30 October 2009

Of Hearts and Heartaches (II)

30 October 2009

MOOD | neutral
CRAVING FOR | a sweet kiss
RANDOM | condos, hay

A Few Notes on Attractiveness

Note #1: Matching Hypothesis. This is no Popoy-Basha Breakup Rule; this is a real scientific theory proposed by Walster et al. in 1966. According to Walster, (and I'm quoting Wikipedia on this to get it right) "people are more likely to form long standing relationships with those who are equally physically attractive as they are."

Ever since my Psychology 101 teacher taught me this way back in 2nd year college, I became a fan and a believer of the hypothesis. It made sense then, and it makes sense now. Walster was perhaps just credible and ingenious enough to transform something seemingly in plain view into a paper discussing social desirability. Brilliant!

Note #2: Attractiveness. There's something vague about the term "attractiveness" though, and it is wise to look into the blurry line. I, for one, believe that there's a definitive distinction between "handsomeness" or "prettiness" and "attractiveness." Humanoid X can be handsome or pretty, and yet Humanoid Y may not be attracted to X at all, even when Y can acknowledge that X is, indeed, by some objective metric, handsome/pretty.

Let's break it down. In how many ways can one person become attractive to another?

BY VIRTUE OF THEIR GENES | Ignore the statement I made about "handsomeness"/"prettiness" not being equivalent to "attractiveness." Some people are just born lucky. Even as babies, they already have the perfect Athenian leg length or the impeccable Apollonian jawline. When they walk past, heads swirl and swivel, eyes pop and protrude. It doesn't matter whether they're drenched in motor oil or wearing potato sacks for clothes; these "uglifiers" may enhance their natural beauty even more.

BY VIRTUE OF THEIR ACCESSORIES | The most apt cliche for these guys? Clothes make the man. Someone from this group cannot leave the house looking (and feeling) good without the usual hygiene and beautification routines: the application of hair product, the combing of the hair, the just-the-right-number of perfume sprays. Without the proper grooming and the well-fitted clothes, their looks alone just wouldn't fly.

BY VIRTUE OF THEIR STANCE | People who belong to this group are perhaps luckier than their genetically-perfect counterparts due to the fact that their attractiveness tends to be more long-lasting. However, in order to get there, these guys and gals deserve a second, third, or fourth glance. In other words, their looks will not strike you; their stance will. When you come across these people, you find drawn to them even though you think (by some objective measure) they're not really all that handsome or pretty. Maybe it's just the way they hold their cup when they drink coffee; maybe it's just the way they stand when they're waiting for a cab; maybe it's just the way they walk across the room. Confidence? Most probably. Appeal? Definitely.

BY VIRTUE OF THEIR SKILL | You don't even have to meet these people in order to say that you're attracted to them. This is perhaps the rarest way by which one can find someone else attractive, but it exists; it's there. Ever wonder why performance artists gain ultimate fandom despite a physical look that's less than appealing? Ever wonder why writers lead a life of constant adoration from fawning fans? This is the reason: some people just sing "hot." Some people just write "hot." Some people just act "hot." Some people just freaking solve "hot."

As you can see, there are several ways by which one person can become attracted to another. But that's not really the point. Note #2 is just a corollary to Note #1. Note #1 is the point:

In order for me to form a long standing relationship with you, I first have to find you equally attractive as I am.

And that's how K sees it.

5 reactions:

N said...

I am attractive because of stance, methinks. Hahaha!

You have to make the people you cut off from your life read this entry.

The Sunbaked King said...

Nice for you to comment, Nes, especially since Psych girl ka! :) I just think I need this self-empowering post. :)

joey said...

napakataas naman ng standards neto... hehe. but i 100% agree. :p

ano pala name nung psych teacher natin nun?

The Sunbaked King said...

Hahaha. Wala nga akong standards na sinabi e. :P May confidence interval naman yun. Hehe. :)

Angeli? Haha. Di ko matandaan!

the wild sheep chaser said...

Thanks for blogging about the "matching hypothesis." It's actually the first time I heard about it and it explains quite a lot.

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