Looks Matter, but They Really Don’t

Every single time I say that looks don’t matter to me, no one believes me. In all honesty, maybe I am lying just a teensy bit…

When I say that looks don’t matter, I mean not in the conventional sense. I don’t use the symmetry of a face or the shininess of hair to gauge whether I want to be romantic with someone or not. I’ll admit that I do my share of ogling over ripped lifeguards and bikini models and Jason Bateman’s hair. I can appreciate aesthetic features just as much as the next guy or gal. However, that is all I see them as. Jason Bateman’s lush, chestnut hair is no indication of his dazzling personality or commendable character. {Not that I’m saying he isn’t a great guy. I’ve never met him so I wouldn’t know, and that’s probably a good thing for him, because I would maul that head of his first chance I got. But I digress…}

These superficial looks don’t actually matter. I don’t make it a rule to only date “attractive” people, I don’t automatically give points to “attractive” people, and I don’t just look straight past “unattractive” people.

I care about personalities. If you have a lovely personality, or you’re a genuinely nice person, or you’re just really funny, I appreciate it. If you’re a sour puss with the body of Michelangelo’s David and the face of an Olay commercial, no thank you. When I’m in a relationship, I don’t just sit there and stare at my partner, admiring his or her beauty. We connect on an emotional level and, if we’re both lucky, maybe a physical level. These things require so much more than looking nice in pictures.

Then there’s the argument about being with someone attractive so that you can have attractive children. I don’t plan on having children of my own, so this argument is irrelevant to me, but let’s say I did. I wouldn’t want my children to be just pretty faces, either. I would want them to be smart and moral and confident. I would want them to not care about looks. {But I would kind of want them to be ginger…}

There’s another argument that taking care of one’s appearance says something about one’s personality. If people take the time to make themselves look attractive, maybe it says that they’re disciplined or care what other people think or think highly of themselves. Maybe the person attracted to the attractive person cares about these other qualities instead. Though I don’t agree with this, I think it’s a very legitimate argument for caring about appearances.

To me, the only time looks actually matter is when they are an indication of the person in question’s personality or character or interests. For example, if someone had purple, spikey hair, it would be an indication that said person might be bold or unconventional or wild. It doesn’t say that said person definitely is anything, but it just suggests these things. Then, looks would matter. If you want someone who is austere, modest, and conventional, this might turn you off a bit, but you should still get to know the person before you make judgments. If someone has a tattoo that says “I like puppies,” then that may indicate that said person likes puppies, and if you like puppies also, maybe that would affect how you feel about said person. Still that could just as easily be the result of a hard night of drinking and said person had never had a cat until after getting that tattoo, but now realizes that he or she is actually a cat person, but doesn’t have the time or money to get rid of the tattoo. It’s an indication and nothing more.

I know that superficial looks are a big factor for a lot of people, and there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with that. It’s an evolutionary trait that we instinctively prefer attractive people, and one post suggesting we do otherwise isn’t going to change anything. And it doesn’t have to. People are entirely capable of having deep connections with each other with appearances still being a factor. It’s all about the degree to which this is a factor. Attractive people don’t always make attractive babies, and not everyone ages as gracefully as they’d like.

I’m going to end this the way I’ve been ending just about every single one of my posts. Let’s like each other for who we are. Sure, flirt with the hotties at the bar, but give the homely fellas in the back corner a chance, too. We all have admirable qualities and we are all worthy of other people’s affection.

This entry was posted in Beauty/Body Image, Life in general, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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