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Do looks matter?

I've been thinking about this "do you pick a mate based on looks" thing and feeling like there's something about the question that makes assumptions about what it means to pick someone based on looks. Perhaps they're just my assumptions. But the assumptions seem to be that if you pick based on looks, that means you are picking based on whether the person's looks makes your hormones behave like hungry puppies.

I feel that a person's "looks" make a difference in my interest, but it's not about begging hormones. It's got more to do with a gestalt impression I get of someone based on visual data in real-time[1]. I can read a lot of information that way and it can make a difference in the depth of my interest in someone. I don't privilege it over other information (how a person communicates in the long run matters more than the visual data) but it's pretty important to me, to the extent that if I have not met someone f2f, even if I have a lot of communication with them, they don't seem entirely real to me yet.

[1]I say real-time because photos don't give me nearly as much data.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 4th, 2001 07:24 pm (UTC)
I take it for granted that looks are important. But then I really don't take sexual emotions that seriously. A ride on a roller coaster is not a walk down the road of wisdom.
Mar. 4th, 2001 09:08 pm (UTC)
I can't say looks don't matter at all because they do, but an interesting aspect of me is the fact that someone I think is pretty on the outside doesn't get me physically interested in them. It has to do with how they move and how they speak. That's the "real" physical attraction for me.

So, I guess I have the same outlook on the appearance of a lover as you do....
Mar. 6th, 2001 08:14 am (UTC)
Good point in your footnote. It's possible to see a picture of someone and think, "wow! so beautiful!" Then you encounter her/him in person, watch her/him move, listen to her/him speak to others, and you have to hastily revise your opinion to "not so beautiful after all."

Personality, intelligence, and ability to articulate are all a big part of my attraction to people. Their physical cuteness is a factor too, I won't lie about that, but the person beneath the skin is far more important.

I finally added you to my friends list, I don't know what took me so long. I love your entries.
Mar. 6th, 2001 02:31 pm (UTC)
Actually the opposite happens to me more often -- I see a picture and think the person isn't so beautiful, but there is something about them in person that is more.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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