What is Physical Attractiveness?
What is Physical Attractiveness?
When it comes to dating and romance, there are many factors about physical attractiveness that play into selecting a new mate.
Television, media, and peer influences also play into how we choose a new partner aside from personal preferences.
Physical attractiveness has clear impacts on social interactions. Yet the greatest effects of attractiveness are perhaps in the realm of dating opportunities, romantic attractions, and romantic relationships.
I remember growing up watching Baywatch fantasizing about one of the physically fit male lifeguards rescuing me.
Television made it seem as if having six pack abs was the best thing for you, not to mention the character who usually had them was dreamy.
Even going at lengths to discover how Pamela Anderson got her body so I would look more like her.
Also, not being able to wait for the next Cosmopolitan or Seventeen magazine to be published so we could all drool over the models in there.
The importance physical attractiveness is learned early in life, with children highly aware of the cultural criteria for attractiveness. Even young children know of the importance of societal requirements for attractiveness and what those standards are.
Sociocultural influences are important in determining adolescents’ standards of beauty, particularly regarding physique. And in suggesting how important appearance should be in their lives. Such influences include the messages and images portrayed by the media. As well as input from peers, family members, schools, and others in adolescents’ social surroundings. Attractive young people are widely portrayed in the media and television shows, and strongly influence young adults.
The role of the media is argued to be a particularly important factor in determining body image concerns, with research focusing on the thin ideal for females. And perceived pressure from the media to achieve a thin body image. It has been commonly noted that the physically attractive stereotype for females that is transmitted in the media includes a thin body shape that is unrealistic for most to attain.
When asking men in today’s society what it means to be physically attractive, a wide array of answers might come to fruit. Think of it like speed dating, and you are only getting to know someone on the surface and must make a choice of whether or not to date them.
One research speed-dating event, pairs of men and women chatted for a 5-min period. After the time was up, the men rotated to the next woman. Before starting the next conversation, participants rated their attraction to the person they just met. The researchers found that physical attractiveness of the partner was the strongest predictor of initial attraction for both men and women.
As we age it is hard to maintain these stereotypes of thinness or six pack abs. Why doesn’t the media portray more realistic goals for men and women to obtain? Personally, the older I get, the harder it is to maintain the same weight let alone physique. What makes a curvy woman not physically attractive? I mean Marilyn Monroe was super curvy and not “thin” by media standards, but she was a huge sex icon.
The imperfectness is what makes us human and more of a reachable goal to obtain. Sure, when I was in my teens, I fell for the media brainwashing me to think I was not healthy or attractive being I was not skinny like a model.
My confidence was shaken, and I felt like no one in a million years would physically be attracted to me. As I grew up my curves and imperfections, became what made me more desirable. I also changed as a person as well. I stopped believing in what the “perfect” man was. At one-point I think having the perfect washboard abs and toned muscles was my knight in shining armor. Now, I love my partner no matter how physically fit they are. I just want them healthy.
Sexiness is in the eye of the beholder. I have been known to cause my partners to gain a little more weight when we date due to my love for cooking. Screw the stereotypes and find your own definition of what is sexy.
Eventually we all grow out of the sociocultural influences of what is desirable and create our own. Healthiness is the most important quality in a relationship. A partner who has a dad/mom bod is way more attractive and sexier being they are healthy and safe. Being healthy is what the media and television should focus more on because it is reality. Healthy comes in many shapes and sizes. Physical attractiveness stereotypes are hard to see at a young age. But as we age some of them becomes less important than they were when we were kids.
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