Now for a look into that eternally fascinating subject: Beauty. What is it and who among us has it…?
Lets begin with the obvious. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I mean, good lord, how else to explain the phenomena of a Mick Jagger or a Lady GaGa. What’s at work there are the many conscious and subconscious factors each beholder brings to the party.
The precise standards of beauty have changed over the centuries. Size, weight, hair, nose, lips are all part of the formula, but my how humanity has mixed and re-mixed these. OK, so maybe we can agree on this much. In the West, two basic standards from which to work: The Greeks’ statues of Aphrodite and Michelangelo’s statue of David. If you look like either of these, you’re home free.
Upon closer and more amorous inspection, I think we have to admit the rules are always a lot looser when it comes to the guys than to the gals. Aside from the changing standards of poundage, the rules for the female of the species have remained pretty damn hard and fast. Luxuriant hair…creamy complexion…large eyes…ripe lips…shapely bosom…and wherever possible a pair of great legs. Translation circa 2011: Angeline Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Zeta Jones, Zooey Deshanel.
Now take a look at the male of the species. Here the rules are, well there virtually are no rules! How else explain women oohing and awing over the likes of such incredibly diverse “hunks” as a Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, and Al Pacino side by side with a Nick Nolte, Lyle Lovett and Malcolm McDowell.
Studies have shown the “beautiful people” get an edge in life, starting right from childhood. Intuitively we are drawn to the beautiful in both life and nature. However, by adulthood the guys pick up a break. Is it because women are more generous? more perceptive? less demanding? They will probably tell you they look deeper than the surface. You know — character, faithfulness, and that old standby sense-of-humor.
To those of us males without abs and biceps, this sounds pretty good to us. So, paraphrasing Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, “Why can’t a man be more like a woman…?”
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