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  1. #1
    Senor Membrane
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    Default Is it worse for women?

    I was talking / debating with a (male) friend about plastic surgery. My view was that there is something "off" about it. I couldn't quite explain it, though. Anyways, he pointed out that women have harder time with the expectations in this time and culture. In his opinion this is what makes women to go under the knife. He says it is woman against woman rivalry (not filling expectations of men). If you are pretty they envy you and you are glad for it, if you are not pretty, you are the jealous one. So, the reason for the knife would be to boost your self-confidence. I cannot entirely disagree on this one.

    So, how do you girls see this? Does it seem like men have easier lives with this kind of expectations? Me, I don't personally have any desire to "build up my muscles" or anything. I don't care. I find it hard to believe it would be much different (psychologically) if we talk about women.

    (Oh, I'm sorry if this is wrong forum to discuss this. I couldn't figure out a better one)

  2. #2
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I think that this quote by Ani DiFranco, who I don't really listen to but my sister does, sums up basic thoughts on female views of each other pretty well:

    And God help you if you are an ugly girl
    Course too pretty is also your doom
    Cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
    For the prettiest girl in the room

    But then again, I tend to hang out with odd girls and men, I don't really care that much about how others look unless I'm in a snarky and critical mood, which happens about 5 times in a year
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    I think that if you always feel that you aren't pretty enough, it isn't your looks that are to blame, but low self-esteem. Not unlike the beautiful straight-A student that starves herself and feels that she's ugly and fat. When you do not accept yourself as you are, you will use aspects of your person(ality) as scapegoats.

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    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Girls, can you settle this?: Do more girls dress and try to look good for other girls or for guys?

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    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    I think it's definitely true that women primarily dress up and look good for other women--men are generally way more relaxed and are happy if you throw on mascara and show a little bit of skin after a long winter.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  6. #6
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I think it's a self-esteem issue.

    In general, men seem to get hung up on their virility/power and lose self-esteem when they feel weak.

    Women seem to get hung up on their appearance and how they come across to others and lose self-esteem when they feel ugly -- which can include appearance but also "who they are" personality-wise. [Another word for it: "Desirability"]

    We can explore why that is, but that's the typical pattern in western culture at least.

    I agree that women are far more hung up on their own appearance than responding directly to the complaints of guys; it's the same way with the condition of the home too. (The guy will not care what the house looks like, typically; but the woman will feel embarrassed about letting anyone in while it's a mess... to her, anyway.)

    I think good self-esteem allows one to feel desirable and worthwhile regardless of appearance.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    I think that if you always feel that you aren't pretty enough, it isn't your looks that are to blame, but low self-esteem.
    Yes, I agree, but do the other women?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    In general, men seem to get hung up on their virility/power and lose self-esteem when they feel weak.
    Ok, I can buy that. To me it seems like some of the low-esteem guys compensate by building muscles. I've actually heard someone say it out loud: "I was bullied in school, but then I went to gym" And that guy was huge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Women seem to get hung up on their appearance and how they come across to others and lose self-esteem when they feel ugly -- which can include appearance but also "who they are" personality-wise. [Another word for it: "Desirability"]

    It's the same way with the condition of the home too. (The guy will not care what the house looks like, typically; but the woman will feel embarrassed about letting anyone in while it's a mess... to her, anyway.)
    So it comes down to nature? Male = strong, female = desirable. I'd like some opinions on this one...

    But, are you implying that while women need to seem like good child-bearers (beautiful means good genes) they also need to show that they are able to maintain a good household?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    We can explore why that is, but that's the typical pattern in western culture at least.
    My friend referred to corsets and such that were used before (our) western culture. Chinese feet, Egyptian make-up.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    So it comes down to nature? Male = strong, female = desirable. I'd like some opinions on this one...
    It's probably a bit more complex. Males are about strong, maybe, but a lot more about being dominant (as defined as having selection of mates). Social status, money, resources... these are the basic things that determine their ability to secure high-value (and often, multiple) mates.

    Course, then you get into circular issues, like having beautiful women around you implies high status.

    But the other side of this is that women want to be desired by the high-value males. Since the ability to compete (at the genetic level) tends to decrease over time, and because fertility does as well, women have a lot more pressure to do it "now" rather than later. And of course, fertility - being young - is a major desirability factor for men.

    Both want to be desirable, but their time preferences and mate selection differs.

    But, are you implying that while women need to seem like good child-bearers (beautiful means good genes) they also need to show that they are able to maintain a good household?
    I like to generalise it. Women need to seem desirable, and whatever the high-status males want, they'll tend to try to be. And vice versa.

    A good household runner was very useful before women's liberation, and it is still present in much of the world. Now there are other factors, including those that were commonly male (ie: good job, etc). The shift isn't absolute(and it works somewhat against the genetic preferences), but it is happening.

    Of course, this is all under the surface. I could say that young/fertile/etc doesn't matter to me - I don't want kids afterall - but it still defines what I find attractive.

  9. #9
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Both want to be desirable, but their time preferences and mate selection differs.
    Yes, "desirability" was still a vague word, I know; but it implied a passivity that seems typical more for women (i.e., "the object of desire") whereas the men do need to be desirable but usually in response to some active movement on their part.

    It's a hard topic to talk about due to capturing the right nuance but we will come up with some more appropriate terminology here, I suppose...

    I like to generalise it. Women need to seem desirable, and whatever the high-status males want, they'll tend to try to be. And vice versa.
    Yes, I can't make it too specific. I guess I see a bit of a connection with women and biological concerns such as attracting mates as well as doing the "nesting" thing -- it's just very hard to nail it down directly. And men attract mates but usually through the virility/prowess factor... and many males apply that prowess directly towards pursuing mates.

    Women tend to "passively pursue" males -- they purposefully put themselves out there and attempt to present themselves in a way that gets them noticed. But again this is generalization. It's funny that some people still frown upon women who actively pursue men. The last guy I talked to, it was funny -- when I pushed to meet with him (by suggesting places to go) and seemed too eager, he got really squidgy and I had to back way off before he felt comfortable getting together; it was like he needed to feel like he was the one doing the chasing.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Women tend to "passively pursue" males -- they purposefully put themselves out there and attempt to present themselves in a way that gets them noticed.
    Here we come back to the make-up and plastics. So, it isn't all woman thing ("I want to look good for myself") but more like a silent competition of women to get the men? Again a big simplification, but... does most of the low self-esteem among women come from this feeling of not being "beautiful enough" compared to the others?

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