In today’s Ask Angela article we talked about beauty and body issues. This is a big topic for both men and women, so after giving my opinion I decided to ask around (check out the Ask Angela Facebook page to see lots of different opinions on the subject.)
In today’s blog post, I want to share with you an interview that I did with the hosts of the popular podcast This Week in Mormons. You submitted the questions about beauty and LDS culture, and these gentleman have shared their very insightful answers below. Check it out and visit them on Facebook .
Q: How can women be attractive while also trying to be modest?
Al: I’m not sure I understand the dilemma here, modesty doesn’t make it hard to be attractive, modesty makes you attractive in ways beyond showcasing your body. How can you be attractive? Be a good person, good sense of humor, crafty and cute all help. Boom.
Geoff: That’s a fair point, Al, but I think many women still want to feel sexy, and whether we like it or not, sexiness does involve physical appearance in one way or another. But really, I don’t think this is that complicated. Ladies, it doesn’t mean you have to cake on makeup and buy designer clothing, but raiding the LL Bean catalogue is probably not the path to success. Down with mom jeans! Down with them!
Also, confidence is incredibly attractive. It comes more naturally to some than to others, but most men love a woman who has her act together and knows it.
Q: How am I supposed to not compare and get down on myself after being exposed to the sexualized images thrown out into the world?
Geoff: The sexualized nonsense thrown out in the world is the product of a society accustomed to everything being airbrushed or coming from CGI (Computer-generated imagery). If you allow yourself to be beholden to advertisers and base your morality on television and film, then you’re going to get depressed pretty quickly. And stop reading celebrity “news” and gossip magazines. Few things can be more self-destructive than wasting one’s time caring about what Katy Perry is up to.
Al: They’re like a cartoon, they’re drawn images, not real people. So comparing yourself to them is silly. The way you don’t bother comparing is by having confidence in yourself. Go be confident that you have worth and are attractive. Comparison is the thief of joy is how the quote goes right, so just remember, control what you can, and don’t worry about what you can’t, you’ll be just fine.
Q: Also, how am I supposed to remain confident and not get discouraged when a guy I am with looks at another woman or tells me how hot she is (is it disrespectful)? What’s a good response if your man does that?
Al: I’m not offended when the girl I’m with sees Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and says, “Mmm daddy, what a hottie.” Why is that? I don’t feel bad that I’m not; a) Polynesian; b) a former pro wrestler; c) rich beyond belief; d) etc. Why don’t I? Why am I not offended? He’s legitimately a mega hottie! I mean look at those guns, that guy knows what’s up, so why should I be frustrated that someone (the girl I’m with for example) recognizes that? I’m not less of a person because he’s a mountain of a man, why should I feel that? A good response is maybe a punch in the arm or a solid “quit being a dork”. If it bothers you, let him know, he should quit it, but this idea that because you’re with someone they should not think anyone else is pretty is kind of silly.
Geoff: Methinks my co-host misses the point. It’s not that acknowledging someone else’s beauty is wrong (did I watch Fast & Furious 6 and fast forward through any scenes not involving The Rock? Maybe.) It’s being such an oblivious fool that you would compare your significant other to someone else, and do so in his or her presence.
I feel totally comfortable recognizing that another woman is beautiful and saying so to my wife. But do I walk around with my wife and see a woman and say, “What a hottie!” No. I’m not an idiot. And my wife is prettier than all of them, so I see no harm in simply saying, “Yes, _____ is a very beautiful woman. If you’re not with a guy who feels the same way about you, kick him to the curb. It’s downright rude to gaze and comment about others, and even more so in the presence of someone you allege to care about. Sometimes my own gender confuses me. It’s like we’re begging women to hate us.
Q: What do Mormon men find sexy?
Geoff: I’m not going to claim to know the mind of every man across the broad social spectrum of Mormonism, but I like a woman who knows how to have her own style and be appealing at the same time. I like a woman with a good heart who goes out of her way to think about others. I’m also a huge sucker for curly brown hair and green eyes. Now guess the physical attributes of my wife.
But really, sexiness comes from within. Carry yourself. BE YOURSELF. Don’t be what you think society wants you to be. That doesn’t give you free license to have poor grooming and dress in an unappealing way and assume that men will be drawn to you. They won’t be. But don’t give into the hype of what society tells you is sexy. The woman who quite clearly rises above that and, if I can err ecumenical, shows through her deeds and demeanor her interest in, you know, eternal salvation and stuff, that is sexier than any of the plastic surgery that is so heavily promoted somewhere like Utah.