Years ago when I posted my 5-part Attractive Older Women blog series, a friend of mine jokingly (or not) asked if there would eventually be any women with pigmentation in their skin on my list. There wasn’t. If you click through Random Beauty in search of a woman with dark skin or non-white features, your mouse button will break before you find one. My friend Nick is of Hebrew heritage, so I can’t be a Nazi, and I have the soul of a black woman, which means I can’t be racist… so, what’s with all of the white babes around here?
Well, that’s what I’m attracted to.
You may have seen this image floating around on the Internet, but researchers created an “average” face from various countries, and the results are pretty interesting (you can click the image to get a bit of a closer look):
You know which 3 women I find most attractive on that list? The amalgamations labeled English, Swiss, and Welsh. Yep… such variety. My other choices are still all from the same darn continent — within hundreds of miles from each other! Though societal and ethnic varieties differ, attractiveness does still have some base parameters that can be seen in all of the pictured examples: youthfulness and symmetry. Throughout all of history and every culture, those two facets have been epitomized as the basis of females’ physical appeal. You may have even heard it said that “average” women are the ideal, as presented in this image, but this article relays some interesting points made during research on that very subject.
I don’t feel the need to apologize for my tastes, of course, but since this IS Love Month (and I’m running out of topics), I figured I’d finally address it. I may be attracted to moms because they tend to have certain qualities that I prefer, but being lighter-skinned doesn’t inherently have any bearing on personality or emotional priorities, so why is that my natural preference? Well, there are two questions within that “why.”
The first part of the “why” is “how is it that you came to have this preference?” This inclination of mine likely came from a few places, actually:
- Biology. I’m my father’s son, so it makes sense that I would at least be partially attracted to the same type of woman that he is.
- My mom is white. Following off of my dad’s genetic influence, of course, is the fact that my mom is, in a lot of ways, my “type.” There’s room for all sorts of Freudian issues in this category, but it’s much simpler than that, really — one’s mother figure is likely the most loving female relationship one knows growing up, and that in-turn creates certain associations when meeting other similarly-featured women later in life.
- Cultural influence. England was one of the last modern empires we had, especially as far as the US is concerned, and the influence of its beauty-standards and racial preferences still has a lingering effect on what our general society considers most attractive… so, I grew up surrounded by certain physical ideals, presented both in media and among friends.
This part of the “why” question doesn’t really mean TOO much, though, because that’s just taking a look at the past that has created my present — a present in which I am only really attracted to certain physical types. So, having addressed the speculative influences, the second half of this “why” is “what is it about white women that you find attractive?”
Now THAT I can answer with a little more certainty :).
We’ll begin with the most obvious: skin tone. I find lighter skin to be more appealing. Even within the White category of skin color, there is a variety. My favorite gals tend to skew more towards having a reddish hue and fairer complexion, but that’s not exclusive. Even a white woman who is too tan or dark-skinned is less appealing to me. Helen Owen, who I can easily say is absolutely stunning, is often very tan… enough so to lessen her level of attractiveness, as in the following shot:
Beyond shades of skin color, though, is the more nuanced physical aspect of my ethnic preferences — that is, facial features. While I think a lot of women are beautiful, it is no surprise to anyone who knows me that I do tend to have a type. Years ago, I made a side-by-side Photoshop comparison of two women I’d had very strong feelings for at different points in my life, and they could’ve almost passed for the same person, simply aged a few years. While traditionally black facial features tend to be larger and broad (wide noses, bigger lips), white features are generally smaller and deeper (think Roman nose and thinner lips). There are certainly combinations of these features that can create a visually appealing look that doesn’t fit my general preferences (a model’s “bee-stung” lips can be sexy), but I still really only lean in one direction. Of course, while I could say that I tend to prefer sharp features and long/oval/heart-shaped faces, Rachel Weisz is a perfect example of someone I’m a big fan of… yet her features and face-type are both round:
Given the preceding, it makes sense that women of African or Indian ethnicity wouldn’t really strike my fancy, but what about east-Asians? These women are fair-skinned and may even be sharp-featured, but in this case it’s the eyes that are a turn-off. I think we all know what Asian eye-types are, with a covered upper eyelid and an inner slant (called an epicanthic fold, FYI), and they are the antithesis of what I prefer. In my book, the bigger the eyes, the better. Similarly, Asian faces tend to be flatter, which is again the opposite of what I find appealing in white women’s faces.
It’s very important to state here, though, that these are merely superficial differences in genetic heritage. Black skin is only so because it has greater concentrations of melanin than does a white person’s skin. Asian’s simply have more fat in their upper eyelids, which gives them a distinctive eye-shape. There is no “good” vs “bad” here, only personal preferences. Either I think a gal is foxy or she’s not, no biggie. On the rare, rare occasion that I do find a dark-skinned or Asian woman attractive, it is certainly because her skin is lighter or her facial features more closely-resemble that of a white woman’s. I’m a big fan of the beauty of women, so if it was my choice I’d be attracted to every type there is, because the more the merrier, right? But, I can’t really do that, so…
…white women it is!