Interesting article in today’s Telegraph, where women where photographed, then then men were asked to rate how desirable they found them. Women who displayed psychological vulnerability – such as when the women were immature or unintelligent – resulted in them being given a higher rating, according to the study by researchers at Texas-Austin University. The men also ranked these women as more attractive than those who were portrayed as brainy, they found. Relationships expert Jean Hannah Edelstein said: “It’s not a recipe for a happy relationship to select a partner based on what you perceive to be their inferiority.”
The brains v beauty battle is age-old, and reared its head again when Samantha Brick wrote extensively about how beautiful she is (according to her, personally, I thought she resembled a middle-aged Barbie Doll, only slightly more plastic-looking…) and was heavily criticised by both genders for her whinging about how difficult life is for her because of her self-perceived beauty. At the same time, Professor Mary Beard, who was intellectually wooing us on our television screens with her series “Meet The Romans”, came under some heavy-duty fire from A A Gill for being “too ugly” and “offending viewers” by her presence on our screens. One comment left on a newspaper article about Gill’s attack on Professor Beard suggested that men are intimated by intelligent women, and prefer women who are less likely to intellectually challenge them, are more malleable and in some way inferior to them.
Add into this the recent promotions in newspapers by a woman called Helen Croyden who frequented Sugar Daddy dating sites, and spent years being paid for her “company” by wealthy older men (isn’t that prostitution?) and has written a book justifying her experiences. In one article she states that messages on dating sites from “fat and balding men” were instantly deleted and she only dated those men who were attractive (and rich, presumably) – yet again, how someone looks is more important than what they may have to offer in terms of companionship and personality.
I find all this rather shallow, how someone looks is irrelevant, as beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder, but also comes from within a person. A happy, confident person who is comfortable in their own skin is far more attractive than someone who is miserable and insecure about themselves. Isn’t it time we stopped placing store in the aesthetic “qualities” of a person and embraced thier individual personality and quirks? What kind of a message is this sending out to our impressionable children, who are heavily influenced by so-called celebrities and models in glossy magazines? Surely it is a message that how we look is far more important than our brain-power, or our own individuality?
Personally, I think there is nothing sexier than an intelligent man with a great sense of humour. Oh, and a beard….