General Question

Yellowdog's avatar

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder -- aren't some things, people in this case, ugly? What really determines this?

Asked by Yellowdog (10542points) August 13th, 2019

I am not making judgments about people or their inherent worth. Lets get that right from the beginning. But we are not robots, and much as we have taste in art, architecture, and interior design, we find certain individuals attractive, and others not so attractive,

I am talking about, some people are so attractive to other people that they are moved to tears.

When I first was drawn to my GF the attraction was physical, to the point that she was all I thought about night and day—although our mutual friends, though thinking she was more attractive than most, most said she was nowhere near knock-out gorgeous.

There are some people EVERYONE seems to think attractive, and there are some whom everyone says is attractive that we quite frankly don’t see the attraction.

There are people regarded as attractive that actually look a bit scruffy. There are also those who have attractive features that we like, such as hair color, eye color, even build, but do not find attractive.

And there are people who are just butt ugly.

So why are we wired to find some people attractive and some unattractive or repulsive?

This is not about the worth of a person, or our ability to bond with such people. One of my best friends is repulsively overweight, but I am not repulsed because this individual and I are close and I am not the least bit repulsed. We do things together but I wouldn’t date her romantically.

And I think it can also be said that ultimately it is not a person’s physical attractiveness that forms bonds, friendships, or even maritial relations, although physical attraction may have been the first draw.

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8 Answers

raum's avatar

Symmetry is often a fair indicator of genetic health. Not surprising that symmetrical features are generally found to be attractive across different cultures.

Some interesting research on this topic.

kritiper's avatar

One’s own personal taste.

jca2's avatar

Sometimes I will not be too attracted to a man’s appearance, but will enjoy his sense of humor, or intelligence, or something about his personality, and then I will start to appreciate his appearance more. Looks aren’t everything. They’re just a part of the total package.

jca2's avatar

I should add that conversely, a man can be very handsome but if he has the personality of an asshole or a wet dishrag, then his handsomeness goes right out the window.

JLeslie's avatar

I was going to mention the symmetry research too.

I think part of our idea of beauty is learned.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

For me it starts with the hourglass figure and is cemented by personality.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree @JLeslie. I think the base of it, the symmetry, is instinctive. Things after that, like tattoos, piercing, clothing, those are learned preferences.

And for women it’s the opposite @ARE_you_kidding_me. We notice his personality first, his smile, the look in his eyes and quickly judge if is he’s rapey or creepy, and if he’s not, then we start to notice physical details. I can’t speak for other women, but just because a man is physcially attractive it doesn’t make me want to jump right in bed with him. The “I really care” thing has to be there first, and that can take weeks or month to cultivate.
As far as what I find physically attractive, I start with the arms, especially the forearms. And they nicely muscular from working hard? Not necessarily bulky, from working out, but strong? And his upper arms and shoulders are next.

One of my sons by another mother is a small, very slight young man. He is married to a very large, very fat women. He is wild about her! She would in no way be considered attractive across the board, but he’s crazy in love with her. That’s a good example.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Oh it can go that way for guys too. Usually though it’s the opposite. Same thing about attitude, an attractive woman with a shit personality will get ugly real quick.

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