Focusing on looks is bad for romance?
Self-objectification — when a person is obsessively concerned about he or she looks — has been shown to affect women’s self-image, school performance and life happiness. But this quality hasn’t been studied much in the context of romantic relationships. Partner-objectification, where that focus is placed on a partner’s physical qualities over everything else, hasn’t been studied at all in this context.
“If you have these kinds of thoughts and beliefs about your partner, it might be a block that stops you from having that intimacy, which is important in relationships,” said study researcher Eileen Zurbriggen of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
The objectification doesn’t need to be blatantly obvious to have a negative effect. “In many relationships you don’t see a really egregious manifestation of this, but I think it can manifest in smaller ways,” Zurbriggen told LiveScience. “If someone gains a little bit of weight, their partner might be unhappy with that or make comments about it.”
This goes against theories put forth by some philosophers, including Martha Nussbaum of the University of Chicago, that some objectification can be safe and even enjoyable in a relationship.
Having an attractive partner and being attractive to your partner could increase sexual satisfaction, Zurbriggen said — “When you hear that you are really hot and sexy and that can be satisfying.” But Zurbriggen found the opposite effect: Partner-objectification lowered relationship satisfaction, as well as men’s sexual satisfaction. This could be because concentrating on your partner’s attractiveness tends to make you less concerned with your partner as a whole, leading to a less satisfying relationship and decreased intimacy, she said.
Janet Hyde of the University of Wisconsin, when asked about Zurbriggen’s study, called it “new, clever, and important.”
Hyde told LiveScience in an email, “So, self-objectification hurts oneself, and then the effects of media exposure seem to extend to partner objectification, which hurts relationships.” [Read More]
But focusing on looks is good for the belly?
Birds are known to see UV light, but it wasn’t known why. To find out, Jesús Avilés at the Arid Zone Research Station in Almeria, Spain, examined European rollers (Coracias garrulus) and found that the foreheads of heavier chicks reflect less UV than weaklings.
The team then weighed 84 chicks born in nest boxes near the city of Guadix. They applied either a jelly containing a UV blocking agent or just jelly to the foreheads of the chicks. Four hours later they weighed them again to find out how much they’d been fed by their parents (Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, DOI: 10.1007/s00265-011-1164-8).
Parents with large broods preferentially fed UV-reflective nestlings over UV-blocked ones, suggesting that they used UV to decide which mouth to feed. [Read More]
Not sure what these two articles say (because my twisty brain connected them together) exactly about looks…
Maybe that the weaker are “shinier”, that looks need to be the focus for some because they are used for compensation on some level?
Applying the Laws that exist in Mother Nature makes sense in some way, I suppose.
And in regards to looks for both man and beast?
Compensations are everywhere if one just takes the time to look for them.