I’ve often wondered how and why men see beauty different from one another. My friends will say that Shakira is hot, while I think she’s not all that good looking. Why is there a difference in how different men perceive women as being attractive or unnattractive. Many theories will point out how the symmetry of a woman’s face and figure will often determine if she is considered attractive or not. Oftentimes, a physically healthy looking woman, when it comes to her weight and figure, are considered attractive as well. Of course most of the time it’s personal preference. Some men think blonde’s are more attractive than brunette’s, or red heads. Some prefer curvy and some prefer skinny. But what does media and society as a whole consider attractive, and how has this changed over the years?
The idea of what is beautiful and what is not beautiful has been planted in our minds ever since we were born through the media and our life experiences. Magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan paint a clear picture of what society should view as beautiful. These women seem to be of average height, and very thin. Although, thankfully, the view of beauty is slightly shifting into a better area. Women such as Adelle and Queen Latifa are undoubtedly very attractive and beautiful without being very skinny. However, it’s hard to argue about what society claims to be beautiful nowadays. This “skinny” trend was not always around. Over the centuries, and even over the past several decades, the definition of beauty has changed quite drastically.
What seems to facilitate this change? A big facilitator of how the definition of beauty has changed has been due to technological advances. Makeup, for instance, first started becoming popular thanks to movie making. Prior to the rise in cinema, it was considered vulgar and tacky to wear makeup. Another example of how beauty has changed thanks to technology is how people view pale skin. For a long time, it was considered beautiful to have pale skin due to the wealthy having pale skin thanks to the limited amount of work time in the sun. After the turn of the 20th century, however, the working class moved into factories, and all of a sudden it became attractive for the wealthy to be out in the sun and have tanned skin.
I often think of a hypothetical situation where, overnight, all the beauty magazines began putting out pictures and magazines that focused on curvy and pale women wearing no makeup, instead of thin, tan women slathered in makeup. With this, movies and television began depicting women in the same manner. Would societies perceptions of what beauty is change overnight as well? Are men and women programmed by media into thinking what is attractive and what is not? Are we all just thinking exactly what media wants us to think to go out and buy that brand new deodorant body spray, or pick up that new perfume from the hottest brand name? Or could society be being controlled through more biological reasons such as the symmetry of the face and other subtle hints that seem to depict beauty?
These are very difficult questions to answer, but it’s something to think about.