Monday, November 15, 2004

Beauty ideals

At the party on Saturday there was a conversation about male beauty and beauty ideals in general.

It feels very strange to be asked what is my ideal of male beauty. (The question in Finnish sounded "mikä on sun miesihanne?" or "mikä on sun fyysinen miesihanne?".) To me, the question means "what would the most beautiful man that you can imagine look like?", and it strongly implies that I can in fact imagine a man who is better-looking than any men I've ever seen. Well, I cannot. My visual imagination is very poor; all the men whom I find beautiful and a lot of the men whom I find merely cute look way better than any image of male beauty that I am capable of generating in my mind.

Now I am wondering: how many people are capable of imagining a man (or a woman, for that matter) who is considerably more beautiful than any man/woman they've ever seen?

Another matter that came up - I've noticed it earlier but first heard it properly verbalized only at that party: some women who have a very typical taste in men consider it (their taste) to be somehow worse than the more unusual tastes. "Worse" either in the sense "shallow" (whatever that means), "immoral" or "unsophisticated". Why? I am very smug about having a somewhat unusual taste, because it's convenient, but I don't think it makes me in any way a better person.

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