Women & Beauty

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Re: Women & Beauty

#81  Postby Oldskeptic » Jul 12, 2015 1:49 am

Thommo wrote:
Oldskeptic wrote:It's 100 Most Beautiful Faces: Who Are Your Top 10 Picks? in Social & Fun. I've recently submitted my top ten and see nothing wrong with it. If you care to check it out you'll notice that, as per the thread title, I only included images of faces. I don't see how that is promoting unrealistic expectations.


Can most women realistically expect to look that way? If it's not a realistic possibility, doesn't that make it an unrealistic one?


The key word was 'promoting'. It would be unrealistic for many women (and men, but this thread is about women and beauty so I won't go there) to expect to look as beautiful as some others, it's just the way it is. The thing is from my experience of raising daughters, being married, having girlfriends, and friends that are women, that women talk about other women in much the same terms. Another thing is that facial beauty is not entirely or even somewhat subjective. Even though there are literally almost limitless ways to put attractive faces together there are parameters that must be met and can't be violated. These parameters are not completely subjective or arbitrary. They are evolved the same way that the waist to hip ratio preferences are evolved.

It can be bemoaned in our modern and enlightened society as unfair, but men are evolved to be sexually attracted to signs of youth, health, fertility, and the least masculine faces.

Let me add here that I completely agree that self-worth should not be based on physical beauty, and I oppose any system that would diminish self-esteem based on looks. But I have to acknowledge that in far too many cases that is exactly what happens. How to solve that problem society wide is unfortunately beyond me. All I can say is that I did have to deal with this problem in raising one of my daughters, and everything has worked out great for her.

It's hardly a cardinal sin, but this kind of mundane announcing to the world how we like women to look is part of the cultural basis for expectation of how women should look.


It's not a cultural basis, it's a biological basis, and it's how women should look if their expectation is to be considered an exceptional beauty. It may not be fair to all, but that's the way it is.

Oldskeptic wrote:Whatever her waist size I'm sticking with rather plump. And no matter what anyone says, women do aspire to look like attractive women in movies, television shows, and magazines, and they don't need any pressure from men or media to do it.

Image

Thomo wrote:

Out of a career of hundreds (if not thousands) of photos, in which she arguably looks better in most, people present one in which she's towards the upper end of the healthy weight range (and allegedly pregnant), but not at her most striking to make this point.


And that is exactly my point. My point wasn't that Marylin was fat or ugly, certainly her face had much to do with her appeal, but at the time she was considered by many to be the sexiest woman on the planet, something that probably wouldn't have happened with a high waist to hip ration.

Thomo wrote:

It's a mistake, deliberate cherry picking to make a point about beauty ideals that doesn't represent the ideals of the day, which very much included images like this one of Audrey Hepburn:-
Image

I'd agree that picture shows that you don't have to be "a stick" to be beautiful, but any political capital that might make is seriously undermined by the indication that even a normal woman is "plump" and therefore away from the ideal.


The ideals of weight do change with culture and times, but it's not clear to me who sets the ideals. Do men set them for women or do women set them for themselves? One thing that Desmond Morris demonstrated is that whether it is a Christina Hendricks a Marilyn or a Twiggy they are all found sexually attractive across cultural lines, and pretty much all they have in common are faces without masculine traits and body ratios.

Thomo wrote:

ETA: Not to mention that her ratios were recorded as being around 0.62-0.64, way below the "ideal" 0.7 ratio.

Oldskeptic wrote:

Close enough.

Thomo wrote:

11% is a pretty big margin for error, all sorts of measurements correlate just as well with what's considered attractive. There's no reason to single out 0.7 waist to hips as the standard we should look at, outside of rather a lot of junk science.


My bold

Devendra Singh
Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin,USA. http://faculty.bennington.edu/~sherman/ ... gh2002.pdf

To summarize the findings:

a) there was a high degree of consensus across sex, edu-cational and ethnic background for the judgment of attractiveness, healthiness and youthfulness;

b) participants judged figures with gynoid WHRs (0.7 and 0.8) as more attractive, healthy, and youthful than figures with android WHRs (0.9 and 1.0); and

c) attractiveness ratings along with ratings of health-ness and youthfulness show a linear drop from WHR of 0.7, followed by 0.8, then 0.9 and then 1.0 in each body weight category.


I recommend you read the whole paper before calling it junk science.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#82  Postby Thommo » Jul 12, 2015 2:13 am

Oldskeptic wrote:The key word was 'promoting'. It would be unrealistic for many women (and men, but this thread is about women and beauty so I won't go there) to expect to look as beautiful as some others, it's just the way it is. The thing is from my experience of raising daughters, being married, having girlfriends, and friends that are women, that women talk about other women in much the same terms.


This is somewhat irrelevant, there's been no suggestion that women don't do the same, or that if they do it doesn't contribute to societal expectation. What I said is that we (whatever gender we are) have limited options available to not contribute, but what we can do is not actively push our opinions on this matter into the public space, at least on this forum. The undue stress on "promote" in your analysis is disproportionate, the word merely means "to put forward", I'm not trying to engender the idea anyone is running an advertising campaign here.

Personally I wouldn't have made that switch from "propagate" to "promote" in the first place, I do admit. I'm not sure the argument that it's ok to "propagate" but not "promote" is persuasive or key here.

Oldskeptic wrote:Another thing is that facial beauty is not entirely or even somewhat subjective.


Yes, yes it is. People disagree about facial beauty. It's not entirely subjective, but it most certainly is somewhat subjective - people disagree.

Oldskeptic wrote:Even though there are literally almost limitless ways to put attractive faces together there are parameters that must be met and can't be violated. These parameters are not completely subjective or arbitrary. They are evolved the same way that the waist to hip ratio preferences are evolved.

It can be bemoaned in our modern and enlightened society as unfair, but men are evolved to be sexually attracted to signs of youth, health, fertility, and the least masculine faces.


But we aren't compelled by evolution to express these opinions on fora. That we choose. I have sexual attractions, but I didn't post them in that thread because it has precious little to do with what evolution has made of us.

Oldskeptic wrote:Let me add here that I completely agree that self-worth should not be based on physical beauty, and I oppose any system that would diminish self-esteem based on looks. But I have to acknowledge that in far too many cases that is exactly what happens. How to solve that problem society wide is unfortunately beyond me. All I can say is that I did have to deal with this problem in raising one of my daughters, and everything has worked out great for her.


I'm glad we agree. I can honestly say that I believe you when you talk proudly of your daughter, having read many of your posts and I am pleased she is doing well and is balanced. Well done to both of you. :thumbup:

Oldskeptic wrote:
It's hardly a cardinal sin, but this kind of mundane announcing to the world how we like women to look is part of the cultural basis for expectation of how women should look.


It's not a cultural basis, it's a biological basis, and it's how women should look if their expectation is to be considered an exceptional beauty. It may not be fair to all, but that's the way it is.


Your feelings, maybe. Your expression of those feelings, not so much. It's just not at all necessary (evolutionarily or otherwise) to announce our expectations to the world outside of our intimate lives. Christ if I went on a date with someone I found ugly or plump I'd consider it the merest human dignity not to bluntly say that to someone's face. This conception of the effects of telling someone unflattering things extends beyond that circumstance and is not excused or explained by evolution.

Oldskeptic wrote:
Thomo wrote:

11% is a pretty big margin for error, all sorts of measurements correlate just as well with what's considered attractive. There's no reason to single out 0.7 waist to hips as the standard we should look at, outside of rather a lot of junk science.


My bold

Devendra Singh
Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin,USA. http://faculty.bennington.edu/~sherman/ ... gh2002.pdf

To summarize the findings:

a) there was a high degree of consensus across sex, edu-cational and ethnic background for the judgment of attractiveness, healthiness and youthfulness;

b) participants judged figures with gynoid WHRs (0.7 and 0.8) as more attractive, healthy, and youthful than figures with android WHRs (0.9 and 1.0); and

c) attractiveness ratings along with ratings of health-ness and youthfulness show a linear drop from WHR of 0.7, followed by 0.8, then 0.9 and then 1.0 in each body weight category.


I recommend you read the whole paper before calling it junk science.


I didn't, I called "singl[ing] out 0.7 waist to hips as the standard we should look at" beyond other measures junk science. The fact that the first paper linked to on this cited Marilyn Monroe as a perfect example despite her 11% deviation is exactly why we should be sceptical.

I don't at all question the existence of a correlation between waist to height ratio and perceived attractiveness - I readily acknowledge it, together with, for example, a correlation between waist size and perceived attractiveness.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#83  Postby Oldskeptic » Jul 12, 2015 6:26 am

I don't really think that we disagree all that much, other than the appropriateness of a thread about beautiful faces.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#84  Postby Thommo » Jul 12, 2015 11:30 am

I'm sure you're right. I don't even think of that as an important issue. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#85  Postby bvanevery » Nov 04, 2015 8:17 pm

Nobody brought up that in many parts of Africa, fat women are what's valued. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4566870.stm Some comments on this article:

I grew up with low self esteem and no self worth due to name calling because of my body structure. To African society, I was just too skinny. I was called names like "bonga fish", "long rat" and other horrible names I try not to recall. My mother gave me several doses of combatrin to de-worm me, thinking something was wrong with me. I have changed over the years. I can't say I'm skinny any more but healthy at about 130 pounds. Personally, African traditions will always take a backseat to realistic health goals.
Kay, Nigerian in the US


Being a native of Zimbabwe I can assure you that being chubby is a sure sign of health and wealth in Zimbabwe. With the AIDS epidemic sweeping the country, being chubby is a clear sign that perhaps one is not suffering from the dreaded disease.
Dave, Sydney, Australia


In Africa generally and in Tanzania particularly, size is very, very important especially for ladies to be viewed as beautiful. One can't see how men tolerate being told that the Miss World Africa from Tanzania is beautiful! Yes, her face is worthy of a woman, but where are the "chakula cha mtoto" - breasts for feeding babies? Where are the "mguu wa bia" - legs like a beer bottle? Where are the "makalio ya haja" - protruding buttocks?
Muhoza Chiza, Mwanza, Tanzania


Going back to earlier discussion of the Venus figures, I submit that some of you are imposing your modern Western cultural biases on how you structure and frame your analysis and musings of them. There are parts of the world even today where such anatomy is a lot closer to HOT HOT HOT!!! I think that one carving is anatomically accurate from a real woman, who surely wasn't common but nevertheless existed. Yeah she doesn't have pubic hair, how many sculptors want to bother with that? It's difficult to sculpt, and showing the genitalia is culturally important here. Religious figure, sexy high status wife, paragon of fitness in motherhood, all of the above? I don't know, I can't know. But I think someone ancient went to some trouble to depict something for you, meant to be taken at face value.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#86  Postby laklak » Nov 04, 2015 9:15 pm

When we go "home" to Swaziland the standard greeting from Mrs. Lak's female Swazi friends is "Ooooo - you're so FAT!". Not that she is (OK maybe a tiny bit but hell I'm no oil painting), it's a high compliment.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#87  Postby quas » Dec 15, 2015 4:37 am

laklak wrote:but hell I'm no oil painting

If you were an oil painting, you'd be even greasier?
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Re: Women & Beauty

#88  Postby I'm With Stupid » Dec 15, 2015 6:31 pm

bvanevery wrote:Nobody brought up that in many parts of Africa, fat women are what's valued.

Are they? Or are high status women what's valued?

What I see is that men are programmed to respond to various often contradictory stimuli, meaning that there's a wide scope for what can be considered attractive. So men are attracted to both women who are shorter than them, and tall women with long legs. Women who are petite and slim, and also curves and big breasts. Women with a young-looking face, but a womanly body. I can tell you, all of the things that I find physically attractive could never possibly exist on just one woman, and I think most men are the same.

And that's just the physical stuff. You then have to take other things into account like the social situation. One study concluded that women in a less equal society are more likely to find muscular, physically impressive, stereotypical alpha-males attractive, whereas in a more equal society, this tends not to be the case.

It wouldn't be a massive surprise to see that in countries where a significant number of people struggle to put food on the table, a more curvy physique on a woman would be preferred, and in a country where obesity is a sign of an unhealthy diet and poor social status, a more sporty physique would come to the fore. It's not different from whether dark skin or light skin is preferred, basically as a measure of social status. The question is can you remove social status from the equation and find the purely biological triggers?
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Re: Women & Beauty

#89  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Dec 15, 2015 6:56 pm

I'm With Stupid wrote:One study concluded that women in a less equal society are more likely to find muscular, physically impressive, stereotypical alpha-males attractive, whereas in a more equal society, this tends not to be the case.

Woot!!! :dance: :awesome: :cheerdance: :disco: :excited: :happydance:


Oh, erm..... carry on. :shifty:


So, um, anyway.... I'm a feminist. This is not related to the quoted bit at all.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#90  Postby don't get me started » Dec 16, 2015 4:33 am

Face shape and proportions, leg length, body size, chest measurements and all the rest of it are mere epiphenomena for me. The most sexually attractive trait that a woman can have is willingness. If she is really into me, all other considerations (well, nearly all) are moot.
Similarly, the most visually and socially appealing woman can not even register on the attractiveness radar if she projects indifference or dislike.
It's a pity that the way human sexual relations tend to work is for the man to do a bit of 'chasing' and the woman to do a bit of 'fleeing', even when mutual attraction exists. I've always erred on the side of caution, and taken myself off if expressions of interest are not reciprocated fairly soon and fairly unambiguously.
On the other hand, I'm probably a bit of a tart, and can be persuaded relatively easily when I have been on the receiving end of unambiguous interest :naughty2:
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Re: Women & Beauty

#91  Postby Rumraket » Dec 17, 2015 2:17 pm

don't get me started wrote:Face shape and proportions, leg length, body size, chest measurements and all the rest of it are mere epiphenomena for me. The most sexually attractive trait that a woman can have is willingness. If she is really into me, all other considerations (well, nearly all) are moot.
Similarly, the most visually and socially appealing woman can not even register on the attractiveness radar if she projects indifference or dislike.

I pretty much agree with this. Of course there are physical characteristics I find generally appealing, but attitude can certainly bump the attractiveness a lot. The most offputting characteristic is snobbyness, either by talking down to people or acting like a spoiled entitled brat. It doesn't even have to be directed at me, it makes me want to strangle the person. Mood, body language and attitude makes a huge difference. It can't bring me from not finding the grossly fat or extremely disfigured attractive, to finding them attractive, but it's sort of like alcohol. :lol:
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Re: Women & Beauty

#92  Postby LucidFlight » Dec 17, 2015 3:07 pm

Three words: educated at Harvard. OK, they have to be hot as well.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#93  Postby Thommo » Dec 17, 2015 4:10 pm

I like people who smile and laugh.

Incidentally has anyone found any genuine example of a culture who thinks that this:-
Image
is "HOT HOT HOT"?

Because when I looked for pictures of women from magazines (which I thought might serve as a proxy for "attractive") in the countries mentioned, like Zimbabwe, they looked absolutely nothing like that body shape whatsoever. Similarly and in line with those pictures studies I looked at seemed to discuss preferred waist-hip ratios of 0.7 to 0.8 among both Africans and Americans of African descent. The figurine looks to be well in excess of 1.5, maybe even 2.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#94  Postby Rumraket » Dec 17, 2015 4:38 pm

I would dispense with trying to measure preferred attractiveness by magazines, and go straight to porn statistics.

After all, watching online porn confers the user more anonymity to look at what they really desire, than buying magazines do.

Do magazines full of fat women with saggy tits even exist? I guess they might, according to internet rule 34. :lol: But it's probably nothing by a tiiiny niche.

Edit: Turns out there is a niche for it, apparently called "BBW" for Big Beautiful Women. http://www.pornhub.com/insights/bbw-curvy-women-searches
Image
It seems to hover around 0.5 to 1.5% of total searches. That's on the same scale of "normalcy" as pedophilia. And by making that comparison I don't mean to insinuate that BBW enthusiasts are, or are like, pedophiles.

Nevertheless, the term doesn't make the top 20 worldwide porn search:
http://www.pornhub.com/insights/2014-year-in-review
Image

It's almost always "teen". Which is pretty much a proxy for "young, firm, healthy-looking".
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Re: Women & Beauty

#95  Postby Thommo » Dec 17, 2015 4:52 pm

Interesting, but it doesn't distinguish between culture does it? How does that typical search compare to a search made by a Zimbabwean, Tanzinean or someone from Swaziland?
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Re: Women & Beauty

#96  Postby quas » Dec 17, 2015 4:52 pm

Search inputs/viewing habits and real-life preferences may differ. It's like how Pepsi consistently beats Coke in taste tests, but Coke always outsells Pepsi.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#97  Postby Rumraket » Dec 17, 2015 5:01 pm

Thommo wrote:Interesting, but it doesn't distinguish between culture does it? How does that typical search compare to a search made by a Zimbabwean, Tanzinean or someone from Swaziland?

There is actually stats on that in there too, just don't remember where. Try seaching for it in pornhub.com/insights

Image

Apparently fat women are the shit in Uzbekistan. :lol:
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Re: Women & Beauty

#98  Postby Thommo » Dec 17, 2015 5:05 pm

Bugger, now I need to find an atlas to look up where Swaziland and Tanzania are. My African geography is embarrassingly bad.

Thanks for the answers though. :thumbup:

ETA: Might stick to looking at pics of clothed women for now though, the prospect of trying to judge enough naked fat women to see if they are quite as obese as that figurine is not attractive to me. :lol:
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Re: Women & Beauty

#99  Postby Boyle » Dec 17, 2015 5:31 pm

That figurine isn't even that fat, not compared to people we get on those reality shows nowadays.

From My Body Gallery, which is actually a really decent site aimed at showing women's height/weight mixes without airbrushing or editing. The rise of obesity in the US has really fucked over perceptions of what it means to be overweight, so sources like that are helpful.

Anyway, the anonymous woman through that link is 5' 4" and 307 lbs (162.5 cm and 139.3 kg). The proportions are about the same as the statue.
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Re: Women & Beauty

#100  Postby Thommo » Dec 17, 2015 5:46 pm

It's not incomparable, although the real woman, whilst morbidly obese, is clearly not as exaggerated as the figurine which has substantially wider belly than shoulders as well as stylised and inhuman head.

Image

Undoubtedly you're right that the figurine is realistic though and that there are a number of people larger than those proportions in real life - but IIRC those of us discussing the figurine, or at least ST, Fall and myself all agreed that it was very realistic and lifelike within its stylistic constraint, implying the artist really had seen women of large body size.

Not living in the US I'm not sure I'm really in a position to discuss perceptions there of what it means to be overweight. Anecdotally here in the UK most of the fat people I know do realise they are fat, although many who edge into obesity are unwilling to admit that and tend to euphemise as "a bit overweight", "could stand to lose a few pounds" or "a touch on the heavy side, perhaps" or things of that nature. I do know a fair few people who just describe themselves as "fat" though.
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