We know how effective media is in shaping our perspective, even our values, including our self-image. We know that being bombarded with images of beautiful men and women molds our vision of attractiveness. As we mature, we know it is fantasy and that even Hollywood beauties don’t look that stunning without professional hair, make up, wardrobe and lighting.
By now, you’ve probably seen this Dove video called “Evolution.” It shows how this attractive woman morphs into a fabulous knockout through professional hair, makeup, lighting, and yes, even Photoshop.
How do these unrealistic images affect your dating?
- They can influence your expectation of a man’s looks. Very few men, let alone midlife men, look anything close to the 46-year-old Clooney or the 43-year-old Pitt. So while we realize these men personify an unattainable ideal, some small part of many women want — and perhaps expect — their guy to look as yummy.
- The Photoshopped images of pencil-thin specimens on magazine covers and in movies exacerbates women’s feelings of inadequacy. In Ocean’s Thirteen, Ellen Barkin portrays a model-thin woman prancing in low-cut, tight dresses with 3.5 inch heels. How many real-life 53-year-old women do you see looking like that? Just as women have unrealistic expectations of a man’s looks, so, too, men have an idealized expectation that women look like these air-brushed fantasy females.
So it is a lose-lose for both genders.
We think (hope?) that as one matures, people realize that these movie-star looks are really just fantasy. But unfortunately, I’ve found both men and women who hold themselves and their potential dates to standards that nearly no one meets in real life.
How do you feel the media’s images of near-perfect people affects your expectations, both of your own looks and those of your potential partner?
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