Thursday, December 20, 2012

The rules of attraction

"He loves me..." "he loves me not."

I remember playing this game as a child, savoring the "loves me" petals by imagining a happy ever after for my love and I, and happily plucking and tossing the opposing ones as quickly as I could, not wanting to ruin the fun by thinking too hard about the possibility of rejection.

But why would anyone reject me, or accept me?  And what caused me to be attracted to anyone in the first place?

Is this game we call love really based solely on blind luck or is there a method to the madness??

The rules of attraction:
When assessing the attractiveness of a member of the opposite sex your subconcious picks up on certain physical characteristics that are indicative of two things: fertility status and whether or not he/ she has good genes.

So, why would you want a mate who is fertile and has good genes??

In a word, evolution.  We are pre programmed at birth to choose healthy mates so that our offspring will have a better chance of survival (read: a better chance of reproducing themselves and continuing to pass on the family DNA).  This primal desire to pass on our genes is deeply rooted and is one of the tricks mother nature keeps up her sleeve to prevent extinction.

Physical Characterisitics that are indicative of a healthy female reproductive system:  a curvier hourglass figure (when a woman is healthy and fertile she will store fat a little differently, becoming fuller in the lower and upper body, and maintaining a smaller waist), walking with her hips (not obnoxiously, just a slight sway of the hips), a higher pitched voice (within reason), more symmetrical facial features (no "birth defects," shows you have good quality DNA), glowy skin, thick hair, and other things that are symbolic of good health.

A picture of Marilyn Monroe, who was, at one time, every guy in
America's dream girl.  Note the small waist and the way the rest of her
body has a healthy sort of soft look about it.  In her day she was
known as the ultimate sex symbol.  

A woman is the most fertile during ovulation (mid cycle), which is why during this time her body works even harder than usual to attract a mate.  Her voice may sound a tad higher, her skin may be glowier, she may be more easily sexually aroused, and she may even (without being aware of it) move in a way that emphasizes her hips more than usual.  She also might smell a little differently (in a good way, more on that later).

The reason why healthy women store fat in this manner (mostly in the lower body, and the breasts, but avoiding the waist) is because it is in those areas that certain nutrients and omega 3 fatty acids important for pregnancy are stored.  This way, if when a women does get pregnant and she is not getting the proper amount of nutrients from her diet alone, her body will still be able to adequitely nourish the growing child within her.  After pregnancy many women notice a reduction in the size of their booty, and this could be why.  Just the same, if you know any women who disproportionately store fat for no apparent reason (for ex. maybe they haven't been pregnant), a poor diet low in omega 3 fatty acids could be the cause.

Physical characterisitics that are indicative of a healthy male reproductive system: a lower voice, walking with his shoulders (again not obnoxiously, but just a small movement of the shoulders that is in sync with his walk), muscular physique (the more testosterone you have coursing through your body the easier it is to build muscle, which is why men do not find muscular women attractive.  It goes against nature.), more symmetrical facial features (no "birth defects," shows you have good quality DNA), facial hair perhaps (as it shows masculinity) and also clear skin, thick hair, and anything else that might be symbolic of good health.

Manly man, Les Stroud.

Other things also come into play, such as personality traits.  A man might find a women who is tender and loving more attractive because she might seem like she would make a better mother.  A women might look for a man who "takes charge" and is dominant, so that she knows she and her children (or future children) will be taken care of.

Qualities such as these have always been seen as attractive, which is why gods and goddesses, kings and queens, and heros and damsels in distress (human ideals) have always been portrayed as beings possessing these characteristics.

These so called "rules of attraction" that have traditionally aided us in natural selection, are now being written over by modern society.  

For the last 60 years or so it has become more fashionable to be stick thin and shapeless, rather than to be a healthy weight and "curvy" (I hate to use this word as so many people interpret it as being synonymous to overweight, but that's not what I mean!).

For some reason, nowadays, we are socially conditioned to think, "the skinnier the healthier," and "the skinnier the prettier."  It could have something to do with Hollywood and the modeling industry (two fairly new and incredibly popular industries that are based on appearance and image), or the fact that obesity started becoming more of a problem recently (this topic getting more public attention could've led to more people becoming more body concious, and maybe taking it to an extreme and developing an eating disorder), or who knows what else.

A figure such as the ideal portrayed in magazines and posters, is not healthy looking.  (If your disagreeing with that last statement, it's okay, it's not your fault.  The idea might take some getting used to because as I said, you were brought up to think otherwise.  "Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.")

Until not too long ago, a body such as the one I have been describing (shapeless, and too thin) would have been signature of children (and girls who hadn't yet reached puberty, as portrayed in the image below), infertility, the ill, and the malnourished.

Complete opposite of today.

And now, images such as the one negatively depicted in the ad above, are all the rage:

Nothing about that represents womanhood, health, or success.  The shrunken breasts and the lack of definition at the waistline make their bodies more similar to that of a child's, as opposed to a woman's.

E!'s Guiliana Rancic, she actually has her own
diet plan that she reccommends to others.
(head smack)

Traditionally, a woman's body was known as a thing of beauty and wonder; not to be overdramatic but it was a thing to be worshipped, because it represents new life.

Note the smaller waist,
and fuller lower and
upper body.

Note the way none of her bones jut out.

This woman is not overweight at all, but she does
have a sort of pleasing "softness" about her, that
is consistent in many different works of art
created throughout history that are of women.

Nature: 2.  Conventional Wisdom: 1.

1 comment:

  1. This is great Kaitlyn! It's about time someone calls out societies obsession with the stick figures we call women. Why can't everyone just look like Marilyn Monroe? And hey i made a couple of posts. If you have time check them out and let me know what you think.