March 3, 2006

Spanish girl example




OK, so just to put a more human face on my account, here's one of my best net-friends from Barcelona. I won't say her name, or what her webpage is, etc., since I don't want to embarrass her. Aside from being stunningly beautiful (again, not the main issue), she's incredibly nonchalant and healthily silly -- much more so than I would expect of a US girl who looked like she does. Like most Catalan adolescents, she's in love w/ poppy Gothic culture from the Anglosphere and Japan: The Cure, Tim Burton, and so on. She's fiercely independent but not in an adversarial or ladder-climbing way, and she tempers this w/ a healthy dose of aforementioned girliness.

When I've talked to her about US mating preferences, she expressed disbelief at our emphasis on height and status -- she said they're at best icing on the cake -- until I pointed her to common personals ads that baldly demand 6' tall guys. (Imagine male ads demanding at least C-cup breasts or a 0.67 waist-to-hip ratio.) Of course, even when height does matter in Spain, my male competition is shorter than here, and the panel of judges is also shorter than the judges here, making the issue doubly less worrisome.

As an final aside, Razib often blogs that religion isn't merely a set of axioms or code of conduct, but is typically grafted on top of an existing cultural & genetic substrate, meaning a South Korean Christian and a black South African Christian won't necessarily look alike religion-wise. Much the same is true of any cultural system, including music and film -- judging only from American die-hard fans of The Cure & Tim Burton, you'd expect any hardcore fan from elsewhere in the world to be angst-ridden, mopey, socially awkward, constantly mocking others, and disdaining "normal" avenues of diversion, such as going out to dance & laugh w/ a group of friends. But then you go to Spain where people still listen to Joy Division and watch melancholy and often dystopic Japanese anime movies -- and you've never seen such gleeful, gregarious Goths! No Teutonic winter could extinguish the fire that burns in Mediterranean blood.

4 comments:

  1. In the US especially women seem to counter superficial demands of men with their own superficial demands. I’m not sure if there is a bit of one-upmanship going on here, so tired of being judged on the basis of physical attractiveness that women see it as their only way to achieve equality, or if this is just a natural inclination. Whatever the case, I see the recent change as a result of women’s increased social clout; having more options makes potential mates’ earning ability that much less important.

    Men, on the other hand, have traditionally been the earners so they've always had superficial attractiveness as their primary concern. I think humans are far too visual for this to ever not be the case. How few superficially attractive men don’t demand women of near equal superficial attractiveness? It may be nice that Spanish "girls" aren't as preoccupied with their potential mate's physical looks, but good luck finding one culture where this is true of men.

    Personally, I’m not into the power-fem idea of sex with impunity, rather I prefer not to play the relationship/dating game at all. It's nice to have the very available option of not marketing yourself as a potential mate.

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  2. If you follow the link to Buss' study in the post below, you can see where guys emphasize looks the most or least. Here's the rank-order from least to greatest emphasis that guys give looks. They're grouped by fives to aid presentation:

    Zulu, Japan, Colombia, Finland, S.Afr White
    Australia, Sweden, Fr Canada, Netherlands, Taiwan
    Venezuela, Israel Jewish, Belgium, Indonesia, Ireland
    Norway, Brazil, Spain, W Germ, Poland
    Eng Canada, Gr Brit, New Zealand, Italy, India
    China, USA Hawaii, Iran, France, USA Mainland
    Yugoslavia, Greece, Zambia, Nigeria, Estonia
    Isr Palestinian, Bulgaria

    So your suspicion that US guys are more looks-oriented is right. No worries, though: just outsource and find yourself a Finn!

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  3. i am a finnish-american female, just for the record. anyway, i can say that MOST men-looking-for-women ads on craigslist, for example, DO list specific breast size requirements. however, some of us tall women would like a man who is similarly tall (i am tired of men wanting to dance with me because they want bury their faces in my breasts -- oh, except i am not a C cup or larger! -- while we dance).

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  4. I'm also part-Finn, and I hate to admit it (maybe I shouldn't?) but I do value a woman's looks. It's interesting that Estonia is at the other end of the spectrum, considering they're considered culturally close to Finland.

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