Friday, December 5, 2008

What Makes a Man Attractive: Some Superficial Features

I’m not sure if it’s my age (and therefore hormones), or the fact that I’m living in a city stuffed with over 8 million people, roughly half of whom are men, or the fact that I have been around the world and back and still have not found an even temporarily suitable partner, but as of late, I have given a considerable amount of thought to what makes a man initially appealing. (Appealing to me, of course. I would not expect these parameters to extend even to my closest female friends. After all, this is why so many varieties of humans exist!)

  • A good, sharp business suit. There is something inherently charismatic about a man who has his shoulders squared, back straight, striding down the sidewalk of New York City in a clean, dark, wrinkle-free, well-fitted business suit. Perhaps it is the sense of power it implies, or the insinuation of success, and intelligence, and—I’ll admit it—wealth. However, an outfit like this also requires a good deal of effort on the part of a man (compared to what men usually have to put into their appearances, that is), so maybe the professional look appeals to me merely as a reflection of a man’s pride in his appearance. Regardless, what it looks like to me is a display of self-confidence, attention to detail, and success, and that is attractive.
  • A smooth, clean-shaven face. I suppose this characteristic goes right along with the freshly pressed business suit. Of course, the clean-shaven look is even better when paired with a strong, distinguished jawline. I think what it does is increase the impulse to reach up and touch that afce, just like in those razor, and shaving cream, and—oddly enough—gum commercials. You never see a woman caressing a man’s face when he has a beard, do you? Or even a mustache? Again, the appeal could be due to the amount time and care this shows the man took to make himself presentable, but I think the touch-ability factor is the key. Why else must women always shave their legs?
  • Athletic prowess. A man who proves himself to be skilled at a physical sport is instantly more attractive. I have proven this to myself time and time again, in every sport from swimming to basketball to volleyball to basic running—the guys I meet on these teams, in these groups, who can play these sports well have my attention. It doesn’t matter what his initial level of attractiveness is; once he demonstrates any significant amount of physical finesse and strength, a man’s attractiveness appeal immediately raises two notches. I have found myself taking second looks at guys playing on the court or swimming beside me who I would never even glace once at on the subway. The resulting visions themselves are never satisfying—the guy still looks the same—but there is this slight sense of awe that becomes magnetic about a physically fit guy who can play a sport well. This of course, would help to explain the “jocks always get the girls” stereotype.

    Of course, the more consideration I give to external features like these, the shallower I feel. However, I think it’s important for a person to know themselves, and I can’t my self-analytical tendencies. If I’m attracted to someone, I want to know why. Likewise, if I’m not attracted to them, I want to know why. They say curiosity killed the cat, but until things start to look dangerous, I’m going to continue my quest. There’s nowhere better to do so than the action-packed wildly diverse streets of New York City!

  • No comments: