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!

WorraLiberty Tue 22-Jan-13 21:46:49

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

Because fashion comes and goes...and yes fashion is part of societal conditioning.

That does NOT however mean that any woman who chooses to wear a short skirt/high heels has definitely been conditioned by society...some will but equally some won't.

Just the same as my preference of chicken pie over steak and kidney, means nothing other than the fact I like one and not the other.

That's why this argument is a silly one because no-one is 100% right and no-one is 100% wrong.

However, when strangers start to tell other women on an internet chatboard that they know more about them and their choices than they do about themselves...that sort of arrogance makes people defensive.

I don't think enough credit is ever given to women who make their own free choice based on nothing other than their own personal taste.

And so endeth the sermon grin But you did ask!

ICBINEG Tue 22-Jan-13 21:47:23

uhuh. No one is saying it is dumb to follow fashion/bow to the pressure. It is dumb to not acknowledge that fashion or societal pressure exist or are a major factor in what is currently considered attractive.

FlouncingMintyy Tue 22-Jan-13 21:47:53

Bizarre thread. Who on earth has difficulty accepting that external factors influence what is thought to be attractive or even socially acceptable? Surely only a dimwit.

thebody Tue 22-Jan-13 21:48:49

Joyful then don't judge clothes by intelligence.. I don't so why do you?

Nagoo Tue 22-Jan-13 21:50:51

Ooh this went bad fast.

LessMissAbs Tue 22-Jan-13 21:51:52

ICBINEG 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?

You're assuming that "attractiveness" has only one meaning - to attract heterosexual males.

And actually its fashion designers that work on cycles, because there are only so many "looks" to recycle. Fashion works by clever product placement, models are female, they don't walk down the catwalk being leered at by men, in fact the fashion industry is heavily dominated by women and non-heterosexual men...

Feelingood Tue 22-Jan-13 21:51:53

Seemingly minty, if that was the case we would all look very different to one another.

You accept someonelse view the minute you buy any item of clothing as someone somewhere has decided that, that is fashion, and they were influenced by something or someone too....eg Olympics British heritage re royals in jubilee year.

They alls originals, I will be looking out for them at school gates tomorrow grin

ICBINEG Tue 22-Jan-13 21:52:26

btw it is also dumb to think that the majority of girls would spontaneously choose pink if they were brought up outside of current western societal pressure (you can prove this easily with reference to cultures / times in which pink isn't associated with girls) or that women would gravitate in the majority towards being more caring, studious, loving, and backstabbing bitchy outside of the conditioning we hit our children with....

thebody where have I said that? Can you quote it please?

Thanks Worra. grin You make a good point that not all women will be equally influenced and I agree that my OP was worded a little too simplistically.

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.

Millions of people who don't 'conform' also go out and by the same thing, because its what is available in the shops that cater to the style they prefer.

Millions of people all over the world buy the same cars and go to the same places on holiday and drink the same drinks and eat the same foods, because thats their personal taste. Or is that all down to society influencing people too?

WorraLiberty Tue 22-Jan-13 21:57:28

grin << Adjusts boob tube and bum breezer >>

Feelingood Tue 22-Jan-13 21:57:55

the body but where you live therefore the society in which you live influences the choices available to you, how you look being one of them .

The op is just saying that some people are a bit dum for not acknowledging this, that's its they and they alone that influence their choices and not anything external.

Cortana Tue 22-Jan-13 21:59:12

Slightly confused but have a genuine question.

Right now my hair is long. Assuming this is a result of social conditioning, and I became aware of this and cut my hair very short, am I not then just responding to another form of social conditioning from perhaps a different section of society?

If my hair were short, would anyone be at pains to tell me this was as a result of social conditioning, albeit not from the mainstream?

I agree it is impossible to live life without social conditioning affecting our choices, otherwise I'd be naked most of the time or head to foot in pink knitted ponchos I'd made myself. Society tells me I should wear clothes. But why the critisism and need to emphasise my conditioning when I wear one certain style of clothes?

I'm not stupid, but nor am I wearing my pink knitted poncho. sad

Feelingood I'm not saying that anyone is dumb!

WorraLiberty Tue 22-Jan-13 22:00:22

Cortana just shave it off ffs grin

Worra wtf is a bum breezer?? And someone mentioned peplums upthread - can someone explain that to me too? confused

Cortana Tue 22-Jan-13 22:02:34

I've done that Worra, was fun. Right now I enjoy swishing too much. grin

Nagoo Tue 22-Jan-13 22:03:17

I don't think joyful is being disparaging about anyone.

cortana you would probably choose a nice fashionable haircut, rather than some sort of mullet horror. Even though, historically there have been swathes of people who did choose a mullet horror, due to societal conditioning. It looked good at the time, eh? smile

Binkybix Tue 22-Jan-13 22:03:17

Iceberg - re lime green. That goes to my point about fashion and attractiveness to men being different things.

WorraLiberty Tue 22-Jan-13 22:03:56

A bum breezer is what my Irish mother used to call mini skirts when I used to wear them grin

'Peplums' I have no clue about but I bet you don't get many to the pound...

Nagoo Tue 22-Jan-13 22:04:25

peplum is that frill thing at the hips, it's on a load of dresses and skirts recently.

Cortana Tue 22-Jan-13 22:06:29

No doubt I would Nagoo, but my question was more would anyone then feel the need to point out the reason I hadn't gone for business at the front party at the back was due to fashion? Whenever I do have a haircut I tend to be told "You look nice" not "Well you obviously picked that as it's in fashion".

Joyful, may I ask how you ended up on this subject with your friend (again, unless I'm reading too much into your posts)?

Feelingood Tue 22-Jan-13 22:11:09

Ok puudle misspelt dum is wrong way of putting it re your op.

I think some people are dumb for thinking they do those things and are free of influences.

Bloody hell you could say this about personality to old nature versus nurture debate.

We are products and producers of our own environment ie society norms which in turn shapes us.

Cortana via a long and rambling conversation about steampunk fashion, Edwardian trends and evolutionary psychology! confused

Thanks Nagoo - I haven't seen those but when I do I shall think "Ooh - peplums!". grin

badguider Tue 22-Jan-13 22:15:10

I'm genuinely surprised at how controversial this thread appears to be. I thought that it was genuinley and widely accepted that blonde hair, skirts, high heels, a certain waist to hip ratio etc. were basic indicators of 'fertility' and 'youth' in a sexual way and therefore designed to attract mates.
Not to say that's a bad thing... why not dress to attract and keep a mate? but it is true and why would you try to deny it?

On the other hand, there is a more interesting question when people deliberately dress counter to this. It's as much making a statement as following this. Many of the women I know through my sports club don't 'do' heels or skirts and are usually found in hoodies, jeans and skater shoes - whether we like it or not, we are deliberately subverting cultural norms to make a statement... no matter how much we may claim to 'just be comfortable and practical' smile

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