materialistic and misguided, and needs to remember and recover the Christian values we were founded on.

HappyLady
June 1st, 2004, 03:47 AM
If 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' and the beholder is influenced by genetics and experience,

I used to believe genetics influence our perception of beauty. If that were so, men would see beauty as young, healthy, likely curvy with a little bit of meat on their bones, glowing, fertile young women because they make the best childbearers and women would choose healthy, tall, muscular 18-22 year olds because they have the highest libido and would likely get them pregnant most, pass on "good genes" and be most able-bodied to protect them.

But that isn't at all the "stereotype" really. Men might still go for youthful women, but the image of beauty the media projects is too thin, bordering on starving, women will sullen faces. And it seems almost anything goes for what makes men attractive. Granted, women still adore Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise types usually, but they are at least muscular and healthy and would be genetically good choices to reproduce with. They don't project an "unattainable and unhealthy" image of men, while they do for women.

HappyLady
June 1st, 2004, 04:15 AM
Slip is right on the money when it comes down to an individual to decide whether or not they are "beautiful" or whatnot.

From where do you think people "learn" what is beautiful?


I think women in general just tend to get more caught up in this then men do. One must not forget that women force beauty on other women more than men ever do, IMO. At least in this country.

Why do you think this happens? If women are "obsessive" about appearances as you are implying here, why are they so? What causes this?


Sure, there are plenty of ugly guys on TV. Plenty of "ugly" women too.

While we might see a lot of "ugly" on TV, we don't see many overweight women promoted as "beautiful" with a hot guy on her arm. Yet we see plenty of overweight men with a hot chic on his.


Most girls probably go after guys ranging from Ashton Kutcher and Tom Cruise to Brad Pitt and Tom Brokaw, or at least fantasize about them to some extent.

But Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise don't starve themselves to attain a certain look. And, as far as I know, don't submit to the knife of a plastic surgeon (though they probably have). Look at Tom Cruise's nose. It certainly isn't perfect, but it doesn't make his "image" any less perfect.


People need to understand that the glamourous looking people of the world look the way they do because of the money that provides them that look.

Yes, and computer graphics and plastic surgery. But from where should they learn this?


Look at "American Idol" for instance. They take some poor schmuck off the the street and next week they look like they could be on the cover of GQ.

I don't think this is true. If anything, I respect American Idol for having "normal" looking people on the show. Dianna DiGarmo wasn't exactly a starving waif. She had some meat on her bones. Fantasia had less than perfect teeth.


I cannot begin to comment on how this perception started, but it is what it is.

Yes, I can tell you. Somewhere in the early 1980's when the "fitness revolution" started, women began working out like mad to get hard bodies. Shortly after that, some of those brilliant marketing researchers did a lot of studies to determine what people find "sexy" (long legs, dilated pupils, phallic symbols, healthy glow) and with a more sophisticated computer technology and plastic surgery, promoted that image in its extreme ideal. But the extreme ideal, which encompasses all of those elements, is really a distorted and unattainable image and it is thrust into our faces, consciously and subliminally everytime we turn on the television or open a magazine.


Confidence, or lack thereof.

And what do you think causes women to lack confidence in epidemic proportions?


Women, unfortunately, have a harder time mustering that, IMO because of other women more than any issue of "Cosmo".

I think you aren't looking deep enough. Women are competitve just like men. But why do you think the pressure is so high for women to be beautiful? It's because the media manipulates women to believe we need the best and most expensive makeup to achieve that unattainable image. But in reality nothing we do will ever be "good enough" because we can't possibly look like that distorted image in the magazine.


A fat funny guy can still dress nice and impress the ladies if he has confidence, cause he will still be dressed the same as the next guy, whereas a 350 pound female will not dress as sexily as some skinny girl.

This is just not true. If you saw some 350 pound woman in spandex or a 120 pound woman in spandex with an equal sense of humor and confidence, which one would you rather take home with you? Or even, let's give the 350 pound woman a great sense of humor and confidence, and the 120 pound woman none. MANY would still choose the 120 pound woman.

Let's think about the clothing market since you bring it up. Clothes that are marketed to the "average weight" women are flattering to their appearance. Plus size clothes for women are often more like moo-moos, cover it all up, hide it, and are just really ugly clothes. Why do you think those chics are wearing trenchcoats in the clubs? It's because it's the only thing on the rack in the store for them to choose. The plus size clothes are nothing even close to what is projected to the "average" crowd. Yet, men have "Big and Tall" options that are frequently identical to the clothes marketed to the "average weight" guy, so they can achieve the same appearance.


Look at Missy Elliot. Not attractive at all, in my book, but she has confidence. She practically oozes it, no matter how many people have told her she's fat, ugly, or whatever. And to many, that makes her sexy. While I don't think she is, I have much more respect for her then that piece of trash Paris.

While slightly off topic, I believe this is a race issue. If you look at the women in the hip-hop videos of black music stars, those are some meatttty women. It is more socially acceptable for a black woman to be overweight and maintain her self-confidence than for a white woman because black men tend to prefer a curvier woman over a bone skinny one.

I would like to see what some of your answers are to my questions here, so that we can continue this discussion.

tinkerbell
June 1st, 2004, 06:13 AM
First off, poor Ray, he met his wife working in a bank, before the money.I think he is adorable!!
I have been all over the charts with this...As a teen I was Hospitalized with a horrible case of anorexia.The Dr.'s actually put a # of a few months on my life.

I developed very young. I was in a bra by the 3rd grade, and was born with hips and a round bottom that couln't be held down by any girdle.I could always find a flaw and went out searching for them at an early age.
I have also noticed that this might be a race and culturally related obsession.One of my closest girlfriends in high school was black.We would swap magazines between classes.My magazines offered the new fad diets, and all sorts of miracle pills to shed weight, and articles on plastic surgery. Her magazines targeted for the African American woman had adds for weight gain pills, Diets to put weight on your rear and thighs and girdles with butts built in that looked like mine...yes the same rear I almost killed myself trying to change.I was shocked!!! It may have still been beauty related, but the images were healthier and more realistic.
In college I enrolled in a psychology class.We read about a study on woman of different races and found on average caucasian woman standing in front of a mirror, and asked to pick out what they would change, usually made out these HUGE lists.Black woman did not. We could argue that in the 70's and 80's there were not as many Hollywood "role models" that were Black. Today however, eating disorders are showing their ugly face in a race that typically was not touched.Today, they are one of the fastest rising groups affected by eating disorders.
I think youth also plays a huge role, in low self esteem and woman/girls buying into an image they can never achieve.
In my early 20's I had liposuction.I was not overweight and only had the procedure so I could fit into pants correctly.I have a tiny waist(pre baby it was 20 1/2),with almost 41 inch hips..The Doctor thought this was a result of the eating disorder.My body storing fat, in case I ever starved myself again.When I went in he took one look at me and almost walked out.He said I was too young and there was nothing wrong with me.I talked with him about what I wanted and he asked to see. I sat with him in his office, me in a thong and him rolling around in a chair, squeezing my body.I asked for lipo from my knees to my tush.He agreed I could have some in my upper thighs and hips, and that it would even out my shape, making clothing shopping a lil easier.He refused to touch my rear (thank God) saying "why mess with what is perfect." (One of my most proud moments HA HA) Lipo did the trick, I wasn't perfect, but I could buy pants without drawstrings to fit my waist.
After my illness I started looking at woman and pictures of myself and realized I really didn't find skiny attractive..Also after High School I have found very few men found thin to be attractive. In fact just the opposite..Everything I disliked was what men loved about me.
It wasn't untill my pregnancy that I gained 80 pounds and was finally freed from my obsession with perfection. I never felt more free in my own body.I was fat and uncomfortable.There was not an outfit that would make me look thinner.There was not a girdle or pair of support hose on the market to make a lick of a difference. I was HUGE! I couldn't hide it.. I never felt I looked better. I was so sick of hiding flaws..At first I was shocked at the amount of chubby chasers out there.Getting fat, didn't stop, getting hit on. I was still getting the attention I always had. Maybe I was just finally comfortable in my own skin.Maybe the reality is that is what is sexy, and men aren't as stupid as the media thinks. They buy into how we feel about ourselves and not what is being tossed out on prime time.
I have lost the weight, and my body is different, but it is still beautiful and amazing.C-section scar and all.It has treated me well, and I vow to treat it the same from now on.It is not perfect, according to media standards, but in my eyes, it's great.
Maybe this is an attitude that comes with age.

I think plastic surgery is fine if the patient knows it won't make them perfect.People searching for perfect will find themselves VERY let down.Minimally, and done for reasons that don't include pleasing someone else, it can make a world of difference.

I think society is wising up to "media beauty." However if woman don't stop buying into it,society and media won't stop dishing it out. It's our faults for being gullible and thinking beauty holds the key to happiness.Stop telling our daughters they are "sooo pretty" all the time and start telling them "you are so strong,smart and creative." Self image starts early.

Fyshhed
June 1st, 2004, 08:10 AM
Quite frankly, the degree of ugliness and obesity in society is partly due to our own actions to our bodies. Coca Cola and a Triple with Cheese does not equal 6-pack abs and rippling pecs. Women seem to care too much about superficialities, and men don't mind the trend, they don't really understand it but they generally don't mind beautiful women. On the other hand, men are often too lazy to even consider a regular healthy diet and excercise routine. Reaching for the remote, or hitting the refrigerator for a beer constitute a workout for many men. We do it to ourselves both ways. If America corrects its trend in the extremes, this problem wouldn't be nearly as bad. We would have "pretty attractive" people dating "pretty attractive" people more often than "hot" dating "slob." I don't like that combination as it is, and having it go the other way would only make it worse.

As for why it's ok for fat men and not fat women? Keep in mind that American culture is still a phenominally patriarchal society. Men get what they want more often, make more money, get into politics, get better jobs, etc. It's changing, but still leaning toward men.

HappyLady
June 1st, 2004, 08:36 AM
First off, poor Ray, he met his wife working in a bank, before the money.I think he is adorable!!

I'm not talking about his "real life" wife. I'm talking about the wife he has on television. If you look at older episodes of Raymond, his wife looks "normal", like they could be a real couple. Then, over the years, she has firmed up, prettied up, and she doesn't look so "average" anymore. Ray is your typical "average" looking guy. His wife on TV, while once average, too, has now worked hard (and possibly paid for) a new and better look while Ray has just remained average.


I have been all over the charts with this...As a teen I was Hospitalized with a horrible case of anorexia.The Dr.'s actually put a # of a few months on my life.

It used to be termed 'spoiled brat syndrome' because it affected mostly middle and upper class children of parents who had high expectations of their children and expected perfection...typically. I think anorexia now is probably more widespread due largely to the media projecting an ideal of perfection as well.


My magazines offered the new fad diets, and all sorts of miracle pills to shed weight, and articles on plastic surgery. Her magazines targeted for the African American woman had adds for weight gain pills, Diets to put weight on your rear and thighs and girdles with butts built in that looked like mine...yes the same rear I almost killed myself trying to change.I was shocked!!! It may have still been beauty related, but the images were healthier and more realistic.

I find this interesting. I don't think there is as much pressure on the African American culture, because largely, they are not represented in the mainstream media. And when they are, they are mainstreamed themselves. For example, Halle Berry is a very attractive, thin black woman. But she frequently is portraying a "white" image. Long, straight hair, skinny, and she is also very light skinned. We wouldn't want anyone toooo black being upheld as beautiful in the mainstream media. :rolleyes:


Today however, eating disorders are showing their ugly face in a race that typically was not touched.Today, they are one of the fastest rising groups affected by eating disorders.

This would follow because there has always been a part of African American culture attempting to embrace "whiteness." Back in the 40's, African American men and women went to great lengths of applying very harmful chemicals to their hair to make is straighter and silkier like "white" hair. It would follow that it would take a little longer for mainstream "white" trends to catch on in the black culture, but that eventually it would catch on.

However, there are aspects of black culture that are quite prevalent on television, such as Hip-Hop music in MTV. And the women portrayed in those videos tend to be more "normal" and "healthy" looking than the beanpoles on NBC primetime.


I think youth also plays a huge role, in low self esteem and woman/girls buying into an image they can never achieve.

I think it is becoming accepted that "low self-esteem" is just a part of being a teenager. This isn't true. According to Piaget, our adolescent years are about finding our identity. Something is happening that young girls aren't feeling like they meet up to the par standard set by society and that is what is perpetuating low self-esteem. I blame the media largely.


After my illness I started looking at woman and pictures of myself and realized I really didn't find skiny attractive..Also after High School I have found very few men found thin to be attractive. In fact just the opposite..Everything I disliked was what men loved about me.

I, too, find that men like my curvy body over the beanpole body. But it takes usually 35 to 30 years for a woman to realize it, if they ever do. I think that fact needs to be made clear from birth through the media, so that young women can avoide that tumultuous journey such as the one you endured.


Maybe this is an attitude that comes with age.

While life is a process of relearning all the stuff we learned wrong, I don't believe body image is one of those things that needs to be classified that way. We *could* perpetuate a healthy and natural face and body as beautiful so that young women don't always feel so "abnormal" even though they are *really* the normal ones.


I think society is wising up to "media beauty." However if woman don't stop buying into it,society and media won't stop dishing it out.

How are women supposed to wise up to it?


It's our faults for being gullible and thinking beauty holds the key to happiness.Stop telling our daughters they are "sooo pretty" all the time and start telling them "you are so strong,smart and creative." Self image starts early.

While I love this idea, we need to remember that parents are victims of the media, too. It isn't really our "fault" that we are gullible to the media because the media is a very manipulative force. However, we do need to take responsibility once we do realize we've been lied to all our lives. But I think if the media would take some responsibility and change the unrealistic image of a size 0 runway model, that we could develop a healthy self-image before we acquire stretchmarks during childbearing years rather than after. ;)

tinkerbell
June 1st, 2004, 09:50 AM
Woman are the major consumers..Ever notice how womans cologne is far more expensive than mens? Clothing is more expensive, everything for woman is more expensive, because "we" are always looking for the next fix of what will make us "perfect." Woman tend to live in fairytales that men just do not.There is more pressure for men to reach their own potential, than the media's.Woman have higher expectations in everything, but our expectations sometimes weaken us towards reality.
In the bible it says God made man...he fashioned woman..Maybe we have been created to keep ourselves sexy & groomed to attract men, to keep the species going.
We have been created to be seen and not heard.To be lil ladies.To not be aggressive, especially mentally.Which is a total contradiction of what woman are.
While I think being a woman, is amazing...We are CRAZY!! If woman stopped buying into everything society/media does, the media wouldn't produce the garbage..

Sure men love to watch the Victoria's Secret Ad's on T.V..Beautiful, half nakey woman.I can't clame them.However these ad's are stupid..Woman know they are stupid.When was the last time you struted around in wings and 6 inch heels? Where are these woman?Who would do that crap? But the next time I need a good Bra, It's the first place I will go.I paid for that goofy ad, me! I am responsible, I am their market.Their stupid, put a woman in angel wings market group..I can put on all the V.S. panties and Bra's I can afford, but I won't look like Tyra. I know this..I would hope, most other woman would as well.
If we started crazy ad's like that for men, some prancy,pouty man crawling around on the ground, wearing a thong & backless chaps with lil angel wings on, how many men do you think would run out and buy it? The image would seem ridiculous to most men.Why doesn't it effect women the same? It should..They target us because they know we are silly creatures armed with credit cards and unrealistic, overly high expectations. We have been breed this way, possibly made this way, and can't help ourselves.We can only mold one "daughter" at a time to fight the power and to reject the hype of idiotic perfection..But as long as I'm buying, someones going to sell it to me.
Ever notice how woman buy hair dye from the bottle? They look at the picture of the girl on the box, not the color of the hair.Once again..CRAZY! I can't spend $20 and look like some airbrushed 17 year old beauty on a box.
I think we are to blame for society and the media..I'm not saying they don't own a role, but if we didn't feed into it,they couldn't sell it.Otherwise men would have an entire new market aimed at them,selling them nonsense to help them be sexy & attractive.Media & society know they can't get most men past the gym, so they aint selling to them.They would LOVE to, they can't.We let them invade our souls and pride.

CC
June 1st, 2004, 01:42 PM
Apparently you only read that sentence and stopped. I said, "Or at least think of them as beautiful."

Yep! I took the two hand in hand instead of "either/or"....my bad


So you are probably the exception to the rule. Mostly, people do have "sexual thoughts" about beautiful people.

well, when I was younger I could not have claimed that...*g*


I believe this is a lesson that doesn't need to be learned as we age if the media was responsible. This lesson could be taught in childhood and adolescence.

Yep! By their parents......


Beauty is of course, in the eye of the beholder


Is it really? If all you are exposed to is an idealistic picture of unattainable beauty, then that is what you will perceive beauty to be. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. It's in the eye of the media.

But that is not all anyone is exposed by, only a part, and IMO, only a small part. Children are also influenced by their parents, and it is the parent's could and should make their children aware that what they are seeing is not the norm........and I still say beauty is in the eye of the beholder....it's the only rational explanation for my wife to be attracted to me..........:O)


I think you are mistaken. Movie stars are REAL people. They aren't fiction. They really do run to the plastic surgeon for face lifts, and have their pictures doctored by computer graphics, and starve themselves and overexercise to achieve that look. It's reality.

Well of course, i didn't really mean the characters our not played by real people.......with FAKE noses....FAKE boobs........and parent's should be able to explain to the children that those bodies come with much $acrifice..........


Self-obsession with an unattainable appearance should not be something one has to "outgrow." Change the environment and you change the attitude.

No they shouldn't. Their parents should be teaching them that physical appearence should always take a backseat to who they are.......I taught my daughter those lessons.......she knows (and did even in high school) that though she was not hideous she was also not the prettiest girl in school......and she was quite alright with that.....(our son IS gorgeous and that causes him more misery than joy....(but now I'm off topic).......:O)

mdsimpso
June 21st, 2004, 07:06 AM
I fully expect the to be contested, but I don't believe it's the media that makes women . . . um what's that word . . . crazy, but men.

My case in point.
I'm a women who has always had more male friends than female friends. That's just the way of it, I can't fully explain why. Anyway, the best time of the new friendship with a guy is before they stop seeing you as a female in their midst. There's still that level of respect there, respect that there are parts of the male mind that I have no desire to learn, and please don't share. But then it crosses over.
So I'm no longer a female, I'm the pal, and then they feel like it is somehow inclusive in the friendship to talk about random women who walk past. I honestly do not believe that I am the exception to the rule because I don't stare at every man who walks past, I have faith there are other women like me out there. To judge by my male friends though, this is a constant point of attention. Not necessarily a conscious choice, but should an attractive, or unattractive person walk past, it must be commented on, usually in a semi-graphic way. These are not stupid men, they're pretty intelligent, can carry on a witty conversation, but for a few moments a thong is what they see as important, or an unpleasant roll of fat. And not to be condescending, but that makes me sad. That bright engaging men see this as important, and even a bonding ritual. That to discuss a random women's physical characteristics will draw them closer?!? Even within this thread we've seen this to be true.

But, as I agree with Slipnish, that we ultimately have control over our own actions, here's my solution. Ladies, we need to stop it. (There is no rational reason for us to wear make-up.) Men will adapt to finding our natural selves beautiful when that is their only option. We can see past that in men, so we really need to allow for the possibility that they can also handle it, if not right away then, eventually. In the mean time, if you have daughters let them know how special they are, and what is truly important, and do the same for our adult female friends who've been fighting this their whole lives too. Group therapy for all of us would be a bit expensive, so we're gonna have to do the at-home version.

A little passing remark, "Smart men should know better than to judge the book by the proverbial cover." (Smart women too ;) )