The definition of what it means to be attractive is not always the same for one person as it is for another. There are general things that are recognised as being attractive in women and attractive in a man. Science often comes up with what these qualities are.
However, what is found to be the absolute truth by scientists does not always match up with reality and the real world. When it comes to women for example; a certain waist-to-hip ratio is talked about as being what is attractive to a man. And for women; broad shoulders are often mentioned as being attractive.
I think is clear that these do have an effect on the opposite sex and the same sex; depending on one’s sexual orientation. And yet what is also evident is that this is not an absolute truth.
If one was to look at the relationships of the world, at a personal level and the people who are famous, there will be noticeable exceptions to what science has to say about what is attractive and what is not.
Win Or Lose?
For if one has what science describes as attractive, there could be feelings of contentment and happiness. It can only be a good thing for this person and this is because it is creating a sense of validation.
And for the person who doesn’t have the requirements that science describes as being attractive, it can lead to feeling that they are not attractive. This will partly depend what the person’s psychological disposition is; some people might be comfortable enough to not be affected and others may react differently.
The media is probably the most influential when it comes to defining what is attractive and what is not. And these are often trends that have changed over time. At one point the curvier women was in ‘fashion’. And in today’s world, although more women are being appreciated for having curves, the slimmer look is still popular.
And while it is possible for women to change their clothes or their makeup for instance; changing the body is not as easy and sometimes it is not even possible.
What these fashions and phases do, is indirectly create a promise that if one looks a certain way and way that has been sold by science, the media or any other source for that matter; then they will be attractive.
And to be seen as attractive has many psychological benefits. One can feel: acknowledged, validated, accepted, important and valuable.
One of the things that happen through the power of the media and others means is that the mind forms associations of what is attractive. And once these are formed at an unconscious level; one’s personal wellbeing will depend on whether one matches up to these requirements.
For women this could include: being slim, looking young or having large breasts. And for men this may include: being tall, having a muscular physique or being wealthy. So again, if one doesn’t have these, it can lead to feeling powerless and rejected.
And after all this conditioning, it is not surprising that some men and women feel hopeless and that they are unattractive to the opposite or same sex.
Evolution And Emotion
What scientists describe as attractive and what some of the elements in the media are based on, relate to evolution. Untimely, they are what one can and should find attractive. However when it comes to the real world, these are often irrelevant.
And one of the primary reasons that this is the case is the result of emotions. These are rarely, if ever, included when it comes to scientific studies and the Medias representations of what is attractive.
When I look at the modern day society, one thing that comes to mind is the women who are classed as cougars. They do not always posses what younger girls have and yet for some men, this doesn’t matter. What they can often offer is the emotional fulfilment that some younger women may not be able to give.
This is just one example of course and is not black and white. It will usually depend on what is going on in one’s life, as to how ones emotional state is. What one emotionally needs or wants from another person will then be based on how they feel. We are often attracted to that which we haven’t realised within ourselves and repelled by what we are not willing to face within ourselves.
So for example, if one feels uncertain and is lacking confidence, it may lead to one looking for someone who demonstrates confidence and certainty. Or perhaps one doesn’t like who they are and so looks for someone who will like them for who they are.
And whether or not this person has what science or the media describe as attractive, may be then irrelevant.
There are also the models that one forms as a child of what is attractive to them and what is not. And this can greatly influence what they are attracted to as an adult. Here the ego mind will form the first associations of what is attractive and what is not.
Some of these associations are likely to match up with the views of science and the media and some wont. There will be some people who, based on their childhood experiences, will be more susceptible than others to what the media comes up with.
The Ego Mind
And once the mind has formed these associations during ones younger years and as an adult of what is means to be attractive; one will perceive reality in this way. These associations then become familiar to the mind and are therefore safe.
This means that although science and the media are so insistent on what it means to be attractive; one is also having their own personal experience. And an experience that rarely consists of black and white and often has areas of grey.
But if the ego mind has taken on board the views of media or the science; it will cause one to end up in situations and to have experiences that validate these associations. And not because this is the absolute truth, but because it has become what is interpreted as safe to the mind. And the mind will then filter everything out that doesn’t match these associations.
So even if one is perceived as attractive to others, one may not even see it; because in their mind, they are not attractive based on the associations that have been formed.
Through getting caught up in what the media says one can believe that if they can achieve what is presented to them, then they will be happy. And yet if one feels that who they are is not enough inside, it won’t matter what one does on the outside.
It is also unlikely that one will feel that the person they are with likes them for who they are.
Whether it is the media, science or anything else, it is causing one to give their power away. And for the outside world to define how one feels. This is not to say that one should stop looking after themselves and growing.
However, if one likes who they are to begin with, everything else will be a lot easier. And this by itself will make one appear more attractive and radiate from within. If one feels that they are not attractive, this could then lead to one feeling worse and to creating more problems. Here a viscous cycle can be created.
The journey of liking oneself is not something that occurs over night. And this will mean that some people will be put off by it and seek the external options.
A big part of this is about letting go; letting go of the past and the illusions that one has picked up from the many sources out there. There are books, coaching and many other choices available to assist one with this.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.