The social stigma to be 'attractive' is certainly nothing new. Likewise, it will never die. Everyone has their own way of dealing with this, and fierce opinions abound across a broad spectrum. With regards to being "Paleo", I think that concept covers a very wide range of things, from eating to physique to personal habits.
Some people are indeed genetically blessed more than others. Some people have perfect skin. Some have perfect hair. Some may have a perfect physique but are uncomfortable with their lips. Some guys want to be taller. Some girls want a bigger booty. These types of physical traits are virtually uncontrollable, at least naturally anyway. And then you have the rarer folks who have almost everything going for them and appear to possess near perfection in all these areas. Whatever the case, human fascination with beauty is amazingly complex.
As I am out and about, observing people in my daily life, I can't help but notice that a large swath of people have possibly decided to sort of 'give up' or call it quits in a way, almost like a personal statement of rebellion against society of sorts. Now, before you get all jacked up and ask Patrick to delete my account, hear me out for a sec. I'm talking about the things that people can control. I'm nobody's judge. I know everyone has their own reasons for appearing as they do. Sometimes it's intentional and/or caused by a lackadaisical attitude. Sometimes it's just personal preference and/or ignorance, perception, self awareness issues or whatever. If there are psychological reasons or hurt emotions behind it, my heart goes out to them, for real. Specifically with case of being overweight, since that is not a quick fix possibility, you never know what efforts any given person is currently making to get to where they want to be. Many people have a huge desire to improve and are well on their way!
But when I see someone who is particularly unkept, whether it be body composition and/or cleanliness or what not, I often feel that whatever disadvantages that brings them in life will ultimately fall on their shoulders, and can't help but feel that many many people do not understand the importance of this.
This is also hugely connected to husband/wife and boyfriend/girlfriend contentment. I have always felt that the maintainence and upkeep of your personal health and wellness is your responsibility and if you 'let yourself go' when you are in a committed relationship, then the (probably) unintended consequences of that decision will be yours to deal with, like it or not. If your 42yo wife is more attracted to the new 25 yr old stud at her workplace because you've let yourself get a big belly and don't groom yourself as well anymore, then can you really blame her? How fair is it of you to demand otherwise of her?
I know some people say "Well if you don't like, then whatever. This is me and people need to accept me for who I am." Yah. I get it. I do. "You go with your bad self." But as long as "you" get it too, then at least my concern for you is correctly known. As long as you know that regardless of whether you like it or not, right or wrong, people WILL judge you based on your appearence. Saying 'People shouldn't fear of what others might think' is completely the wrong attitude. It's more like... 'I want to maximize the possibilties for my own good'. And I'm not just talking about physique. If you walk around with a grumpy frown on your face, people will think what they will. Can you blame them? Do you blame them?
Simply put, I believe that we should all do the very best with what we can based on who we are, all the while allowing personal flavor/flare to provide the beautiful variety. So long as that is in good order, you'll have the maximum situational outcome(s) working in your favor with regards to how other people view your personal 'attractiveness' as a whole.
Do you agree or disagree with my general perspective here? I am very interested to hear both sides.
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on March 11, 2011
at 01:36 AM
You know, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't important to me. The attention is nice. Looking in the mirror and seeing less of a fatass and more a of a lean machine every day feels good. Feeling better about how I look in my clothes feels GREAT.
But I have to say that I think the best part is how I feel in terms of my health and general sense of well-being. Looking better isn't JUST the icing on the cake - it's actually more critical than that, given how appearance affects the way we are treated on a day to day basis by everyone, not just potential mates - but it's lower on the totem pole than the awesomeness of feeling healthy and listening to my body when I am eating.
on March 10, 2011
at 11:49 PM
There's a substantial number of hipsters here who carefully cultivate an unkempt appearance and use it to their advantage with regard to sexual selection. You can always tell the truly sloppy from the contrived/ironic ones by their shoes. For some reason they can never resist the temptation to have nice shoes. You'll see a guy who looks a few degrees away from homeless with clean, new shoes of a vibrant hue.
That phenomenon aside, I feel like people aren't superficial enough these days. If they were, they wouldn't descend so deeply into the pits of adiposity. It seems like the mirror would inspire them to start experimenting with every possible diet until the process stopped and reversed. Such a level of shame would invariably lead more to paleo and thus good health. I think the coddling of the overweight/obese is a terrible trend that is causing needless suffering and death. Appearance isn't everything obviously, but it's incredibly difficult to be healthy and obese unless it's a case of the BMI chart not accounting for one's lean body mass.
Personally, I dress well at work and home without any real prodding to do so. I always prefer to stand out as the overdressed person rather than the one scummy guy. I'm not single, so I don't care too much about who's attracted to me, but I think I'm more critical of my physique than anyone would be anyway. A lot of people here are recovering from past obesity, but I have the opposite problem of recovering from past veganism. As a result, my primary appearance goal right now is to gain lean mass.
on March 10, 2011
at 08:39 PM
Beware, ramble below.
IMO the issue here as recently seen in the shaving thread is on how people define attractive and personal hygiene. Some have compared being unshaven to a lack of cleanliness, when the two are unrelated. Similarly, some people expect women to wear make up to appear as society expects.
My main concern is that some equate a more casual, less formal dress and sartorial style with lack of hygiene. Bathing, clean clothes appropriate to the situation, clean teeth etc are really all that is necessary as far as I'm concerned. Those don't require a huge investment in synthetic "beauty" products.
So for my daughters wedding, I wore a great silky pants suit, and had a fresh hair cut and style (minus the product), but I'm not going to put synthetic crap on my face that will absorb through the skin. I'm not going to shave off my body hair that is completely clean. I'm not going to wear impractical and uncomfortable clothing or shoes that bind and distort my body for the sake of style. In a few years that style will appear bizarre to most of us. Go check out your pictures from the '80s for examples.
I do have it easier than some. I don't work in a high powered financial office in NY or such. I work with and am friends with scientists, horticulturists, agriculturists, naturalists who are all far more focused on a persons knowledge and are too busy and working in situations where jewelry, makeup, high heels, etc are a disadvantage.
As far as the mate possibilities - I haven't had difficulties, but anyone I'd be interested in wouldn't be putting a big priority on artificial "enhancements." So, clean jeans, t-shirt, sandals, and a shower - life is easy and I'm ready to go. If Society doesn't like it, I'm not a part of that culture anyway.
I'm not going to buy into the marketed notion that a pile of products are necessary to achieve attractiveness. There are lots of ways to look good that do not risk damage to the body or mean spending hours preparing a synthetic face to the world.
on March 11, 2011
at 01:57 PM
My poor mother was raised to think that all she had to offer were her looks. It's a terrible thing to do to a child. So for as long as I can remember she always put makeup on, and always spent about an hour and a half on her hair before she could go anywhere. It infuriated my father and there were many an argument about it.
I'm a much different type of person than she was though and I swore after watching her all my life that I never wanted to be like that. I very rarely wear makeup, only if I'm going to an event or something where I feel it is appropriate. If I do wear makeup my husband never notices, he claims that I'm someone who doesn't need it (big points for that!) I am clean though, I shower daily, brush/floss etc. I have my hair cut regularly and highlights. I do agree that like it or not, people judge us. I do not know what the general public thinks about me not wearing makeup but it's obviously not bothered me enough to start wearing it regularly. I really just don't have the patience for things like that. If I want to go shopping or whatever, I want to be out the door in 30 min, I don't want to deal with 2 hours of "prep" time. I'm not looking for a mate, my husband and I have been married 18 years and we're pushing 40. As long as we're happy with each other, that's all that matters to me.
on March 11, 2011
at 11:49 AM
For the sake of my comment I will switch terms from attractive to beautiful, and unattractive to ugly.
Two complicating factors make the problem of why people appear to choose to be ugly extremely difficult. 1) From the viewer's side, beauty is highly subjective, and 2) from the viewed side, ugliness is a single effect with many potential causes (no one really chooses to be ugly but they make other choices which cause ugliness).
Further, the ugly people who claim to not care about their appearance are often using the contrived ugliness as a mechanism to protect their identity from judgment. "If I choose to be ugly, then the people who judge me are only judging my exterior, and therefore are unworthy to judge me in the first place." The opposite problem also holds true where people put too much stock in impressing everyone with their beauty. "This one person did not gawk at my beauty, therefore I must be ugly." Given that a small amount of vanity is healthy, beautiful people who dress and keep their bodies fit in order to indiscriminately please others run the risk of being ugly in the sense of being inauthentic and needing external validation from everyone. Obviously trying to please your significant other is not a bad thing.
A solution is to make the viewer and the viewed the same. In other words, judge yourself in a mirror. The important goal is to be able to stand in front of the mirror and say, "You are beautiful. I am beautiful." To get there, you need healthy diet, healthy exercise, and healthy personality.
on March 10, 2011
at 10:42 PM
It is very important to me to remain attractive. I didn't lose all this weight to not dress up and have fun with it. Yeah, sure, I did it for my health, but the sexy new body is a nice side effect.
I love to clothes shop now. I have to limit my budget, so I shop the clearance racks and consignment stores. My gym clothes always match and most of the time my shoes do too. :)
I dye my hair. I love makeup. I am a shoe whore. (When you are obese, shoes and handbags are the best type of shopping - - they always fit!)
I'm not going to lie. I love the attention. There aren't a lot of other women like me around here. Big fish/small pond. It works for me though. The positive reinforcement just keeps me committed to continuing my healthy eating and fitness routine.
I don't understand a lot of the suburban moms that I see picking up their kids at school in pajama pants and a messy bun. Their kids have been in school all day. Brush your hair! I can see on their Facebook pages that they got a new whatever in Farmville or their top score in Bejeweled. Seriously. And these are the same women who act like I don't eat bacon or chocolate. UGH.
on March 11, 2011
at 10:16 AM
I don't know if I really want to hang out with people who "judge" me for wearing Vibrams.
on March 11, 2011
at 03:29 AM
I cannot tell a lie. I care. And as Hut Full of Spears put it, "the attention is nice." Especially from younger men! :)
HOWEVER... I've become really low-maintenance in my 30s. No doubt it's also about getting older and less patient; knowing myself better and being disinclined to apologize for who I am - inside or out.
So I try to make the most of what I've got with the least possible effort: Ninety-second makeup; comfy-cute clothes and boots made for walkin'; and waist-length hair, which is feminine but needs no styling and a once-a-year trim. (I used to dye it red; might actually go back to that. Redheads do have a helluva lot of fun.)
I could wear more makeup, sex up my style, but then I'd be attracting the kind of man who buys into feminine fantasies and illusions. Those guys were fun to date in my 20s, but I'm a real girl now.
on March 11, 2011
at 01:52 AM
When a man is stimulated by his own thoughts and not by his facade, remaining full of desire and dwelling on what is attractive in the world, his craving increases even more for his own beauty. Paleo creates desire and eventually we all find our beauty. Beauty is defined by our own thoughts not by an external description. So I guess I disagree with the premise of the question.
on March 11, 2011
at 06:36 PM
I love being pretty and I love when others comment positively on my appearance. Being attractive is very important to me. I felt unattractive last year, and that's why I started researching Paleo. I am feeling more attractive every time I look in the mirror or cinch up my belt and notice I've gotten more lean. 8)
My idea of "attractive" is about being healthy and clean. I'm not interested in jewelry, makeup, or the latest fashions, but it is important to me to have a healthy and toned body, good grooming habits (for me this does include shaving), and clean/well-fitting clothing.
I think another part of attractiveness is how a person carries and presents themselves. Self-confidence is attractive. A good attitude is attractive. Good posture is attractive. On the other hand, something as simple as a scowl can make someone unattractive.
on March 11, 2011
at 02:28 AM
I still wear makeup almost daily, even to preschool dropoff and Target.
I love playing with makeup, and I love that a little mascara, concealer, and lip gloss can take me from just-barely-survived-a-pandemic to fairly presentable. I love Origins (paraben/junk-free) self-tanner for looking less washed-out - being as pale as I am, I could get enough Vitamin-D-generating sunshine and still retain quite a pallor.
I am concerned about some ingredients common to cosmetics and grooming products, and I've been increasingly willing to make switches of my standbys for free-of-yucky-stuff products (where I see no difference in results...or, hurrah! - it works even better!). However, if there's a distinct falling off of performance in a natural product I've decided to try, then I don't see the point - and return to my standby.
I feel different about myself and act differently in the outside world when I feel like I look alert, awake, and healthier in general. Are sun exposure, good sleep, a successful run with no 'poo (which I've yet to do despite having tried) optimal? Maybe, but shortcuts to looking on my A-game are sometimes all I have, being the parent of small children. :)
on March 10, 2011
at 10:06 PM
"Simply put, I believe that we should all do the very best with what we can based on who we are, all the while allowing personal flavor/flare to provide the beautiful variety. So long as that is in good order, you'll have the maximum situational outcome(s) working in your favor with regards to how other people view your personal 'attractiveness' as a whole."
What is "doing the very best we can"?
The very best for me is having healthy skin, healthy hair and feeling GOOD about myself.
I haven't had healthy skin or hair until I went Paleo and stopped using unnatural cleansers. I take showers every 3-4 days or so, wash with a natural soap and wash my hair with a shampoo bar. I shave if I feel like it, and never my legs, but no one has seemed to notice, or if they have, they didn't care.
With my husband, he's always been the same way, and while at the beginning of our relationship I did feel the need to be PRETTY all the time, I've toned it down, and he has said he doesn't care. He considers people who put on makeup to go to the supermarket wasting their time, and I'd have to agree.
I don't think everyone who doesn't shave is sitting around in holey sweatpants with a stained t-shirt on, same with those who have given up makeup, uncomfortable "designer" clothing, and normal cleansers.