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to be surprised by how many women don't seem to realise that we are conditioned to think certain looks are attractive?

(228 Posts)

Inspired by a few recent threads.

High heels.
Exposed cleavage.
Cinched waists.
Exposed legs (in skirts or tight trousers).
Tight/skimming clothing.
Lipstick.
Eyeliner.
Hairless legs/armpits.

All these are in order to attract heterosexual males. Dress like it if you want to (I certainly feel I look better if I utilise a few of the above) but don't fool yourself that it has nothing to do with socialisation.

I'm sure someone else can put it far more eloquently but I needed to let this out before I have another argument with a friend!

That's true Shakey.

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 22-Jan-13 21:31:58

I don't get why you would make yourself dowdy and frumpy unless you had major issues. It's not hard to wear trousers/skirt shirt/smart top shoes (flat or heeled) and brush your hair. It must be harder to actively source frumpy disney piglet tshirts in an adult size and jeans that don't fit then a half decent supermarket outfit (which would look miles better then the piglet tshirt and jeans combo)

Its not hard to look nice and keep personal hygiene up to scratch and I don't see how actively not doing that makes you a better person.

thebody Tue 22-Jan-13 21:32:23

Because apocalypse I am actually am 47 and I choose to do what I do.

I couldn't care a shiny shite how other women or men dress.

I am amazed that anyone actually does?

I am amazed anyone has the time to care..

Why are we women taking each other apart like this?

Wags v demure v lippy wearers v anyone else different?

Seriously why???

Who said anything about being a better person?

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Tue 22-Jan-13 21:32:45

Also, while the preference for 'clear skin and bright eyes' denoting health might have some basis in evolutionary biology, a lot of the other stuff doesn't, because the fashions for 'attractiveness' have varied quite a lot over the years. Big bums, small bums, big tits, flat chests, rounded bodies, lean ones, etc.

WorraLiberty England Tue 22-Jan-13 21:34:16

ICBINEG so because you choose to wear flat shoes, you'd have trouble understanding why some women who happen to wear high heels are considered attractive?

Sorry but your theory only holds up if the women wearing high heels aren't particularly bright.

Thankfully our footwear is not a measure of our intelligence.

mercibucket Tue 22-Jan-13 21:34:20

oops my post might not read quite like i meant it to.

i mean just that we as a society don't value or teach sociology or psychology in schools as much as we could or imo should, not that people are uneducated, which i think my first post might have read like blush

thebody I'm interested in why women dress how they do, not whether they agree with what I think looks good. As I've said a couple of times already, I think women should wear whatever they think looks best.

ICBINEG Tue 22-Jan-13 21:35:59

"Just because you happen to believe something, it doesn't make it true."

Are you saying that God doesn't exist?

Or maybe that just because you think it is all massive coincidence that the things you see advertised in every magazine just so happen to be the things that make you feel attractive doesn't mean that it actually is a coincidence?

ApocalypseThen Tue 22-Jan-13 21:36:02

Or maybe it is a genuine preference based on their own personal taste,

Yeah...maybe. It's just a bizarre coincidence that it's heavily promoted and socially rewarded, changes according to time and culture. But we can't discount the possibility that millions of women in a certain time and place hit on exactly the same choices which, by coincidence, are the ones they see all around them as ideal.

Feelingood Tue 22-Jan-13 21:36:12

the body right here : "thankfully my religion and country allow me.." that there consitutes a significant fabric of the society you live in.

WorraLiberty England Tue 22-Jan-13 21:36:15

Shakey that's it 100% in nutshell

I'm so going to steal that post every time this tired argument is brought out grin

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 22-Jan-13 21:37:56

because OP you are inferring that you are clever and people who disagree with you (like your "friend") are stupid, dumb, brainwashed females.

ICBINEG Tue 22-Jan-13 21:38:29

who said I wear flats? shock

I have no problem with people thinking high heels make them attractive who acknowledge the fact that societal conditioning is behind the whole thing.

I have a problem with the people who think they came up with the idea all by themselves....because they didn't.

WorraLiberty England Tue 22-Jan-13 21:38:41

ICBINEG just because you believe a woman's choice of clothing (if it were a short skirt and high heels) means she's been conditioned by society, doesn't make it true.

^^ Can I put that any clearer?

Basically some people believe it's true and some people don't.

As Shakey said, it can't be proven either way.

ApocalypseThen Tue 22-Jan-13 21:39:46

Why are we women taking each other apart like this?

We aren't. We're talking about some fairly widely accepted and uncontroversial sociological theories. It's not a criticism of women - or anyone - to say that we're all a part of society, and choices that we think we're making independently are socially conditioned before we are even aware of them.

mercibucket Tue 22-Jan-13 21:40:05

the theories around women's clothes are really interesting, not thst i know much about it

Worra so what's your take on it? Why is the mainstream fashion preference for high heels, tight or revealing clothing? I'm genuinely interested btw, not trying to be snarky.

rainbowrainbowrainbow Tue 22-Jan-13 21:40:41

YANBU joyful

LessMissAbs Tue 22-Jan-13 21:41:24

Socialisation yes. Puely to attact heteosexual males? I don't think so, apart from exposed cleavage and some make up too perhaps.

Women dress for sport, for comfort, to compete against othe women, for fashion, to look smat, to stand out in a crowd (and therefore be more memorable at work), to feel good, as well as to appeal to heterosexual males.

Your theory falls down in that not all women change the way they dress after marriage, when they have presumably attracted a heterosexual male.

Many of these clothing choices deter just as many men as they attract.

High heels elongate the line and make it possible for short people like me to wear certain fashions, which just don't look right with flat shoes.

If you look at the Olympics, women are dressed in very skimpy clothing, not just for ease of movement, but to pysche out their opponents. If you aren't lean and fit, you can't wear the skimpiest clothing.

Your theory is far too simplistic and cliched.

ICBINEG Tue 22-Jan-13 21:41:25

worra but what is the plausible alternative? That short skirts really are more attractive? What about the next time they are out of fashion? How will there absolute attractivness have changed?

Binkybix Tue 22-Jan-13 21:43:15

I thnk there's a difference between what fashion says is attractive, and what men see as attractive. They're not always the same. Fashion is not necessarily about being attractive physically. High fashion at least is about being part of an exclusive group.

Physical traits seen to be attractive due to fitness in the Darwinian sense could change in theory because environmental context is important. Eg when large was considered attractive it was hard to achieve so could have been seen as a status symbol, hence a wider clue for fitness. Just a theory.

So as ever, what is seen as attractive is surely an interaction of nature and social conditioning.

Brandy that really wasn't my intention. My friend is extremely intelligent (not that it's relevant) and I don't believe that anyone's intelligence can or should be measured by their clothing or appearance

ICBINEG Tue 22-Jan-13 21:45:56

So one year lime green is "in" and suddenly the vast majority loves the lime green, and would state that they feel more attractive wearing it. Two years down the line no one is wearing lime green and suddenly no one likes the colour.

Lime green is lime green. It can't change it evolutionary hard wired level of attractiveness.

So clearly societal pressure is doing the driving.

If you don't think that is the case then what exactly does cause the colour lime green to change it's level of attractiveness on a 5 year cycle?

thebody Tue 22-Jan-13 21:46:24

Feeling good the fabric of society here in Europe and social influences are a choice and a great reason to have a good debate on mumsnet.

Being stoned to death or having bleach squirted into school girls faces or shooting them in the head as they access education is the fabric of some women's society.

I just can't see how British women dress as worthy of worrying about.

And it makes us divided and that's sad.

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