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You Can't Take the—Oh, Sorry, We Took the Sky from You - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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June 4th, 2005


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11:16 pm - You Can't Take the—Oh, Sorry, We Took the Sky from You
Does anyone have an extra ticket or two for the Houston screening? I stupidly forgot that my brother's going to be at M.D. Anderson this summer (just like I was six years ago...shit, six years ago). And enshanam is ticketless as well. Both also have transportation issues, though I think Kelsey can work something out because she thinks I'm totally awesome for telling her about the screening in the first place. Man, I work so hard helping other people get to see Serenity, and I still don't get to see it myself. NOT FAIR.

And because I'm not so cool with short posts, I'm going to pad this bitch with personal content.

Today was the Gujarati Cultural Society picnic to celebrate the graduating students (my brother (and me, on the cake)) included. Hundreds of Indians all in one place. I knew a lot of them, though I'd forgotten so many of their names, since we were never really close, even though we saw each other all the time. At Gujarati school every Sunday at the temple, weddings, various social functions, visits to their houses, etc. I wasn't sure how many of them remembered/recognized me. Some people greeted me, and I greeted them back even though I couldn't remember their names. I even engaged in a conversation with one guy for several minutes before it finally dawned on me who he was. I felt like Leonard Shelby. You really do learn to fake that reciprocal recognition. If someone knows you, there must be a reason, right, you must know them too. So you'd better pretend you do, or else you'll offend them.

Also, there were some attractive girls, which was nice. Indian girls have a different aesthetic about them. Although a whole lot of them seemed to look the same, with minor variations. So do I actually find non-Indian girls more attractive, or is it just that I've been exposed to so many more of them that my sense of beauty has been skewed? Because while they were nice looking, and I was preternaturally drawn to a couple, they didn't do as much for me as many others have. And it'd be nice to find an Indian girl I thought was totally pretty, cause it'd sure make my life easier. Especially if, you know, she was also cool besides that. Most of my exposure to Indian girls has been the Dallas Indians, who are pretty much all ghetto and think everything is crunk, except things that I like. Maybe if I actually hung out with more Indian people I could find a nice Indian girl. It's a daring concept, but it just might work.

So...discuss. Where do our standards of beauty come from? Why do we find who we find pretty pretty and who we find unattractive unattractive? Am I doomed, or can you change what intuitively turns you on?
Current Mood: contemplativeintrospective

(25 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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From:kieyra
Date:June 5th, 2005 04:53 am (UTC)
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I'll just make two points here:

1) I think lots of television-watching makes people (well, me) raise our attractiveness demands to perhaps unreasonably high levels.

2) Television-watching definitely expanded my ethnic horizons for perceived attractiveness. Because, mmm, Naveen Andrews.

So I guess it's a wash. Insightful? Not so much. Sorry.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 5th, 2005 05:01 am (UTC)
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No, I think that's a good point. I mean, I watch a lot of movies and television and read magazines and all that, and pretty people are the forefront, so. Totally blaming the media.

And if Naveen Andrews is responsible for making me hotter...cool.
From:hobviously
Date:June 5th, 2005 05:13 am (UTC)

see, my icon keywords are SANSKRIT. CEREMONIAL LANGUAGE OF THE VEDAS.

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Me: My cow is looking for a nice Indian girl to date. Hmmph. *I'm* a nice Indian girl.
Ariel: Except for the Indian part...
Me: ...and the nice part...
Ariel: But you really are a girl!
Me: AND I like India! It's like my Thing!

SO THERE, COW.
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From:jennnk
Date:June 5th, 2005 05:13 am (UTC)
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I don't think anyone can change what turns them on. It evolves over time, we might not necessarily be attracted to the same "type" at 14 as we are at 24 or 34, but we can't consciously change that. And I think standards of beauty come from a lot of different sources...most would scream "THE MEDIA SAYS ONLY THIN BLONDE BUSTY WOMEN ARE PRETTY," but that's not even necessarily true...thin and busty IS the "model" ideal, but most men, when polled, prefer a little meat on a gal's bones and say a 34-B is ideal. I don't think there's any crime in pursuing people who look opposite of you (I married a Puerto Rican/Ecuadoran mix who looks half African-American in the summer, he gets so dark, while I look like a short, though typical, Scandinavian), though I can understand the issues when it comes to an extremely traditional family like yours. Personally, I think Indian girls (both Native American Indian and India-Indian) are gorgeous, but I prefer darker skin and hair and eyes (hence being attracted to my husband at first).
From:vandalisimo
Date:June 5th, 2005 05:14 am (UTC)
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My best friend is Indian and she's gorgeous and smart and funny and all that jazz. Anyway, she never found Indian men attractive at all and her theory was that she was looking for something different than herself and what she was used to (or what she was expected to want.) She did end up liking a couple of Indian men after awhile, but now she's married to a blonde/blue eyed dude. I think we all tend to be attracted to people who look differently than what we are surrounded by when we're growing up, if that makes any sense. For instance...me? Completely not attracted to Italian men, even when they're supposedly smoking hot.

And I hereby 2nd the hotness of Naveen.
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From:casinobaden13
Date:June 5th, 2005 05:23 am (UTC)
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You know...what I find attractive has no reason to it at all. I don't find myself attracted to a particular race (although, there are some FINE-ASS black men out there) or NOT attracted to a particular race (except I'm not usually a fan of the latino man).

I think if you're wise enough to realize that your views of beauty are skewed, then you're wise enough to grow beyond it. I loves me some skinny boys, I loves me some chubby-huggable boys, I loves me some muscly boys...*shrugs*

I never really thought that Indian men were attractive until I got to college, but that was probably because there weren't any Indian men in my HS (to be brutally honest, there weren't any AnythingButWhite men in my HS). I happen to think that Indian women are a lot prettier then most white women out there. I mean...come on. Aish. She's so beautiful. Kajol. So beautiful.

I guess the message of my comment is this: I don't really have a preference or standard of beauty. I just loves me some cock.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 5th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)
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And the cock loves it some you, Lauren. The cock loves it some you.
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From:wisteria_
Date:June 5th, 2005 06:00 am (UTC)
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Excellent question. I don't know that I have a particular standard of beauty, but I know that my particular "type" has definitely changed as I've gotten older. I'd always been into those, well, "emo boys", though the actual nickname is horrifying. I admit I still kinda like the skinny, "artistic" type, but I like to think that maturity has opened my eyes somewhat. The personality is much more important to me now, especially since I've decided that IF (big "if") I ever get married, I want someone like the cool, funny geekboys my friends and sister have married. That said, I must admit that the physical package does play a part, if only in terms of opening the door.

Oh, and I have to say that the second half of your post made me smile, because my brother-in-law is Indian (from Chennai) and met my sister at a frat party their first year at TCU. They've been together almost ten years and married for three. His mother loves my sister, but she's still royally pissed off that Manoj chose to marry a white girl. ;) Yeah, there's a lot to be said for loving who you love, regardless of background, but culture really does play an understandably important role in who we are and who we choose.

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From:raelee
Date:June 5th, 2005 06:32 am (UTC)
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A guy once asked me what I look for in a man. I told him I had no expectations. I might like dark hair but it's not like I see blond hair and immediately l turn away. I think I lied. I don't have expectations for physical attributes but I definitely have expectations about other far more important aspects. And, I'm not about to say that I care more that the guy is funny or smart. No, I need the physical attraction but I find it almost impossible to identify what causes that attraction.

There are a couple guys in my life who would be interested and who could potentially be great to be with - if only I found them attractive. I can't figure out why I don't find them unattractive either. They aren't exactly the most handsome or best looking guys in the world but they are not fugly either. I find them all cute and appealing in their own ways and they are the greatest guys in the world. Funny. Smart. Got it together. Big checks in every category that I associate with the guy I want to end up with... including having similar families or religious backgrounds as me. In other words, any one of them would probably be the perfect match. But? Zero attraction. When I attempt to pinpoint why, I come up empty. I'm just attracted to who I'm attracted to and I can't seem to change it. So, it's not so much that I have a "type" of person I look for but that I can't force a spark that isn't there no matter how perfect the person is in every other way.

So, do I think you're doomed? No. Nor do I think you are as pigeon-holed by what you find attractive as what you might think. That you're thinking about it and wondering if you can change your standards makes me think your standards are more open-minded than you think. If you want to find a certain type of person attractive, I'm betting you'll eventually succeed because you're opening your mind to the possibility. Recognizing or acknowledging your standards/expectations for something have a way of making it easier to change them - because you're now actively questioning them.

All that aside, I understand the desire to be attracted girl who would make your life easier rather than harder. I'm a lot of talk. In the end, it's still going to be very important to me that the guy I end up with "fit" with my family. So, that also plays into that person's attractiveness. I think I work backwards. I find the person I'm attracted to first and then I start to consider all the other things which eventually either fuels my attraction or kills it pretty quickly. So, if you can figure out how to reverse the process... please share - or, maybe I should do the same as you suggest - hang out with those who I know fit the profile and then maybe I'd get both in one shot. Hmmm, that seems much too logical.
From:metabeta
Date:June 5th, 2005 06:47 am (UTC)
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You know it's more than just the face and the body and the aesthetic. I type it here because I know you know it already but I will remind you. Because the girls you don't find "totally pretty" become the girls you can't live without once you talk to them and they are all...on your wavelength. So you aren't doomed. You're just horny. It's not fatal. And I love you.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 5th, 2005 01:18 pm (UTC)
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I am soooooo horny.

And I love you too.
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From:glasseseater
Date:June 10th, 2005 05:07 am (UTC)
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I want to second this because

mesinceIwaslikefourorsomething: guys with blond hair and blue eyes are boring. (blond blue eyed ken was always the one that died tragically.)

enter Sean. blah blah blah blah you know the deal.

maybe you don't like Indian girls because your parents have ruined them for you? cause I know the last thing I want to be thinking about when I check out girls is my parents. I mean, really.
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From:toughcookie42
Date:June 5th, 2005 06:53 am (UTC)
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I'm pretty sure I like tall, dark-haired men because I grew up around tall, dark-haired men. It's just what I know. I had a sudden flash from Silence of the Lambs, which is totally random, but still fitting: "How do we begin to covet? We covet what we see... every day."

Anyway, I second the "mmm, Naveen Andrews" comment by kieyra. He is quite yummy. So is Michael/Hill/Mercutio. The media has, no doubt, totally fucked up people's concepts of self-perception, and, even worse, has also made us inflict the standards on each other. But if it weren't for the media, I would have almost no exposure to a lot of other ethnicities... I guess that's sad, but hey, I don't travel much, and Troy is certainly no melting pot.
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From:comedownstairs
Date:June 5th, 2005 07:25 am (UTC)

thirding "mmm, naveen"

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I wish I had some clue as to what makes a person like a certain look/type/aesthetic, because mine changes. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm one of those weird people who needs to completely uproot themselves every couple years, but I can't stick to any certain type.

In my head, my ideal guy has always been white, tall, dark-haired with blue eyes. No idea where this image came from and I have never dated a single guy who looks like that. I've managed to date white, black and Latino guys who looked nothing like each other, with varying heights and levels of attractiveness. For a few months I'm into tall, dark and handsome, and then I'll forgive all of that as long as he has pretty eyes, and then I'll go through a period of liking nothing but Asian guys or something.

Or maybe I have problems. *shrug*
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From:sneaker328
Date:June 5th, 2005 11:51 am (UTC)
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I have been attracted to men of just about every race, nationality, height, build (although I admit I've been attracted to super-skinny but I've never been attracted to super heavy) hair color, eye color...whatever. It really is all about the individual person, although, like probably many others, I do find a unique or exotic look (which often means mixed heritage) particularly attractive.

So I don't really have a type, although I do have a decided weakness for redheads. It's partly because I find the color lovely, partly because I'm not at all bothered by the redheaded "look" (because redheads do have a particular look about the face) but rather I *like* how distinct and different it is, and partly the fact that when I was growing up everyone I knew thought redheads were ugly or weird looking (or at least redheaded men) and I always have to be contrary. Which isn't to say I find *all* redheads attractive, but I'll be more inclined to to find a slighly odd looking guy cute if he has red hair as opposed to any other color.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 5th, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)
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I have a weakness for redheads too. Definitely. Mmm.
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From:dlgood
Date:June 5th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
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I find redheads attractive too. I don't know, particulalry why, either. It just stands out.
From:vandalisimo
Date:June 5th, 2005 02:58 pm (UTC)
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I'm the opposite. Redheads are probably the one immediate turnoff for me. I'm not even sure why.
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From:jeeperstseepers
Date:June 5th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC)
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While media and exposure in general strongly influence what we find attractive, my own experience and a number of the comments right here suggest that there are innate, inexplicable individual differences in what we all find most attractive. Media and exposure don't explain why I'm into Asian guys and why for 6 or 7 years, Asians were on the top of my list of what I found attractive and I was determined to find an Orthodox Jewish Asian guy to marry (they're not common, but they're out there).

I still think Asians are beautiful but I find myself liking all types these days. If he's a guy and he's decent looking, I'm probably sneaking looks at him on the train. I used to be more limited. It was rare that I liked blond guys, but now, while I still prefer dark, I find myself seeing many more blonds that I find attractive. I don't know why my tastes have changed; exposure and the media don't seem to account for it. And some of the things I like are just weird. Why do I like little guys? No idea.
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From:adelynne
Date:June 5th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
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Psychologically speaking?

Humans like regularity. The people we perceive to be most attractive are the ones with the most regular features in the face (thus has shown many a study I don't feel like looking up now).

Another thing people going to find attractive (and comforting) is people who look like they're used to having people look. If you've eshewed Indian society for a good long while, an Indian girl, no matter how attractive, will probably make you uncomfortable at first.

Oddly enough, however, "exotic" people, especially those of mixed parentage, are attractive to many - which fits in that their features are both reminiscent and new.

On the other hand, there's also been research that people tend to wind up with people of a similar level of attractiveness that they are. Make of that what you will.
</psychobabble>

On the purely human perspective - you like what you like. Who cares?
From:dionysos_loop
Date:June 6th, 2005 01:07 pm (UTC)
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I'm interested by the discussion here. I always used to try and 'understand' what it was about people that I fancied, but ended up with such a disparate list of characteristics that I finally stopped 'listing' and 'pattern-seeking', and started thinking. I know that whatever I like, i am probably not going to match my neighbor in their tastes: what I like will not be identical to my likes. But there does seem to be a set of specific 'turnoffs' that work for many people (though I'm not sure of cross-cultural dislikes, wonder if there's research?)
At the same time, anthropologists like Desmond Morris (?) seem to think that we're all driven by biological imperatives, and that desire is a form of personal choice to fulfill this.
Personally, my preferences are for strong and (occasionally masculine-style) women like Angelina Jolie.
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From:jenelope
Date:June 6th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)
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I don't know what you're talking about because all of the Indian women I know are just gorgeous. Beautiful skin, great eyes, glossy hair. There is no bad there.

Naveen Andrews didn't do it for me until I finally saw The English Patient and he was no longer pretending to be Iraqi. I don't think I should be allowed to see any of his other movies.

I do think that Indian men are sexy, though. I'd say that probably about 70% of the people in my office are Indian, and while Mr. Andrews didn't touch a nerve until recently, Prabu, Twish, Satish, Dharmendra and Jitesh sure have been easy on the eyes.
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From:sisterjune
Date:June 6th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
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Well I've always had a bit of a thing for long hair on guys, I have no idea why. Sadly none of the arab boys I have met have long hair. (not that it's a requirement but it helps, a lot)
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From:foresthouse
Date:June 6th, 2005 07:44 pm (UTC)
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Re: the pretty thing. I have no idea! I don't even have a "type," though my friend Jay is convinced I must and keeps trying to define it. Every time he does I manage to shoot it down somehow! But I know I am drawn to certain features a lot...hmmm.
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From:pica_scribit
Date:June 12th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
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Where do our standards of beauty come from? Why do we find who we find pretty pretty and who we find unattractive unattractive? Am I doomed, or can you change what intuitively turns you on?

My theory is that what is attractive to each of us is something that is ingrained in us early on. I don't know how or why. Maybe an early crush becomes hardwired into the brain, so that, ever after, those same types and features are what attracts us. Or not. What attracts us can and should evolve over time. For example, age. We are (or should be) most attracted to the people in our own age group. Our tastes should mature over time. But I think the reinforcing of cultural standards of beauty in every magazine, commercial, and billboard are also part of it. Because obviously my background in archaeology makes me totally qualified to theorise about things like this. (You could try reading "The Beauty Myth" by Naomi Wolf)

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