Saturday, 14 May 2011

Body image (s) ... the importance of perception.

I don’t find my body that attractive and I know that many women are also over critical of their own looks to the extent that they don’t like their husbands looking at them naked. On the other hand, the men in their life think they are gorgeous. My man is always making very sincere compliments and even enjoys taking photographs! So, I try to see things from his perspective ....

I hypothesize that because I am strongly heterosexual, I cannot see the sexually attractive aspect of my own body because my body is female whereas I can really appreciate male bodies with all their variety. Lacking the straight male perspective, I naturally use the benchmarks of models and pornography actresses to judge that I am unattractive.

Likewise, perhaps men have little idea how physically attractive they really are in the eyes of the women that lust after them!  Figleaf refers to the question of body hair on men and observes that men tend to grow more body hair as they get older. I think it’s the same thing – the media and actors tend to promote hairlessness and certainly younger models are less hairy and even remove body hair.  On the other hand, many women (including me!) really love body hair on men.

Which reminds me – a certain man has a chest full of nice hair that I am sure needs another stroke!   


  1. Recently I asked my girlfriend how she would rate herself on a scale from 1 to 10. She answered 6.5. I would give her an 8.5. What is with that??

    No, don't call it 'love goggles' as I can be quite objective. I asked and she explained that at one time, 20 years ago or so (she would have been 28 then) she might have been an 8.5. Now that she is older she feels she can't compete with the 20 somethings. Does being 20 something give a woman an advantage over someone in their 40s? Does an average looking 28 year old rank higher than Halle Berry just because she is younger? I personally don't think that age should impact that strongly upon our perceptions of ourself.

    As long as we take pride in our appearance and don't allow ourselves to become too thin, too fat or neglect good grooming, we should maintain a healthy body image. However, if we insist on comparing and measuring ourselves by the standards of the model industry, music stars or Hollywood actors/actresses (sorry Halle) we will almost always be disappointed with ourselves. It is more important to look at those characteristics that make us unique and not try to look like every other person we see in clothing ads.

    You know if you have lost too much weight or have packed on too many pounds to be appealing to your lover or others you may endeavor to meet. A lifestyle change can make a big difference with that. We should celebrate the differences. How awful would it be if we all looked alike?

    One final comment, don't compare yourself to pornstars!!!!! That would be like me comparing myself to Johnny Holmes, the one with the enormous dick. He wasn't that attractive and his biggest asset was the size of his appendage. How many women would want to even attempt to accommodate him? Would it be for pleasure or just to say that they could? How many men believe the bizarre scenarios of porn? How many men see porn stars (did you really call them 'pornography actresses'?) and the most attractive women standard? No me!!!


  2. Thank you for your comment and questions – “attractiveness” is an issue that I have been considering in depth recently. I do hope you can further add to my understanding of how men perceive women.

    According to the “theory” women lose attractiveness points as they get older – presumably because they are less fertile, may have been impacted by childbirth etc, complexion tends to be less clear, hair thins and loses colour and so on. At some stage serious wrinkles set in.

    We women tend to buy in on the belief of attractiveness dropping off with age and it’s confirmed as we receive less attention and fewer compliments. Often a relationship breaks down and we feel we must be somehow repulsive – otherwise why won’t he have sex with us? However, in all this perception and situation play important roles.

    Many mature men prefer age appropriate partners – like yourself, they seem to have calibrated their standards with regard to realistic expectations of age, not comparing older women with their younger counterparts. They also may appreciate experience, self awareness, confidence and similar generational history.

    A number of my male friends of similar age have remarked they prefer women with depth and insight and look for intellectual rapport, and that this tends to lead them to choosing women of their age that they can really “talk to”. So, in rating attractiveness, they effectively place a heavy weight on characteristics that grow with age.

    What confounds me is that some men in rating my attractiveness do not seem to notice the signs of aging – I know I have new dimples on curves I did not possess 20 yrs ago, my skin is less elastic and my hair has silver highlights – yet the light of my life says I have a great body and compliments my body, skin, breasts, butt etc. He even says this right after checking out a “porn star” video. He can pretty well have his choice of women and a much younger woman was interested – so why???

    In general, do men take into account sincere attempts to remain attractive?