Beauty Marks

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Women are picked apart, while men get a package deal.

woman looking in the mirrorBeauty is a curious thing. More accurately, the perception of beauty. While reading Violet Blue's most recent piece for the San Francisco Chronicle, I sympathized with her as she endured countless negative comments from readers—specifically those of a personal nature, such as her physical characteristics, rather than her writing or opinions. Our own contributors, like "Marriage Without Monogamy" writer Dan Eldridge, have experienced this mean-spirited jabbing, which seems so much easier when hidden behind a keyboard.

Long story short, her column brought up a good point (from a burlesque dancer, no less) when it comes to beauty and judging such fragility:

"I have shared dressing rooms with thousands of ravishingly beautiful women over the last 12 years, and the one thing they all have in common is ... none of them think they are beautiful enough. Our society teaches women to pick themselves to pieces, analyzing each and every feature individually and keeping a list in our minds of each and every perceived fault. No one comes out of this scenario feeling good, and when women are in this mind-set, nothing you can say will change the way they feel about themselves. Believe me, I've tried. (Have you noticed that most women will argue with you when you give them a compliment rather than just saying 'thank you'?)

"On the other hand, men tend to be seen in more of a gestalt fashion: People look at the whole package — including personality! — and evaluate the sexiness and attractiveness of the person as a whole rather than analyzing the perfection or imperfection of each feature. This is a much easier standard, and I find that the women who are most confident — and are perceived as sexy — tend to see themselves in this way as well.”

Makes sense, right? So the next time someone tries to pick you apart, which tends to happen more than we’d like online, shake it off. Think about the whole package. It could mean a better-adjusted you.

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