Pretty often, we respond to things by saying that they’re “not cute.”
Many things people do are described as “turn-offs” or “ugly.”
While most of the time it isn’t so deep, sometimes I think about the underlying meaning of these descriptions. They usually sound like they’re rooted in one thing: physical or aesthetic attraction.
To be aesthetically pleasing is a common goal in almost everything we do, whether it be to ourselves or to other people. Has anyone noticed this?
Before I start sounding like I’m calling everyone on the planet shallow, I’ll break it down.
Have you ever seen someone smoking a cigarette, and then someone with you said something like, “Ew. Cigarette smoke is so unattractive…”?
Have you ever heard a girl say something relatively dopey, and then someone else was like, “Why does she think acting stupid is cute?”
Maybe you were out on a summer day and you saw a big person wearing revealing clothes, and thought to yourself, “Oh God, they have no business going out like that.”
Or the classic: You see a person with a lot of tattoos or painful-looking piercings in strange places, and you or someone else deems it unappealing.
I know there’s centuries and centuries of evolution that can probably explain why things are appealing to us. I.e. why girls like guys who smell good, why we all go completely stupid over puppies, why we won’t date people who don’t shower, why we hate this pair of shoes but love that one, what have you.
Animals are supposed to reproduce (I guess), and so we evolved to find certain things “attractive.” The things we find adorable like puppies and babies aren’t a sexual preference of course, but they are “aesthetically pleasing.” I don’t know if evolution ties into that at all, but I’m sure there’s some biological explanation as to why things make us feel certain ways.
My real questions lie with the notion that we are all so quick to point out what we personally think is attractive before we even know if the thing is SUPPOSED to be attractive.
Let’s take the cigarette example.
It’s not a secret that smoking cigarettes is not good for one’s health. It is romanticized sometimes, though, through art and media, such as the above .gif. Still, many people find cigarette smoking to be “gross” or “unattractive.” Are they wrong for holding this opinion? No. Are they wrong for telling someone that their smoking is unattractive to them? Maybe not, but it might be slightly self-absorbed.
What makes us think the smoker gives a damn what we think? It is highly unlikely that the smoker in the distance’s goal is to attract the likes of me, so who am I to say “Hey, I don’t like that. I don’t find it very hot. Me, the guy who has stray hairs under his chin and gets food caught in his braces.”
And then there’s the “big person in small clothes” example.
“Eww, that is so nasty, whyyyyy?”
Well, because they want to, that’s why.
Seeing a fat person wearing a skimpy outfit may lack sex appeal to you, but what we seem to forget all the time is that it doesn’t matter. We aren’t important factors in these folks’ lives, so our opinions carry no weight. I mean, we can argue that it’s inconsiderate to “gross out” the public in such a way, therefore putting the fat person at fault, but that’s still just making it all about ourselves isn’t it?
How about this: I wore flip flops with jeans one day, and someone asked me why. Like, they literally asked, “Why are you wearing flip flops with jeans?”
The answer is because society dictates that I wear pants as well as something on my feet when I go out in public. The jeans and the flip flops suited those purposes, so I put them on.
What was that person hoping for me to say?
“Oh you know, I was just hoping to pick up some fly honeys with my super cool ripped straight-legs and my oh-so dapper foot thongs. Only the coolest of the cool can rock the ‘tourist white dad’ look. I’m so glad you noticed.”
I just put clothes on my body, leave me alone. Pretty much nothing I do (besides this blog) is for your enjoyment. I do what I want.
Then there’s this recurring thing:
Guy: That girl wears way too much make-up. It’s not even attractive.
Girl: Did you ever think maybe she doesn’t wear it for you?
Guy: I mean, I’m just saying. It’s unnecessary.
Maybe it is unnecessary, but maybe our opinions are unnecessary also.
People put those giant holes in their earlobes because they want them, not because they seek your approval. The same goes for the cigarette smoker, or the fat bikini lady, or the dork in jeans and flip flops.
We focus so much on how good we look, or how good we smell, or how cute we’re being. We are constantly giving off impressions to the senses of other people. That is just a fact of life.
However, we do not always have to attract people. We can do things simply because we want to do them or because we don’t have to answer to anyone. If you don’t like green hair, the green haired guy probably doesn’t care. If you don’t like tattoos, the inked person probably doesn’t care.
And yes, like many other phenomena I discuss here, I am as guilty as the next person. There are plenty of clothing articles that I cannot stand to see people wearing, but they do it anyway because who cares what I think? There are plenty of things people say, ways people do things, and attitudes people have that I find absolutely horrendous. But it does not and should not matter to those people.
So, what kind of things do you find “cute” or “attractive”?
What sorts of things just make you sick to think about because you hate when people do them?
Why do those things make you feel that way? Why is aesthetic pleasure so incredibly important for everyone and everything? Honestly, it’s an interesting and extremely common that we probably can all relate to. Having thought a lot about it lately, I’m going to try as hard as I can to hold back unnecessary internal judgments. The important thing is to just let people express themselves and be who they are, cheesy as it may sound.
we’re all human.