Are Looks Everything?

Happy New Year from YBO! I love the new year because everyone is optimistic and setting goals. Good luck to you with all your resolutions in 2017.

Today I want to pose a question that I already know the answer to. Are looks everything? Anyone that isn’t a shallow a-hole knows that looks aren’t everything. So my real question to you guys is: how important are looks to you in a romantic relationship? I’m going to come off really vain in this post but PLEASE hear me out til the end.

I myself am no “ten”by society’s standards. I’ve got a double chin I easily hide on Snapchat and thunder thighs that look delectable with the right angle on Instagram. However, I believe that I’m an attractive girl that should be paired with an equally attractive mate. Yet, a lot of men who approach me are below my attractive level (in my opinion [maybe I’m uglier than I realize lol]). Someone else in the world may find them cute, but I don’t. We all have different tastes! If I’m not immediately attracted to a guy I pretty much shut him down right at the beginning. Then they ask why and things get awkward because I don’t want to deliver the heart crushing truth that I find them unattractive. I know I sound harsh but in my mind I’m doing us both a favor. They shouldn’t waste their time on someone who isn’t into them and I shouldn’t waste my time hoping they’ll grow on me. That seems like settling to me. Something I always preach to never ever do.

Recently, I started to think, what if I’m missing out on my best relationship yet because I’m only looking at these guys skin deep? You know they say the “ugly” ones are the most loyal (kidding)! But seriously, a guy who I consider to be a “six” could be the most respectful, loving, educated man to come into my life and I’ve been pushing them away because they don’t look like Lance Gross or Michael Ealy. Would I want someone shutting me down because I’m not Rita Ora?

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Even still, I’ve tried to give guys that I was not initially attracted to a chance. No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t see myself jumping their bones. So to answer my own question, I think looks are important when entering a romantic relationship to a certain degree, but they are absolutely not everything. Let me rewind and tell you a short anecdote. In high school, I dated some guys who, looking back, were “hit” (sorry to them if they’re reading). I think it had a lot to do with my low self-esteem. There’s that settling again. Fast forward, I’ve gotten my heart broken, started to feel myself, and realized it was time to level up. Now, my standards are much higher.

These days, without that initial attraction, I can’t see myself with someone. There’s no way around it for me. I just don’t want to be staring across the alter at my husband in dismay. Perhaps because we grew up with visuals/looks/beauty standards in our faces 24/7, my generation puts too much stock into how people look. When in actuality, we should be focusing on how a potential lover treats us. *News flash* Looks fade, personality doesn’t.

There have been many scientific studies done on looks vs. personality. I was so undecided over this whole thing I read up on some of them. As you can imagine, the consensus was that looks help with initial impressions, but over time their value decreases and the importance of other factors increases. The most interesting thing I found in my reading was the “Exposure Effect”. In short, the Exposure Effect is the notion that the more you are exposed to something, you develop a taste for it. This explains why you hated that one song at first, but now you’re singing it in the shower after hearing it on the radio a dozen times. The same goes for people apparently. I have to admit, I’ve had some platonic male friends I didn’t find attractive. Then, the more I was around them I found myself crushing on them. Could the Exposure Effect make me fall in love with a “traditionally unattractive” dude one day?

Overall, the question “Are looks everything?” has made me think about my values and what is important to me in a romantic relationship. I thought my ex was soooo good looking (when others didn’t) and as it turned out he was the biggest dickhead I’ve ever met. One of my favorite artists, Andy Warhol, said that, “People should fall in love with their eyes closed.” I want us all to try to implement this into our lives. Because yes, I want someone I’m proud to show off. But I also want someone who surprises me with flowers, cares how my family is doing, asks me about the latest job I applied to, doesn’t mind me laughing loud on the train – you get the picture.

I hope this post hasn’t made you guys think I’m “bougie/boujee” (however you spell it) or that I think I’m America’s Next Top Model because I’m far from it. I’m just a 21-year-old gal trying to figure myself out, navigate the modern dating scene, and share my blunt opinion. Now that you’ve read my thoughts, comment your own! Are looks everything to you?

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