Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

So I was going to interview a bunch of men on this, but I have already talked to a bunch of men over time about these things, and I think I already know what things are common to all of them and what things vary per person.  But, if I am wrong, please, discuss.

Women like to look beautiful.  Men, of course, like to look at women, and admire. 🙂  This would seem to work out quite well, except for the fact that what girls think is most attractive on themselves is not what guys think is most attractive on girls.  The things that are not universal seem to be the things that have to do with a girl’s physical appearance, like body shape/size and hair color/length, etc.  Clothing preference can also vary, except for athletic guys tend to think athletic girls in athletic clothes are really hot, and there are some other commonalities.  Makeup seems to be a universal.

So…it has been said many times, but for those that are not aware…guys don’t really like makeup that much.  Guys tend to prefer girls that can pull it off to not wear makeup at all, and girls that maybe need a little makeup to ONLY wear a little makeup.  Obviously, girls love to do themselves up all fancy, especially when we go out.  However, this is not the most attractive to guys.  It may be argued that men go after women that wear a lot of makeup and maybe look a little trashy, but that could be because the men know there’s a good chance they can get something that they want.

As far as clothes, like I said, specifics can vary, but guys do often prefer girls in sweatpants, or their own (guys’) clothes, etc.  I have heard it said that when girls look comfortable, that is hot.  I’m not sure if that’s the reason for all guys, but whatever the reason, they seem to be in agreement on what they like.

Now, these preferences present a problem for us.  After all, when we “go out” we want to get dressed up, do our makeup all fancy, and look gorgeous.  This does not necessarily do it for guys.  Sure, some guys appreciate girls getting all fancy, but it might not be what they think is the most attractive.  And depending on how we do our makeup, some guys might actually not be that attracted to us at all.  Sure, we can wear revealing dresses, and then they will want our bodies, but that may be all they want.  Of course, this blog post is about what guys think is attractive so maybe that’s the aim anyways…

My point is that personally, when I want to go out, I don’t want to wear sweatpants and no makeup and put my hair up in a messy bun.  I want to get all fancy.  Originally this was depressing; that some of the clothes I loved the most, guys just thought were silly.  And all this time I spent on makeup they either didn’t notice or preferred I didn’t wear any.  However, I finally realized that we don’t get dressed up for guys, we get dressed up for ourselves.  Whether we realize what guys like best or not, we get dressed up because it makes US feel good.  We feel prettier, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

So, I am basically trying to say that you (women) should be aware that it’s quite likely that men think you look best when you think you look terrible, but if you want to get dressed up, do it!!  Even if you know your man isn’t that excited about it.  But if you want to feel pretty, go for it.  You can balance it out with some days of sweatpants and no makeup to keep him happy. 🙂  And men, let us dress up sometimes!!  Take us to places that we can get fancy for, and tell us we’re beautiful.  Unless you think we look terrible, and maybe another day try to bring that up politely…probably only if you know the girl well though.

Those are all my thoughts for now…discussion is welcome 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

  1. I know that you said that preferences may vary, but I believe that they vary ALOT. Preferences I think greatly depend on the type of person that you are talking too, which is logical because everyone has different tastes and this includes what they prefer in what the opposite sex dresses up in. Personally, I enjoy seeing women dressed up fancy just for the reason that you mentioned: it is an expression of that woman’s taste, what she interprets as beautiful. Even if I do not personally find the dress or whatever attractive, I like to see how the outfit describes the person that it is matched with…it shows a little bit of that person’s personality. On that note, I think that everyday wear can do the same thing. You mentioned sweatpants or a t-shirt and jeans and how these give off that comfortable vibe, but that does not mean that it is a man’s absolute preference to see only this side of a woman. Actually, men may generally be disgraced be certain perspectives for wanting to see a woman dressed up in fancy clothing, that we look at them as “objects” and not seeing the REAL woman (you know, the one in the sweatpants) behind the dress and makeup. So that brings up the question, are we aloud to admire you when you distort your natural details with makeup or emphasize you body with certain articles of clothing without being looked at as dogs? Again, I have a certain taste in what looks fancy and what looks over the top when it comes to a woman being dressed up, but at the same time I think it is interesting to see their personalities expressed physically, because that sort of opens a window to what they find artistically feasible, even when some women don’t wear certain dresses as a means of expression but more like you had mentioned, where they intentionally look slutty in order to attract exactly the wrong kinds of attention. Like I said though, this is a window into who they are, as every form of fashion has a statement of some sort. They do not need to have lots of cleavage or a short skirt to be interesting to me, but that would certainly be interesting to certain men who are looking for mere hints of what is underneath the dress, and should those men be considered dogs for appreciating the female form? On top of that, should the woman be considered shallow for purposely projecting that image? That is of course a whole other debate, different from what was written on this post. That debate however led me to wonder what the motivation is for a woman to get dressed up and look beautiful? Now, I am just throwing out ideas here, not necessarily making any concrete statements, but is the reason to dress up and look beautiful to attract attention? Even if it is not from a member of the opposite sex, maybe just to receive appreciation for the creative merit of one’s outfit? Maybe I am overthinking the whole ordeal, but it almost seems as if there are several different motivations from wherever you are standing. For instance, there is a woman in view, dressed in a glorious outfit. She may have one of many motivations: maybe it is to project her self-image, maybe it is to attract the attention of those who may admire the design of the dress itself (not necessarily her), maybe it is to attract the attention of a possible suitor (which has sub-motivations including: maybe she wants sex, maybe she wants a man who appreciates pure beauty without sexual motivations, maybe she wants to attract a man who’s tastes coincide with hers), or perhaps she wears this dress because she is at a classy social event where wearing a pare of sweatpants would not be socially acceptable so she wears it to fit in with the social norm. That is just the perspective of the woman wearing the dress. Then there is everyone else in the crowd. There are those who may appreciate apparel, who have their own reservations about what the dress says about her, and these people’s reflections may inadvertently persuade that potential suitor to look at her in a different light. If the majority of people think that the dress is a disgrace aesthetically, maybe some men in the crowd (this being said with the typical stereotype that men know little of fashion) are persuaded to look at it as a disgrace as well. Or maybe they look at the dress as something grand, in which the stereotypical male will see the dress as incredible, which in turn heightens the beauty of the woman who wears it. Is that a good thing or bad thing? Again, some men will simply want to get at whats underneath the dress, while some will appreciate the beauty alone.

    You know what, I am really going off into a lot of non cohesive tangents and I need to stop myself. The truth is, I like it women dress up fancy, I do not “prefer” the sweat pant look to be honest. When a person dresses up fancy, it is usually because it is a special moment, calling for a special attire. Keyword: special. When there is a birthday, wedding, holiday, etc., we decorate everything in celebration of that special day. I think the same goes for dressing up fancy, even if it isnt for celebrating a special event, you may just be celebrating yourself, fashion for the sake of fashion, or the need to be creative. When someone is dressed up, stepping outside the box, you know you are looking at something “special.”

    • Holy moly!! Haha. There are a lot of things for me to address in there…

      I guess most importantly, I am not saying that women should always wear sweatpants. I am definitely advocating dressing up. But on the other hand, some women CAN NOT be seen without their makeup, and I don’t think that is ideal either. I think there should be a balance. We love to dress up, and yes, men can enjoy that too, but they usually (I will address what you said in a second) really like us in our non-put-together state, so there is no need to always be fancy, and maybe we might want to make an effort to be not fancy, since it’s hard for us sometimes because we do not feel attractive but men do find us attractive that way.

      To address what you said about preferences, a) you are an artist, so you appreciate the artistic aspect of fashion more than a lot of men. b) Pretty much every guy that I have talked to (since until now I had not talked to you about it) says that they think women look best without or with minimal makeup, and in t-shirts and jeans, sweatpants, etc. So I assumed it was a commonality. There are always exceptions, so I am going to hold to my view that most guys are like that. However, even if they prefer that, that is not to say that they don’t like women dressed up and wearing makeup. Some may not like it at all, and I would tend to say that those are the kinds of men that don’t understand fashion at all whatsoever. So I think that the “typical” male, or the average male, or whatever you might call him, would prefer the “comfy” female but also enjoy the “fancy” female, but maybe not find her quite as attractive as the “comfy” female.

      Regarding men admiring women’s bodies: Personally, I quite enjoy the fact that men appreciate our bodies. Even in a carnal way, even if they don’t care about anything else about me, they are still APPRECIATING MY BODY. I think this is good. I am by no means a lady of the night type…but I appreciate beauty and I appreciate people that do. The way men may act on this “appreciation” can be not so good, but the appreciation itself I find perfectly fine and good. 🙂 I don’t wear things that say “please take advantage of me”, but I do wear things that accentuate and compliment my form. I don’t know why it’s bad that men worship the female body, but they should try to act like gentlemen still. 🙂

      Finally, yes, I believe fashion is an artistic expression, at least for myself, as an artist. And in the end, that is why I dress the way I do. Unless I’m dressing for comfort. 🙂 However, to address why people in general choose to dress the way they do for whatever occasion they are at would just be crazy. Like you said, the reasons can be very diverse. But one of my points here is that in general, women appreciate the fancifying more than men do, and we should not be discouraged if we realize that men actually don’t appreciate the hours we spent on our makeup, if it makes us feel good, we should still do it, and know that is why we are doing it so it doesn’t feel like a waste. If you realize that men don’t understand why you are wearing what you are wearing (which happened to me, as an artist among a bunch of engineers, and at other times), it can be upsetting, but when I realized I was just doing it because I wanted to and I liked it, then I was totally fine and it didn’t bother me anymore.

      So, there’s my essay response to your essay response 🙂

      • While I agree with you that in general men do not appreciate aesthetics as much as women, I wonder about your statement that men generally prefer the comfy look. Did you take opinions from a diverse pool of people, or did you mostly ask people who are your friends. I would guess that most of the people that you associate with are probably good-natured people, but did you take a poll from other types of people with a different perspective on the subject? Also, sometimes taking a poll can be less than accurate…lets be honest, the truth is almost an abstract idea. I myself have sometimes bent the truth to either make myself look a more deep and thoughtful person, or have distorted my answer to make the person I am talking to feel better or more comfortable. You have heard my answer on this specific article, but even the answer that I gave is not clean cut truth…I too have seen women that look great without lots of makeup or spiffy outfits, I would even go far as to say that makeup might even take away from their beauty. However, I admit to being shallow at times, sometimes out of peer pressure, and that is my point: there are things that are difficult for any of us to honest about, and usually we speak differently in front of an interviewer than we would in an internal dialogue with ourselves. There are things that I am too embarrassed to tell to just anyone because I do not want to be put in a negative light, as sad as that is. So, in a poll about whether men prefer a woman to be fancy or comfortable, it is more socially acceptable to say a woman should be comfortable so that they as the person being questioned can come off looking more sympathetic to the objectification of women (not that I look at a woman being dressed up is objectified necessarily, but I know there are those out there who see it as exactly that). I guess men see each other differently with all the locker room talk that is passed around when they are not in the company of women.

      • I never actually did a poll. It’s just been my guy friends over time. And yes, I typically hang out with good guys, but most of the time they would not have a reason to tell me that if it wasn’t true. It’s never something that I want to hear. I don’t prefer to wear sweatpants and no makeup. I want guys to think I’m prettier when I dress up. It was not something that pleased me for them to tell me. And they knew it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. So I can pretty much guarantee you that they weren’t lying.

  2. Inevitable caveats notwithstanding, a lot of guys could be a bit more appreciative of the ladies’ desire to be “fancy” sometimes, and a lot of women could be more accepting of the fact that they don’t have to be that way in order to be attractive to men. Yes? That seems fair to say.

    For clothes, I think a mix is good, which I think you stated or suggested at some point in these posts. Unless a girl wants to wear running clothes 90% of the time, which is fine with me (and also mentioned somewhere above). I do think high heels are kind of weird, and not necessarily any better looking than regular shoes, but that’s just my opinion.

    Oddly enough, I was just thinking about makeup the other day, because I saw a friend whom I pretty much only see in rather fancified form; on her it just looks normal, and she tends to look pretty good. Like clothes or hairstyles, for me some women just pull off certain styles better than others do. Or maybe some are just better at applying the stuff, hehe.

    Anyway, to get back to your point, I see it like this: if a girl is already really, really ridiculously good looking without makeup, then what’s the point of wearing a lot of makeup? Clearly, it’s superfluous, since she’s already really, really ridiculously good looking. I’m not saying makeup is bad, per se; but, the point is, I don’t want a girl who looks good *in makeup*, I want a girl who just looks good. The makeup is an enhancement (or should be, at least). And I do notice and appreciate it at times. So I suppose I’d say I like a good mix, like the clothes.

    So, now are you going to talk about different men’s styles, and what women prefer?

    • Ha. I think we are pretty much in agreement then. 🙂 I think that what women like on men is REALLY dependent on the woman, so I’m not sure that I could address that. I could address what looks good on men from a fashionable standpoint, which would then be applicable for fashionable women. 🙂 I can think about it and try to remember if there are any commonalities.

  3. I wasnt really trying to come off as accusing your friends as being liars. I guess what I am getting at is that in your original post you sounded like you believed that pretty much all guys preferred the comfortable look and I do not think that is so. What I was suggesting with my last post was that perhaps you are not asking a diverse enough pool of people.

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