The Quality of Attraction
The kinds of men that men think are good looking, and that men think women think are good looking, and that women themselves, in fact, find good looking are all different questions related only by their use of similar vocabulary. Similarly for the matter of the kinds of women that women think are good looking, and that women think men think are good looking, and that men themselves, in fact, find good looking. I expect that a comparative study would show a strong and definitive contrast not just between the kinds of men and women each sex finds attractive, but also between the kinds of men and women that each sex thinks the other sex finds attractive. I suspect that on matters of characteristics that attract people to the opposite sex (and to each other as well), the sexes are on different planets and blithely talking/looking past each other as we mingle in this world: two ships passing in the night.
Imagine taking five photographs of different men and five more of different women and showing them to a test group of about 100 adult men and women. The subjects of the test must rate from 0-to-10 how good looking they think each person in the pictures is, including those of the same sex, 10 being very attractive and 0 being rather plain (or even downright ugly). I expect that the men the women favor will tend towards a babyish complexion and Paul McCartney, Orlando Bloom-or-young-Gary-Cooper-youthfulness, while the men that the men favor will look more like the Marlboro Man, or Indiana Jones, or Dr. Grant (Sam Niell in Jurassic Park) than the Fab One: the man’s ideal man is rugged and independent almost to the point of lonely isolation, and the woman’s ideal man is soft and socially appealing. (Well, I think the older Gary Cooper was good looking.) That does not mean that some men would not choose a ‘soft’ face, nor that some women would not choose a more chiseled visage. It just means that there would probably be a clear preponderance of opinion in one direction. And, I expect that that the women that the women favor will tend towards super model looks, like tall stature, long legs and hair, big eyes, nose and lips, large chest. At the same time, the women that the men favor will tend towards medium height, short hair, round face and hips with small bust. The beauty of the super model looks - tall, long legs, big bust, long neck, large lips and large, wide-spaced eyes - is a myth invested in mostly by women, I think. So there could be a clear preponderance of female opinion citing those features as “attractive” plus a disposition among women to suppose that men feel the same. It’s all a bunch of hooey, though.
But I could be wrong. Maybe it’s just me.