Are people who go for looks and money superficial?

If I say that I like handsome and hunky guys, I'm sure to get accused of being superficial when in fact the people who make such accusations are the superficial ones. We say beauty is skin deep - but is it really?

Only the lucky minority are born with natural beauty, and even a small minority seem to be immune against aging and do not need to do anything to upkeep their appearance. The remaining (majority of) people, we need to do something to look good.

There's a phrase: There are no ugly women, only lazy ones. Try to think back to the times when you were in school and all gals wore the same uniform and makeup was not allowed. What % of them looked nice? Now think about what you thought of gals after they no longer wore uniforms and used makeup (minus the plastic surgery) - did you notice a huge jump in % of gals who looked attractive?

A) Women
Most normal men would desire women who are slim, have either (or both) nice hips or breasts, and look feminine. I won't say such men are essentially superficial. Rather, the desire for these physical characteristics are subconsciously inbuilt in them because:
1. being slim means the woman has enough self-control and will power to maintain an acceptable weight (I won't specify exactly what slim means here because it depends on the era we're living in);
2. having nice hips and breasts are signs of child-bearing fertility; and
3. looking feminine... well, if the man is straight of course he wants a woman who looks like a woman.
Note: some men prefer very skinny or overweight women but that's personal preference though it's also based on appearance.

B) Men
I'd say that same phrase applies to men too: There are no ugly men, only lazy ones. Some guys who are not born with attention-grabbing faces, would spend time in the gym building attention-grabbing bodies. Personally, I think this approach works. Grooming also plays a part, e.g. getting a good haircut, wearing tailored clothes, wearing contact lenses instead of nerdy spectacles, proper skincare, having their teeth scaled and polished, shaving and practicing good hygiene. If a guy has a nice body and is well-groomed, I'm more inclined to think that he's better looking than he really is. The other thing that women go for is money. But I do not think that women who go for hunky, well-grooming and rich men are superficial because:
1. a strong body is a reflection of a strong mind. You cannot get a hunky body without pain and perseverance (unless you go for implants). It's normal to want a man who can endure hardship, has a strong body to protect her and her children, would have the will power to overcome adversities, and is hardworking. Besides, which woman does not want her children to inherit strong genes? Carrying a child for 9 months, going through labour and raising the child are a huge investments;
2. personal grooming is about personal pride and loving oneself. A man who has no pride or love for himself is unlikely to be able to take pride in caring for or love his family;
3. we don't farm our own vegetables, rear our own cows or barter trade anymore. Money is needed for survival. Women and children have higher chances of survival with men who have money vs men who don't.

There are other factors that matter in choosing a partner, e.g. intelligence, alertness, kindness, etc, which are not commonly regarded as superficial therefore I shall not discuss them here.

As I mentioned in my previous post [The conspiracy against well groomed men], it's far easier just sitting around eating potato chips and criticizing others than getting up to do something. Such people are too lazy to think even about why beauty is not skin deep.

Although I think it's normal, not superficial, to go for looks and money, I think poorly of the couch potatoes who go after the good-looking men/women, don't look at themselves in the mirror or do anything to improve themselves and when they get rejected, they accuse the other party of being superficial!

Another Chinese idiom for such behaviour: Toad wants to eat swan's meat.
There's nothing wrong in trying but don't be a sore loser.

So the next time someone accuses you of being superficial, tell them, "Thank you very much. Please enjoy your potato chips."

(Actually, we all go for looks. Otherwise why would cars come in different colours?)


Chai said...

ahahahahahaha..........i like the last statement the best...sums up the whole entry...:))

David said...


You are mostly correct. Long before language existed men and women used physical characteristics to find a mate.

Spring forward a few millenia and despite langauge, and widespread eduacation, men and women often base initial attraction on appearance.

One must also admit that some men and women want specific physical characteristics in a companion. Such individuals are very superficial. Some men and women are more concerned about how thier partern looks than their own apprearance.

Ultimately most of us look for the emotional component, the spriitual bond with our partner. Looking and learning what is beyond our partners appearance forms the bonds of a lasting relationship.

Partnering based on looks almost always results in ONS or very short term relationships.

Now I must admit I cannot speak from personal experience. For even in my younger years I was never one of the beautiful people.

Most of us get use to the fact the we are indeed average looking.

Interesting topic, and one that will never go away!


JAPB said...

Interesting post.. Agree with Chai - last statement sums up the whole entry.. ;)

Yu-Kym said...

David, I agree with you that partnering based on just looks would result in short term relationships.