Tall. Slender. Light complexion. These are some qualities of a beautiful woman in the eyes of a Filipino man. But what do we mean by beauty? Where did we pattern our concept of beauty? Was it inborn or by influence? I’m not sure. But, some studies show that even a baby can already identify who has the ideal looks. When he sees a person he thinks is beautiful, he stares at him, or smile. If he sees a person and he cries, well, let’s just skip this.
Girls like girls. Boys like boys.
I’ve studied attractiveness in my social psychology class. Before anything mutual develops, a person should first be attracted to a person possessing ideal external qualities. In the Philippines, people with light complexion is preferred than people with dark complexion even if most of us possess this feature. Whitening soaps, Glutathione, bleaching, name it all! These products and services have good sales. While in the US and many countries with Caucasians as the local people, they prefer to get a tan via tanning salon or take a sunbath. Anyway, back to beauty, there is also a war if people like others who have the same external qualities as them or people with different ones. Refer to your friends, crushes, a person you have a romantic relationship with and your ex-partners. Do you like him/her because he/she resembles a part of your face? If you have nice eyes, do you like your partner because he/she has nice eyes too? If you’re tall, do you prefer a group of tall friends? External beauty, which is ideal, is the first thing you’ll look at in a person before approaching him/her. Then you guys become acquaintances and this may lead to friendship after you find out that you share similarities in terms of your personality, likes and dislikes.
Girls like boys. Boys like girls.
The other side of the argument is that difference is attractive too. Some people prefer a partner with different external features. Again, here in the Philippines, a Filipino with dark complexion likes a partner with light complexion. This also extends to the Filipino culture. Why do Filipino people, who generally stands 5 foot and a few inches tall, likes to play basketball which requires higher height? Yes, they can play even if they’re not tall, but if you view the game mechanics, height is really an advantage to play this sport. They are very frustrated with their height that they take vitamins to help them grow taller. Even some companies owned by Filipinos in certain industries only pick (as some require it) potential employees who are tall. People are also obsessed on changing hair color and hairstyles, perming or straightening. Some people wear contacts for the sake of changing it to their ideal eye color. Oh, we like things better if they are inverted, right?
Era by era, culture by culture, people by people, the concept of beauty changes. Fat or obese is beautiful for a hungry country and thin is beautiful for a rich country. Some culture promote the beauty of piercings and tattoos and some like it pure and natural. Some culture see beauty in small feet. Some see it in long necks. Some see it in small waists. Some even see it in armpit hair. To sum it all up, the argument of attractiveness in beauty between similarities and differences is never settled. I’m just saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is an accurate proverb.