Are Catholic women required to be beautiful?


At the risk of being controversial,and I guess what the heart of this thread comes down to,is this really true?

Isn’t it true that some women in society are more feminine than others,even if feminists deny it?

I don’t mean so much Ellen’s clothing etc,but the “overall picture”.

The way i see it there can be 3 versions of how femininity is defined:

1st Version:
that super feminine (externally) is the ideal for women (particularly Christian,Muslim,religious women) and that all women should aspire to this.Necessarily reaching it is another story.

2nd Version:
that femininity (and likewise masculinity) are more of a continuum,like a bell curve,and that most women (except gender neutral ones) lie somewhere on that continuum.

Version 3:
that all women are feminine simply by virtue of being born a woman,including women that are gender neutral,the “strongest” female Afl players or otherwise “butch” women.

Many Feminists would go with Version 3,but in my viewpoint is either Version 1 or 2 are correct.


This is sweet and idealistic but is it really true?
Even amongst single Catholic men,I think that women who are “classically attractive” will receive more interest than the ones who aren’t and even more so if she is attractive in a very feminine way (externally).

I don’t think the “feminine beauty desire” is as strong in non Christian men as in Christian men though and overall non Christian single men just “want” a women who is attractive (regardless if particularly feminine or not) so I don’t know if it is “nature or nurture”.

Maybe I’m wrong though,because I have heard even some non Christian men mention feminine beauty.
Eg:I have read some guys online talking about how on this US show 90 day visa,a certain girl from Brazil was their “ideal woman” because she looked the most feminine.
Also,while I’m not of Australian background I do live in Australia, and I have heard of some Australian men looking for Asian (Philipino,Thai) wives overseas,presumably because they find them more feminine than some Australian women?


God created all of us how we are. Beauty is subjective anyway. There’s no ‘Requirement’ to be beautiful, just be the person God made you to be: Yourself.


Unfortunately though,it’s these feelings that cause people who are externally beautiful to often be put on pedestals though.
For example,modelling will always exist as a career,but some of the huge amounts that some of them get paid to me seems unjust considering by comparison there are Disability Carers,Aged care workers,Nurses etc who do such valuable work but get paid so much less.


I think that is why there are two messages given from the Catholic Church and some Catholic websites etc…
External beauty matters and external beauty doesn’t matter.
Eg:the OT has numerous stories mentioning women of the bible having beautiful external appearances, but the NT focuses more on women’s Inner beauty.

The restaurant example with the man with the beard-this is an example of how the world is,but is it how it necessarily should be?
For example I heard that in Japan they have a restaurant where the employees have Demetia.
In a normal setting,waitstaff who often mixed up orders would be fired,but at this restaurant they’ve chosen to accept it and find the humour it in.
Maybe the world would be a better place if waitstaff or other jobs didn’t have to have pretty appearance or without flaws etc.

Sorry,I’m going off subject though because that’s more about societal expectations than the topic of feminine beauty.


It depends on which perspective, definitely. And how you define femininity. To me, 1 or 2’s definition is very, very subjective and dependent on culture and society. Which then makes me question if it is a valid measure of femininity.

Catholics would normally assert that women and men are inherently different but in order to state that, don’t you need to show differences that applies to everyone instead of personality traits and hobbies that can be present in either sex? Are women without these traits abnormal? Same goes for men.

As for perspective 3, a Catholic would assert that women are women and they can never be get rid of that part of their identity, since our souls are male/female or whatever. I’m not good with theology lol. Which seems to be that perspective 3 would be consistent with Catholic masculinity and femininity, which states that man and woman are inherently different (which includes everybody).

If your definition of femininity is more superficial)(for example, studies operationalise these terms for the sake of identifying traits), then 1/2 would be accurate. Since it’s just a definition of a certain trait, some people will have high levels of it, other lows. But then I would disagree with the idea that we ‘should’ strive for that, since it’s a subjective and culturally dependent definition. And also a morally neutral trait.


Models and nurses don’t get paid by the same people. If they are, it’s awfully unfair.

Models get paid more because they bring in profit. When that decreases, their pay decrease as well. So it’s really on us if it bothers you, tbh.


I think you are right here in the sense that, as far as I’m aware,Catholic religion doesn’t separate between biological sex and gender so all women will always be women regardless of a cultural push for gender neutral terms or push to be referred to whichever gender a person most identifies with etc.
This reality of “womanness” is different from the concept of femininity I think though.


Wasn’t referring to sex, I was referring to the idea that women and men have differences that are beyond physical (eg psychological traits). This is true if we are looking at group differences but we can’t say that every woman and man naturally has a certain quality in question so it seems inaccurate to authoritatively say that there’s such a difference? (eg saying women are naturally nurturing would be false, saying women on average are more nurturing is accurate)

I noticed a lot of Catholics saying God has given us the feminine genius (based on JP2) but I honestly don’t think this is literally true. Maybe most women.


While it is true that the more feminine a woman appears the more attractive she is. But that’s simply because a normal man wouldn’t be attracted to something masculine.

IMHO, femininity =/= beauty. Femininity can be increased by women simply by having their hair longer or by dressing in feminine clothes. Basically, the less a woman dresses and acts like a man, the more attractive she becomes.

True beauty, for both men and women, lies in how faithful one is to God and the Holy Catholic Church. I wouldn’t waste time with anyone who isn’t fully Catholic and accepts all the Church teaches.

In short, I feel both sexes can increase their attractiveness by behaving and appearing masculine or feminine, and by having great faith in our Lord. :man_shrugging:


You mean you’d only date a Catholic, or you only want to hang out with Catholics even on a platonic level?


I only mean on a dating level. After all, isn’t that what this whole threads about? Who would only be friends with people who look or act a certain way? Maybe it’s just me, but I love everyone and enjoy making friends with anyone. :man_shrugging:


Vulnerability also can inspire courage and bravery in yourself and in others.

I think this is what she means.

All of us are vulnerable in some way.


Asian moms are more like drill sergeants than Donna Reed.


When these men say more feminine they mean more subservient. Which means easier to take advantage of.

Notice that most don’t go for educated Filipino or Thai women who are middle class or upper class. They go for teen-aged girls who are poor and vulnerable while a lot of these men are in their 50s and 60s or even older.


I dress appropriately for the occasion. More formal clothes for more formal events like evening gowns for formal events and jeans and steel toe boots when working with freight trains.

Wearing work attire described above does not turn me into a man.

I usually don’t spend a lot of my time thinking about how to be more beautiful.


Whose standard of beauty?


Some people are weird and treat Catholicism like a cult.

I personally think only dating Catholics is over the top too, but reasonable minds can disagree on that. I’m married to a non-Catholic and my mom wasn’t Catholic when my dad married her. It’s really not an insurmountable obstacle.


The appreciation for beauty is a good thing but due to sin our approach to beauty can be disordered.

A good example of this is the practice of Chinese foot binding which is abusive in my opinion. Why inflict that on a child in the name of beauty?

How about South Korea’s obsession with plastic surgery? South Korean women do strive to be beautiful so much so that it is considered a duty to be beautiful according to their own very narrow standards. Have you seen the before and after pictures? The after pictures makes them look all alike.

How far do we take this duty to be beautiful?

How about older women who no longer have youthful good looks? What is their duty in this?



Beauty as meant by God is the result of virtue and holiness.

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