Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My That's Purdy

I have had reason, lately, to consider the role of attractiveness in the workplace. And, I feel I need a male point of view. Let me lay it out.

As a female, I will notice when someone is attractive - male or female. I know other women who also notice - so I'm not alone. There's precious little I can do to circumvent the neural pathways that make me think "Dang, he's pretty" when I see someone attractive. I can, however, tell myself "Just because he's pretty doesn't mean you have to agree with him." Basically, I can try to cognitively circumvent any attractiveness bias that may emerge.  Also, I typically do not think "wow, he has great abs" or "great butt." I just tend to notice when someone is generally attractive - and that measure seems to be quite biased in favor of personality as much as appearance. 

So, that's my situation. Perhaps, ladies, you can tell me if you feel the same way?

Meanwhile, I have observed in recent times that many males are much more specific (and perhaps more obvious) about their appreciation for someone's appearance. I've heard direct comments ("great legs") about people (not myself), with the admission that this is an inappropriate comment to have made. I've noted .. prolonged glances.. towards my pectoral region (which, I should note, is not noteworthy). So, I wonder - is this the male equivalent of my inability to control my "he's cute!" reaction? Or can men actually cognitively suppress the staring? Is that a hard thing to do? 

I'm of the mind that things which are natural and uncontrollable shouldn't be subject to too much judgment. If someone can't help but have the hiccups, I wont label them as rude. But, if someone should be able to cover their mouth when they sneeze, I'm going to be mildly annoyed when they don't. Which side does boob-staring fall into? Or even boob-noticing?



SuperBunny said...

Hard-wired. Definitely. It often takes a moment to even realize what we're doing, and awkwardly avert our gaze from the aforementioned pectoral region (including for the best-intentioned among us).

Magnetic said...

Not at all a conscious effort, it is always more of a “oh what am I doing”.
I can’t recall ever making a conscious decision to even glare for a moment. Except maybe when I was in High School.

Anonymous said...

Boob glancing is completely involuntary and unavoidable.
However, boob staring is a conscious choice. We can
prevent it if we want to. This should be true for any male
at least over 20 years old.