01790: Beauty =/= Attraction

Do you feel pretty?
When you hit puberty, it seems like everyone becomes interested in your definition of beauty. Whether family, friends, or whatever else is out there, time and time again people ask your opinion of what beautiful is to you. What types of people are you attracted to? Which celebrity do you find most appealing? What's your "type" in the dating scene?

To be honest, I had no clear idea of what truly represented my physical embodiment of the type of guy that I was attracted to. Sure, media played a big role in helping me understand what is typically considered to be handsome or appealing. Media has also helped reinforce what one horny teenager might consider to be sexually attractive as well.

But when it came to the dating scene in itself, I found that the physically impressive or handsome did not immediately translate into people I was actually, genuinely attracted to. I once got involved with a kid with a pretty great body - as in one could feel his abs as you run your hands down his stomach (even if they weren't totally visible right off the bat). But we had nothing in common really and all we did manage to do was fool around in his cramped little bedspacer-type room when no one else was around.

Over the years, the world of the "beautiful" was pretty far away from what actually turned me on. Sure, well-defined muscles and six-pack abs are still going to get me to at least do a double-take - I'm both human and gay after all. But it won't inspire me to strike up a conversation nor will I think about that person once he's out of view. But give me a guy who can nerd out about random topics (I <3 Mike Rugnetta), one someone who can fully appreciate my Transformers obsession and you're sure to at least get a rise out of me.

But people still immediately associate what is stereotypically considered to be beautiful with what people are more likely to be attracted to. And that's a principle that applies to everyone equally. We all have different priorities in life and different aspects of the human experience that we value more. And I feel we become attracted to people who somehow resonate those interests even if that means like slightly different and yet still similar things. It's not about like attracting like but finding different personalities that work together.

And at the same time, those who obsesses over physical beauty as a primary qualifier are also the ones who end up back in the dating pool more often than not. A lot of them tend to be the ones who repeated extol the virtues of the single life and yet also randomly bemoaning being single during special holidays. These are the people that I really hope find the strength to just grow up some day. And they totally become completely unattractive once they open their mouths.