Office Diaries

An insider's guide to success in the workplace

Why Do Men Need to Rank Women’s Attractiveness?

Shouldn't each person decide for him or herself what attractive is?

I happened upon this picture on Facebook and got sucked in the way one might when driving by a car accident on the freeway. At first, I found the attempt to divide women into either attractive or not, (in public) by virtue of their curves, or lack thereof, absurd. But that wasn't even the half of it.

Last I looked there were 6,689 comments of people debating which female "figure" was better, and each did so with a tone that put forth opinion as fact.  Even if there was such a thing, who cares? Men are going to be attracted to whomever and whatever they are attracted, and more than likely, it will have something to do with their mothers, not a nonexistent hierarchy ranking women by the assumed superiority of a universally desired shape. Absurd, insane, offensive, pathetic, I can't decide.  It's a personal matter, a private desire, not a public debate.

I tend to believe that men and women are more similar than they are different. We start as humans first, are then divided out by gender, and then divided again and again by a variety of other differences. But in this case, I do admit, I wondered what the female equivalent of such a need to rank desirability and beauty so publicaly might be. The same question asked, "Which is more attractive?" from the female perspective might look something like this:

It's a weird question to post among millions of eyeballs regardless of who is asking it.  What it does do is make me think of what Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."  Invariably, discussing people by creating a "winning" type, only serves to place everyone else into the "losing" category.  It certainly does not help make the world a better place since everyone pays the price when people are made to feel insecure about who they are.

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Donna Flagg is the author of Surviving Dreaded Conversations and a New York City-based dancer.

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