You ever think to yourself that there may be more to life than being really, really ridiculously good-looking? Yeah, me neither.
According to a science report (we picked it up from the crazy sombitches at Asylum), people who feel pressured to be attractive are more likely to fear rejection. While it probably doesn't take the University of Buffalo (or the University of Kent, for that matter) to tell us that people hung up on their looks place a lot of stock in what other people think about their appearance, the study does have some other interesting finds.
First of all, irrespective of self-esteem and self-assuredness (especially regarding looks), most people became uncomfortable when being strictly judged on their attractiveness. (Note: the ability to overcome or possibly revel in this discomfort is probably why most people are a little freaked out by pageant contestants, that and the spray tan, Harlequin-esque makeup and big hair.) Next, women are more likely to become anxious about being rejected because of their appearance (wow, no doy on that result). And, finally, men and women who pay heed to "the media's" ideal of beauty were likely to fret about getting the Heisman for being fugles. Read: Inner Beauty: What Men Don't Tell You
While all of this seems like it could be taught in a class entitled "No Shish Kabob, Sherlock," some of it is pretty telling. A) A decade ago, men would have been way less concerned about being rejected because of their looks. Two decades ago, it wouldn't have been a tertiary concern at best (for JR's sake, Patrick Duffy, AKA Bobby Ewing, was considered a sex symbol back then). Dudes are, for the lack of a more apt term, far prettier than they've ever been (unless the film Alexander was historically accurate). B) Regardless of what Oprah tells them ("GOOD FOR YOU!"), ladies are still convinced, probably correctly, that fellas are concerned with looks first and foremost. C) Our vanity is writing checks our asses can't cash. Exceptionalism (whether British or American*) may be keeping a lot of us from being content with ourselves, at any level, and could make successful relationships very difficult.
It's interesting that this study was surfaced yesterday. I served on a (man) panel as part of Matt Titus and Tamsen Fadal's dating boot camp, and yesterday's topic was the need for women to be more active in pursuit because men are afraid of romantic rejection. The consensus was that modern men are more apprehensive about approaching women out of fear of rejection than our ancestors and that women, statistically, fear rejection slightly less (in a dating environment) than do men**.