Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The psychology of the beautiful woman - Part 1

What are some of the psychological phenomena that surround the exceptionally good looking female. This post is based on my own observations in everyday life and from listening to clients talk in the safety and security of the counselling room for the past 30 years. As with anything human there are always differences and exceptions so I am generalizing here.

There is probably a gender difference on this topic and the very good looking female is impacted differently than the very good looking male. One of the reasons for this is that males tend to be more visual in their initial attraction to a female. Women tend to look more at the whole package rather than just the physical appearance of the man, whereas men will be more singularly focussed on the physical attributes of the woman. This of course varies from man to man and over time it changes. 

Whilst the physical attributes of the female are a high priority initially, over time that changes and moves down the list of priorities for most men and other various personality characteristics move up the list of importance. No matter how good looking the woman may be it is probably safe to say that if the man does not feel a love or personality connection with the woman sooner or later, then he will eventually feel a need to end the relationship.

Hijab women
Beauty and culture

One at times hears the question:

“Can a male and a female ever be just friends?”

My answer is of course they can and it happens all the time. For instance there are many men and women who may have a sexual - romantic attraction to each other and just remain friends. They never act on the psychological attraction because one or both of them may be married or for some other reason. 

The real question should be:

“Can male and female friends never have a sexual romantic attraction in their relationship?”

If the two are of about the same age and they like each other then the answer for the male is probably not. The more good looking the female the more the answer is no.

Perhaps I should clarify what I am talking about here. This is done best with the transactional diagram.

Diagram 6

The vast majority of human communication is unconscious. The beautiful female and the male at a conscious level can quite easily have a slightly flirtatious, sensual component when they are communicating. However I would also suggest that even when that is not happening at the unconscious level it is usually there anyway. 

So the very good looking female rarely experiences adult men with out this in the relationship. They don’t often get to experience a non sexualized relationship with an adult male. In this way their relationships have a superficiality about them whether they like it or not. To clarify this I will provide an unusual example, that of John Merrick. He was the elephant man which was made into a well known movie. He was grotesquely deformed and spent time in freak shows before finally becoming accepted to some degree by main stream society.

In the movie at one point, in great exasperation, he cries out the profound line

"I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I ... am ... a ... man!"

Lamp light

Because of his very unusual physical appearance he comes to realize that many people can never see him beyond his physical appearance. They never see him as a man or person because they can not get past his looks. The same can apply for the beautiful woman. Some men will simply never be able to get past the looks and never see the person she is. It is probably safe to say that many or most men will always be distracted to some degree by the looks away from the person behind the looks. Thus she rarely gets to experience a non sexualized relationship with an adult male.

This occurs as a result of the males reaction to her. Some would argue that men are hard wired to respond to attractive women in that way. However maybe it is not all just one sided.

When such females reach adolescence they quickly learn that their physical beauty can get some (many) men to give them special treatment that they would not give so much to other women or males. They quickly learn their beauty is a powerful tool that works to get them special treatment. As she grows she may find this occurs often and consistently such that it becomes a habitual and ingrained way for her to relate with men. She will use her looks to get special treatment even when she is not aware she is doing so. Thus, should she even want a non sexualized relationship with a male she may struggle to do so because that way of relating for her has now become an ingrained habit. So she is left stuck with a quite repetitious and unvarying way of relating to a significant section of the worlds population.



  1. The other end of the stick is when a "beautiful" female may desexualise herself (physically and mentally) to remove some of the attractive aspects of her persona.

    Maybe beauty is a double edged sword at times.

  2. Thanks for your comment Linda and i think you make a valid point that such an outcome could occur.

  3. Oh and about the double edged sword. I agree with you and indeed have made that point in my post. That such women will never get the variety in how they relate to men that less physically attractive women can.

  4. It's very hard for women between the ages of 30 to 40 plus. That ten year odd period of decay is a nightmare to live and cope with. I was very attractive in my late teens and twenties and have really deteriorated rapidly over the last decade. My friend who is in her early 40's, has a low opinion of herself physically and always has had. She now is I think, far more attractive than me. I recently gave her a makeover, took some photos and stuck the best one in a pretty frame for her. She looked gorgeous and her husband said it had a fantastic effect on her. Me on the other hand, well, I'm fat, going really grey and am having a brace fitted to straighten my teeth that have transformed my face from English rose to snaggle toothed witch, due to gum recession. I think I might be easier to be average looking from day one. Oh and to top things off, I get social anxiety now too! I'm quite funny though ;)

  5. Hello debadee, fuuny is a good thing to be and what you have said I have heard other women say as well as they reach the age you talk about. It does sound like it can be a difficult time indeed. thanx Graffiti

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