Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Trip Inside the Female Psyche

Peter of Catholicae Testudines asked about a “hunks” spot on the blog after I included a photo of Hayden Christensen, whom I identified as “good looking,” in a post a few days ago. Anne also commented on that post by saying that he was not good looking and that his evil tendencies in Sith removed any attraction she would have for him.

With those two stimuli, I will now address what I see as the differences between being “good looking” and “attractive,” since they are, in fact, two different things. This might be a shallow post, yes, but it is summer and I don’t start my job until tomorrow.

Good Looking: This is the more objective of the two categories and implies that I think you are a beautiful human being – that you have nice physical features. Noticed I said “more objective” as it is not completely objective. I might think someone is good looking while Sierra or Anne or Lacy might not. Fair enough. I do think most people fall into the good looking category, though some can be considered more good looking than others. Good looking implies that the relationship is platonic and that each party wants it to remain that way. This means, of course, that one can consider a member of the same gender good looking without one being homosexual.

Attractive: This is the more subjective of the two categories and implies that you are attracted to the other person – as in interested in being involved in a romantic relationship with him/her. This is a necessary component of a romantic relationship and the level of attraction is usually parallel to the love you have for the person and the respect you have for their non-physical traits. For example, I could find John good looking, but because Suzy loves him, she is attracted to him. Or I could not find John good looking, but because Suzy loves him, she finds him both good looking and is attracted to him.

Of course, people who indulge their sexual desires in an unchaste way screw all this up, but you get the point. Now Anne wasn’t attracted to Hayden because his character on the screen was evil. That’s a good reason to not be attracted to someone. Or for an example from me, I think Colin Farrell is good looking, but the fact that he’s such a womanizer and parties so hard leaves me totally un-attracted to him. Personally, a guy often only moves up to the attractive category for me if he’s a good Catholic who I think could complement me well; because that’s what I’m looking for in a husband, that’s what I’m attracted to.

A qualifier: People can move between and in and out of the two categories. For example, I could be friends with Joe Schmoe for a long time and think he is good looking but not find him attractive. And then voila! - one day I fall in love with him and be attracted to him. Or that could just be a silly crush and he soon moves back to the good looking category.