|Jul. 1st, 2005 08:48 pm Beauty Divine|
The quest for beauty, age defiance and physical enhancement are at an all time high. The beauty industry, comprised of simple salons to mega-corporate giants, pulls in billions of dollars annually. People are obsessed with making themselves beautiful and more attractive for their own personal satisfaction and so others can see them they want to be seen. Not only do people search for ways to enhance themselves, but they also seek beauty and attraction in other things, most notably a dating partner.
Some people might conclude that canvassing the importance of beauty in the dating world is a bit gratuitous. We all know its out there and it can even be considered nature's cruelest form of sexual selection. You either have it or you don't. However, I think it is a poignant topic of consideration whether you are just now entering the dating realm or you have been in it for years and whether you are male or female. Today's society places heavy weight on good looks in the work place and in social scenes. You can't escape it and you can not deny it. Amidst growing liberties, democracy, the abolition of racial and religious oppression and the rising demand for an open mind one would naturally assume that our advanced culture would not treat certain individuals better simply because of advantageous genetic facial features. But we all know that this is the furthest from the truth. We see it every day.
Doctor Nancy Etcoff, a faculty member of Harvard University and a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, has beautifully illustrated the ageless hunt for beauty in her book Survival of the Prettiest. I was enthralled with the hundreds of references throughout history Dr. Etcoff found and adapted to the importance of beauty. One of the most interesting ones involved Eleanor Roosevelt. When asked if she had any regrets she remarked that she only wished she had been prettier. To hear a statement such as this coming from a heroine to women everywhere, it makes one want to examine why and how being beautiful or handsome plays such a dubious role in our every day lives. As Dr. Etcoff examines this very thought further in her book, I think it would be best if we just accept our idealistic qualities and move on to facing them.
When it comes down to selecting new single men and women we choose to date, our very first assessment of the potential mate is based on looks. Most people will say that they are looking for more profound qualities such as character, motivation, sensitivity, a commonality in activities, beliefs and a sense of humor and that looks, although important, are not at the top of the list. Of course everyone wants to feel as if he or she had more noble intents in mind. And although this may be true, nature tends to sway our first choice. Psychological tests upon tests show that we all gravitate towards the more attractive person at first. This is not something that we can readily help, nor can we consider it malevolent behavior. It is simply programmed into us from commercials, magazine ads, celebrities and more. It is a learned responsive behavior. While not everyone looks like Naomi Campbell or Brad Pitt and there are only a few genetic anomalies in this world who apparently represent what we all should look like, we can all take steps and measures to improve the way we look and how we appear to others. It is the very first rule in dating!
The first person you need to impress is yourself. When you look good you feel good. Take advantage of what modern science has created in the field of beauty. From getting the basic proper shampoo and conditioner for you hair to hair regrowth products and surgery, from makeup to enhance your features to elective surgery for more dramatic effects. Your wardrobe should be a priority issue as well. If you are still showing up at the door to pick up your date in those same ripped jeans you have had since the 1980's, think about a complete wardrobe overhaul. Getting in shape is an absolute must. Not only does it show that you care about your body, it is essential for your health and it will help you to feel great physically and emotionally. The better you feel about yourself, the more confident you will appear. And confidence is a very sexy and appealing part of your overall appearance.
In her book Dr. Etcoff assumes that people, mostly men, are more attracted to beautiful people for short term relationships while beauty is less important when seeking a committed relationship. However, it is that attractive quality of sex appeal which will get you in the door. When you are just getting to know people for dating purposes such as with the use of online dating resources, your appearance is going to be one of the most compelling forces in attracting dates. Everyone wants someone to fall in love with them for the right reasons, but you can't change basic human instinct and the natural affinity for beauty. You don't have to be the most beautiful or most handsome person in the room, but you can take the time and effort to look the best you possibly can.
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