Can Men Be Beautiful?

Justin_Case001

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[This is a Life Advice vent I wrote couple of years ago.  I wanted to save it in my blog for easier access.]

I've had some stuff in my head for a long time that I need to organize and get down.  I'm male, hetero, almost 30, single.  I'm sick and tired of living in a society that perpetuates the unfair double standard that women are beautiful, and men are ugly, simian australopithacines that can be manipulated with sex.  All my life, I've wanted to be beautiful, and all my life, I've felt like society tells me I can't.  I love to break to the rules when it comes to clothing.  I love to wear feminine things, including dresses.  I make a lot of things myself so I can wear dresses designed for a male figure.  When I look in the mirror, when I put on the clothes I want, when I can manage to see through the poison fog that society puts in my mind, I think I'm beautiful.  I feel beautiful and sexy.  But society tells me that that's more or less impossible because I'm male.  Why can't men be beautiful, too?

The examples are everywhere.  I can't turn around or open my eyes without seeing another illustration of how women are attractive and desirable, and men are not.  The stereotype seems to be that men want women, that we would do anything to get with a beautiful woman, but women are basically aloof, can take us or leave us, and need to be convinced or "won over", or "wooed" in some way.  And then there's the stereotype that no woman, anywhere, ever, since the dawn of time, has ever wanted to have sex with a man.  They only do it to appease or to manipulate.  Which isn't true, I know, but that's the joke you hear.

Men are still expected to do the asking out, the proposing, the buying of rings, etc.  Men are expected to buy Valentine’s gifts for their wives and girlfriends.  The stereotype is that men will be in the doghouse if they forget a Valentine's gift.  But what of the reverse?  Assuming that you actually acknowledge and care about an arbitrary holiday, why can't a man be irked if his woman doesn't get him a gift?  Because society tells us that that's just not how it works.

Here's the ultimate illustration of what frustrates me:

 

 

That's it.  That's the feeling that society perpetuates, and it makes me hate myself, feel ashamed of myself, and basically feel like I can never really be happy because I'm just a neanderthal. It's just a tv show, but it's supposed to be funny because there's some truth behind it. If they reversed the sexes in this joke, no one would understand it.

Another great example is in the pilot of Rick & Morty.  As much as I love that show, this one line annoys me.  Morty, a 14-year old boy, is constantly being pulled out of class by his mad-scientist grandfather, Rick, for high-concept sci-fi rigmarole.  Morty's parents are angry with Rick, and are chewing him out for making Morty miss school.  Morty's mother says to her dad, "Come on!  It's not like he's a hot girl; he can't just bail on his life and set up shop in someone else's!"  I rest my case.

This leads right into another tangent--the idea of a stay-at-home husband/father still isn't all that socially acceptable.  I know from personal experience than many people believe that a stay-at-home husband/father is just being a mooch and not “manning up” and taking responsibility for his life, while these same people don't seem to judge or have a problem with a stay-at-home wife/mother.

I'm not a CEO or a doctor, so I guess no woman will ever be interested in me.  It's still more socially acceptable for a woman to be a stay-at-home wife, but if a man does that, he's a good-for-nothing deadbeat.  I think I've scared off more than a few eHarmony matches by being honest and saying that I wish to be a stay-at-home husband, and work on my Redbubble art.  In the old days, and I'm talking ye-olde days, women weren't even allowed to work or do anything, and men were expected to provide everything.  If a man wasn't a good provider, then he'd get the brush off.  Sometimes I feel like little has changed.

But let's get back to the thesis.  Can men be beautiful?  Here's another example that pisses me off.  I said I make Redbubble art.  Redbubble requires a mature tag for content containing profanity, drugs, alcohol, violence, guns, nudity, or lingerie.  That's right.  Lingerie.  They don't make any mention of male underwear.  Why?  Because everyone knows that men are ugly and unattractive, and no one is going to bother making art of the male form.  (See that Seinfeld video again.)  In fact, we might as well just go ahead and say that male underwear isn't even a sexual thing at all.  It's not suggestive.  It's not provocative.  Lingerie is this whole category, this whole world of sex appeal, but male underwear is not even worth mentioning.  Doesn't even require a mature Redbubble tag.  Now, maybe if you posted something with male underwear without a mature tag, they'd frown upon it, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that it's never happened.  I resent the fact that there's no "intimate apparel" section for men.  The thought is simply laughable.

Tilting at the same particular windmill as the Redbubble tags, here's a fantastic example of this sexual asymmetry at play: so, I noticed something the other day that I never had before: in animated sitcoms, and possibly other cartoons, it is very commonplace to show the bare buttocks of male characters, often in comical "moonings".  However, I cannot think of a single example of a female buttocks being shown on an animated TV show.  Perhaps it has been done; all I'm saying is that I cannot think of an example.  But the male butts are everywhere.  I first noticed this when watching the King of the Hill episode, "Sug Night".  After Hank has saucy dreams about his neighbor's wife, Peggy proceeds to save and spice up their intimacy by taking Hank to a clothing optional retreat for a nude barbecue.  During episode, we see Hank's bare butt several times.  We even see the buttocks of a peeping Bill Dauterive.  However, they are painstakingly careful never to show a female butt.  They show Hank and Peggy standing side by side, from the rear, naked, at the barbecue; Hank's rear end is unobstructed, but they strategically placed a foreground flower in front of Peggy's.  The number of times that Homer and Bart have brandished their bare buttocks on The Simpsons is absolutely beyond counting, but I don't recall ever seeing a female character's.  Now, Marge and Lisa are not the kind of people to moon others, but you'd think that somewhere in the series there would exist a story-relevant, opportune moment to show a female rear end.  But nope.  At least, not that I recall.  I think the same goes for Fry on Futurama.  Probably plenty of moonings, there, but never a Leela or Amy butt to be seen.

So....theories?  I'll tell you mine.  This asymmetry seems to me to suggest that female sexuality and nudity warrants a higher rating than male.  It is more "powerful", if you will.  It is suggestive and sexy in a way that the male is not.  This is what depresses me, because at heart I feel like a very sexual person, and I want to be sexy and desirable as well, and I feel like society tells me I can't be.  The mindset seems to be that men only do the desiring, and women are the objects of desire.  I want it to be truly equal.  I want my partner to desire me as much as I desire her.  Now, I think that that is the way it is in many relationships, but it doesn't seem to be the mindset of society as a whole.  Another possible way to look at the animation asymmetry is that society believes that males will get "too excited" by the female form, and will behave inappropriately or develop unhealthy perceptions of women as a result.  This highly insulting theory, if true, just reinforces my assertion that society tends view males as neanderthals.  Either way, this still results in female nudity warranting a higher rating.  The male buttocks in cartoons is commonplace, and show creators know that no one will care, but they are unwilling to take the risk to display a female behind because they know it could be playing with fire.  Even on higher rated shows where nudity is commonplace, such as Game of Thrones, females still seem to warrant a higher rating.  They will show full frontal male nudity way before allowing an explicit revealing of female genitalia.  E.g, they have clearly shown male parts on Thrones several times, but you will never, ever see female parts unless it is actually pornography: X rated.  Is female nudity and sexuality treated this way because of the (virtually exclusively) unidirectional nature of rape?  Must that cause us to treat all males as being incapable of civilized behavior and self-control?

This asymmetry between males and females can be seen in another interesting place: ever notice how we use slang terms for genitals as insults for people?  Ever notice how the feminine one are always more powerful?  E.g. if you're a weenie, you're a wimp.  If you're a p*ssy, you're an even bigger wimp.  If you're a dick, you're a jerk.  If you're a c*nt, you're even bigger jerk.  The feminine terms are worse.  They will use the word "dick" in a PG-13 movie, but c*nt is R.  Maybe not even then.  Sometimes they treat c*nt as a worse profanity than f*ck.  Also--notice something I did there?  I censored the feminine terms because I am actually, literally concerned about using them on the forums.  That says it all, right there, doesn't it?

What does this reveal about society?  Is female sexuality more powerful, somehow?  Is it better?  Is female nudity more special?  Are women just sexier, period?  Are men simply less desirable across the board?

Now, I understand that there's a lot of complex sociological factors at play here.  Women were the ones that were mistreated and denied rights throughout history.  They had no professional power.  It's still a largely male-dominated world.  Most CEOs and politicians are male.  Most doctors are male.  Every dentist I've ever seen is male, but every dental hygienist I've ever seen is female.  That's not right.  It's still out of whack.  So, to compensate for this, it seems women are given a different kind of power in the media, a power men don't have: sexual power.  (This may also be to compensate for the fact that women are more often than not the victims when it comes to abuse.) Modern sitcoms love to depict the woman as smart and mature, and the man as a neanderthal that does what he's told, lest he end up sleeping on the couch.  In the '50s, sitcoms depicted men as the head of the household, and the wives did as they were told.  But today, that would be monstrously sexist.  Why can't we ever find a happy medium?

And I'm tired of people saying that "men are visual" as an insult.  I'm tired of being made to feel like I'm a shallow piece of garbage because I want someone who I'm physically attracted to.  I also sort of resent the fact that women are apparent not visual.  Why?  Because women can't see my personality when they look at me in public.  They can't see my intelligence or my sense of humor.  But I happen to think I'm quite good looking, but apparently my primary weapon, my only means of attracting a mate, is useless because women, apparently, don't like the way men look and aren't attracted to them.  Or so our culture would have us believe.

I'm not trans, but I constantly wish I had been born female.  It would suit my personality better.  I don't know if I can ever be happy the way I am.  You know, just a man.  Might as well be an ape.  A cro-magnon at best.  But inside, I feel like Rarity.  I'm not “supposed” to be female. I just want the same opportunities as women—to be able to be beautiful. I must sound crazy, because it's women who have been fighting for equal opportunities for thousands of years, but in today's world, with such diverse personalities, sometimes paradigms can reverse themselves. I know that men still hold more professional power in this world, but I don't and never will. I'm not a successful professional. What good does that kind of power do me? I want the kind of power women have.

I suppose it's a grass-is-always-greener situation.  I'm sure many women will say things like, "You don't know how lucky you are that society doesn't care how you look.  You have it easy.  You don't have to wear makeup or shave your legs.  You can wear comfortable clothes and shoes.  You aren't the target of rude catcalls."  Well, I guess I'd respond by saying that you don't know how lucky you are to be able to wear anything and get away with it, to wear beautiful dresses, to be desirable and sexy, to be the center of attention, etc.  At a wedding, men are designed to be presentable camouflage, while all attention is drawn to the radiant bride. I guess men might have it easier in some ways, but I reckon most women probably never imagined how society can make a man like me feel like crap. And guess what?  I want to shave my legs because I find my body hair unattractive.  [Oh, I do that, now. :/ ]  Society would berate me for doing such a thing.  Unless I'm a competitive swimmer, that is.

I just want to be able to be who I am without the societal poisoning.  I want to live in a world where we're truly equal.  I'm so sick of this double standard.  And I know there are examples of the reverse.  Times Sexiest Man Alive, cheesy romance novels with some long-haired, bare chested guy riding bareback, etc.  But the massive, overwhelming majority seems to be the stereotype that women are beautiful, and men are not.

What do you think?  Can men be beautiful, too? 

 

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They don't make any mention of male underwear.  Why?  Because everyone knows that men are ugly and unattractive, and no one is going to bother making art of the male form.

I don’t think that’s the case at all. It’s more that literally everyone on Earth has seen a half naked dude. Half naked dudes jog on the sidewalk in broad daylight. It’s just not something that can really be exploited because there’s nothing taboo about it.

Now a FULLY naked dude on the other hand, well, that’s where the “nudity” tag comes in.

But more broadly, sure, men can be beautiful! I’ve seen some GORGEOUS dudes in my life. And you can be a straight man and be pretty. You might get labeled as metrosexual, or even mislabeled as gay, but so what? Just calmly explain, “No, I’m not gay. And I’m not trans either. I can be flashy and flamboyant and still be a dude.”

Personally, me and a lot of other girls I’ve met have been occasionally jealous of dudes. Because you are ALLOWED to not be pretty. From personal observations, being an “ugly” guy is a lot more acceptable than being and “ugly” girl. It would be great to go out with unshaven legs or dark facial hair and not get disgusted looks. It would be great to just sprawl out in a chair with your legs open and nobody give your the disapproving glance for not being lady-like. Not that there’s anything wrong with being proper. You don’t want to be a friggin’ pig after all. But it’d be nice to just not be sometimes when you’re not at home and no one bats an eye.

And guys get sharp, slick tuxedos. So understated and classy, love ‘em. Can’t even grasp that you think of tuxes as “camouflage”. Sometimes, less is more. If I ever get married, I’ll probably wear a sharp wedding pantsuit like my friend did. And yes, she’s straight and married to a guy.

I actively try not to worry about it. After all, if someone judges me for my appearance, that just shows what kind of person THEY are. So I just do what makes me comfortable and happy (without being gross or obnoxious) and not worry about it.

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I don't know. Being beautiful is not a choice of the person... it is how others may or may not perceive you. What you find attractive I may find ugly etc and so forth. Now it can be a state of mind and how you carry yourself, so in the end I feel anyone can be whatever they want to be regardless of what anyone else thinks.

That all being said, you know almost all of those things you are grumping about are created by, perpetuated by and maintained mostly by men right? The fact is this is the world men want to live in, because they are the majority in control of the industries that drive it all forward. Men are neanderthals because they want to be and act like neanderthals, simple as that. The stereotypes would eventually stop if people would quit living them. But that is never going to happen... as long as hormones are a thing and someone can make a buck off it, it will go until the end of time.

And they do make intimates and things for men to make them "sexier". They just don't sell them at WalMart.

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I was told by males and females that I was. Of course, this was because of my appearance and their shallowness. :maud: All of us are 'beautiful' or whatever we perceive. You cannot change who you are - only the person you're going to be. Can we get past the labels? :huh:

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"but women are basically aloof, can take us or leave us, and need to be convinced or "won over", or "wooed" in some way.  And then there's the stereotype that no woman, anywhere, ever, since the dawn of time, has ever wanted to have sex with a man. "

My research shows that is is true. The only time women have sex is to get pregnant or because they have to in order to keep a man. 

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Beauty is perception. Some people can think men are beautiful, some don't, and either way is not right or wrong. Beauty is subjective after all.

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It is a matter of subjectivity. 

 

You know there is a saying. "Beauty in the eye of the beholder" 

 

Therefore my answer to the question is 

"void"

Take it as you will 

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7 hours ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

"but women are basically aloof, can take us or leave us, and need to be convinced or "won over", or "wooed" in some way.  And then there's the stereotype that no woman, anywhere, ever, since the dawn of time, has ever wanted to have sex with a man. "

My research shows that is is true. The only time women have sex is to get pregnant or because they have to in order to keep a man. 

You're joking right?

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TL:DR

Why exactly couldn't men be beautiful?

And what exactly do you mean by saying 'beautiful'?

Edited by Thy.
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Just now, BronyNumber42licious said:

No, this is what my experience shows. Maybe not 100% but definitely a very high percent.

Then may I ask how this "research" was done? 

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5 minutes ago, Yamet said:

Then may I ask how this "research" was done? 

A small sample size and experience with a female friend. She doesn't realize that men need need it. But to her it's like asking for a kidney. She's totally hypocritical. 

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11 minutes ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

A small sample size and experience with a female friend. She doesn't realize that men need need it. But to her it's like asking for a kidney. She's totally hypocritical. 

So you're basing the assumption that women don't want to have sex on your experience with one of your female friends and a small sample size? That's a bit silly. Your sample size must also have been ridiculously tiny, since the vast majority of women I've talked to both online and in real life enjoys sex.

Furthermore, I don't see how your friend was being a hypocrite. 

Also, I'd argue that men doesn’t need sex. 

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7 minutes ago, Yamet said:

So you're basing the assumption that women don't want to have sex on your experience with one of your female friends and a small sample size? That's a bit silly. Your sample size must also have been ridiculously tiny, since the vast majority of women I've talked to both online and in real life enjoys sex.

Furthermore, I don't see how your friend was being a hypocrite. 

Also, I'd argue that men doesn’t need sex. 

She is a hypocrite because she had a bf for a year. Now he's gone. So she will have sex with a guy she knew for a year, but she's known me for more than 15 years and nothing. 

And technically I don't need my eyes, so you are right.

Edited by BronyNumber42licious

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1 hour ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

She is a hypocrite because she had a bf for a year. Now he's gone. So she will have sex with a guy she knew for a year, but she's known me for more than 15 years and nothing. 

I still don't see how she is a hypocrite. You aren't entitled to sex with anyone just because you known them for a long period of time. 

1 hour ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

And technically I don't need my eyes, so you are right.

You need your eyes way more than you need sex, so I don't see your point. 

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24 minutes ago, Yamet said:

I still don't see how she is a hypocrite. You aren't entitled to sex with anyone just because you known them for a long period of time. 

You need your eyes way more than you need sex, so I don't see your point. 

She is a hypocrite because she will do it with some guy she doesn't know nearly as well as she knows me. Imagine if your friend had something that you really really really wanted to try, and your friend took it for granted. And your friend refused to let you try it. Like if your friend had a cabin on a lake, hot tub, game room, and a speed boat. You knew this friend for many years, but they wouldn't let you visit, and they gave some excuse like "i just don't feel that way about you blah blah blah." But then they let someone, who they barely knew, visit. Sure, I'm not entitled. But friends are supposed to help each other.

This proves my point that women don't really care for it. They could take it or leave it. If women liked it as much as men then there would be a lot few miserable men. Women just do not understand.

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1 minute ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

She is a hypocrite because she will do it with some guy she doesn't know nearly as well as she knows me.

I still don't see how she's a hypocrite.  I mean, maybe she's not just attracted to you. 

3 minutes ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

This proves my point that women don't really care for it. 

So what you're saying is that because your friend didn't want to have sex with you somehow proves that most women don't enjoy sex? That might be the dumbest shit I've ever heard. 

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1 minute ago, Yamet said:

I still don't see how she's a hypocrite.  I mean, maybe she's not just attracted to you. 

So what you're saying is that because your friend didn't want to have sex with you somehow proves that most women don't enjoy sex? That might be the dumbest shit I've ever heard. 

Then she's not honest about it. If I had a lady friend who was unnatractive, I would still help her out.

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3 minutes ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

Then she's not honest about it. 

Honest about what? She's clearly told you that she doesn't want to sleep with you. 

4 minutes ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

If I had a lady friend who was unnatractive, I would still help her out.

Most people (both men and women) wouldn't, and that has nothing to do with whether or not they enjoy sex. 

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Everyone is hypcritcal about it. They say it's special and bull shit like that, but they justify having sex whenever they want to.

I supposed women enjoy it when they have it, but they don't need it like men do. How is this even controversial?

When men and women meet somewherr, like a bar or whatever, who do you think has a harder time picking someone up, men or women? You're just being purposefully obtuse.

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12 minutes ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

Everyone is hypcritcal about it. They say it's special and bull shit like that, but they justify having sex whenever they want to.

I still don't see how it's hypocritical. Most people think sex is special and therefore won't sleep with every single person. 

13 minutes ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

I supposed women enjoy it when they have it, but they don't need it like men do. How is this even controversial?

Because men don't need sex anymore than women does. 

15 minutes ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

When men and women meet somewherr, like a bar or whatever, who do you think has a harder time picking someone up, men or women?

I don't see how this is relevant at all. 

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Can Men Be Beautiful?

 

Well, the term "bishonen" does exist for a reason. :lol:

Edited by A.V.
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@BronyNumber42licious

If your appearance is any bit as cringy as your character has shown itself to be, I really cannot blame her for her lack of interest in you. Doesn't surprise me either that you're over 40 and had no luck -- though it's very clear by now that bad luck had nothing to do with it.

@Justin_Case001

Life's harsh. You know it, I know it. If you have even one scientific bone in your body, you'd understand by now that life is an agonizing struggle to survive with there being an infinite amount of events and objects that will either kill you or make the case that the phrase "Hell on Earth" is redundant. What it comes down to is Evolution. Whether we speak of animals that defy our notions of what's possible in regards to speed, strength, durability, determination or intelligence and sophistication, they all evolved that way out of sheer necessity. The same logic applies to extremophiles that manage to live in environments that by our imagination are down-right alien.

Now what do all these evolved species have in common? They adapted to their environment instead of the other way around. Hearing you complain about all of this, it sounds to me like you wish for the world to adapt itself to your perceptions. If that's your modus operandi in life, you are already doomed. Take a hint from all the species that are still with us on this planet: Adapt!

Does this mean you have to discard who you are? Not really. Life exists in many forms, shapes, sizes and behaviors. What this means is that you could still mold yourself into a well-adapted person that is still quintessentially you. Make no mistake: this takes relentless effort and focus but seeing as you're 30 already, you're going to want to put in as much time as you can. It really is like hacking into your own being and programming yourself into something that functions better in this life. Oh and do avoid going into defeatist rabbit holes like BN42 up there. It may give your suffering a sense of validation but it guarantees your suffering just as well. Believe that you can adapt, be humble in admitting you do not know where this will lead you and be fearless as to move ahead with it regardless. Understand that this is a learning curve and it's going to be absolutely frustrating at first -- that's just normal. Where you go from there is up to you. I can't know what a well-adapted you is like. Heck, you might not even like what you see yourself becoming but at some point, you know you can't do anything but say "fuck it, what else am I to do?" Another thing: you're more likely to find interesting clues in places you least want to look at. This could include things like meditation or just anything you might think is "beneath" you.

Hopefully this is helpful for getting you started. Where you go next is entirely up to you. Good luck and may your wounding struggles lead you to a better and more meaningful place. You're not expected to get there in one piece.

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2 hours ago, BronyNumber42licious said:

@Querch I guess I'm not supposed to be honest and instead just repeat the standard lines.

Spare us your martyr complex. All it ever tells anyone is just how how far you head is up your hind quarters. This would be self-evident to you if you had even the slightest ability for self-awareness or reflection. Honesty is no pass for having terrible ideas and even less of an excuse for keeping them. Maybe if you were honest with yourself maybe you'd stop and think about whether or not we might have a point -- that maybe the feedback you get could have something useful in it.

Edited by Querch
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