Attraction and psychology

Essay by partynaked323College, UndergraduateA+, March 2006

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Being a bisexual female, in the twenty first century, I pride myself on the fact that I take people at more than face value, that I appreciate human beings for their character rather than for their looks. I scoff at those who proclaim that they will not date someone unless they have substantial material assets, a broad back, and good breeding. Yet why do I find myself making conversation with physically attractive persons while blowing off more unattractive ones? Why does my head whip around when I see a man in a Porsche? Why do my male friends all have the same prerequisites for the perfect female despite race and ethnicity: perky breasts, slim waist, and full lips? Despite most people's lofty notions of equality, and beauty being in the eye of the beholder, we are all susceptible to certain physical and material traits that make some humans more desirable than others.

This is attraction, call it what you will: charm, charisma, seductiveness, etc all different words for the same sensations inspired by some deeply rooted chemical release. Just how much willpower is required to escape the enticement of the physically superior? Is it even possible to escape the ineffable tides of lust and desire predetermined by the genetic makeup of our ancestors? As much as society likes to flaunt high-minded ideals of emotional equality, the lion's share of attraction belongs solely to the preconceived notions of fitness instilled in us as the collective fruits of our progenitor's loins.

Foremost among my attractions is Angelina Jolie, probably the epitome of shallow infatuations; however, it serves to illustrate a very important point. One can be attracted to a person based only on the vaguest sense of their individuation, or even less. I find Ms. Jolie attractive primarily because her mannerisms...