Standards of beauty

Is it wrong for women (or men) to attempt to conform to the other gender’s standards of beauty?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Sometimes
  • I don’t understand the question
  • That’s not the question at all
0 voters

I wasn’t entirely sure where to put this thread, and I figured this was probably the least offensive place to put it, and plus I plan on rambling a bit, and look, I’ve already started.

Anyway, I have always found myself objecting to the feminist idea that guys are pigs because they prefer a certain standard of beauty. Now, history tells us that this standard has varied throughout different historical periods and cultures. I don’t know enough about possible genetic/biological/etc. factors for this to comment on it intelligently, but at the same time I don’t think that feminists do either.
All I can offer is anecdotal evidence. I don’t find overweight women physically attractive. I also don’t find underweight women (see Keira Knightley, the Olsen twins, etc.) physically attractive.
But if you listen to these so-called “feminist intellectuals”, it’s simply that men are dogs and that’s that, and we’re the sole reason some women develop eating disorders, and that clearly, any portrayal of a woman most men find attractive today in a magazine or on tv or in any other medium is sending a terrible message. As if trying to be physically attractive to the other sex is a terrible crime against womanhood (or, more hysterically, womynhood).


that knife cuts both ways…


I’m pretty sold on the unity of virtue, so it follows that in order for a person to be good, they must also be good looking. Heck, if you look at the etymology of the world “evil” in every language I am aware of, it started off as ‘ugly’ or ‘deformed’ and from there moved on to have a moral characteristic.

Of course, what happens is that people mistake an aspect of the whole for the whole, so people spend a lot of time working on conforming to standards of beauty at the expense of other forms of self-cultivation. And then you end up with the sort of shallow claptrap that we are all too familiar with.

But, of course, the complete rejection of standards of beauty also leads to moral laxity. I mean, honestly, have you read the essays these people write? They are clearly very angry and rather than channel this anger in a positive way to try and change the system, they channel it in a useless way rejecting the system entirely. The adult-equivalent of throwing a hissy-fit.

Like anything else, balance is the key. There is nothing wrong with working to make yourself physically appealing; indeed, there is a great deal right about it! However, being defined by it, either in a positive or negative sense, is downright silly.

Well, here’s one example. Last year Playboy was doing a “Girls of the SEC” piece and came here. And boy, did some people go crazy. They made it seem that any woman who was willing to pose for the magazine, or even not object to other women doing so, was somehow responsible for all the evils of sexism. Several people, including a professor of women’s studies, went so far as to cut out the copy of the ads Playboy placed in the student newspaper about the photo shoot, and then attacked the paper for having the audacity to allow the ad to even be placed in the first place.

Of course, these are generally the same people who say that any suggestion of women maybe cutting down their risks of being assaulted by such commonsense measures as not traveling alone after dark is attacking the victim, who viciously and shrilly attacked anyone who might’ve expressed doubts about the obvious guilt of the Duke lacrosse players, and who consider the Vagina Monologues God’s greatest gift to theater.

people that deny dressing for the opposite Gender are in denial, homosexual, asexual, or ignorant… We dress to attract for courting and sexual reasons. Its a competition after all. Mating rituals are competing against their own gender for a member/s of the opposite gender. After 22 yrs together neither one us of is sure if we won or lost :laughing:

Damn straight, I’m gorgeous…

‘Foul’ is strongly associated too.

There’s a parallel in philosophy, with people mistaking the vehicle for the tenor, and relying all too heavily on metaphor at a point where they claim to be reasoning.

Sometimes, destruction is the only way to clear a path for revolution. See, ‘clear a path’ being a metaphor. Only I’m no rationalist, so I can use as many damn metaphors as I like.

Bollocks to balance. There is no balance - Derrida

To me, this isn’t balance, this is an ongoing struggle. For example, I was born with good looks, so I don’t devote much time at all to looking appealing. But nonetheless, even I, someone who loathes superficiality, find myself worrying about it. Not often. Not particularly seriously, but it’s there. Of course, you can beat this out of yourself with some solid exercise…

It’s not so much what you look like than it is how you present yourself. Uglier people need to go somewhat over the top, present themselves in a way that makes them seem or tries to balance what they appear to lack.

Instance, a fat guy. Many people already assume a fat person is lazy, never exercises, eats alot, therefore having low self control. If he were to wear a suit, or something that has a contrary look to laziness, etc. It can help this man look better, perhaps someone you’d like to get to know. If he wore a green oversized shirt and sweatpants you’d probably try to avoid him unless there was someway of getting to know him otherwise.

Normally, simple people wear simple clothing. And even for the teenage crowd that’s become a holister shirt, american eagle shirt, w/e. They won’t go all out, but they’ll wear something that doesn’t make them appear to live under a rock.

Normally people wear things that represent themselves, and some people are untrue and send people wrong signals, while others send good signals when they’re bad/creepy people.

And yet, i’ve only tapped the tip of this major psychological iceberg. But i’ll stand on my point that it’s not what you are body wise, its what you portray with that body and the signals you give with your personality.

I’ve dated lots of hot girls that have turned me off by the personality, even though their bodies portray what is ‘hot’ they transform into something seperate than that idolized dream we have of beautiful perfect people that for the most part doesn’t exist (sort of like nude women guys want strictly off of body but that body creates a false reality of not only a person but that persons characteristics of what we would like) It’s rare that you see good looking people not be wanted, but it does happen if these people don’t care to change how they act.


Last I checked, Derrida was “dead”, right?

I mean that. I’ve argued that what is outlined in the Zhuangzi is really only a valid philosophical position when viewed as a reaction to the overly ritualized conditions found in the Warring States Period. Taken as an isolated text, what it proposes is absurd, even from the point of view of the text(s) it(them)self(-ves), given the internal evidence that we have.

Language games and post-modernism work the same way – they exist only as a reaction, not as a truly generative philosophy. Like Dawkinsonian or Harrisian atheism, it is a reactive movement, not an actual movement.

That you worry about it at all suggests you are trying to maintain the aspect of the Mean that you have on that particular issue.

I can’t answer this question as it is. It’s not wrong, although to me it would be. It all depends on the person. If they feel the need to, then it’s not wrong. I just feel that my persona would be lost if I were to conform to other standards that aren’t my own (but that’s just me).

Unless he’s risen back to life and it hasn’t been reported in the mainstream press, yes.

Which ‘internal evidence’? I’m not following you here.

Why rely on ‘truly’ and ‘actual’ i.e. ontological/epistemological crutches when talking pragmatically?

And post-modernism is a generative philosophy in some of its incarnations. Broadly speaking you’re correct, and you could say the same of most academic philosophy. But there are germs of Kantian ethics in Derrida that simply cannot be ignored. Perhaps you’d prefer ‘memes’ of Kantian ethics, take your pick.

Which particular issue? Stop beating around the bush, man, and say whatever it is you’ve got to say to me. Worst case scenario: you piss me off. So what? Get on with it.

What I am saying is that post-modernism is a reactionary philosophy seeking to overcome the deficiencies of modernism and positivism; however, post-modernism when taken outside of the context of modernism and positivism becomes, well, nonsensical. It is important to place philosophies into their proper place, especially when the context is, quite literally, what makes the philosophy.

Dada is not an artistic movement, but it paved the way for new art-forms to arise. I view post-modernism in the same light.

The rest of it, well, if you are good looking, well, you are also of clearly great intellectual prowess and presumably good character. That is precisely what I am talking about.

I too think that for the individual who feels it neccessary to conform: it is not wrong - for me it is wrong: it’s nice to look groomed and well-dressed, but tampering with what yo mama gave you ain’t on…

but then again: I’m also one of the good-looking ones, so don’t need to conform :wink:

Even the wise man dwells in the fools paradise?

Are you saying that we all conform, but don’t realise…?

I guess you could look at it that way. But I think it means even though you feel smarter, wiser, and see conformity as dull and boring. It is the only way to connect sometimes with people, or better connect with them. But there is something that fools share that we want from them, especially acknowledgement. Its just as if you were going to describe something to someone who knows little of philosophy, you’d bring it down to their level. I don’t see anything wrong with conforming somewhat. I hope that makes sense, I’d say more but i g2g.

Oh, like if we make ourselves too inaccessible: like when a teen, and we dress so differently that we are shunned by most, and then dress to fit into a certain niche as we get older, or we are destined to remain separate from society (er, read into that what you will ;o)

Read your earlier post just now, too - I know what you mean - I was discussing on the Vogue forum yesterday: about the japanese Hariuka girls (as in Gwen Stefani’s videos) who dress to differentiate themselves from other Japanese girls, but I think they end up looking like they are trying way too hard to be way too different, but just end up reaking of desperation.

When out on the town: I do dress to look good/feel comfortable in my skin, but this is for me first and foremost, and if others admire me: then that’s an added bonus/a by-product of my efforts :smiley:

I always ask people ‘hot bod/shame about the face, or, gorgeous face/shame about the bod’ and they go for the hot looks everytime: as you can send them down the gym to shape up :laughing: :laughing:

Yeah that’s right, and you’d be surprised how many people can fit into the standard we have of beauty if they lost weight and conformed to having blonde hair and w/e.

I think dressing someone unique, is very cool. I don’t think you need to go extreme with it though. However, it’s funny that I notice people who dress really over the top or really fuckin crazy as I see this alot in my art programs… but they are actually shy, and don’t really care what people think… It’s really confusing however. I mean, if they don’t care what people think, why wear a bunch of crazy shit?

But then again, I think artists, I even see it in myself. Feel like shit if we even feel trite or cliche. Because it feels like lying to myself. I know I see differently than most people, and I’m glad I do, and I don’t want to fit into the dim witted conformity of most of society.

Most people I’ve met who do dress crazy, are usually really cool people. This is complicated, I have no idea what I’m talking about here but this is all from experience. I’ve never looked at anyone dressed crazy and said they’re trying to hard. I like all kinds of clothes people wear, as long as it suits their body. However, the only thing that bothers me like I said before, is when people strictly wear really cliche abercrombie/holister clothing w/e. And I mean, wear just a shirt from there that has a logo on it. When I decide to buy clothes from there (which is rare) I try to stay away from logos. To me, logos just really do look like your trying to hard I mean damn… Why buy a 40 dollar blue t-shirt just so it can say “holister” on the front of it, thats fucking stupid i’m sorry.

Fashion, like anything else, is a ritual that must be mastered and then overcome.

A person who dresses however they like is bound to look like crap and those who dress strangely for the sake of dressing strangely will look like they are trying too hard – camels that mistake themselves for lions. Those who dress within the norms of the current trends will blend it. But, ahhhh, those who understand fashion, who have mastered the trends, they can dress how they like but make it work because they have an understanding of the rules. That is the essence of it.

Is overly under dressing trying to hard…?