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Discrimination against unattractive women
This site aims to promote feminine beauty. If it had a significant impact, a possible undesirable side effect could be increased discrimination against women that are not feminine and attractive. The webmaster of looksaware.com, a new site aiming to combat discrimination against unattractive individuals, contacted me about issues related to the promotion of feminine beauty, and I agree with him that the discrimination issue needs to be addressed, especially in light of the scope of this feminine beauty site.
The following discussion is a brief sketch of the issues involved, and will need to be elaborated on in future entries. Discrimination against women that are deemed unattractive can be romance- or job-related.
A common tool employed within this site is to contrast feminine and attractive women with models and beauty pageant contestants deemed unattractive with respect to majority preferences. An attempt is made to educate the public about tricks of posing and fake femininity employed by the fashion world to pass its models as hot; see an ongoing series on “sexy” Victoria’s Secret models: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3; more later. There is also a discussion of the subtlety of aesthetics within this site. Such information helps hone the aesthetic judgment of the readership. In addition, there is also an attempt to expose the public to very attractive women in order to promote high aesthetic standards among models and beauty pageant contestants, the idea being that even attractive women will be found not impressive when people are exposed to very attractive women. The cumulative effect is that most women will be found to be less desirable by heterosexual men that thoroughly go through this site/become better aware of the nature of feminine beauty.
But will this lead to increased romantic discrimination against unattractive women by men? No, it won’t. There are few feminine and attractive women, and most men are not getting them. As far as almost all heterosexual men are concerned, a less desirable woman is better than taking the matter into one’s hands. Even if one considers picky men, one should not forget that sexual deprivation tends to make the less desirable more desirable.
There are also two questions that should be addressed in the context of possible romantic discrimination against women who are not feminine and attractive.
Are feminine and attractive women the best sexual partners?
Feminine beauty as addressed within this site concerns itself with overall visual appeal, which is of reduced relevance during sexual activity and no relevance if light is absent. Feminine women will be more pleasurable than skinny women as far as touch- and pressure-related sensory stimulation resulting from fatty deposits goes, but overweight/mildly obese women will be even better in this regard. There is also the possibility that a feminine and attractive woman will tend to rely on her looks to please a male partner and play a more passive role during sexual activity, whereas a less attractive woman will play a more active role, thereby pleasing her partner more. Therefore, it cannot be said that feminine and attractive women are the best sexual partners. The latter is especially true for heterosexual men who are into deviant sexual practices as feminine and attractive women are less likely than other women, especially masculinized women, to acquiesce to requests for deviate conduct.
Are feminine and attractive women the best reproductive partners?
The answer is an easy no. Whereas attractive individuals are a good reproductive choice, and feminine women have above average fecundity and fertility, there is a problem with femininity when it comes to desirable outcomes in offspring. The genetic/hormonal bases of above average femininity help women but harm men. In other words, other things being equal, women with above average femininity are likely to give birth to less masculine sons, who will generally grow up to be less successful with women and less likely to be able to dominate other men.
The problem is that if above average masculinity/below average femininity is desirable in men and above average femininity/below average masculinity is desirable in women from a health and fertility standpoint, then there is no reproductive partner that will increase the likelihood of producing both types of offspring. A masculine partner will increase the odds of a masculine son but also a masculine daughter, a feminine partner will increase the odds of feminine daughter but also a feminine son. If a man and woman with above average masculinity decide to mate in order to produce a very masculine son, not only could the results be negative from a health and fertility standpoint if a daughter is born, but exposure to testosterone beyond a threshold could developmentally disturb the male fetus, leading to a son with a strange mix of hypermasculine, normally masculine, hypomasculine and feminine characteristics.
Therefore, a good reproductive partner, not necessarily the best, is generally one that would increase the odds of producing an average offspring. As far as desirable outcomes in offspring are concerned, very feminine women would be a good reproductive partner for very masculine men but not most men.
It is unlikely that the promotion of feminine beauty will increase romantic discrimination against women that are not feminine and unattractive. On the other hand, it could be pointed out that the pressure on a number of women to look feminine and attractive will increase if feminine beauty had a stronger impact. This issue is tangential to the topic being addressed, has been partially addressed elsewhere and will be addressed in detail later.
Discrimination related to modeling assignments
This type of discrimination is a special case of job-related discrimination that is being addressed separately given the heavy focus of this site on models. Given a limited number of modeling opportunities, elevation of feminine beauty will imply fewer modeling/related opportunities for women that are not feminine and attractive, but this cannot be called unfair since the present high status of skinny and masculine women means few opportunities for mainstream modeling on the part of feminine and attractive women as well as the use of masculinized women when feminine ones are required.
The promotion of feminine beauty will lead to a more balanced and appropriate scenario. The skinny and masculine norm among high-fashion models will not be changing as long as homosexual men dominate the fashion business, which will be for a long time to come. Companies marketing products to feminists will continue to use ordinary-looking women; “real women” in feminist speak. The promotion of feminine beauty will force mainstream high-profile beauty pageants, publications like Sports Illustrated and equivalent to use more feminine women as a result of shame, embarrassment and declining interest should they continue with mostly masculinized, sometimes heavily masculinized, women. This can hardly be called inappropriate or unfair to masculinized women. A beauty pageant that caters to the general public should take into account public tastes, which is to strongly and overwhelmingly prefer feminine beauty. Additionally, if publications like Sports Illustrated or Playboy magazine cater to heterosexual male interest by using models with fake breasts and posing tricks to make unfeminine women look feminine, then they deserve declining sales for fraud.
General job-related discrimination
If an unattractive and an attractive individual compete for the same job and both are equally qualified, the fair selection procedure would be to make a random decision, but in practice the attractive person is more likely to get the job. What can be done about such unfairness? One possibility is legislation, but it would be difficult to enforce. There are numerous reasons for rejecting a potential employee and it is not going to be easy for someone to prove that he was rejected for his looks.
The best way of approaching the discrimination issue is to examine why people value beauty and whether the valuation is justified. The value placed upon beauty results in beauty having a halo effect on the qualifications of a person, making an attractive person appear more qualified.
It will be seen that there are some correlates of beauty that are related to health and fertility and others that just appeal to sensory biases without having any other significance. Correlates of beauty that have no significance other than simply appealing to sensory biases can be roughly considered valueless. One should not be misled into believing that something valueless is of value. Correlates of beauty that correspond to health and fertility can be assumed to be the result of the developmental program shaping people to recognize people who will be good reproductive partners. However, the typical job interview is not an assessment of a potential reproductive partner, and the valuation of features related to health and fertility should not be relevant to an evaluation of work skills.
Another issue is that with respect to the correlates of beauty that correspond to health and fertility, how much healthier and more fertile are very attractive individuals compared to attractive individuals and ordinary individuals? In the absence of physical defects/abnormalities, a large increase in attractiveness will generally correspond to a small increase in health and fertility. In other words, people tend to overvalue beauty. With respective to selecting a quality partner, such overvaluing is not maladaptive, but such overvaluation should not be part of evaluating a potential employee as far as the typical job is concerned.
Yet another issue is whether some elements of the valuation of beauty are misleading. For instance, attractive and very feminine women will be strongly pleasing to most lifetime-exclusive heterosexual men. However, as noted above, whereas these women will be healthy, very fertile and very fecund, their high level of femininity will be problematic for most men as far as typically desired outcomes in male offspring are concerned.
In other words, there are at least three ways beauty is overvalued: valueless correlates of beauty are assumed to be of value, a higher than actual value is placed on correlates of beauty that are of value and some features that are of value for a small subset of people can be mistakenly assumed to be of value by most people.
The reasons why people value beauty are typically not relevant to evaluating a potential employee, and being swayed by the beauty of a potential employee is especially unjust given the overvaluation of beauty. If employers can be made to understand the nature of their biases toward beauty, then being aware of their biases, they will be in a position to reduce job-related discrimination against unattractive individuals.
There is no reason why one cannot simultaneously promote feminine beauty, avoid increasing romance-related discrimination against unattractive women and reduce job-related discrimination against unattractive individuals. This requires a lot of work, which will be done given enough time.
- Beauty is good vs. ugliness is bad.
- Sexually antagonistic selection.
- How can one have a son that looks like a Greek God?