Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beauty Standards Pt. 2

Part 1 here

Would a Queer Woman Find You As Attractive As You Find Yourself?

In my search, I ran across an article, which I'm pretty sure features/is basically talking about white women, that got me thinking--do women generally hang out with groups of women who match them in terms of looks? I would describe my female friends as women who are generally a little bit above average, definitely not standouts to most people--or shouldn't be, I feel, except maybe in terms of personality. I think being a woman who likes women romantically, hanging out with straight women and hearing what some women think about their looks, is advantageous to me because I get to compare what I think with what they think, what others think, etc. I don't think straight men really get that kind of opportunity, i.e. to sit around hearing women talk about their own attractiveness level and he has his own ideas about that going on in his head as someone who could prospectively check that same woman out.

Interesting to note that while I think all my female friends are kind of average, except a few of them, the black ones are the only ones who don't have men in their lives right now, except one and she's in her late 30s. In fact, let me break down the women I'm thinking of as of right now:

-Nikki: so, I've mentioned her several times in my blog before. She's black, a little bit younger than I am, parents are African immigrants. I know I said I would leave Africans out of this, but I guess technically she's American. She is very confident that she is attractive, yet she is bewildered by why men don't seem interested in her. She has a really good personality; I don't think anyone dislikes her. She's not the kind of black woman that people like to think most black women are, i.e. I really don't perceive her as the kind of woman who would be much of a problem in a relationship. Thing is, she's not as good-looking as she thinks she is. I would say she is my least attractive friend. Though she has a good personality, for me, it's not the right kind of personality to make me overlook her level of physical attractiveness. If she were queer, we wouldn't be a match; in fact, I wonder how we're even able to be friends. We simply have very little in common.

-Best Friend In Law School (BFLS): have mentioned her before, too. White female, my age. I think she is perfect in every way except physical attractiveness. There's just no attraction there, physically. I do think she is average or a bit above. Sometimes, I feel that the outstanding nature of her personality would be enough if she were queer. There are guys here who think she is perfect, including physically, and she has a lot of male friends and a lot of female friends. Some [straight] women here agree she is the total package. She is extremely humble about all these kinds of compliments. She is engaged and will be marrying a man upon graduation.

-South Asian Friend (SAF): I think she's pretty in a very realistic way, i.e. nothing glamorous about her. She's not someone I would feel awkward hanging out with or dating because they look too good for me--and, trust me, I've been there with some females. A relationship would be a crazy idea, though. We're both too straightforward and controversial, i.e. a little too similar in ways that can be bad. It would be a little like having a relationship with a stereotypical black female. Last I heard, she was dating a South Asian male.

-Korean Friend (KF): I think she's pretty, too. Good personality. I guess she's pretty enough, combined with the fact that she's Asian, for me to be a little surprised that she seems to like me as much as she does, even in just a friendship capacity...I suppose partially because I perceive Asian females around here to be stuck-up and/or very interested in white people mainly or only. I've never thought about dating her, but she has been in a relationship (with some white guy or another) ever since I've known her.

-Best Friend In Music (BFM): White female, engaged to be married. Men of all races love her, but she has no idea why (and neither do I). That article I linked to above? She is so one of those kind of women, from having men approach to the point of viewing it as a major annoyance to women hating her to talking about how difficult it is...only she doesn't think she's attractive and she's not friendly. I have never thought she was that attractive, so on one hand some of the male harassment stories she's told me have been amazing to me, but on the other hand I understand this is a white female, blonde hair, blue eyes, "innocent" or "girl next door," "tiny and cute" kind of look. But partially because of her, I believe pretty much everything the women in that article say, can see how it's a problem and have even been thankful myself for not having to deal with stuff like that, especially the more black men get away from liking black women (though older black men still seem to like and annoy us). In fact, this friend and I joke about how she needs to be a black woman so she won't have to deal with these things, as my theory is that black women who are good-looking don't experience the problems in that article except maybe when they're in black environments. Aside from having no physical attraction to her, I would never want to date her because, as with SAF, we're too similar in ways that are problematic and just too similar for a relationship to be interesting.

-Black Religious Friend (BRF): mentioned her in my last post (i.e. the religion post), she's a little older than I am, single. She looks alright, but...I don't know, she's another one of my friends I've never had the slightest interest in...absolutely no chemistry or anything. I can tell she cares about how she looks by her appearance, spends time on it and that she feels confident in that area. We have really good conversations, but I can tell we're pretty different in many ways. We still have a lot more in common in terms of how we think than Nikki and I do.

-Angel: mentioned her before, she's in her late 30s, married, half-Asian/half-white, GORGEOUS, GREAT PERSONALITY--too damn perfect, hence the name. In fact, if she were any other woman, I would likely have issues being friends with her. But for whatever reason, I feel very comfortable with her, and I can tell she genuinely likes me. I see her as the kind of woman that, despite coming off as perfect, you just can't help but like her. I can't see her having the issues with other women that women in the article do, and she strikes me as the kind of woman who doesn't realize how great she is and won't run around talking about being attractive, but is still just confident in general. I want to marry her, but I'm pretty sure some white guy beat me to it! haha. Oh, well. She's very much like all the great things I see in BFLS, plus the looks, and seems humble about her looks and everything else. In fact, I kind of joke about the way she responds to compliments. She's like, "That's nice of you to say," as if I'm not being serious!

-Black Successful Friend (BSF): who is also religious and mentioned in my last post. Late 30s, married. Don't really know her and this guy's story because that's not the kind of thing we talk about when we speak. I do think she's pretty. But I also never thought about her "that way," probably for several reasons--when I met her, I didn't like older women; I could tell she was straight; she lives far away; she's really more in the role of a career mentor. Like BRF--and, really, Nikki, too--I can tell she works on keeping herself looking nice and feels good about herself in that area.

I would say my closest friends are generally the more average ones, in my eyes, i.e. BFLS, Nikki, and BFM. Angel, BRF and SAF are the next bracket. I'd say BFLS, Nikki, BFM and Angel are the friends I've bonded with on some level, very special friendships and the kind that come about just from clicking without a real explanation...just could never have other friends like them, most likely, or at least not female friends (remember, this list doesn't include the male friends I have). Yet, it seems among these four women, you have differing levels of physical attractiveness. BFM is a guy magnet physically, even though she doesn't want to be. Nikki probably wishes she could get even just a little of what BFM gets. Angel's been with the same person for almost two decades and still looks better than most females who are 20-25 years younger than she is. And everybody thinks BFLS is the total package, even straight females I know. The one commonality that maybe exists? Good-to-great personalities.

What does this say about me? Hell if I know.

But I guess ultimately, most women have a warped sense of how they look, at least vs how others see them. Is there a racial correlation as to what way? I think it's a good question.