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 Post subject: Vanity Ain't Fair
PostPosted: 090523 06:44 
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The topic of physical beauty is an issue which is constantly on my mind, but more specifically, I've recently been mulling over the injustice of vanity as it pertains to our perceptions of physical beauty in fellow human beings. I am so moved by physical beauty, that I would almost (I said almost) be willing to settle for a lifeless representation of perfect beauty in lieu of a living, breathing specimen (subject to the rapid decay of organic aging, might I add) - echoing the mythical Pygmalion.

Of course, I am made to understand that the appeal of physical beauty has certain reproductive/evolutionary benefits. We are, to some extent, wired to appreciate that which is supposedly the product of healthy genes, thus promoting good coupling and healthy offspring. It is an interesting side note that our society seems to encourage good looks in women, whereas men tend to be more prized on their power, independence, responsibility, and ability to earn (and thus provide for the family). That makes a certain amount of sense for the men, sure, but what is it exactly about attractive features that make women ideal mates? Because they are physically capable of rearing children? Or is it more arbitrary than that?

The problem is, I'm smart enough to understand that looks aren't everything. That the measure of a person's inner beauty (and strength) is independent of what they look like on the outside. But while I respect and understand the values of a person who has a good "soul", I am still helplessly driven by inner chemistry to pursue (in relative terms) the pretty face in the crowd - in many cases regardless of what lies behind it.

You might make an argument about how finding an "ideal" mate *should* be a challenge, that if you wait around and look long enough, you'll eventually find somebody that's beautiful inside and out, and they'll be just for you - and that if it was easy, there wouldn't be much of a point to it. But that's an unrealistic ideal. It's a competition. The pretty chicks are in high demand. If there's a pretty chick somewhere that's not attached to anyone, it's only a matter of time before somebody snatches her up, because she's pretty. That's the game.

Well, this kind of ties in with another idea I've been mulling over recently. The way that nature promotes the survival of the species, instead of the individual. It's all a competition. Survival of the fittest. There are winners and there are losers. But I believe that the very faculties we as human beings possess which separate us from the animals are the tools we are meant to use to separate us from nature's struggle, and to instead devise a better form of survival, which promises better lives for a larger percentage of the total population.

Yes, it's an ideal. And we are impossibly far from realizing it. However, I feel strongly about it and I think, if nothing else, it's a noble goal for us to strive towards. Obviously, survival of the species is important, but I think we can do one better, and make life actually enjoyable for the individual - every individual, not just the genetic winners. It's like the equalization of humanity. It is true today that not every man is born equal, or with equal opportunities, or equal potential. But I believe that it should be our goal to strive towards giving every person an equal chance at success and happiness, and to strive towards providing the opportunities that we yearn for but that are seemingly impossible to attain in life.

Basically, this is just me ranting against God's plan again...

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 Post subject: Re: Vanity Ain't Fair
PostPosted: 090523 16:01 
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zharth wrote:
I am so moved by physical beauty, that I would almost (I said almost) be willing to settle for a lifeless representation of perfect beauty in lieu of a living, breathing specimen

First I lol'ed because I know exactly what you're referring to, then I figured I'd post this, which I'm sure we all already know about: http://www.realdoll.com :lol:

zharth wrote:
Of course, I am made to understand that the appeal of physical beauty has certain reproductive/evolutionary benefits.........But I believe that it should be our goal to strive towards giving every person an equal chance at success and happiness, and to strive towards providing the opportunities that we yearn for but that are seemingly impossible to attain in life.

This was interesting writing and these thoughts have crossed my mind a few times.

zharth wrote:
Basically, this is just me ranting against God's plan again...

Do you believe that God's plan for everyone is to suffer? That things are supposed to be this ruthless? Or do you believe that God's particular plan for you is that you have to suffer?

Aight I have to leave, going back to the burgh to watch the Pens game with DB on the projector setup they have outside the arena.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanity Ain't Fair
PostPosted: 090523 21:00 
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Kashi wrote:
Do you believe that God's plan for everyone is to suffer? That things are supposed to be this ruthless? Or do you believe that God's particular plan for you is that you have to suffer?

That's a good question. I can't be completely sure, because frankly, I don't know what it's like to be anyone else, but I get the impression that there are people out there who generally enjoy life and are happy with what comes their way. So, with that in mind, I believe it's God's plan for me to suffer. And I hate him for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanity Ain't Fair
PostPosted: 090524 05:48 
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Well, on the topic of beauty, various studies have shown that "beauty" comes out to, generally, be equivalent to "symmetry". The more symmetrical someone's face is, the more we think that they're "beautiful".

On top of that, with women, the things that most guys generally like in a woman are big hips and big boobs, because they're both fairly decent indicators of whether a woman will be able to carry a child to term, give birth easily, and nurture the child.

Then again, some of us have weird tastes and must be evolutionary dead ends.


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 Post subject: Re: Vanity Ain't Fair
PostPosted: 090524 08:59 
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Scott wrote:
Then again, some of us have weird tastes and must be evolutionary dead ends.

Yeah. What you've mentioned sounds all well and good, except that it's not very relevant to me. I understand the symmetry thing, but I really think there's more to it than that. I mean, you could have a perfectly symmetrical ugly spot, and it's not gonna look good just because it's symmetrical. And the big hips/big boobs thing, well...I probably don't need to say anything, but...dfc ftw...

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 Post subject: Re: Vanity Ain't Fair
PostPosted: 090524 21:51 
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It's not just particular spots, but the entire face/body being bilaterally symmetrical.


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 Post subject: Re: Vanity Ain't Fair
PostPosted: 090525 01:02 
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Yeah, well if there's a giant discolored butterfly-shaped ugly spot smack across a person's forehead, perfectly symmetrical, it's still not gonna help.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanity Ain't Fair
PostPosted: 090526 06:11 
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As for you hating God for whatever perceived slight against you, I don't know what to say, mostly because of the italicized portion of that sentence.

As for symmetry, I'm not exactly sure I buy into it. I don't believe that the closer one gets to symmetry the more they're thought of as attractive. There are plenty of unattractive chicks out there and it wouldn't matter how fucking symmetrical they are... they'd still be unattractive. And I'm not exactly sure I believe that "big hips-big boobs" crap either. I like girls with smaller chests just fine, and big hips certainly don't make me drool.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanity Ain't Fair
PostPosted: 090526 08:24 
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Kashi wrote:
As for you hating God for whatever perceived slight against you, I don't know what to say, mostly because of the italicized portion of that sentence.

The slight is perceived because in all honesty I don't actually believe in this God in the first place. So it's really all just hypothetical. The way I see it, the only God I could actually imagine existing, based on my personal experience of the universe, is a pretty despicable God. If the possibility of a God that I could be friends with exists, it's on him to show me that. Lay your cards on the table, Big G.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanity Ain't Fair
PostPosted: 090615 10:19 
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I was looking up a few things on the aesthetics of beauty and how it relates to sexual attraction, and I came across this point which got me thinking (from wikipedia) -

Quote:
Evolutionarily it makes logical sense that sexual creatures should be attracted to mates who possess predominantly common or average features.

Indeed, this is logical, regardless of whether or not it is true. But it seems odd to think about it that way. Sure, there are the basic cues that we all, more or less, respond to (for example, I prefer a face that has a nose to one with the nose missing), but the idea of being attracted to mediocrity...wow. It just seems natural to me to pursue an ideal of beauty. Maybe I am deranged, after all. Or perhaps I'm just missing a point, or oversimplifying things, but it's an interesting point to consider.

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