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Don’t Be a Beauty Fascist When It Comes to Dating

Thu, Sep 23, 2010

Advice, How To

Let’s imagine that you’re in a relationship with someone you really dig: they’re witty, wise beyond their years, and well versed in the ways of amore. Plus, their table manners are impeccable. And yet, you find yourself in the midst of what might be termed a moral conundrum. Your dilemma? This special someone is severely lacking in one or more of the following departments: looks, hairstyle, fashion sense, grooming, endowment and/or physical fitness. So much so that you cringe whenever you look at them.

Happily, you close your eyes when your lips meet, and your repulsion is temporarily abated. You’re racked with guilt for being so superficial, but you can’t deny your gut feelings. You tell yourself your intentions are honorable, that you want to protect them from the judgements of others, but you ultimately fear that¬†you will be judged by who you are with. You ask yourself, How can I be so physically attracted to someone whose is so aesthetically displeasing to me? In moments of superiority, you tell yourself you’re out of your partner’s league. And yet, you are in love‚Ķ almost.

In a world — indeed, in such a fabulous cosmopolitan city as this one — that places so much emphasis on looks, it’s understandable that this issue might come up from time to time with various partners. But if you dig beneath the surface a bit and try to get a little deeper than a kiddie pool, you’ll realize¬†that it’s okay not to be attracted to someone aesthetically speaking, but it’s¬†not okay to be ashamed of them. It’s okay for¬†you not to find someone good-looking, but it’s not okay to be so concerned with what others think. It’s okay to think you’re out of a person’s league in the one department; it’s not okay to assume that means you are out of their league in general. It’s okay to judge someone’s appearance; it’s not okay to judge their¬†worth by their appearance. It’s okay to enjoy the hot sex (and the company) without wanting a serious relationship; it’s not okay to let someone¬†think you want a serious relationship just to keep the good sex and great jokes flowing.

Understand that there are many factors at play when it comes to sexual compatibility. It’s not simply about one single aesthetic concern, it’s also about chemistry, pheromones, politics, dogs vs. cats, kissing styles, creativity, emotional sensitivity, intelligence, sense of humor, birth control preferences, kink factor, bedsheet thread count, STD tests, self esteem, stamina, exhibitionism, ambition and asparagus intake. To let one superficial factor overrule all others is like throwing the ugly baby out with the bath water.

While it’s perfectly acceptable to have certain beauty preferences, don’t become a beauty fascist. There is no escaping or denying the fact that with age comes droop, with the blues comes lethargy, and with stress, gray hairs. Do we expect the laws of nature to bend to our vain whims? Remember, while looks certainly fade, personal integrity is forever.

This is our bi-weekly Metro column — read it in print here

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5 Responses to “Don’t Be a Beauty Fascist When It Comes to Dating”

  1. Hlynn Says:

    While I generally agree, I’ve dated one too many sloppy dressers for that particular quality to pass under the radar any more. I’m not asking you to be on the cover of GQ, but for the love of everything that is good in this world shave the hobo beard, take of that sloppy hoodie, and change out of your gym shorts and mandals. That outfit is not acceptable. I just get really upset when I am hygienic and conscientious about how I look and a guy has ‘given up’ because he’s already got me. Guys, your girlfriends like you looking and smelling clean. Can you bathe daily (or after you get back from the gym), put on real shoes, a clean t-shirt, and a pair of jeans (that preferably make your butt look attractive)? If so, you are good to go for most of the female population.

  2. JD Says:

    And cut your damn toenails!

  3. Johnny Says:

    ^The two posters above are are talking about style and grooming choices. Judging people for how they handle the things that are within their control is TOTALLY fair game.

    For example, you might think it’s shallow to judge a guy for a receding hairline, which he can’t help. But you’d surely judge him for trying to hide it ridiculously with a comb-over or a toupee, right?

    To come back to the “trimmed/natural” debate, this is how a lot of guys feel: the opportunity to quickly and easily enhance your sexiness is right there. Why wouldn’t you take that opportunity? Five minutes in the bathroom with a pair of scissors – is to much to ask?

  4. Ret Says:

    Simply, beauty rocks if your are searching for a short-term satisfaction in a relationship. But attitude offers a lifetime happiness, as well as self-empowerment.

  5. impoddity Says:

    This is just what I needed. I could have saved days of circular contemplation. But I’m an introvert, so I probably would have done so anyway. :)


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