What a Guy Wants

beauty dating men women

I am not going to imply that the issue of women’s inequality affects men to the same extent, but I’d like to explore men’s side of the issue. Also, a lot of what I’m going to say will probably have the potential to be taken the wrong way, because this particular issue is so fraught with loaded terms and political correctness. I ask you give me the benefit of the doubt and understand I am simply trying to be direct.

For a man to take a deep concern in the equal opportunity of women is seen as emasculating, and men who go after women with anything but a ‘perfect figure’ are labelled and their interests categorized; nobody feels compelled to label the dating habits of men who like tall, white, models, but if you’re attracted to Asian women, Black women, women with a normal, healthy BMI, you’re odd. If you don’t want the Victoria’s Secret look as a guy, then you’ve got some sort of weird fetish.

One of the ones that really gets me angry is an attraction to physically strong women. If you’re a guy and you think women with muscular bodies (think gymnast) are attractive, other men will think you are secretly attracted to men. I have been told as much.

Seriously? We can only like unathletic women? Even women seem to get up in arms about women with big arms.

We as men should not be trying to control the dating habits of other men. If you are a man reading this, you’re probably thinking I’m being oversensitive, and I’ll admit that the interactions I’m referring to are subtle. The fact that they taken for granted, that they don’t even offend those they are directed to, means that they are deeply ingrained into our way of thinking about women. We men need to develop awareness of how these seemingly innocuous comments have a huge impact on our own emotional health and how women feel about themselves.

The fact that there are men out there who do not want lingerie models suggests to me that the current standard for women’s beauty was not determined by real men, but rather by some corporate media campaign similar in its mechanism to the food industry touting sugary, fat-laden foods as the height of nutrition. Nobody wants to eat that, but everyone thinks everyone else likes it, so we keep our mouths shut and buy what we’re told, in the same way that men keep their mouths shut and date who their told is attractive.

Make it known that you think women of all types are beautiful. Otherwise, the only guidance they have for what you're looking for is the behavior of more outspoken (read, 'obnoxious') men and Superbowl commercials.

We All Have Standards

What do I look for in a women? My inclination is to say that I want a hot, sexy women, who is also intelligent (in that order, because that’s the manly thing to say, right?), but if I’m honest about what I believe and look at my relationship history and the reality of my behavior, I have to admit that physical beauty is far from the most important factor.

The fact that I put emphasis on factors other than physical attractiveness and sexuality has garnered me criticism for my choice in a mate. And a lot of men have told me that the reason I’m not with women who fit the stereotypical standards of beauty is because I’m too insecure to approach them. The logic is that if I were more confident in myself, I would go after a different kind of woman. I only go for the ‘ugly’ ones because I am too afraid to approach the ‘sexy’ ones.

It sounds ridiculous, but I’ve heard it. Actually, that is the underlying mantra of the pickup artist community (I still believe you can benefit from knowing how to approach a girl and get her attention, but I don’t agree with the idea that you should want to go after models just because you are confident enough to do so).

A Place for Beauty

Now, I’m not saying that you are messed up if you’re main concern is how attractive your girlfriend is. Everyone is entitled to their own value system. I am saying you shouldn’t expect other men to subscribe to your values in women, just like you don’t expect them to be of the same religion or political party (again, if you do, then you might want to work on opening your mind a bit).

My point is that men who don’t make that their number one priority ought not to feel ostracized. They shouldn’t have to defend their choice of mate; nobody asks the man with the supermodel why he is dating her, but if you’re dating anyone who doesn’t fit that description, you’d better have your justifications (“amazing in bed” is the only one that completely excuses these men. You’ll get knowing nods and a pat on the shoulder. “She is the smartest, kindest person I know” usually gets the response, “so be her friend”).

I’m not going to suggest that men shouldn’t judge women, just as I’m not going to suggest that women not judge men. I know we all judge each other in one way or another, if only to figure out how alike or different someone is from us. You have to pass judgements on whether someone is trustworthy, for example, and it’s best to take the time to judge whether someone would make a good partner before you decide to marry them. Just know what your standards are and try to make them supportive of positive traits.

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