Discover the dynamics of male/female attraction and why it goes beyond the surface. Learn the differences in male and female gaze. Find out why being yourself might be more appealing than you think.
The Female Gaze (What Women Actually Find Attractive)
The biggest mistake guys often make when trying to become more attractive to women is viewing it from a male perspective instead of understanding what women find appealing.
There was a tweet discussing why women are attracted to both tall, masculine men and members of BTS. The truth is, what women find attractive varies greatly, and the mistake we make is trying to simplify it into a science.
Female Gaze is Different from Male Gaze
The female gaze is primarily driven by storytelling. Romance novels, which are mostly read by women, consistently top best-seller lists. Women also dominate the fanfiction community, where they write about fictional characters. Artists and musicians who can convey stories through their creativity have historically been adored by women. Similarly, your choices in how you dress, your hairstyle, your body language, and even how you treat others tell a story that women pick up on.
Examples of Female Gaze
While looks do matter, it’s not just about physical appearance. Women do appreciate handsome features like a strong jawline, facial hair, height, and a balanced mix of masculine and feminine traits. However, there’s a wide range of preferences when it comes to physical attributes. For example, a guy can be more masculine or more feminine in appearance, and both can be attractive.
It’s essential to debunk the myth that women only seek tall, fit, and wealthy men. In reality, women’s attraction is not solely based on physical attributes. Confidence, security, self-validation, and the ability to be mysterious are qualities that women find attractive. We often focus too much on physical appearance, whereas women consider humor, voice, charisma, kindness, skills, potential, how you treat others, and many other factors when assessing attractiveness.
The female gaze is flexible and adaptable. If a woman isn’t initially physically attracted to a guy, that attraction can grow as she gets to know him better. This contrasts with the male perspective, where physical attraction often forms instantly.
Height, income, and status are important factors, but they are relative. Women typically want a man who is slightly taller than them, earns a bit more money, and has a slightly higher status. It’s not about extremes but relative differences.
Also, when women view other women through the female gaze, they do not overtly sexualize themselves as seen by their dress attire.
Appealing to a wide audience isn’t necessary. Instead of trying to please everyone, embrace your niche. If you’re into fitness and bodybuilding, focus on that. People with shared interests will be attracted to you.
In today’s interconnected world, people can connect with others who share their niche interests and subcultures. Don’t aim to be universally appealing; instead, thrive in your unique niche.
Dating apps like Tinder can be unnatural ways to meet people. They don’t capture the full range of qualities that make someone attractive. However, you can still create an appealing profile that showcases your story and your best qualities.
Bad boys are often seen as attractive not because they’re criminals or dangerous, but because of the traits they represent: confidence, social skills, and the ability to set boundaries. Being a pushover or lacking assertiveness is unattractive to women. It’s the qualities behind the “bad boy” label that matter.
Ultimately, it’s essential for men not to base their self-worth solely on their attractiveness to women. While striving to improve oneself is admirable, understanding both perspectives will provide a more comprehensive view of attractiveness. Remember, your true self is what should shine through.
The Male Gaze (What Men Find Attractive)
Defining the Male Gaze
The male gaze is a term used to describe how females are portrayed and perceived in a way that sexualizes them while granting power to men. To identify the presence of the male gaze, we need to ask three key questions about the perspective within a film or TV show:
- Who is behind the camera?
- Who are the characters in the production?
- Who is the intended audience?
Biologically, men and women are naturally drawn to each other as potential partners. However, the male gaze distorts this natural attraction, turning women into passive objects for sexual gratification. This phenomenon is not exclusive to film and TV; it has existed throughout art history.
Art has historically been created from the heterosexual male perspective. While women have contributed to art, it’s undeniable that the male viewpoint has dominated for centuries. In “The Iliad,” one of the oldest pieces of writing, Helen of Troy’s face, not her personality or inner qualities, is what triggered a monumental event. This pattern is reflected in countless Renaissance nude paintings that primarily exist for the viewer’s gaze.
The term “male gaze” emerged in 20th-century French philosophy debates about artistic perspectives. English art critic John Berger initially used it in his BBC series “Ways of Seeing” in 1972. However, it was British feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey who popularized the term in her 1973 essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Mulvey argued that the male gaze is a social construct deeply rooted in patriarchy.
Examples of the Male Gaze
The male gaze is often seen in medium close-up shots of women from over a man’s shoulder, panning shots that fixate on a woman’s body, and close-ups focusing on various body parts. This occurs across all genres of film and television. Female protagonists in action-based films are sometimes portrayed through the male gaze, resulting in the “fighting f**k toy” character trope, where female agency is tied to male desires.
Also, the male gaze includes ultra muscular men as they appeal to men. Some might aspire to be in the alpha masculine leader role.
Many researchers believe that the male gaze is harmful, shaping societal perceptions of men and women for generations. It has far-reaching effects on society, including body image issues, mental anguish, and increased body shame.
While it may be challenging to completely eradicate the male gaze, we can work towards shifting the balance in content creation. This involves increasing the representation of women and nonbinary individuals as directors, cinematographers, producers, and writers. Diversifying perspectives can lead to new and more inclusive ways of storytelling.
It’s important to note that there are critics who reject the concept of the male gaze. They argue against the idea that women are made weak by admiring their bodies and assert that not everything is as simple as sexualization being exploitative of power dynamics.
This concludes the Male vs Female Gaze and why understanding it will help you deal with your own biases or blind spots.