In this age of enlightenment we like to think appearance is less important than it used to be. Unfortunately, that’s just wishful thinking. A New York Times article quotes Michael Kimmel, a sociology professor at the State University of New York, as saying “women are able to provide for a family, so they are more able to focus as well on physical features.”
While this phenomenon works well for the drug companies selling Propecia and Rogaine, how does it work for us men? Not well if you’re in your twenties and losing your hair.
Hair loss for men is more devastating then wrinkles or love handles. I see these men wearing hats or subtly attempting to hide their heads. Even though women will say it doesn’t matter, often it does.
The problem doesn’t lie with individuals as much as it lies within our culture. We delude ourselves in thinking we look beyond looks. Looks matter. If we want to shift this issue, we first need to become sober to what is true. Okay, looks matter – now what?
Admit that you first look at how someone looks, get honest. You can’t let go of something until you first admit you’re holding on to it. As petty as it might seem, we are a visual culture. As you realize how visually oriented you are, you can start to go beyond looks.
I have been as guilty as the next man. As a young man I wanted to be less vain – but looks mattered. Now at 57 I certainly see how a woman looks, but when it comes to being attracted to her, how she shows up is much more important. My earlier years would have been more enjoyable if I had adopted that attitude sooner.
What I hear from women is that when a man is being a man they might not immediately see it, but they quickly feel it. It is that felt sense that builds attraction, particularly self-sustaining attraction. A man that feels comfortable being who he is – is a turn on for a woman. Actually, a bald man can be at an advantage here.
A ‘good looking’ man can and often rides on his looks. An ‘imperfect man’ needs to discover another attractor for women. He is much more likely to develop himself rather than his looks. In the long run, that man will not only attract more women, he will attract women who learned to go beyond looks to feel a man’s character.
What’s your experience with looks? How are you impacted by a man or woman’s looks? How do you feel about your appearance?