Image and society. Just something that just makes you stop in and say hum?

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    Nov 04, 2007 6:14 AM GMT
    We exsist in a society that judges people on the merits of surface qualities i.e. Money. Clothes. He/she is "gorgeous". How big his arms, chest, abs, legs and how hot his ass are. I'll admit, I'm no exception to this mind set. This is the typical of the mind set of the vast majority. However, in realizing this pattern of behavior I begin to contemplate why is this so? Why do we have such an insatiable impression and appetite with wanting to look or be perfect? What do believe to be the true definition of perfection? I beg to ask these questions, because I am so very curious as to why are we as a society are so hungary for looking beautiful, pretty and perfect? Could it be that pop culture and "celebrity" feeds us that if you have a 31 inch waist, rippling wash board abs bulging biceps, and perfect pecs were are more than the person who doesn't? Or perhaps it's because we fear the possibility of just being yet another face in the crowd, and in order to stand out of the sea of millions upon millions, we must strive to not be just average? Now, don't get me wrong here fellas, I love a hot hard muscular male physic as much as the next guy. All you have to do is take a quick glance at how many of you on this site I think are "hot". But, I just can't help to contemplate this issue that plagues our society, not just the gay society, but society as a whole, of what the real true definition of what "pretty" or "beautiful" is. Furthermore, I wanted to dig past the surface qualities of what a man looks like on the outside and go beyond the qualities that very few of even dare to consider, yes, that is what's on the inside. I know, I know, this all sounds so cliche. But, lets face it, we all, okay, maybe not ALL of us, but a good portion of us react this way when we cruise guys. Now with my experiences with interfacing with many, many people I've come to the conclusion that, yes, there are many who are part of the "beautiful" ones that are traditionally pretty, or what we as society deems as "pretty", but are not so from the inside. In other words, their narcissism completely spoils what their good looks drew you to them in the first place. There are also those who are traditionally "beautiful" on the outside, but even more so from the inside as well. You noticed their insides as much as you noticed their handsome looks. And lastly, there are those who, by the majority of societal standards, are not traditionally "beautiful" from the outside, but radiate some kind of wonderful energy from within that makes them difficult to get lost in the sea of the handsome good looking ones. I had the wonderful pleasure to becoming friendly and acquainted with someone who is not "traditionally pretty" outside. However, after visiting with him I realized that his energy was something that I have not been in the presence of too often. More bluntly and to the point, I before meeting this person, I hadn't ever allowed myself the opportunity because of the judging first before knowing syndrome. After visiting with this funny, respectful, and down earth person, I began to feel guilty. icon_sad.gif Guilty for all the missed opportunities to connect on a whole and real level with many of whom I had dismissed and disregarded because of the way they look on the outside. Sadly, this has been my mindset for my whole life. Until now.icon_smile.gif After my visit with my new acquaintance and friend, I walked away with a new found understanding of how our subconscious thoughts the appearance effects our actions towards others. After my enjoyable visit with this person I couldn't help but to contemplate about how I view what a beautiful person looks like. A beautiful person is more than what he/she looks like outside...We all know in our minds, that what a person looks like outside are not the defining qualities as to the person they are wholly and completely. Well....okay, maybe a lot of us reserve this in the back of our minds, but a vast majority of us are intelligent enough to know this. AND, a vast majority of us are guilty of not taking the time to get to know someone because of our preconceived ideas of what we consider "pretty"....I always knew on a subconscious level, that good looks are NOT the deciding factor of how beautiful a person. But, sadly my actions and thoughts revealed otherwise. I am guilty, as are many others of prejudging someone based off of surface qualities before actually dig past the surface...So, with that said, why do you suppose this is? AND, after reading this, what is your definition of "beautiful" "pretty" in a person?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16461

    Nov 04, 2007 3:31 PM GMT
    Well it all starts with what you value and how balanced you are...

    I can certainly appreciate a nice looking man and am blessed and have worked to improve my own health and wellness. For me, the "outside" is whats noticed, but for me to really "take notice", the inside has to match.
    I've discovered those who may have achievement based on their fitness, but either want to rely on others or are not responsible for their actions in other areas.
    What a downer. When I see "achievement" beyond that which is physical, I'm curious, I like to hear and its a real draw toward that person.

    But if one had a partner and they are happy, its nice to have an appreciation for a nice looking guy, but
    I would hope there would be some additional interest, effort and appreciation toward those who have much to
    share, regardless of their looks.
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    Nov 04, 2007 3:44 PM GMT
    I can be attracted to someone based on their attitude or perhaps their intellect even if I dont desire to have any sex with them. Anyone can be drawn to someone based on charm or mytique.

    Hitler was very attractive to people because of his ability to project a message that touched the inner feelings of hate inside the german people.

    On the other side we build image as a form of selling sex. We think about who we want to have sex with and what type of looks or style will be needed. So much of our daily decisions from cloths to cars can come from the rough urges of sex appeal.
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    Nov 04, 2007 3:47 PM GMT
    Society is fucked up, period.

    Yes, at the primal level, of our very being, we are attracted to the physical. That's all about natural selection, advancement of the species, and so on. From the point of the advancement of the species, you want the very best physical specimens, and, in modern man, many of the forces that advance evolution get held at bay. I.e., the weak don't die as they might have, and it takes longer for a quality that would normally just fall out via evolution, to get out of the gene pool, or at all.

    I find the irony being in that we talk about "there aughta' be a law against that" and, yet, we become all-accepting.

    If we know that 6.5 million folks die from being to fat, and yet we allow that to be socially acceptable, in the big picture, it's a hugely self-destructive thing for the species. If we are truely interested in saving lives, preventing disease, and advancing the species, we need to make some things unacceptable. The fact that we'd put a juicehead in jail, who is arguably the healthiest of the healthy many times; the fittest of the fittest; the strongest of the strongest; yet promote illnesses via fast food and junk food makes me say more than "hum." It's more like "what the fuck?" Not the fat folks, nor the juiceheads, should go to jail. There should be truth, instead of misinformation on both sides.

    Man was not meant to be diseased and fat and lazy.

    I think we've become way to accepting. E.g., a 10 year old kids is 50 pounds overweight? Where the fuck are the parents? Or, and adult lets themselves get 100 pounds overweight! My next door neighbor, 375 pounds, continues to shove food down his throat. He says he can't stop eating. I think that's malarkey.

    What makes me say hum is the it's not about wellness, state of mind, and so on. It seems, more often than not about the path of least resistance (fat people like being lazy), and about the dollar (there's a lot more money in sick people than in disease prevention) (there's lot more money in fast food and Crestcor than healthy stuff).

    Society tend to conform one way or another. E.g. fashion: folks who let others dictate to them how to dress, basically. It's a sad statement about how easily manipulated man is. E.g., religion / false belief systems.
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    Nov 04, 2007 3:51 PM GMT
    First, runbikeclimb, thanks for bringing up such a relevant topic. I think we all have the same thought from time to time, especially when we hit one of those periods (at least those of us who are single) when the guys we seem to meet all seem to be interested in only one thing. We start to question, is it them or is it me?

    I for one think the whole idea of "beauty" on the outside being such a focus for our society in general all stems from each of us having such a difficult time with loving ourselves and seeing our self as a wonderful, beautiful, lovable human being. All of us have issues with that to some degree but until you are able love an appreciate yourself, it's much easier to look outside and focus on what other people have, what you don't have or "I'm just not beautiful enough". If we can all focus on the inside and be happy with who we are for ourselves, then outside distractions and opinions fall away and however you choose to maintain the outside of yourself becomes FOR YOU and not to make yourself appealing to others of to make someone else happy.

    That being said, there is no denying chemistry, that's just the way it's set up. If everyone was equally attracted to everyone how would we ever pair off? It would be one big orgy (fun for some I guess....LOL!). So being physically attracted to someone is just a natural thing but you getting beyond that to who someone is on the inside is essential to building anything long lasting. So for me, I'm trying to concentrate on being happy with who I am and doing what brings me joy and happiness so that when that right guy comes along for me, I can share that freely with him and not look to him to provide it for me. I'd like my next relationship to be a truly shared experience in every sense of the word and an opportunity for spiritual and emotional growth.

    My two cents!
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    Nov 04, 2007 3:55 PM GMT
    If someone wants to be overweight and doesn't have a problem with it where is it our place to declare that lifestyle wrong.

    Not that I would like to be fat, but If I choose to be plum and happy then its nobody's buisness to tell me I'm living wrong.
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    Nov 04, 2007 3:58 PM GMT
    Why are people shallow?

    My opinion is that it has very little to do with the Evil Evil Culture and Media. I think it has a lot to do with evolution on a planet with limited resources, and the need to be able to have heuristics that maximuze return on choosing a mate.

    What is my definition of beautiful in a person?

    Personality is ok.... but if he looks like Xandir, from Drawn Together*, then I'll overlook almost any personality flaw. ;-)

    (* Sorry, I saw the HOTTEST guy dressed as Xandir for halloween a week ago, and I still haven't gotten over it. LOL)
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    Nov 04, 2007 4:08 PM GMT
    "If someone wants to be overweight and doesn't have a problem with it where is it our place to declare that lifestyle wrong.

    Not that I would like to be fat, but If I choose to be plum and happy then its nobody's buisness to tell me I'm living wrong.

    Thing is, as individuals, we don't live in a vacuum, completely isolated from the rest of society. Things like smoking, slutty unsafe sex, and poor eating habits are a burden to society as a whole in the form of higher medical expenses, lost productivity, etc. I don't think we should have a totalitarian state dictating exactly how to live, but I don't think society should just ignore poor lifestyle choices because "it's nobody's business."
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    Nov 04, 2007 5:34 PM GMT
    Well, why is that they've put the healthiest of the healthiest in jail for having a totally natural substance yet, encourage the fat people to suck down artifical sweetners, etc. The answer: $ and control.

    The view trance23 expresses is very short-sighted, and doesn't' grasp the concept of social responsibility.

    Let me explain.

    If someone drinks, but doesn't drive, remains gainfully employed and so on, while they may have a dysfunctional personal life, to a degree, they, in general, are not a burden to society via their behavior.

    However, let's say someone gets fat, and gets castrophic disease (the ultimate outcome). That disease is very expensive to treat. That disease means lost productivity, and so on. The money to treat it often comes from the public coffer.

    Another example: HIV. We know how HIV gets transmitted. It's really pretty darned hard to get. You have to work at getting sick. Nonetheless, people are stilling getting HIV, and then want a compassionate society to support them.

    My point is that yes...we should be allowed to do what we want, until it messes with society. In the case of alochol, fine. If you drink and drive, that's highly irresponsible and endangers the public saftety. Should you have consequences. I say yes. However, if you are very fit, health conscious, hold a job, and are a good person in every way, except you take some tesosterone should you be branded a felon? I say absolutely not. I guess you could go get HIV, then take a boatload of testosterone. SIC. If you are fat, and it costs $100,000 to treat a disease you would not have had otherwise, should the public be asked to pay for your negligence? I say no. is negligence. One doesn't wake up one morning 80 pounds overweight. Should the fattie pay more increase than a healthy person. I say yes.

    E.g.: a smoker loses twice as many work days on average due to illness. A smoker is 10 tens more likely to have catastrophic disease. Should they pay more insurance? Absolutely.

    If...if every person was socially responsible, lots of stuff wouldn't go down the way it does, but, many folks aren't.

    I believe that there's morality that should be the guide, with regard to the law. I.e., I don't think we should outlaw fat folks, or juiceheads, or drinkers. Should be outlaw lieing, stealing, violence? Yes. Should fat folks pay a premium for being irresponsible with food? Absolutely. It's kinda' like the car insurance. You don't reinforce what is to the detriment of society, or the individual. HOWEVER, I don't feel that beyond basic morality (stealing, lieing, violence, and the like) the government should be involved in our bedrooms, or diet.

    Putting someone in jail for consensual sex, sex with a guy, or taking some test, is, in my view, craziness. If it was about saving lives, we'd outlaw fat folks.
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    Nov 04, 2007 6:22 PM GMT
    "shortandsexystud"....You touched on the point of self discovery...I think that could be one of the roots to which many people tend to gravitate towards someone who fit the idea of what they find attractive. We all strive for perfection with in ourselves. We all want to remain on the path of continuous growth. There's nothing wrong with whole process of evolution. It's the natural progression of living and discovering what this life holds for us and it helps us to move to the next level, what ever that maybe. However, the reason I threw this thought there was to see how others feel about image and perfection. SO many people feel inadequate for what many reasons. And there are many other people who feel that if they can look this way or be that way then they would be a much better person than who they are now. However, going back to earlier point made about growth and evolution, your growth and evolution can only be as successful if it for your true and honest happiness within you. In other words, you need to learn to be happy with who you are first. I am speaking from personal experience in that, looking in the mirror and never really truly appreciating who was looking back at me. It wasn't until I realized that looking and being perfect should be a choice for yourself FIRST and foremost. Your change should be fueled by what will make you happy and accepting of you. Not what others feel should be what contributes to your happiness. I also began to understand in order for me to have real, true relationships, ones where I was accepted and love for everything that I am and everything I am not, perfections and imperfections intact, I was the one who needed accepted myself just as I am, then my quest for happiness would fall in front of me as natural as breathing. Furthermore, the way I feel about myself now is what I fervently believe has allowed me to interact with all walks of life without casting a disparaging eye on what I may deem as not normal or not perfect. Life shouldn't be about creating yourself. Life should be about finding yourself. Because you've already been created.
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    Nov 05, 2007 2:35 AM GMT
    Chuckystud - I see your point that weight does cost society as a whole but that view is where the problem lies.

    Instead of looking at weight as a personal choice were looking at it in how terms of money and the cost our society pays.

    Take an exotic six figure car for example. Chances are many of the people buying these cars wil drive them fast putting themselves at risk for accidents. Accidents involving these cars cost insurance companies more so naturally locations where these cars are found in numbers like NY or here in CT, the insurance rate for the average person increases.

    So in CT, (in addition to other factors) the insurance rate will be higher than say Montana because of the presence of many more higher costing cars. According to your view on weight costing society then the wealthy should also use social responsibility and choose to drive less expencive cars or cars with less power.

    What I'm driving at here (:lolicon_smile.gif ) is you can't use social responsibility as a reason to not be overweight while ignoring other areas where the same concept can apply.

    Its sort of all or nothing, smoking, cars, over eating, drug use, etc.

    I think everyone will agree we don't have a perfect system, but I see no reasons why we should use the cost to society viewpoint as a way to denounce any sort of personal choice.
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    Nov 05, 2007 4:18 AM GMT
    Personally, I could care less what a person's "image" is, or whether they're drop dead gorgeous. Sure, I like to look at physical beauty, but in my experience, physical beauty often precludes intellect (or at least seems to impair it)... which I find far more attractive. The old "he's pretty but can he type" syndrome.

    I don't judge people based on looks, or their clothes, car, etc. I prefer to get to know them before I form any opinions. Otherwise, I might be missing out on knowing someone wonderful.

    I find people who are themselves, flaws and all, to be more attractive. If they're intelligent and can hold a conversation, then that gets them higher on my list. If they show compassion without being a pushover, even better. I don't care if they drive an 82 Pinto or a vintage Diablo... its the person they are that counts... and I'm sure I'm probably in the minority with that outlook, but that's fine too.

    Now, if I could find all the qualities I love rolled together into one man who's drop dead gorgeous, wealthy and smart... well that would just be perfection on two legs. icon_wink.gif
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    Nov 05, 2007 4:45 AM GMT
    I never chose to be fat. I didn't choose it when I was a kid and I didn't choose it this time around, either. Sure, some people might consciously make that choice (not sure why they would, but I'll give you that), but it isn't always a choice. I hated being fat when I was a kid. HATED it with every cell in my body, but I didn't know what to do about it. Once I got older and started researching on my own, I figured out that it had to do with the food that was available to me at the time. Not that I ate too much of it... there was barely enough food in the house for each of us to have one serving... but it was what I ate and when. When you grow up poor, you learn quickly that the bad stuff is what's affordable (and it does taste good). So no, I did not "choose" to be fat.

    This time around, I got fat because I was going through a personal crisis. When my lover died I went into a depressive state and let myself go. I didn't have the will to do anything except work and sleep. It took me eleven years to snap out of it. Did I choose it? No.

    I'm not screaming at anyone here, but I do have a problem with assumptions and generalizations. Sorry about that, but I'm just trying to point out that its a different situation for each individual, and to assume that its always a choice is both insulting and short-sighted.