1. Defining hotness by anyone’s standards but your own
I’ve known guys who have not dated girls they found attractive because they were afraid they weren’t hot enough for their friends. These friends deserve a lot of aloneness. We are all blessed with individual tastes in terms of aesthetics and sexuality. We are complementary feeders in terms of partners. Letting magazines, friends or society generally decide what we think is hot may be hard to avoid, but it’s not impossible. Remember that the women in mainstream porn and on catwalks are all considered socially hot and the aesthetics there could hardly be more different. Remember that your friends are often wrong about a lot of things and the society thinks Tim Burton movies are ‘dark’. Do your best to question what they tell you to like and dislike.
2. Thinking or speaking of physical beauty as worthless
As a fat, hairy 36-year-old with the body of a pensioner and a severe case of RAF, pretending looks don’t matter would sound unbelievably self-serving. It’s also not true. If you’re paying attention to point #1 above, then pretending aesthetics aren’t important in choosing a partner, for instance, you’ll end up having to have sex with someone who doesn’t turn you on. Why would you do that? Yes, the emphasis our society puts on beauty is disproportionate, but let’s not throw the babes out with the bathwater. If we’re willing to value people for intelligence or creativity, why not value them for their beauty? Nobody earns natural smartness. Very beautiful people work at their beauty. Smart people can do good, but they can also do evil and Marilyn Monroe has brought me way more happiness than Albert Einstein, much as I love him. IF brains are a gift, so can looks be.
3. Defining people by their hotness
I have some hot friends. God is good that way. Almost every one has a story of how they have not been taken seriously because of their looks. Now, this is partly blanket sexism that women still face on a daily basis in workplaces across Britain (and if you think it doesn’t exist or that it doesn’t matter, you’re an idiot), regardless of their looks, and it’s partly because the men and women dealing with them cannot see past their beauty. Perhaps people assume that God either gives you brains or beauty (He doesn’t – there are lots of ugly, stupid people out there) or perhaps it is lust or insecurity, but hot women have problems beyond the obvious ones of harassment and unwanted attention. Perhaps the worst of these being to reduce a capable, smart, conservative, woman who writes poetry and loves Jesus to a single category based on just one of her gifts.
A friend told me a story of a pastor who, at a conference, stood his wife up and told the crowd to check out his hot wife. Whether that is okay or not depends, I think, largely on how she felt about it. Personally, I think it’s kind of sweet and a positive thing considering how weird and awkward Christians so often are about expressing appreciation for physical beauty. But if at some point he does not also have her applauded for her intelligence, her skill set, her morality, her kindness or her ability to whip his ass at Scrabble, he’s missed point #3. If he’s made her feel less than beautiful when she hasn’t looked like the women in Vogue or FHM, he’s missed point #1. And if you think it’s unacceptable despite these reasons, you may need to take a look at point #2.