Over the past few weeks many of you have commented that personality is what matters. Looks of course are merely just a shell protecting the person inside, call it fancy packaging if you will. I popped into my local Saisnbury’s supermarket recently and saw a large bag of Doritos for £1.49 and a similarly sized bag of ‘Sainsbury’s basic Tortilla Chips’ for 29p. Very different on the outside, completely the same on the inside. A friend of mine recently commented that she’d had to ‘work’ to fall in love with her boyfriend because the instant physical attraction just wasn’t there and so I asked myself the question ‘does your partner always have to be a Dorito’?
In researching this topic I found myself watching a classic episode of Sky Living’s ‘Dating in the Dark’. For anyone not familiar with the show three men and three women enjoy a series of dates in a pitch black room, forging bonds and enjoying undoubted chemistry before choosing who to see in a light reveal. There really isn’t a better way of analysing the subject than watching this show, the outcomes are truly fascinating at times. I watched as Katie an aspiring model and beauty therapist enjoyed a succession of dates with David, a policeman who described himself as looking like ‘Shrek’s stunt double’. Although on paper you wouldn’t have placed the two together, David quickly won Katie over with his ‘cheeky chappy’ personality, wit and unquestionable charm. When the two were together it was like watching the unfolding of one of life’s great love stories, they were quite literally inseparable. However when the lights came on, it was a different story altogether. David looked like he’d just found a winning lottery ticket, Katie on the other hand pulled a face as though about to vomit. I’m very easy going by nature but I was honestly rather appalled by Katie’s reaction, so rude, so hurtful, so unneccesary. I couldn’t quite believe that this girl, beautiful to look at yes, but quite frankly lacking intelligence, charm, charisma and apparently any form of manners had the audacity to dismiss this guy so bluntly based on looks alone. Perhaps that chemistry was merely a mirage until she could give his looks her seal of approval?
I must admit I have long championed the importance of physical attraction, but watching Katie and David made me question this. Don’t get me wrong I would never judge or dismiss anyone in the moronic way that Katie did but looking back to even my earliest crushes as a ten year old boy I’d always believed that physical attraction is what sets ‘friends’ and ‘girlfriends’ apart. After all do we really want to find ourselves in a physical situation with someone we’re not attracted to? Why not just be friends? This however is just my individual opinion and personal opinion is what I believe to be key to the subject. It’s important that we all remember that what is attractive to some people is not attractive to others. Put it this way, right now I have a bit of a beard going on, some girls love it, like really love it but then I’ll go home to my Mum’s house and my sister will say “shave that off it’s disgusting…and it’s turning ginger,” not that I’m trying to impress my sister but you see my point. I do think personality is essential though, I dont believe a truly ‘happy’ relationship can exist without it but I also don’t think anyone should be berated for saying looks matter, as long as they go about it in the right way of course. I suppose we also have to think twice before calling people shallow, shallow to me is the way Katie behaved, not someone who simply has a ‘type’.
When I reflect on some of my own experiences the question of looks over personality becomes even more difficult to answer. In my early 20’s I dated two girls, not at the same time Of course. One was short and slightly ‘podgy’ but with a nice face and a personality to die for and the other, a size zero with the potential to be a catwalk model. The girl with the amazing personality, we had so much in common, music, films, food, everything but sometimes we got on too well in that respect and I quickly found myself falling into what many of us call ‘the friend zone’. She was a pretty qirl there’s no question about that, there are plenty of guys out there who would have killed to be with her but there was just something missing for me. The size zero girl, she made me feel like a billionaire with a beauty queen on my arm, but it just wasn’t me, it wasn’t what I wanted. Even she wasn’t what I would class as ‘attractive’. As an outsider looking in you could say she was quite simply ‘stunning’ but I actually found her too skinny, superficial and quite frankly rather irritating, in fact there were times when she made me want to jam my fingers in a toilet seat and have someone jump up and down on it. If truth be told, neither made me happy. So what does that say about me? Men are impossible? I’m impossible? Maybe things just aren’t as clear-cut as valuing one quality over the other. Everyone has their own tastes, perhaps there’s no set criteria. Maybe we only know what we’re looking for once we find it? But never tell someone they aren’t beautiful, we simply don’t have the right.
As for my crisp selection, I bought both and mixed them up. Couldn’t taste the difference.