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As a young woman, how can I shake the feeling that being good-looking is the primary thing that males will acknowledge and praise my existence for?

Original thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ja03v/as_a_young_female_how_can_i_shake_the_feeling/
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categorypsychology
typeunderstand
tynamite
tynamite's avatar Sadly there is no way to reassure you on this question.

With many conversations initiated by men nowadays based on the way that a woman looks, it's very hard to clear her mind, for her to know that the friendship she holds with her male friend is genuine. Your wording of the question by using primary thing instead of only thing helps me to answer your question more accurately.

Are women objectified?

I do not believe that women are objectified in society, because that would mean that men would see women as Dem tings wiv vaginas and nothing else. People want what they can't have, and sex is one of those things that men can't have. When people can't have something, they actively go out of their way to get it. That's the same reason why children are obsessed with alcohol and lose interest of it once they're an adult. That's why people who play video games with no life are the most perverted kind.

On the flip side, you could argue that women are gold diggers because men repeatedly deny them money, jobs and equal pay. The ball swings both ways. Sexy women fear that men use them for sex, and rich men fear that women use them for money. Both genders are denied from the things they want, as Shannon Larson stated in her answer when she said that it's hard for women to get on in life and be successful. The difference is that it's far easier for a woman to get money, than it is for a man to get sex, for obvious reasons! XD

The same natural instinct applies about being hungry when the cupboards aren't full, and not being hungry when they are full, probrably around Christmas time. And that's why I don't believe that women are objectified.

However, I do believe that women can be prioritised by their looks in society, and I'm not talking about the media. I have no problems with the way media portrays women. Instead I do think that women are belittled in a demeaning fashion regarding their looks. By the way, men will judge women for their looks on tv, because on tv, that's the only thing they can judge a woman on. What else can they say about Madonna or Jennifer Aniston, other than they look good for their age.

Do men prioritise women for their looks?

Me: No
You: So how come the pretty girls get all the attention, and I get more attention when I make an effort?
Me: Wearing make up makes you more approachable, it doesn't make you more likable as a person. No amount of dolling up can keep any man as your friend, no matter how pretty you are.

Of course it feels like attractive young women are prioritised for their looks in real life, because most of the conversations they're subjected to, start because of how they look. What these women fail to realise, is that because there's a gender imbalance meaning that loads more men do the chasing than women do, that these women do the exact same thing. The difference is that they don't do it on the street to random people, and that it doesn't happen as often for anyone to notice that they do it too.

I believe that what you look like fully dictates the friends that you have, and the better you look, the more friends you will have.

I'm the person who has a flock of girls stop me in a corridor, gaze at me, and say I was cute. I became their friend and we would have conversations about stuff.

Would I be wrong to say that I'm being priotised for how I look?
It depends on how you define prioritised.
If by prioritised you mean approachable, then no, of course I'm being prioritised.
If by prioritised you mean valued as a person, then yes, there is no way that these girls are my friend purely for what I look like. Why? Because they accepted my offer of friendship after I spoke to them, because they value me as a person.

So it's safe to say that I'm not primararily acknowledged for my looks, even if some of those flock of girls did like like me there from the first day of seeing me.

However, on the flip side, it was how I look that decided that I would make so many friends. The number 1 way of making friends is association. Being associated with those girls got me friends with other girls purely for hanging round those ones. I'm a funny person, so it wasn't too hard to make more friends through association.

There is a bad side to this, which I answered on What does it feel like to be attractive and desired by many?, which makes people feel that they are defined by how they look, and that they can't be anything else. Feeling defined purely by how you look is a frustrating feeling, as it makes you feel that you can't ever be liked and accepted by anyone, because you won't be leaving any good memories for anyone to remember you by.

Summary

Good looks make you more approchable, but it doesn't make you more likable.
The better looking you are, the more friends you will make.
When people befriend good looking people, they retain that friendship because they value them as a friend.
An ugly personality always outshines a beautiful exterior.
When your popularity is primarily based on what you look like, you begin to question the people around you, and whether you can ever be anything else than what you are. This is the downside.
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