During a recent apocalyptic wig-snatching fest, it was reiterated over and over that people are unfaithful for reasons having nothing to do with looks. Pretty women get cheated on and sometimes the other woman is no looker. So do looks really matter?
You could easily say no, since character is the determining factor when it comes to faithfulness.
Where do looks matter? I suspect they matter in regards to how people treat you after you’ve been hurt.
Let me explain what I mean by referring to an earlier cheating scandal where the dust is already settling.
Meet Liberty Ross.
Mrs. Ross is an English model and actress married to one Rupert Sanders. And if you’re still scratching your head, that’s the guy busted in photos having an affair with Kristen Stewart. Despite being taken back by her boyfriend, Robert Pattinson, Kristen’s popularity took one heck of a beating. I suspect because she was the most famous part of the scandal, but the cynic in me also says that guys in these situations never get the owning they deserve. But I digress.
The only person in this situation NOT taking a beating? Mrs. Ross. The universal reaction from what I saw was that (1) she was wronged (2) poor her, she should leave him and take everything (3) she was not remotely to blame for any part of that particular scandal.
Now, let’s look at Mrs. Ross again. Attractive wife and mother, successful model, by all appearances looking to move on and possibly leave her cheating spouse behind. A chorus of “you go, girl!” rings out.
Let’s do a switch up and say the wife in that scandal looked like Mrs. Petraeus. How then would perceptions of her shift? Would people look at her and go, “Well no wonder he cheated”? Or would people feel more protective of her because she’s not a young thin working model?
The question regarding beauty and infidelity is not necessarily whether or not your looks can protect you from an unfaithful partner (Spoiler alert: Nope.). Instead, it seems to be more or less how looks play out in how other people decide to give or withhold sympathy towards women in those situations. Do you think people worry less about attractive women who’ve been cheated on because of an automatic assumption that they CAN do better? Or are people more likely to give sympathy and support because if a woman’s clearly putting effort into her looks, the entire blame is psychologically shifted to the cheating husband and the other woman?
I do feel like how attractive a woman is, regardless of her age, can determine how people treat her not just when she’s wronged but in any situation where she is hurt. If a woman is more attractive and vulnerable, some people may feel the need to rush to her defense and rescue and reassure her. Which, if you think about it, is pretty sad. If someone is hurt, perhaps empathy means hurting for them regardless of their looks.
Just the same, we may be selling ourselves and each other a bit short. The outpouring of support Mrs. Petraeus got on the other post could signal the opposite: The less conventionally attractive you are as a woman, the more protective people, especially women, become of you when you are hurt.
When it comes to a woman being wronged or hurt, do looks matter? Do you think the attractiveness of a woman can determine how and why people do (or don’t) come out in support of her?