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Author Topic: Are women more beautiful than men?
The Pixiest
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mmm... I resist the notion that my idea of beauty is simply cultural programming. I'm sure I've been strongly influenced by culture but too many person types that culture has told me to find attractive I simply don't.

Blondes spring instantly to mind. I don't get the fascenation. They're not, generally beautiful at all.

Brunettes? Beautiful.

Red heads? Beautiful.

Blondes? Feh.

Society has also pounded into my head that I should find men more beautiful than I do. And that I should find "Tall" more beautiful than "Short" which is exactly the opposite of what I think.

We see beauty where we see it. Society can bend you but can't break you.

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simplybiological
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From the Evolutionary Biologist:

In many animals, you see a type of evolution called Sexual Selection, which is essentially the change in gene frequencies through time (the definition of evolution) due to differential ability to get a mate. In most species, the males are competing for access to females. Females have the larger investment in reproduction (eggs are limited, and they only have X number a month, while sperm are unlimited; the female must invest resources in eggs/offspring growth, she may be vulnerable during pregnancy, she often cares for the young yada yada), and therefore they are the "choosier" sex (When the male has the larger investment (e.g., provides parental care), he is choosier).

There are many things she may use to choose- there may be male-male competition, he may give her gifts, she may be looking at a particular trait. The males who are the sexiest will mate the most times, and therefore their genes will be represented more in the next generation, even if it is not a "good" adaptation for survival. There are two parts to evolutionary success- survival and reproduction. Surviving forever without reproducing is evolutionarily useless. You must trade-off between the two.

When there is male-male competition, you often see traits that are adaptations for fighting. The long necks of giraffes are actually a result of the bizarre way that male giraffes fight (not so they can reach trees- that's a myth). Male Rhinocerous Beetles have huge horns, while females do not. Females will choose the winner of the battle, which will often be the one with the bigger or better sword. Occasionally, as in grouse, the males organize themselves in a large open area (this is called a Lek), and fight it out to be near the middle. The sexiest male gets the middle and the females usually go to the middle for that male.

With other traits, such as the bright tail of the peacock or the bright red male cardinal, or the long tail on swordtail fish, the story is much more complicated. There are many hypotheses about why these traits attract females- after all, they are crap for surviving; being bright blue or having a giant tail you must produce and drag around is not the best way to survive. So it must be telling the female something valuable. There are a bajillion hypotheses about what these traits say, so I'll just give a couple of examples.

One is simply sensory bias, or the notion that the color or shape or whatever of the male trait exploits a preference that the female already has. Say, for example, that a bird likes to eat red berries. Naturally, they would be attracted to the color red and have keen eyes for detecting that color. So, if you're male and you're red, you might get increased attention from females. This is often tied to evolutionary history. Often, you will see related species exhibiting preference for a trait, even if it doesn't exist in their species.

For other traits, it's possible that the trait communicates something. Red is a biologically difficult color to produce compared to some other colors- so a male who is red has lots of resources. A spray of white feathers might easily show the female that the male has no parasites. A very lengthy tail might show he is healthy. A fancy nest (as in bowerbirds) might show the female that the male has lots of time to devote to building pretty nests and collecting objects, and thus has no trouble finding ample food.

The point I'm very circuitously arriving at is that what we call "beauty" is often an evolved preference based on utility or honest communication of health and resources. I've by no means given the entire story above, but I hope you see where I'm going.

So, onto humans. The story of human beauty is much more complicated, because we have cultural evolution as well as Biological, and it could easily be argued that cultural evolution plays a much larger role in what we consider attractive.

There are a few things we know: one, people find symmetrical faces much more attractive than asymmetrical ones. Men find women who have a .7 waist-to-hip ratio to be more attractive than those who do not (whatever their overall size). In personal ads, women tend to advertise their physical traits, while men tend to advertise their ability to provide. The types of men that women find attractive change with her menstrual cycle (when she's fertile, she is attracted to more alpha men, when she's not, she is attracted to softer looking men). Women are more attracted to the smells of men that have different MHC complexes from themselves, which would confer a greater range of immunity to their offspring. Women and men raised together as children often do not find each other attractive.

You can come up with plenty of adaptive stories for how these particulars might have evolved, but the truth is that we don't know.

The definition of "beauty" is a tricky thing- obviously, your answer to this question depends on how you define it. I'm defining beauty as a trait that increases the probability of sexual reproduction, because I'm a Biologist and it's my opinion.

So, using my definition, for women, beauty is tied to those traits that express her fertility- breasts, hips, good skin and shiny hair (indicators of nutrition and health). For men, it's tied to strength- shoulders and strong legs, ability to provide. I would postulate this is a relic from human history, in which men where primarily providers and women were primarily caregivers. Because mate choice is two-sided in humans, both sexes strive to accentuate those traits that the other is looking for- men want to appear strong, while women want to accentuate their hips, breasts, and facial features.

So, to answer your question- both women and men are beautiful, it just takes different standards of beauty.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
mmm... I resist the notion that my idea of beauty is simply cultural programming.

I didn't say that. I said that the idea of seeing beauty in women more than in men (as in our culture), or vice-versa (as in classical Greek culture) is cultural programming.

I suspect that a sunrise or a rainbow may be universally beautiful, although some cultures may find more beauty than other cultures in a sunrise or a rainbow.

But all you have to do is look at statues to realize that standards of beauty vary from culture to culture. There have been cultures that saw tremendously obese women as beautiful, and I'm not talking about the Rubinesqe types; I'm talking about women as big as our modern "shut-in" types, like the stone age venuses. Cleopatra was supposed to have been beautiful but it appears that she had a *goiter.* I'd be very surprised if there wasn't some culture out there that found hare-lips beautiful.

OTOH, despite the fact that some cultures see otherwise, there may be something biological about the view that very few men are attractive but that lots of women are attractive. That corresponds to the way that people would breed if we didn't have a working marriage institution [Big Grin] . In fact, one rule of marriage, PoP, functions to mitigate damage from the fact that some people *do* sometimes breed this way.

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Richard Dey
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Pixy:

It still goes back to the issue of importance. It matters to our species, our culture, and especially to women that men are convinced that women are more beautiful than men.

Frankly, it doesn't matter what women think about men's mere looks. That's not how the species survives. When granny is about to be eaten by a wolf, the appearance of a hairy ape with a gun will prove more beautiful in her eyes than the appearance of her granddaughter -- basket of goodies or no.

This inequality pervades all sexual relations and, thus, most-all human relations. Men make the choice, and societies are constructed to compensate for this lopsidedness.

Is the smart brunette more beautiful than the dumb blonde? If you don't want to know, don't ask.

Yes, there are standards of 'beauty' and males are easily trained to them. And the standards, ironically increase with the decline of libido.

"After love, all women look like trollops." Is that Fielding?

In Pete's reference, the name "Helen of Troy" is actually misleading -- and, I suspect, with intent. She wasn't, after all, from Troy at all but the heiress of Sparta. The story noteworthy because she actually abdicates her throne, abandons her inheritance, and takes her chances for the promise of more ... if ... if ... she abandons her right to rule to be ruled by a man. It was not Menalaus, after all, who was the boss, but Helen. Paris had more, and Helen gave up all for more! That is the underlying plot for the mere game of competition.

Menelaus didn't want Helen -- the most-beautiful woman in the world -- back. He and his brother wanted Troy, not Helen. Troy, after all, was bigger and richer than Mycenae and Sparta put together -- and had a regular income from just sitting there. That was Clytaemnestra's complaint! That Agamemnon would prefer to have a woman who just sits there than she who could make love.

Does it matter a woman is beautiful if she doesn't know how to do it? SHE is subject to all the same rules as HE when it comes to that: it doesn't matter what HE looks like so long as he can DO it. Well, after one stab in the dark, men make all the same requirements of women.

Helen, for Paris, is no more than a trophy bride; indeed one bride of many. Through her, his daughters will be the rightful owners of Sparta -- and the whole Peloponese will be Troy's right to claim or, as the Iliad hints, to render harmless.

So, on the cutting edge of matriarchy --> patriarchy, it is unlikely that Helen has become a tomboy ... yet; but that soon follows Troy (at 1200 BC) in the late 8th century BC. These fratriarchal fashions, when females are most boyish, come after warfare.

"Between acts of love there is always the matter of property." - Tennessee Williams -

"Without property, propriety is impossible." - Mrs Sulgrave -

NB: KE, just for biological correctness, it is actually males who have longer lashes than females. It has something to do with sandstorms.

And Pixy, there's a biological imperative in the issue of 'beauty'. Men think about sex a lot because sex only lasts 3-4 minutes for them. Women don't have that imperative; they can have orgasms any time they want. I've known women who had a dozen spontaneous orgasms a day -- no man necessary at all, and spent hours every day masturbating besides. With that capability, it's much more difficult for women to sublimate libido and 'do things'; men have a great advantage in that department. Men have no choice but to delay sexual gratification. Unfortunately, that makes them fussier.

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Pete at Home
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I did *not* mean that Helen was a "tomboy," Richard. I'm saying that if she truly excited Greek standards of beauty, and particularly *Spartan* standards of beauty, then she would probably look like a boy, since that's the image that the Greeks, particularly the Spartans, found most alluring. Not just the Greeks either. Ian Fleming is constantly refering to James Bond's conquests as having the buttocks of a young boy. One might infer that Mr. Fleming falls under the spell of a standard of beauty that he acquired in his early 20th century British boarding school. [Frown]

[ January 19, 2007, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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DaveS
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quote:
Men think about sex a lot because sex only lasts 3-4 minutes for them. Women don't have that imperative; they can have orgasms any time they want.
I've never seen it summarized so succinctly. How accurate it is is another question altogether...
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A. Alzabo
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RD:
quote:
I've known women who had a dozen spontaneous orgasms a day -- no man necessary at all, and spent hours every day masturbating besides.
How did you know them? It sounds like they never left the house.
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Richard Dey
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[Big Grin] They can have them on subway trains, sitting on the john, doing the laundry, even xeroxing at the office, rubbing their KNEES together -- so I'm told by those who would know.

And this idea that men have 'bigger' orgasms than women is not substantiated by electrode analysis at all. In fact they have bigger ones.

Pete:

1250-1240 BC The Trojan War
0615 BC Lycurgus introduces pederasty to Sparta

There's more than half a millennium of pederastophobia to account for! And yes, I agree: pederasty was an introduced fashion. It just happened that the results were profound -- at both Sparta and other city states where it was 'institutionalized'. It beat the Persians. It invented democracy.

Not only is it generally agreed that the affair of Patroclus and Achilles was interpolated (by the rescensions of Solon), but these guys had been away from home for 10 years -- and couldn't get into the nearest city [Wink] ! I think it's called "situational homosexuality" in the texts or "there's a point where the objet d'amour can be simply be ignored. Is that watermelon hot or cold, Dypsotroid?" [Big Grin]

BTW, it was one of Ian Fleming's brothers who was gay, not Ian. Well, he was friends with Duncan Grant, Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, Cyril Connolly, and dozens of gay figures -- and I must say that a lot of alter ego's girlfriends do get killed off ...! [Wink] but I don't think Ian Fleming was gay.

Rather, I look upon Ian Fleming simply as a tragic figure; the minute he's dead (he owned the company that owned his own copyrights), the movie moguls grabbed his work and ran with it.

On the other hand, traveling in gay circles, he was certainly not immune to gay sensibilities! Never wrote anything important, but I will say this in his favor: he was a heavy smoker, pipe and cigarettes.

http://www.vegards007.com/Fakta_Om_Ian_Fleming/Ian%20Fleming.jpg

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by simplybiological:
The males who are the sexiest will mate the most times, and therefore their genes will be represented more in the next generation, even if it is not a "good" adaptation for survival.

Pretty much what I meant about how we would breed without a marriage institution: a handful of men fathering most children. It makes sense that seeing just a few men as attractive but seeing most women as attractive would be default, even if certain cultures might over-ride that default.


quote:
So, to answer your question- both women and men are beautiful, it just takes different standards of beauty.
Basically a more selective and demanding standard for males than for females since fewer breeding males are required.


quote:
With other traits, such as the bright tail of the peacock or the bright red male cardinal, or the long tail on swordtail fish, the story is much more complicated. There are many hypotheses about why these traits attract females- after all, they are crap for surviving; being bright blue or having a giant tail you must produce and drag around is not the best way to survive. So it must be telling the female something valuable.
Hmm. "Telling" suggests a conscious process, so I think you're being untrue to your name here, SB. [Wink] She need not be aware of why she is attracted to that particular male. If mating with male peacock that possesses a unwieldy and flashy tail provides a female peacock with a survival advantage, then females attracted to such males would be more likely to survive.

Hanging out with a flashy male could distract predators from the female, could it not? Correct me if I'm misunderstanding something, but isn't the biological PoV on the world that we're nothing more than vehicles for monomaniacal macromolecules to propagate themselves?


quote:
One is simply sensory bias, or the notion that the color or shape or whatever of the male trait exploits a preference that the female already has. Say, for example, that a bird likes to eat red berries. Naturally, they would be attracted to the color red and have keen eyes for detecting that color. So, if you're male and you're red, you might get increased attention from females. This is often tied to evolutionary history. Often, you will see related species exhibiting preference for a trait, even if it doesn't exist in their species.
Interesting. Sort of like the law of unintended consequences, except that there's no intention in the first place. A side effect of the birds evolving to perceive and like the color red, which gives them an advantage for a reason totally unrelated to mate choice. Is that correct?


quote:
A spray of white feathers might easily show the female that the male has no parasites. A very lengthy tail might show he is healthy. A fancy nest (as in bowerbirds) might show the female that the male has lots of time to devote to building pretty nests and collecting objects, and thus has no trouble finding ample food.
That all makes sense but this first one confuses me:
quote:
For other traits, it's possible that the trait communicates something. Red is a biologically difficult color to produce compared to some other colors- so a male who is red has lots of resources.
With human clothing, that would make sense. But how could that logic affect the animal kingdom? By lots of resources do you mean a more varied diet? Would some unhealthy or underfed non-red members of the species turn red if properly fed?

Useful stuff. Thank you.



quote:
So, onto humans. The story of human beauty is much more complicated, because we have cultural evolution as well as Biological
Yay! I'd love if you'd bring that one to the current ssm thread, my discussion with SP.

quote:
it could easily be argued that cultural evolution plays a much larger role in what we consider attractive.
Yes, but biology remains a force, and they sometimes tug in opposite directions, since survival in a complex and specialized society requires a very different toolset than our primate ancestors needed for the last X millenia.

quote:
So, using my definition, for women, beauty is tied to those traits that express her fertility- breasts, hips, good skin and shiny hair (indicators of nutrition and health). For men, it's tied to strength- shoulders and strong legs, ability to provide. I would postulate this is a relic from human history, in which men where primarily providers and women were primarily caregivers.
Assuming that humans existed as hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years before we transitioned to agriculture, some of your assessments don't work, IMO. Women provided different things than men, and needed a different sort of strength. Wider hips could be more valuable for some gathering activities, carrying a strapped on baby while pulling roots and berries. And while it's true that men were providers, and needed muscle and strength, you've already shown why the men doing the *breeding* were not necessarily the ones doing the best hunting. To my knowledge, no hunter-gatherer society has developed any concept of marriage. Men in such societies are plug and play, not bound to a particular woman nor does a male regard children as "mine" except in the sense that they belong to the same clan.

quote:
a Because mate choice is two-sided in humans
Sadly, that's not a biological fact about the human species, although fortunately it's true in a growing number of cultures.

quote:
both sexes strive to accentuate those traits that the other is looking for- men want to appear strong, while women want to accentuate their hips, breasts, and facial features.
Ah, but to whom to they accentuate these features? Men across cultures since antiquity make more effort to show off their strength to other men than they do to women, and in our culture at least, women seem to make themselves up for other women to a greater extent that they typically do for men. Ancient Greeks banned women from the gyms and Olympic events, and modern high school girls torment each other into anorexia with very little assistance from males. How would you explain this strange behavior? Intimidation of potential competitors?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard Dey:
1250-1240 BC The Trojan War
0615 BC Lycurgus introduces pederasty to Sparta

Whoa ... you're talking actual history here, and I'm talking about myth. I'd be very surprised if "Helen of Troy" actually existed. As far as I'm aware, she was either invented or reinvented by the post-pederasty-event greeks, which is why that I'd infer that (in the original audience's minds) that Helen probably existed as a 11 year old boy in women's clothing.

BTW, do you know why Helen of Troy declined the opportunity to become the spokesmodel for Metamucil?

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simplybiological
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quote:
Pretty much what I meant about how we would breed without a marriage institution: a handful of men fathering most children. It makes sense that seeing just a few men as attractive but seeing most women as attractive would be default, even if certain cultures might over-ride that default.
Right. Monogamy is not an ESS (Evolutionarily Stable Strategy). For humans, one possible ESS would be that there are a few alpha males who father most children, while women pair bond with a beta male who cares for her offspring with the potential opportunity to father one. Of course, this is not our current method, and cultural norms have their own costs and benefits.

quote:
Hmm. "Telling" suggests a conscious process, so I think you're being untrue to your name here, SB. [Wink] She need not be aware of why she is attracted to that particular male. If mating with male peacock that possesses a unwieldy and flashy tail provides a female peacock with a survival advantage, then females attracted to such males would be more likely to survive.
Oh, absolutely. It was casual word choice, I meant "telling" in the more abstract sense, though there are species in which females really do examine the males.

quote:
Hanging out with a flashy male could distract predators from the female, could it not? Correct me if I'm misunderstanding something, but isn't the biological PoV on the world that we're nothing more than vehicles for monomaniacal macromolecules to propagate themselves?
Well, it could also bring predators TO the female, if they are truly hanging out. And yes, much of evolutionary Biology is explained by the sort of "Selfish Gene" paradigm, it is infinitely more complicated than that. It makes a good null hypothesis, often.

quote:
Interesting. Sort of like the law of unintended consequences, except that there's no intention in the first place. A side effect of the birds evolving to perceive and like the color red, which gives them an advantage for a reason totally unrelated to mate choice. Is that correct?
Yes. It's basically taking advantage of an existing perceptual bias in the female.

quote:
With human clothing, that would make sense. But how could that logic affect the animal kingdom? By lots of resources do you mean a more varied diet? Would some unhealthy or underfed non-red members of the species turn red if properly fed?
Depends on the animal- often bright color indicates they were healthy when they were developing, and doesn't change later. But, there are folks like flamingos, whose colors change later. Bright color could also be simply sending the signal, "Hey, I'm really visible, but I'm still alive, I must be fast/sneaky/whatever."

quote:
Yes, but biology remains a force, and they sometimes tug in opposite directions, since survival in a complex and specialized society requires a very different toolset than our primate ancestors needed for the last X millenia.
Yes. Even within Biology, sexual selection and natural selection often oppose one another- a large peacock tail is diverting resources to a superfluous structure, and the peacock is more vulnerable to predators, etc. Add cultural evolution to the mix, and you get even more complexity.

quote:
Assuming that humans existed as hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years before we transitioned to agriculture, some of your assessments don't work, IMO. Women provided different things than men, and needed a different sort of strength. Wider hips could be more valuable for some gathering activities, carrying a strapped on baby while pulling roots and berries. And while it's true that men were providers, and needed muscle and strength, you've already shown why the men doing the *breeding* were not necessarily the ones doing the best hunting. To my knowledge, no hunter-gatherer society has developed any concept of marriage. Men in such societies are plug and play, not bound to a particular woman nor does a male regard children as "mine" except in the sense that they belong to the same clan.
Oh, absolutely. I don't pretend to know much about human history-- it could be that the caregiver/provider dichotomy is much newer, and a function of both biological and cultural roles. I don't really get into the human stuff.


I might check out your SSM thread (which for all the world still makes me think S&M when I read it, and my subconscious totally links "Pete" and "Bondage" which is kind of entertaining), though I tend to limit myself on the number of threads so that I don't get sucked in to too much forum time.

[ January 19, 2007, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: simplybiological ]

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moodi
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Like my art professor put it, "Of course women are more beautiful. I don't see anything attractive about hairy legs".
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sharpshin
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quote:
Blondes spring instantly to mind. I don't get the fascenation. They're not, generally beautiful at all.
Michelle Pfeiffer excepted, I assume.

Funny, there's a thread going at another forum I frequent about what people find attractive in other people, men and women both.

Far more women have admitted to going gaga over hunkiness than men have admitted to going weak in the knees over beauty. Which doesn't surprise me, but amusing that all those guys talk about kindness, intelligence, honesty ad infinitum as though looks don't count for them at all.

I must be even shallower than I thought. [LOL]

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The Pixiest
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sharpshin: I don't get going gaga over Michelle Pfeiffer AT ALL!! eww!

Give me Kate from LOST.

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PanHeraclitean
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Has it been mentioned yet that women are most suited for child rearing in way of KE's curviness and such. Maybe freud had it right. Men just love their mothers.

I know my wife all but has the hots for Michey's David in Florence. She makes note of it whenever I look like him.

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sharpshin
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quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
sharpshin: I don't get going gaga over Michelle Pfeiffer AT ALL!! eww!

Give me Kate from LOST.

Some people have no taste. [Big Grin]

But I certainly got nothing against Evangeline Lilly. How about Natascha McElhone? Actually, I dunno if she's a natural blonde.

That being said, given my druthers in my dreams, gimme Juliette Binoche.

We now return you to The Serious American. [Big Grin]

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The Pixiest
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I don't know who Natascha or Juliette are =)

Past female celebrity crushes of mine include Sandra Bullock and Wynona Ryder (and I'm probably giving away my advanced age...) Both are brunettes.

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tonylovern
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women are definitely,infinitely more beautifull. one more so than all.

luckily, she seems to like me. i have my doubts sometimes, but it seems that way.

of course i'm heavily biased.

also i define beauty by more than appearances. looks are great and all, but intelligence and patience take the prize everytime in my book.

women have more attractive personalities, better dress, better grooming, and most assuredly better figures.

again, i'm heavily biased.

the last time i considered a man beautifull, was at an all night diner named jerry's i think, in fort myers florida. it was about 3:30 am, after a female impersonators contest at a local bar.
if our waitress hadn't noticed me and my 2 buddies ogling the apparent winner, and told us what was up, we may never have known.
i'm sure she got laugh out of it.

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moodi
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One name, one woman: Elizabeth Hurley.

The most beautiful thing that breathes air on this planet. Period.

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sharpshin
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Well I see we are still not being serious so what the hell.

Pix, Juliette Binoche is not a blonde, she's a brunette. You've never seen The English Patient or Chocolat? Sandra Bullock and Wynona Ryder are both lovely too. But they ain't Binoche. There is no such thing as a bad camera angle on this woman's face. She's very sexy but isn't what I'd call a sexpot, like Elizabeth Hurley or for that matter Evangeline Lilly.

Natascha McElhone is unusual looking. Striking. Long body, long legs, strong facial features and very big eyes. Nothing at all like any of the above, or like Pfeiffer.

I have no particular ideal of beauty in women, but I do not tend to favor Breck Girls.

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lizzy
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I have a very important question from those who think beauty is not equal: is it good that we are different? There are many differences between people, some cause to unit some cause separation. Is this inequality good and is it a reason to make men and women absorb each other?
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winkey151
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I personally know many beautiful men. Beauty is not just something that comes from the outside but something that is the person in a whole.

I am no fool... a form of beauty can be found in the outside trappings of the human form, but if you look deeper, beauty can also be found within the very spirit of the person. In their love, their kindness, their humility, their helpfulness, their grace, their mercy etc.

If you only take a moment to look at a person you may be fooled into judging them by their outward appearance, But if you take the time to savor a person and let the whole essence of that person be consumed by your heart, you can find beauty in everyone.

I can only think of the exception to this. If a person has embraced evil and has allowed it to permeate their entire being, you might not find it very easy to see beauty there. That goes for women as well as men..

But, I also believe that if that person makes an effort to shun evil and embrace good, they can become beautiful once more.

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sharpshin
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I'm sorry winkey, I can't agree. I know a number of men, and women, who have "embraced evil" and you'd never know it to look at them. Or even to speak with them, unless you are very good indeed at seeing through sociopaths.

One of my road compadres from the days when it was safe to hitch hike all over the country (just wait for the next VW bus) was a guy named Bill. I have never in my life before or since known such a chick magnet. I mean, women just fell all over him. Most were beautiful, a few weren't. He was seldom with one for long. Many of his former flings would stop by our various apartments looking for him, pining away.

Handsome, charming, lots of fun to travel with. His behavior was what you might call roguish. But no outward sign that he was also a pathological liar who was at the least a borderline narcissist, and I mean in the clinical sense.

Eventually he did marry. Lovely woman named Kathleen. They moved to Florida, had a child named Jesse. I heard about a year later that Kathleen was back in the NYC area, staying with an aunt, and not doing well. I went to visit her. She looked awful. What had happened was this-- one day the three of them were riding down the road on a Vespa, with the kid in a backpack carrier of some kind, and they ran out of gas. So Bill said okay, don't worry, I'll go find the nearest gas station and get help. And off he walked. Forever. Abandoned his wife and child by the side of the road, just like that.

He knew what he was doing. It isn't like he wasn't aware of the consequences for her and Jesse. He just didn't care.

[ January 20, 2007, 11:46 AM: Message edited by: sharpshin ]

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winkey151
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sharpshin...

You say that this person was "Handsome, charming, lots of fun to travel with" just because you were looking at his outward appearance and traits that he allowed you to see.

I am not saying that beauty can not be found on the outside. I am saying that it is not the best way to judge beauty.

And, your story actually proved my point. Your acquaintance is an example of the exception to the rule I pointed out in my post.

And when I said...
"If you only take a moment to look at a person you may be fooled into judging them by their outward appearance."

That can go both ways. You can be fooled to think they are a person who is beautiful when they are not, as well as thinking that a person is not beautiful when in reality... they are.

[ January 20, 2007, 02:06 PM: Message edited by: winkey151 ]

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sharpshin
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Winkey, I don't think "inner beauty" has all that much to do with the topic at hand. We are, I believe, talking faces and bodies here. And what does being charming and a good road companion have to do with a person's physical appearance? These are not physical attributes, any more than being a good conversationalist is.
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Richard Dey
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I return to my original definition of 'beauty': a lack of anomaly.

To attempt to apply the term all over the spectrum is like using the terms

absolutely!
fantastic!
kewl!
fabulous!


all in one sentence to mean beautiful!. It no longer has a useful, let-alone meaningful, application.

By the definitions given here, a beautiful personality is somebody who lacks individuality, character, and interest.

Beautiful is usefully a translation of kallos or kalle. In that respect, it has meaning -- and it doesn't mean "appealing" or "a turn-on". To be 'beautiful', in the same word, it must have 'beauty'.

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sharpshin
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Yep, lack of anomaly is a good definition in most ways... except that a little bit of anomaly can enhance beauty rather than detract from it.
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winkey151
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You guys are wrong... but it is OK. [Big Grin]
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sharpshin
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As Pix said--

quote:
Women are vastly more beautiful than men.
And that's that. Even if Pix doesn't like blondes (actually I'm not that partial to 'em myself, though I don't hold their blondeness against 'em).
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sacrip2
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Remember that Star Trek when Picard went back in time and called a woman "handsome"? She didn't think it was a compliment, and really, it wasn't. Calling a woman 'handsome' is kinda like saying "you're beautiful..except for the part where I wanna, you know, do you and stuff."

Also works in reverse. A man who's beautiful to behold is often considered lacking in masculinity. Orlando Blooms character Paris in Troy comes to mind. So beautiful, for a man, is a dubious compliment.

Fact is, men and women are working with different sets of standards. You can't gain points over there without losing something here.

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scifibum
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quote:
And that's that. Even if Pix doesn't like blondes (actually I'm not that partial to 'em myself, though I don't hold their blondeness against 'em).

I wonder if you and Pix (and me) are just not that attracted to -fake- blondes. I think most blonde women are really not. There are some scandinavian women that I think are breathtaking, but the bleach-blond type doesn't do much for me.
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Everard
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I love blondes *grin*
There's just something about long blonde hair that is ridiculously stimulating for me. Though, as scifi says, if its from a bottle, its really no where near as good.

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sharpshin
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Is Cate Blanchett a real blonde? Cause if so... yowza. My second girlfriend and first true lust was a real blonde and about as yowza as it gets. Oy did she break my heart. Thought I was gonna die.

[ January 21, 2007, 09:45 AM: Message edited by: sharpshin ]

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winkey151
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Gee sharpshin... It doesn't seem like judging beauty from an outward appearance is working all that well for you. [Frown]
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sharpshin
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Well heck winky, she was only eighteen. I was barely twenty. She actually treated me very well. But you think she was ready to get married and live in the house with the white pickett fence and raise our babies in the cornfields? I mean, this was 1969. The summer of love wasn't quite over.

She's doing quite well from what I hear (she was in the same high school class as one of my younger sisters, which seems to hold a reunion every five years). Been happily married for many years, has a daughter who must be in her mid twenties by now. My sis gave me a snap of her a few years ago. She's put on a few pounds but still has the archetypal blonde complexion of a blonde half her age.

As I said, I'm not gaga for blondes. But she really was a lovely girl, and remains a lovely woman.

[ January 21, 2007, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: sharpshin ]

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lizzy
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nobody answered me [Frown]
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sacrip2
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OK Lizzy, to answer your question..I think it IS good that men and women are different. In their thinking, personality, bodies, all of it. I am attracted to women because of how they're different to men: long hair instead of short, curves instead of angles, soft giggles instead of loud guffaws, skirts instead of pants, etc...

And furthermore, I NEED someone different than me in many ways. Without someone to make veggies for dinner, to roll her eyes when I rent Battlestar Galactica instead of the latest musical, to refuse to take my bait when I go on a conservative political diatribe, I'd lose perspective. Lizzy, you might have equal parts yin/yang, but I sure don't. Men and women complement each other. We're different, and we're supposed to be, IMHO.

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winkey151
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Lizzy,
I think that if you have a son and you are conscious of your feelings, there is a good chance that your love for him will help you make an effort not to place your bad feelings upon him.

Something to consider... What type of person is the one you will be having a child with? Hopefully you did not pick someone who is a witch like your Aunt. A normal woman will adore her children no matter what sex they are. If the mother of your child is very nurturing and loving, your child has a really good chance of growing up a healthy human being even if on occasion, one or both of you both blows it.

Also, try to make sure that you are having a child with someone who is willing to take on the commitment that is required to raise a healthy child. Remember that you have a good twenty year (and sometimes more) obligation that will be very rewarding, but also very difficult at times. Each of you will need to be willing to deny yourselves and instead, place your main focus on your child. This can best be done when you work as partners in the process. Consider this when you are choosing you mate. It will save you a lot of heartache and give your child it's best chance of a good life.

None of us are perfect and there will be times that we all will make mistakes, but if making mistakes is the exception to the rule and not the standard that we live our lives by, your child will grow up fine. Just make sure that they are surrounded by parents, family and friends who let them know that they are loved.

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Omega M.
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I don't see how women automatically have more anomalies than men, unless you're defining everything that women have that's different from what men have as an anomaly. And if you're going to do that, why not define everything that anything has that's different from what men have as an anomaly?

It seems to me that women and men can be equally symmetrical and free from blemishes, and therefore equally beautiful, though not therefore equally arousing to all individuals. For that matter, I've seen plenty of women that I'd consider beautiful (e.g., Nicole Kidman) that don't arouse me, even though I'm physically attracted to women. A lot of beautiful women seem so perfectly proportioned as to be almost inhuman.

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canadian
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May I introduce you...

Aishwarya Rai

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