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Frequently asked questions
Added Feb. 26, 2006.
Revised and updated Aug. 20, 2012.
A: This is a multi-purpose site. The main purpose is to promote feminine beauty, as in increasing the prevalence of feminine and attractive women among top-ranked models and beauty pageant contestants. This site also intends to promote high aesthetic standards among female models in general. The public needs to be educated about the aesthetics of the female form in order to fulfill these goals. Toward this purpose, sufficient information has been provided within this site to explain in detail the subtlety of feminine vs. masculine shape variation, and numerous objective correlates of beauty have been discussed.
Some of the information within this site should also help protect some young women from believing that they need to be very thin in order to look attractive. There is also information within this site (e.g., here) that will help women make themselves more attractive.
The long-term goal of this site is to establish at least one mainstream outlet for feminine beauty appreciation. This mainstream outlet will not be this site itself because any mainstream outlet has to avoid nudity, which this site cannot avoid.
A: There are a number of reasons why feminine beauty needs to be promoted:
- The high status of skinny and masculine high-fashion models prompts some women to diet unnecessarily or exercise excessively in order to lose body fat, thereby undermining their health, fertility and fecundity; see evidence on the eating disorders page.
- There is no mainstream outlet for the appreciation of feminine beauty, notwithstanding the fact that most people, especially heterosexual men, aesthetically prefer above average femininity in the looks of women. Masculinized women abound among prominent lingerie models, beauty pageant contestants and major publications catering to heterosexual men such as the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit magazine; some examples:
- Prominent mainstream magazines/websites targeting heterosexual men—e.g., Maxim, FHM, Savvy, Ask men*, etc.—do not have a quality control system in place, i.e., they feature plenty of women that are borderline impressive. Therefore, this site hopes to cause the establishment of at least one mainstream outlet for the appreciation of feminine beauty that focuses on high standards of attractiveness.
*Austin Silver at Ask Men answered the question why gays dominate the fashion business thus:
But perhaps they simply have a knack for what looks good on beautiful women because they’re not busy trying to stick their privates in the first available female outlet. If I were a fashion designer backstage trying to do all the last minute fittings for my models before they walked on the runway, I’d be hard-pressed to keep my erection at bay.
The above statement is coming from an ostensibly heterosexual man! The reader should also go through the top 99 most desirable women at Ask men to see just what kind of quality control they have.
Q: Has it ever occurred to you that in the process of solving some problems, you will be creating problems such as lowered self-esteem and hurt feelings on the part of many women, and prompting an increase in the number of women undergoing cosmetic surgery? Isn’t this site just as bad as the fashion industry; after all, you are replacing one near-impossible-to-achieve standard with another such standard?
A: There is no way this site is as bad as the fashion industry:
- The fashion industry is pushing its skinny and masculine ideal—that few people harbor—on others, whereas this site is addressing what most people find beautiful in women, i.e., this site is not attempting to push an anomalous ideal.
- The skinny fashion industry ideal prompts some women to adopt unhealthful practices such as unnecessary dieting and excessive exercise, whereas the promotion of feminine beauty cannot result in an increase in unhealthful health practices since no exercise, pills or special diet will result in substantially enhanced feminine attractiveness (whereas some drugs may have estrogenic effects or otherwise enlarge breasts, these drugs will not be prescribed for cosmetic breast enlargement given their side effects).
- If a near-impossible-to-achieve ideal diminishes the body esteem of many women, then this site is not worse than the fashion industry on this count.
- The fashion industry does not bother to take care of the problems that it is responsible for; it doesn’t even acknowledge them. However, this site will be taking steps to address some negatives potentially associated with the promotion of feminine beauty, such as increased discrimination against unattractive women and worsened self-esteem/body-esteem, with the intent of minimizing these problems; the link addressing body-esteem issues also argues that it is unlikely that this site will be prompting a large increase in cosmetic surgery.
- This site provides an overview of improving looks in a healthy manner, and follow-up articles are posted every now and then.
Q: Is this site about how women are supposed to look like?
A: No. This site is about physical attractiveness in women, especially feminine beauty. To the extent that it concerns itself with the looks of women, it is about how contestants in beauty pageants catering to the general public and models in various scenarios are expected to look like.
Q: By your standards, with few exceptions, most women have something wrong with their looks! Where are you getting your ideas from?
A: The range of the highly attractive is very narrow compared to the range of looks variation among humans, and pointing out what constitutes the highly attractive [to most people] does not translate to saying that something is wrong with other forms. In their physical appearance, most people do not have serious malformations or serious physical defects.
The nature of physical attractiveness/aesthetics described within this site is derived from the psychological, anthropological and medical literature cited.
Q: I like women with broad shoulders, high cheekbones,…. [add other features that look more masculine]. This [particular] fashion model looks better than that [particular] feminine glamour model. Why can’t you see beauty in such [masculinized] features or the [particular] fashion model? Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Your talk about beauty is nothing more than what you prefer.
A: It is true that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but most people see beauty through the same pair of eyes, which is an objective find. Most people mutually agree about what constitutes beauty. Most people, both men and women, strongly prefer above average femininity in the looks of women. Therefore, promotion of feminine beauty is consistent with majority aesthetic preferences. It is statistically normal to not see aesthetic merit in anomalous aesthetic preferences.
Regarding the claim that the choices in the attractive women section represent nothing more than the personal preferences of the webmaster, those who make this claim should try to see how many lifetime-exclusive heterosexual men they can find who will not make similar choices.
Q: How can you argue that femininity is a synonym of beauty?
A: There is no such argument here. Based on the preferences of most people, the extent of femininity is a very powerful correlate of beauty in women, and the most important one in the absence of physical defects. There are numerous correlates of beauty aside from the extent of feminine appearance, i.e., some less feminine women, by majority assessment, look better than more feminine women. Slight masculinization is even a correlate of the sexiness of women to heterosexual men. However, the aesthetic shortcomings among a) many contestants in beauty pageants catering to the general public and b) several models in scenarios where feminine and attractive women are required are primarily and often entirely due to insufficient femininity. Hence this site strongly focuses on the masculinity-femininity correlate of beauty.
Q: If this site is meant to help women, why is there so much nudity here?
A: If one were to address facial beauty, it would not be feasible to do so by using examples where facial features are hidden/obscured by clothing. Similarly, partial nudity is unavoidable in a discussion of the attractiveness of the body.
A: No. Nude models and porn stars are a poor choice when it comes to assessing what most people, especially men, find optimally/most attractive in women (part 1, part 2). However, since partial nudity is unavoidable when it comes to addressing attractiveness, nude models and porn stars cannot be avoided, and an effort has been made to minimize the use of porn stars.
Q (related): Using nude models to showcase attractive women in the attractive women section is a poor choice. Why not use alternative sources or even paintings and sculptures to make your points?
A: As a first approximation, the most obvious places to look for [preferably mainstream] examples of feminine beauty would be big modeling agencies, beauty pageants, lingerie catalogs and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit magazine, but these sources mostly offer masculinized women, and the feminine ones are often not impressive.
The male homosexual domination of the fashion business is so extensive that feminine and attractive women unwilling to come to the limelight by either posing nude or sleeping their way to stardom in the mainstream movie industry (e.g., Hollywood) remain virtually unknown.
Speaking of mainstream actresses, few of them qualify as examples of feminine beauty, and clear pictures of them in bikinis may not be easy to come by, forcing one to go through many movies to clearly assess where a woman that may be a good example is indeed so. Doing this constitutes poor return of investment in terms of time spent looking for good examples of feminine beauty. Besides, the webmaster of this site is not into movies and cannot bear to watch the kind of movies where feminine and attractive actresses will normally be expected, i.e., romance-themed movies. As a result, only fourteen women in the attractive women section at the time of this writing are/have been mainstream actresses, namely Ahna O’Reilly, Amber Heard, Eva Green, Helena Mattsson, Katherine Heigl, Kelli Garner, Lisa Welch, Luciana Vendramini, Pamela Bryant, Rose Byrne, Rose McGowan, Sally Todd, Sharon Clark and Teresa Palmer. The page that introduces the attractive women section shows the face of Charlize Theron, but her body is far from feminine or otherwise attractive, and hence she cannot be added to this section.
In other words, presently one has little choice other than to primarily seek pictures of feminine and attractive women from adult-oriented sources, which is not necessarily the same as porn sites. Plenty of women showcased in the attractive women section have been taken from sites featuring artistic nudity but no pornography, and some of these sites, such as Domai, have a policy against featuring women involved in pornography.
It is helpful to determine what proportion of the women shown in the attractive women section comprises of porn stars. Toward this purpose, there are some databases—such as the Euro babe index—that list the work of nude models/porn actresses, which can be referred to see whether a particular model is/was a porn star. The webmaster has also asked some people knowledgeable about pornography to go through the attractive women section and report how many of them are porn stars, and they have reported that very few are (or were at some point) and that the ones implicated have been minor players in the porn business. Therefore, using the standard definition of pornography, i.e., the depiction of sexual activity with nothing left to the imagination and for the purposes of titillation, the vast majority of the women shown in the attractive women section are not porn stars. There are some instances of nude models shown in the attractive women section being also involved in the depiction of simulated lesbian activity but not other sex acts, but this barely qualifies as pornography. In the event that some of the nude models shown in the attractive women section are also involved in the depiction of non-simulated lesbian activity and/or artificial-object insertion into their private orifices but not other sexual activities, of which there are a few, it is debatable whether they qualify as porn stars, and even if one calls them such, they are not the same as porn stars involved in the depiction of heterosexual sexual activity. Nevertheless, five porn stars that ended up in the attractive women section have been removed; women known to be porn stars will rarely, if ever, be added to this section in this future; and, the remaining porn models in this section may be removed in the future.
An obvious problem in primarily using nude models to showcase examples of feminine beauty is that the best-looking women generally do not pose nude. Therefore, the quality of the women shown in the attractive women section is not as high as it should be in order for this site to have a strong impact, but the webmaster is doing the best that he can given the limitations mentioned. 36 women added to the attractive women section at some point have been removed so far as part of quality control, and more removals are planned in the future.
People prompted to dismiss the arguments within this site because it uses nude models should note that this site is concerned with how some women look, not what they do. There is no reason why the presumed low moral character of some women shown here should undermine any argument about their looks. Additionally, given the lower level of stigma attached to nudity in several Western societies, nude modeling is largely divorced from moral character. It should not be difficult to find Western nude models of good moral character. In the absence of other information, nude modeling, especially on the part of Western women, does not allow any reliable inference about their moral character. It should also be noted that immorality on one count does not necessarily imply immorality on other counts, i.e., one should not judge moral character based on little information.
Art in the form of paintings and sculptures can be used to illustrate many of the arguments within this site, and there is an art section within this site, mostly featuring pinup art. Similarly, one could use computer-generated images to make one’s point. For instance, the following computer-generated images contrast a physique closer to that of high-fashion models with a physique closer to that of feminine glamour models; click the thumbnails for larger versions of the images.
However, art/computer-generated images will be dismissed for representing [unrealistic] fantasy or the cyber world instead of the real world. Therefore, it is necessary to use pictures of actual women to address beauty/attractiveness/aesthetics at this site.
Q: Why are there no non-white women among the attractive women section of this site?
A: There are a number of reasons why this is so.
This site is primarily targeting a Western audience given that its goals have little to no relevance for non-European populations:
- Female modeling is a non-phenomenon in a number of cultures (e.g., Saudi Arabia).
- Several human populations comprise of tribes that have been barely photographed, let alone to an extent that would be sufficient to provide adequate illustrative examples. For many reasons, it is not feasible or dangerous to attempt to extensively photograph such populations.
- Some contents of this site help counteract negative media influence on body image—pertaining to level of body fat—in women. This is most pertinent to white women. For instance, whereas the prevalence of obesity is much higher among African-American women compared to white women, African-American women are a lot more satisfied with their bodies.
- Generally speaking, stigma against homosexuality is greater in non-European populations. This is reflected in the low impact of male homosexual aesthetic preferences on the selection of models/beauty pageant contestants in most non-Western societies. For instance, note the low prevalence of masculinized contestants from East Asian and African nations compared to European nations in the 2005 Miss World beauty pageant. Therefore, given that the primary focus of this site is on feminine beauty, this site is of little relevance to non-Western societies in so far as the influence of male homosexual fashion designers goes.
- Worldwide, strong opposition to beauty pageants and glamour modeling comes from organized religion and feminist groups. This makes it difficult to promote high attractiveness standards among models and beauty pageant contestants, a problem that is worse in many non-European nations where organized religion is more powerful. In several non-European nations, a great deal of the popularity of beauty pageants results from the realization on the part of young women that they do not have to be attractive in order to participate in or even win beauty pageants. To emphasize more exacting aesthetic standards in such cultures is to drastically diminish the popularity of beauty pageants among young women because most of them will realize that they don't have a chance, and this will also strongly antagonize many women, organized religion and feminists, which translates to low odds of actually seeing mostly very attractive women in beauty pageants, notwithstanding the appeal of very beautiful women to heterosexual men. On the other hand, in the West, organized religion is usually weak, feminist ramblings on the objectification of women can be critiqued at length, and the public can be made to understand the influence that male homosexual fashion designers have behind the selection of the looks of high-fashion models and beauty pageant contestants, all of which translate to better odds of promoting high standards of attractiveness among female models and beauty pageant contestants.
If one is forced to mostly seek examples of feminine beauty among nude models, then given the stigma against posing nude, the best looking women will not pose nude, which forces one to compromise on standards when it comes to showcasing women, but minimum standards need to be maintained for this site to have a significant impact, and maintaining minimum standards is harder with respect to nude models from cultures where there is greater stigma against nudity, which is an unnecessary headache to deal with if these cultures are non-European since this site is not targeting non-Europeans.
Given that there is an overlap between appearance variation resulting from masculinity-femininity and appearance variation resulting from ethnicity, and also that the exacting correlates of attractiveness are more population-specific, it is necessary to control for ancestry in most comparisons and the discussion of what constitutes an attractive appearance. Given that a) most high-fashion models tend to be white; b) it is easy to obtain pictures of feminine and attractive white women, whereas this is not necessarily true of other populations; and c) the webmaster of this site needs to focus on only one ethnic group to make his points and does not have enough time to illustrate his arguments for non-European populations, it is partly a matter of convenience to use women of European ancestry for illustrative purposes.
Lastly, some non-European populations result from the mixing of physically distinct geographic populations. In these populations, there appears to be a general bias favoring the appearance of those who are closer to Europeans in looks, which is often a source of friction between the more European-looking and the more ethnic-looking sub-groups, which in turn complicates the analysis of attractiveness in addition to the fact that the mixing of physically distinct geographic populations does not lead to offspring that are the phenotypic averages of the parental populations. There is no need for this site to offer a nuanced discussion of attractiveness tailored to such populations; others can attempt this task if they wish.