Should Looks Matter?

I personally would not hold it against someone for not dating a person he (or she) does not find aesthetically pleasing. In other words, I think it’s important to think your future spouse is superficially beautiful in at least some way.

But am I wrong?

Let’s take it back to the olden days for a second:

Consider a young man who has two choose between two women, both of whom are virtuous, God-loving women. Both women share exactly the same interests and personality traits. The only difference is that one is prettier than the other; that’s the only difference whatsoever. On the basis, then, of her looks, he chooses the more beautiful woman.

Should we fault him for this, though? If looks are something that don’t matter, it stands to reason he should have made no choice at all. Perhaps neither woman was meant to be his wife.

P.S. This situation is strictly hypothetical! I just want people’s viewpoints. I’m not having trouble choosing a wife!

The person should remember that everyone’s looks fade unless she dies young. And accidents and illnesses can happen that rob people of their good looks. Would he still love her if a beautiful wife suddenly became not-so-beautiful?

I think he needs to ponder those points as well.

I suggest reading the “Jewelers Shop” by St. Pope John Paul II

ignatius.com/Products/JSH-H/the-jewelers-shop.aspx

Looks do matter. It would be disingenuous to say otherwise.
Now, superficial beauty differs from person to person but make no mistake about it, physical attraction is a pat of mate picking.

With that said, what I stress to people looking to get married today is: seek out someone that you align with spiritually first, with financial alignment a close second and you will be well on your way to a successful relationship. These aren’t the only things with which to be concerned, but in my humble opinion they are the 2 biggest factors on whether or not 2 people get along and stay together.

Its a factor, one among others. It will be considered whether you want to or not.

I’m reminded of the Biblical account of Jacob and Rachel and Lea.

I think what matters most in the scenario you presented is that the person marrying the one they think it better looking is not marrying only for looks (and virtue). I would hope there would be real bond BEYOND looks, AND the virtue-otherwise, its still usage of the one being married mostly for their looks and not for themselves (or their virtue). It has to be something more. Just don’t marry for marrying’s sake, and especially not if only your loins are burning for someone because you find them ‘hot’. These are lousy reasons for marriage, which sadly I find a lot of people make.

What do you think “what God joined together” means? Keep in mind those passages in scripture where people God didn’t want to marry, did. So its not the wedding that magically binds people, nor the consummation of the marriage bed, though both of those things are things that TIE people together, with or without God’s approval.

Looks do matter, but I think you’ll find that the one God intends for you to marry, despite any physical flaw society may say they have (and even behavioral or physical) you will still love them no matter. You will see past those "flaws"and see beauty anyway…

1 Corinthians 13:4-13New International Version (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

It does matter but I don’t think the girl looks (I’m a guy) at the end of the day should be the reason we date or get married. She might be a 10 but a 10 on the crazy scale. Not a good scenario.

I think it does matter, however the order of importance is key. If you really come to know someone as a friend, it will materially affect your view of that person in a positive way. And then, look at how God created the differences between Male and Female, even in the animal and bird kingdoms. Males are usually the more attractive physically in the bird kingdom, and I am sure there is a reason. The lion is much more showy that the lioness. men generally have bigger muscles and are larger, in general. Looks are a part of what attracts us. However, God gave us so many more ways of discernment since we have the power of reason and are not driven solely by instinct.

Yes. In the bird kingdom, males are more colorful. All that beauty comes at a price. While flamboyant colors gets the males noticed by the females, the males are also more noticed by predators. The drab female is protected by her camouflage.

I’ve known women who are utterly, amazingly, stunningly beautiful for their personality and values, which give them radiancy and sparkle.

How discerning is the eye of the beholder?

You absolutely should only marry someone that is physically attractive to you. Yes looks fade, but genetics stay the same. Physcial attractiveness often signals good genetics. If you are attracted to a person with that particular set of genes, that probably speaks well for your offspring. As a disclaimer, this is a very narrow view of a large subject. There is much more to be said about this.

Looks matter. That being said, it doesn’t mean that only those who are deemed attractive by societal standards should be able to date, marry, and reproduce. After all, what secular society states is “attractive” changes over time.

What I may find attractive in a partner someone else may find unattractive. So looks do matter because it is such a subjective value. Also over time, as people develop their relationship, traits in the partner that is not connected to physical appearance have a way of make them seem more physically attractive. I would bet many of our long time married folks on CAF can attest to that.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or, after a few drinks in the local bar, in the eye of the beer holder.

I think the person should be attractive to you. I don’t think they have to be drop dead gorgeous or even stereotypically attractive. But I’d hate to think I’d have to marry someone I found physically repulsive. On the other hand, someone repulsive to me might be just what another person is dreaming of.

Have you ever met someone who was ugly and then gotten to know them really well only to find out that they grew more attractive to you when you discovered their mind and personality were attractive? After a time, you can’t even remember how you thought they were ugly in the first place. Instead you see a beautiful smile or laughing eyes.

Also, people have different taste. I’m reminded of a coworker who kept pointing out attractive men. I’d look and think I must have missed the one he was pointing to. It turns out, he and I had such different taste in men that I thought his “gorgeous” men were unappealing.

Thankfully, in the real world, there’s no such thing as two people who are completely identical in virtue, interests, and personality traits. :eek:

Do looks matter? Yes.

But consider the possibility that what different people find attractive is different for each person.

If I find a gentleman attractive, that may be God’s way of opening my eyes and heart to him. :shrug:

I often wonder if God allows us to perceive people according to His discretion – if we are seeking His purpose in our lives.

But yes, I think attraction to our spouse matters.

“Do looks matter?” is not the same question as “Should looks matter?” As to the second, De gustibus non disputandum est.

Males will usually pursuit females based on looks, but the final decision is nowadays mostly on the female to say yes/no. It is perfectly biologically sound for people to feel attracted to beautiful people, that is the sign of good biological genes. We of course shouldn’t just pursuit women who are beautiful if we are looking for the mother of our children, we should pursuit women that we can attest could be good mothers, but the fact is that we want what is best for our children, and a good health (attested by good looks) is biologically sound. Looks should and do matter, just not the most.

God bless,
D.

I keep hearing on here and the media this notion touted around that good looks equals good biological genes… This is bunk. It has to be.

I don't even believe its an indicator of good health as they say either.   I have illness.  I've had it for many years.  Due to increasing illness,to try and cut down on the power my illness has over me, I try and do things that are healthy to my best possible means.   I have for years now I try very hard to do the healthy thing- eat right, get some (now mild to modest) exercise, get adequate rest, pray..etc. etc....  I may look well and I may look nice (people have out of the blue come up to tell me) but I am no means healthy by regular standards.

Its NO REAL indication of anything. I suppose its one of those things people just sort of assume.

I also do not believe its natural for men to pursuit beautiful women because its in their nature. First off, every culture has its idea of what a beautiful woman looks like. Secondly, throughout history this notion has changed as well. I think what it is , is that men are wanting to have a what is considered a good looking woman to pump up their ego and so that they feel among other men they’ve achieved something great by winning a beauty- its a status thing. I’m not so sure it has anything to do with real beauty, which is in the eyes of the beholder anyway.

…Not picking on you dskysmine, just commenting on those notions. I really think they are false and aer used and touted around to excuse some extremely bad behavior. There are a lot of false notions floating out there in this media driven world of ours.

You would have to address this with a proper argument.

Saying that you look “nice” isn’t an argument. That’s at most anecdotal evidence of an exception.

It’s not an assumption, it’s a biological fact.

Most men agree on what attractive women look like. It’s not rocket science. It’s in our genes to consider a healthy woman someone who can bear children with a specific waist to hip ratio. there are many studies that show this.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_attractiveness#Female_physical_attractiveness
Just look at the amount of studies done on the matter…

There might be false notions touted around, especially among women, but that does not mean that biological preferences don’t exist… only that there are many factors that affect human behavior.

And I already said that looks shouldn’t matter the most, only that they affect us, and that we should know how they affect us in order to make the best decision.

Sure, it’s easy to say that you want to have a partner that has some experience in life, that knows how to go through hardships, has patience, virtues, etc… but many women only achieve that after their husbands die… not the best time to start a family.

You need to be able to think about all the options, and marrying a bald 45 year old woman that survived a mastectomy just because she is catholic shouldn’t need to be in the front of the list of any 25 year old man.

(By the way I am a 30 years old man)
God bless,
D.

There is some point in time where there has not been enough communication to have anything more than the superficial.

But for anything of substance, looks will not go very far.

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