Beauty vs. Brains

  • #1
TheStatutoryApe
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I have thought about this a few times but I have never really gotten other persons opinions.
It seems that it is generally looked down upon now a days to choose a partner with much regard for their physical apearance. It would seem, by some people's standards that physical apearance should only be an after thought. I've heard some people go so far as to say that it's disgusting to place any value on a persons physical apearance what so ever, though I know that this is really a rather small minority.
The idea generally seems to be that it is not fair to apraise people with much regard for looks. I put some thought into this and decided that it doesn't seem any less fair than apraising a person based on any other criterion. At one point I actually debated with myself whether or not it was really fair of me to find a female unattractive based on a lack of intelligence. It is supposedly unfair of me to be less attracted to someone based on their looks because a person hasn't much control over the natural aesthetic quality of their features. Really though, does a person have much control over their IQ?
Wouldn't it be just as bad for me to think a person is unattractive because they are "ugly as sin" as it is for me to think that someone is unattractive because they are "as dumb as a door nail"?
Wouldn't considering someone to be unattractive due to lack of intelligence be just another form of egotistical superiority? And how is it any differant or any better than an egotistical superiority based on physical apearance?
You could say that the physical apearance is superficial and intelligence isn't. A person though can be very physically attractive and have many good qualities such as a sense of humour, honesty and loyalty but still be relatively unintelligent. Conversely a person can be very intelligent and be lacking in honesty, loyalty, and many other admirable traits. So is intelligence really any deeper a quality than physical beauty?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Evo
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Well, for me humor is the most important thing. He needs to make me laugh. :smile: If he can do that, he's already half way there.

Intelligence is next, he must be smart.

and funny

And clever.

and funny

Wise.

and funny

Frugal.

and funny

Then looks.
 
  • #3
Pengwuino
Gold Member
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I say your attracted to whatever your attracted to :) Some guys are attracted to a chicks good looken legs. As Jerry seinfeld says of course, "why would i want legs... i have legs"
 
  • #4
TheStatutoryApe
260
4
Evo said:
Well, for me humor is the most important thing. He needs to make me laugh. :smile: If he can do that, he's already half way there.

Intelligence is next, he must be smart.

and funny

And clever.

and funny

Wise.

and funny

Frugal.

and funny

Then looks.
Lol.. yes I already know your preferance Evo. I think I even skimmed that thread about you needing a man that was up a while back.

What I want to know is if people think there is really a value differance between beauty and brains. Or maybe that's not really the best way to put it since everyone will value these qualities differantly. hmmmm...
Is it, or should it be, any more acceptable to value intelligence over beauty than it is to value beauty over intelligence?
----edit----
And if so why?
 
  • #5
honestrosewater
Gold Member
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You choose a partner because you value their qualities, right? So the crux of your argument is if someone doesn't have control over x, then you shouldn't value x?
Do you think people have control over those other qualities (sense of humor, honesty, etc.)?
 
  • #6
Pengwuino
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Should anything really be "acceptable" or "unacceptable"? Who really has the right to say what is acceptable to like in someone? Thats like saying its absolutely unacceptable to like a car for anything other then its gas mileage. You like who you like... they shouldnt have to run through a societal filter.
 
  • #7
Pengwuino
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honestrosewater said:
You choose a partner because you value their qualities, right? So the crux of your argument is if someone doesn't have control over x, then you shouldn't value x?
Do you think people have control over those other qualities (sense of humor, honesty, etc.)?

I think you should be able to. Everything should have a value and some people just arent meant for you... they just arent yoru type. I mean there are people who actually value someone who is dead serious aabout everything or people who lie a lot or is a "bad girl" or whatever. Shoudl we be forced into considering such people because they just dont possess quality x?
 
  • #8
TheStatutoryApe
260
4
honestrosewater said:
You choose a partner because you value their qualities, right? So the crux of your argument is if someone doesn't have control over x, then you shouldn't value x?
Do you think people have control over those other qualities (sense of humor, honesty, etc.)?
I'm not actually arguing that position really but demonstrating what seems to be the logic of that argument. Personally I think it is quite alright to value what ever quailties you like most over other qualities.
The crux here is my trying to figure out why it is that I can say I am not attracted to a girl because she lacks intelligence and this seems acceptable to society yet if I state that I am not attracted to a girl because she isn't pretty enough it isn't acceptable. I'm asking about the social phenomenon and not necessarily personal preferance.
---edit---
And the other qualities, I'm not really sure. Various determining circumstances are involved there. The same exists in regards to physical beauty as well and there are a variety of opinions on what determines beauty and what determines intelligence. I don't really wish to argue these things I simply picked the two traits because there is a particular polarity there in regards to this issue.
 
Last edited:
  • #9
honestrosewater
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Edit: Didn't see your last post.

Right, qualities don't come with values; People need to assign values to them. That's what I'm asking: How are you assigning values to qualities? Based on whether having those qualities is within a person's control? Based on your instincts, religion, culture, logic, chance?
 
  • #10
honestrosewater
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TheStatutoryApe said:
I'm not actually arguing that position really but demonstrating what seems to be the logic of that argument. Personally I think it is quite alright to value what ever quailties you like most over other qualities.
The crux here is my trying to figure out why it is that I can say I am not attracted to a girl because she lacks intelligence and this seems acceptable to society yet if I state that I am not attracted to a girl because she isn't pretty enough it isn't acceptable. I'm asking about the social phenomenon and not necessarily personal preferance.
Maybe because "society" benefits more from smart people having babies than from beautiful people having babies.?

I just suggested that because I can't think of a logical or moral reason yet.
 
Last edited:
  • #11
Lisa!
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Well,I think when we like someone alot we can't see his weaknesses and we usually like people who are attractive.S/he may say sth damn stupid, but we can't believe he's really stupid and think he says that because he's humorist! :bugeye: But for sure after we get used to someone's appearance whether s/he is beautiful or not, we get to know the person better and for sure we value the intelligence more.
And ugly people usually look stupid because they try so unsuccessfuly to be seen and then maybe to be loved.
Personaly I think you can know people by their appaearance most of time.Even I think people with the same appearance usually havethe same personality.

Anyway I really agree with Evo about sense of humour.It's most important thing for me as well, but I think you can't be humourist if you're not intelligent enough.
 
  • #12
TheStatutoryApe
260
4
honestrosewater said:
Maybe because "society" benefits more from smart people having babies than from beautiful people having babies.?

I just suggested that because I can't think of a 'logical' reason yet.
This is a possibility. The problem is though that apearantly, statistically, people who are more intelligent and educated tend to procreate far less than less intelligent people. This was a kink I was trying to figure out concerning the concept of evolution in regards to modern social society. If the trait is beneficial according to evolution it should be favored and become dominant and pervasive among the species. That doesn't seem to have happened with regard to intelligence.

I have to go but I will be back to pick this up tomorrow.
 
  • #13
honestrosewater
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TheStatutoryApe said:
This is a possibility. The problem is though that apearantly, statistically, people who are more intelligent and educated tend to procreate far less than less intelligent people. This was a kink I was trying to figure out concerning the concept of evolution in regards to modern social society. If the trait is beneficial according to evolution it should be favored and become dominant and pervasive among the species. That doesn't seem to have happened with regard to intelligence.
Heh, a trait is beneficial if it helps you procreate. :wink:
 
  • #14
honestrosewater
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I swear I had another point, but I'll have to wait until tomorrow too. :yuck:
 
  • #15
Jelfish
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5
I tend to believe that people find other people attractive because of an instinctive desire to have babies with the best genes possible. Way back when intelligence and personality were less important traits, people would judge mostly on physical attractiveness. Many of the criteria for physical attractiveness are linked to genetic superiority. However, as time have changed, the definition of 'best genes' has changed as well. Now that most people seek monogamous relationships, people also seek traits that suggest a faithful and compatible lifetime mate. Also, since we don't hunt for food anymore, intelligence and good financial situation also become desirable traits.

So I think it comes down to the idea that now, since there are so many different facets that make that person the 'right one,' choosing based solely on looks makes a person seem not serious about looking for a real relationship.

That said, I personally think that so long as you don't choose solely on looks, it's perfectly ok to include physical appearance in the criteria. Sure, 'looks will fade,' but a good physical appearance can imply a lot of things, like personal hygiene and general health.
 
  • #16
Bladibla
354
1
Evo said:
Well, for me humor is the most important thing. He needs to make me laugh. :smile: If he can do that, he's already half way there.

Intelligence is next, he must be smart.

and funny

And clever.

and funny

Wise.

and funny

Frugal.

and funny

Then looks.

So, what if it was a intelligent, clever, funny, wise, frugal, funny pig?
 
  • #17
zoobyshoe
6,551
1,286
TheStatutoryApe said:
The crux here is my trying to figure out why it is that I can say I am not attracted to a girl because she lacks intelligence and this seems acceptable to society...
Probably because the people who made it unacceptable to overtly seek someone out based on looks often give "intelligence" as the fine quality being overlooked in the ones who aren't sought out for appearance. Those people cannot, then, criticize you for being shallow if you cite "lack of intelligence" as the reason for disinterest.
 
  • #18
lwymarie
90
1
I need an intelligent partner to compensate my stupidity...
 
  • #19
mattmns
1,118
6
Great Question! Seriously a mind boggler.

The other day this came up actually: My mom asked me about girls at my school, and I told her that there are plenty of good looking girls, just that 99% of them are idiots. She seemed fine with the response.

On that note, maybe it is acceptable because intelligence is harder to find?

This is an excellent question, one that I will definitely have to think about.
 
  • #20
Evo
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Bladibla said:
So, what if it was a intelligent, clever, funny, wise, frugal, funny pig?
I've dated men that were not considered attractive at all, but I loved their personalities.

A lot of men that are considered attractive I consider ugly and vice versa.

I love nerdy types with glasses. But they have to be funny.
 
  • #21
pattylou
303
0
A comment about Evo:

...that thread about you needing a man that was up...
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Don't we all, from time to time. Evo, you're so frank, and I really admire that!
 
  • #22
pattylou
303
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TheStatutoryApe said:
What I want to know is if people think there is really a value differance between beauty and brains. Or maybe that's not really the best way to put it since everyone will value these qualities differantly. hmmmm...
Is it, or should it be, any more acceptable to value intelligence over beauty than it is to value beauty over intelligence?
----edit----
And if so why?

Put it in context. THe "you only like me for my body" cliche was started during women's liberation.

We still aren't paid equally in the workplace; there is still bias against a woman's intelligence and contributions.

That being said, imo a date absolutely has to pass on looks. Two average looking people - one intelligent the other not - the intelligent one willwin. Two averagely intelligent people - one physically appealling and one not - Hmmm. THat's tougher, as there is baggage associated with really good looks (like vanity).

Don't you think the really physically attractivewomen haveabove average intelligence? Isn't that part of their appeal?
 
  • #23
matthyaouw
Gold Member
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I had thoughts along similar lines a while ago, and it occured to me that physical appearence will almost always be a factor. Can you have a physical relationship with someone you don't find at all physically attractive, or would it be no more than a close friendship?
 
  • #24
Evo
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matthyaouw said:
I had thoughts along similar lines a while ago, and it occured to me that physical appearence will almost always be a factor. Can you have a physical relationship with someone you don't find at all physically attractive, or would it be no more than a close friendship?
Don't you find it true that a person's personality affects how you see them?

I think men and women differ some here. I know men that will date women that are horrid just because he thinks she looks "hot". Women are more likely to dump a guy, no matter how good looking he is, if he turns out to be a jerk.
 
  • #25
matthyaouw
Gold Member
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Evo said:
Don't you find it true that a person's personality affects how you see them?

Yes. A woman will look 100x more beautiful to me if I am attracted to her personality-wise.
Perhaps I'm not expressing myself very well. I can't think of a better way to say what I mean though.
 
  • #26
ron damon
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0
I need a girl I can share life with, so she has to be passionate about science, music, art, culture, books, and the human condition. I like girls with opinions.

The girls I find most beautiful didn't seem so at first, second, or third sight. Only after glimpsing at their inner world have I found a girl to be incredibly, dizzyingly beautiful.

An entirely different thing involves sex. Then it's all aesthetics, and one can only enjoy the moment. But sex is cheap, abundant.
 
  • #27
Kerrie
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Evo said:
Don't you find it true that a person's personality affects how you see them?

I think men and women differ some here. I know men that will date women that are horrid just because he thinks she looks "hot". Women are more likely to dump a guy, no matter how good looking he is, if he turns out to be a jerk.

well, some women will put up with a lot if he has a lot of money.... :rolleyes:
 
  • #28
wolram
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Kerrie said:
well, some women will put up with a lot if he has a lot of money.... :rolleyes:

I have, £2 6s 2p, how far will that get me?
 
  • #29
matthyaouw
Gold Member
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wolram said:
I have, £2 6s 2p, how far will that get me?

Thats the kind of question that will get a man a slap in most places (maybe even a cigarette put out on his face if he's unlucky).
 
  • #30
Zantra
781
3
Bladibla said:
So, what if it was a intelligent, clever, funny, wise, frugal, funny pig?

then that would be "some pig"

Or maybe his name is "babe"
 
  • #31
Zantra
781
3
Kerrie said:
well, some women will put up with a lot if he has a lot of money.... :rolleyes:

And those same women eventually find out that money can't smooth everything over. Money's a bonus, not the mainstay- if you make it that, you'll be miserable.
 
  • #32
TheStatutoryApe
260
4
Patty said:
Don't you think the really physically attractivewomen haveabove average intelligence? Isn't that part of their appeal?
Personally when I say a woman is attractive I am not refering in any great degree to her physical appearance. If I say a woman is "hot" or "sexy" then I am refering to her physical appearance but even words like "cute", "beautiful", and "gorgeous" in my mind have to do with alot more than just the way a woman looks. So personally if I find a woman very attractive then she is most likely above average in intelligence. I have though seen quite a few girls that I thought were incredibly sexy based off of their physical appearance but then I heard them speak and was completely turned off. I have though developed a few safety measures concerning what I look for in a woman that I think make it less likely I will go after a girl that will trun out to be a ditz. If a woman apears to need regular trips to the salon to keep her hair looking the way it does it's generally a turn off. If a woman wears fake nails it's generally a trun off. Fake breasts: turn off. Slutty clothes: turn off. And several details about the way they dress and carry themselves all sort of combine to help me weigh out whether or not they seem to possibly be my type.

The reason I was thinking about this again is because there is this girl I have been talking to online. It's not likely that I will actually persue anything with her at all but we flirt alot and I have been threatening to ask her out. The thing is that she isn't very bright. When she first started talking to me I almost decided to ignore her until I saw that she was a fan of the Rat Pack and figured that she must not be all that bad. Since then I have found that she's incredibly sweet, we have quite a bit in common, and she seems relatively mature. The more I have talked to her the more attracted to her I have become. It still though bothers me that she seems to only be about average in regards to her intelligence. She is though incredibly hot lol.
 
  • #33
TheStatutoryApe
260
4
Evo said:
I think men and women differ some here. I know men that will date women that are horrid just because he thinks she looks "hot". Women are more likely to dump a guy, no matter how good looking he is, if he turns out to be a jerk.
I've actually had a differant experience. Most of the women I know have dated guys that may have been good looking but were complete jerks and stayed with them for long periods of time. I've seen plenty of guys stay with women that weren't very attractive at all, and I mean in more than just the physical sense, because they didn't think that they could do any better and these women definitely weren't "hot".
 
  • #34
pattylou
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TheStatutoryApe said:
Personally when I say a woman is attractive I am not refering in any great degree to her physical appearance. If I say a woman is "hot" or "sexy" then I am refering to her physical appearance but even words like "cute", "beautiful", and "gorgeous" in my mind have to do with alot more than just the way a woman looks. So personally if I find a woman very attractive then she is most likely above average in intelligence. I have though seen quite a few girls that I thought were incredibly sexy based off of their physical appearance but then I heard them speak and was completely turned off. I have though developed a few safety measures concerning what I look for in a woman that I think make it less likely I will go after a girl that will trun out to be a ditz. If a woman apears to need regular trips to the salon to keep her hair looking the way it does it's generally a turn off. If a woman wears fake nails it's generally a trun off. Fake breasts: turn off. Slutty clothes: turn off. And several details about the way they dress and carry themselves all sort of combine to help me weigh out whether or not they seem to possibly be my type.

The reason I was thinking about this again is because there is this girl I have been talking to online. It's not likely that I will actually persue anything with her at all but we flirt alot and I have been threatening to ask her out. The thing is that she isn't very bright. When she first started talking to me I almost decided to ignore her until I saw that she was a fan of the Rat Pack and figured that she must not be all that bad. Since then I have found that she's incredibly sweet, we have quite a bit in common, and she seems relatively mature. The more I have talked to her the more attracted to her I have become. It still though bothers me that she seems to only be about average in regards to her intelligence. She is though incredibly hot lol.

Wow. Neat. Well, remember Spock's warning when Kirk beat him during Pon Fahr, and enjoy the chase.

I suppose you could start looking at your lesser priorities - does she have any hobbies you enjoy? Does she have any habits (like smoking) that would be difficult? What's her relationship with her parents like? If a person has a good relationship with their parents, that usually means they are a reasonable bet in terms of relationship. (Not to generalize, of course.)

Does she value edication? When I was teaching at a local college, there were some average students who really valued ediucation - and they were much more pleasant to be around than the average students who thought education was a waste of time. If she values edication, even if she struggles with it, then she has an active mind and that's good.
 
  • #35
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
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I think people find other people attractive for a variety of reasons, and as long as you can be honest about your preferences, both to yourself and the person you are attracted to, then whatever works for you is fine. If you prefer looks over intelligence, then don't complain if your dates all stare at you vacuously when you try telling clever jokes. If you prefer intelligence over looks, then don't complain if your date's hair isn't perfectly done every time you see her. If you prefer both, I'm still available! :biggrin: (I'm very modest too. :rofl:)

The old saying still goes: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It's also entirely possible that someone thinks they want a drop-dead gorgeous date, and wind up meeting someone more average looking but who has qualities they never thought they needed in a date and can't figure out how they ever did without once they meet, and all those other qualities are what makes them seem like the most beautiful person in the world.
 

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