American pop culture has set a high (actually impossible) bar in men and women’s beauty. All the women are airbrushed, tan and a size -2 (yes that’s a negative sign) with thick, long, luscious hair, and 34Cs. As for the men, they all have oiled, chiseled eight-pack abs, broad shoulders, are at least 6’ tall and have muscles that could easily crush a small boulder.
Bottom line: these “people” are a bunch of Barbie & Ken dolls.
Because these images are smothering our eyeballs regularly, society has been conditioned to believe this is the yardstick for beauty. We could also call this form of beauty a ‘Perfect 10’ on a beauty scale from 1-10: 1 meaning “Don’t show your face in public,” and 10 meaning “Jaw dropping to the floor. I can’t stop staring.”
But who wouldn’t—in the words of Zoolander—want a “ridiculously good-looking” partner?
I know, you may want one, but sometimes what you want isn’t exactly what you need. In fact, there are several studies that show we are happiest with someone who is closest to our own attractiveness. So if, for example, you’re a 7, you will be happiest with a partner who is a 6, 7, or 8.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “Nuh-uh! I consider myself a 7 and I’d be more than satisfied with David Beckham/Gisele Bündchen!”
I don’t want to dash your dreams or sound superficial, but the reality is our overall relationship satisfaction is partially dependent on feeling equitable in the physical attractiveness department. So, if, as a 7, you’re in a relationship with a 10, there will be some underlying feelings of being over- or under-matched on both sides.
For example, if Gisele Bündchen was dating Ben Stiller, he would constantly have to deal with a million other guys throwing themselves at her and giving her goo-goo eyes. She might begin to feel guilty about the situation if the relationship was serious. Meanwhile, Ben might feel inadequate because he feels like he isn’t doing enough to keep her happy.
If you want a satisfying relationship (unless you consider yourself a 10), don’t go looking for someone who’s “ridiculously good-looking.” Even though you’ll get to make crazy amazing love with a top-of-the-line hottie, ultimately, you’ll feel like you never really measure up. Choosing a partner who’s more similar in attractiveness will lessen these feelings of inadequacy, competition, and guilt.