Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholden

Posted on April 26, 2010


The Sydney Mardi Gras ended with a bang of mass nudity on the steps of the Opera House. It won’t be the last of any flesh parade, but shouldn’t there be stipulation on who gets to be naked?

However evolved we are, our primal survival instinct means we are still biologically “wired” to seek physical attributes that are reproductively attractive. Men seek hourglass figures for child-bearing hips and child-nursing mammary glands. Women seek tall, broad-shouldered athletic provider-protectors

No it’s not a typo. Certainly, the beholder is the one who gauges relative beauty in his mind’s eye, but attractiveness isn’t a matter of relativity, there are clearly defined values for what makes someone attractive. It’s only the degree of attractiveness that’s relative.

Kelly Brook. Is she beautiful?

Like it or not, however politically correct the world has become, we’re still a far cry from putting the obese or the appearance challenged on magazine covers, medical journals notwithstanding. There’s a cold reality that as a species, we value attractiveness. As social currency, gorgeousness is what gives talentless hacks with big (usually fake) tits like Tila Tequila and Kim Kardishan their two hours of fame and millions in fortune.  Yes, I can hear the baying wolf cries of ultra-feminists and social apologists now, “It’s you, the superficial, who will doom us all! Your penile intelligence is disgusting!”

Plus sized. Beautiful?

Truth is, at least according to Harvard Study of Health and Life Quality, intelligence is not the only trait that puts you on top of the pay scale. Beauty helps job-seekers stand out to employers. Yes indeed, physical magnetism and charisma have always and continue to have significant impact on how much people got paid. It’s only logical that the better your sense of self worth and confidence, the better you’d perform during the interview. In general, good lookers tend to have things easy in school and without the obvious burden social pressure and inversely, immense social adoration, they tend to become better educated as well. This phenomenon of “superficiality” is not limited to men either. Depending on their menstrual cycles, women are drawn to either wimpy Edward Cullen or muscular alpha Jacob Black. As it stands, the beauty industry in the US alone grosses over $200 billion in revenue, so obviously staying attractive is a high priority for many. Begrudging those who look good or calling those that seek good-lookers derogatory terms is not going to detract from the fact that we seek potential mates as nature intended.

Yes, celebrate human exquisiteness. Go out, celebrate different kinds of beauty. By all means, gather thousands of naked human beings on the steps of City Hall, the United Nations and the White House lawn to take pictures in all our orgiastic glory, but for God’s sake, shouldn’t there be a screening process to eliminate the fatties and spawns of Frankinstein? Beauty is not just in the eyes of the beholder, indeed, it needs to exist in those of the beholden as well.

This first appeared in August Man. Aside from the Editor’s column, Jonathan writes for and covers the watch beat for the print magazine. August Man and is property of CR Media Pte Ltd. You can visit for stylish men’s fashion, luxury brand and high end watch reviews, travel stories, social commentary, trendspotting and motoring.
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