Science Connection Member Polylogue, part 4
We periodically receive comments from people (usually women) who think that other members
place too much emphasis on physical appearance and weight. Most acknowledge, however, that
physical attraction is necessary for a romantic relationship. There does seem to be a gender
difference, in that men tend to apply physical attractiveness as a primary filter, whereas for women,
physical attraction is often something that only develops once one gets to know and like a man.
Women often suspect men of having overly high standards for attractiveness, but men protest that
they are not looking for a "model" or "movie actress" and that they are capable of being attracted to
women with a wide range of looks. See also the section on photos for further discussion of physical
Physical appearance in general
- One of the main things that initially attracted me to Science Connection was that one could meet someone based on a commonality of ideas, interests, beliefs, and values, rather than the superficialities of physical appearance. If our personalities match up, I could come to like and/or love someone with almost any physique, but not the other way around -- I'm not interested in bodies without minds.
- ... based on their profiles, many women seem to be looking more for sex partners than companions. It's truly beyond my ability to comprehend how anyone could put as much emphasis on physical appearance as evidenced by some of these bios. As far as I'm concerned, if the lights are on but no one's at home, I'm not interested, no matter how beautiful the house may be. I'd much rather visit a house which may be less than perfect on the outside but is absolutely spectacular inside!
- I would like to respond to the woman who wrote "Most of the men I have contacted are
looking for models, while they're not GQ material! I am a diehard romantic and do believe that there
is someone for everyone. I hope that all members realize that relationships, whether next door or
across the country, take effort."
My response: While it is true that there are less attractive men who seek more attractive women, it isn't always just a case of plain men seeking models for companions. A deeper insight may be obtained by examining the lifestyle choices that each has made, since couples who share common values will have fewer conflicts to deal with and will be more comfortable with each other. These include: not smoking, low alcohol consumption, low fat diet that includes fruits and vegetables, regular aerobic exercise, avoiding illegal drugs, and avoiding excessive exposure to the sun. I have found that people who have adopted these lifestyles don't have a problem with their weight or energy level, and they usually lead happy and productive lives, much like a "model" would.
... When women encounter a trim man who works out regularly and who has a low fat diet, while she has not, she should not blame the stereotype of men always seeking models if he is less than excited by her, but rather she should move on to find someone who shares her lifestyle choices.
- I usually ignore the debate on "attractiveness," but feel obliged to offer my opinion. When perusing the month's listing of mini profiles, if I encounter the word "attractive" or "slim," I usually skip to the next ad. I assume that any guy who describes himself as "attractive" or "handsome" is likely to be vain and superficial. And if a guy is seeking a female who is "attractive" (read "Claudia Schiffer", which I ain't), I'd rather be rejected because of incompatible values and goals, not because I didn't make the grade in the looks department. I'm well aware that being attracted to a potential mate is essential, but there's lots of time for that if a guy exceeds my minimum necessary specifications in other areas. In fact, I'm more likely to find him attractive if I feel we have some things in common. So, I'm in favour of more detailed and interesting mini-profiles. Attractiveness encompasses so much more than mere physical appearance. Sure it's important, but highly subjective --that ole' "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" thing.
- Grooming & presentation primer for men I am fairly new to the personal
listings dating scene, having recently ended a long-term romance. As I am embarking on more and
more of these first time meetings, I am noticing some trends in male behavior that I feel are
counterproductive to all of our best interests. Gentlemen please do not take offense at the following
advice; it is given in the hopes of many more happy and loving connections for all concerned. What I
would like to address is personal grooming and presentation. Now we all want to be seen and
appreciated for our minds and our character and go beyond the shallow skin-deep stuff, but let's face
it, the corporeal is a very important part of the whole meeting someone' thing. I think it's safe to say
we all want someone to hold us, caress us, and make love with, as part of a relationship. That being
said, and being a woman of not just brains and values but a very sensuous nature, please meet me
with a clean, groomed body, and hands and fingernails that I would want to have running over my
body in the most intimate of ways. I may be giving away too much here but when we're sitting there
on that awkward first date, one of the things I'm looking at is your hands. If the fingernails are
unkempt and dirty, my next thought is not "Gee I hope he touches me soon!" and this is from a
woman who likes to be touched. A little care to your dental hygiene (a mouth that I would want near
mine), a fresh shave (unless you're bearded), and hands that look clean and cared for are all
preliminary to further attraction and intimacy (hint, hint).
Sensuality as well as sexuality are both an important part of my interactions, and a man who takes the time to make himself clean and touchable, is that much closer to being invited to touch me. Can I be any blunter? So gentlemen, show your respect and desire for us, especially on a first meeting, by attending to your personal grooming. It has the potential to smooth the way to further connections, which is why we're all talking in the first place. If I have given offense I apologize, and am happy to hear feedback.
- I wrote to 3 gentlemen and got the answers that ... "a little overweight" is not acceptable. They were all three very frank about that. Now that I've lost a lot of weight ... I find enough "material" right here in my neighborhood. It makes me sad, though, that no one wanted to explore my personality, intelligence, kindness, generosity, and happy way of life before my weight loss. They are the losers ...
- When a member gives his height but not his weight, is it perhaps an indication that he is much too overweight and doesn't want to admit that he is obese for fear of being rejected? After all, men always specify that the lady of their choice must be slim. The majority of women are not looking for obese men either, for obesity is not only unsightly but unhealthy.
- ... Someone like Schwartzeneger, when fully "pumped"; probably weighs at least 250lbs and probably closer to 300lbs. Now if Arnold put an ad in Sci Con. and said his weight was say 275lbs, you'd skip over him so fast you'd probably tear an eye muscle. People don't realize that muscle is much denser than fat. Someone with a well developed body who weighs 200lbs is almost certainly going to be considered more attractive than someone who is totally out of shape and weighs 175lbs - ceteris paribus. If however you like a more willowy, lilting figure, then of course weight becomes a legitimate concern, regardless of its composition.
- My biggest problem seems to be that I believe that when women do not give their weight
they are overweight. Am I right?
Coordinator's reply: Who knows? In any case, consider this: Recent surveys indicate (sorry I do not have the precise data at hand) that a majority of white North American women consider themselves overweight, including many whose weight in relation to height and build is considered medically appropriate and some who are considered medically underweight. Men do not appear to share these misperceptions. Therefore, men who stipulate that they wish to meet women who are slim or not overweight may be unwittingly discouraging women whom they would find attractive. Furthermore, weight as a numerical value is surprisingly difficult to interpret, and with respect to surplus weight and attractiveness, subjective factors loom large. It has been my observation that people are often much less restrictive in their tastes and requirements than they consider themselves to be.
- The following comment is from a member who wrote to report that she was happily
married to a Science Connection member. Both were "overweight" when they met and unconcerned
I hope you'll pass on the word to those men and women in Science Connection who might be feeling a bit discouraged by all the profiles desiring "trim, slim, slender, proportional height to weight" etc. etc. - all just plain meaning - No one who's fat! It is possible to find someone who's a nice person, an intelligent person, a fun person to be with, and someone you share interests with, so don't "settle" and, whatever you do, don't let anyone try to make you feel like they're doing you a big favor to "put up" with your weight. Weight may fluctuate and appearances change, and all you folks out there that are hung up on it, keep in mind that the way a person looks today may not be what they looked like a few years before and it definitely won't be what they look like years down the line. If you're looking for long-term compatibility then focus on the qualities you can count on for the long term - weight may change, wrinkles happen, and mastectomies may happen too.
- With regard to physical appearance, as a petite woman, I find it helpful to know that a man is over 6' tall and 200#. All the personal compatibility will not overcome the physical reality. I have been able to sidestep some (very interesting) men whom I would not want to meet due to physical statistics. I can avoid the embarrassment that comes with "Thanks but no thanks".
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