Only Skin Deep

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes someone beautiful. Obviously if someone has a great personality and kind heart it makes them beautiful from the inside out, but if we only see someone’s outer appearance initially, what traits make a person catch our eye?

Everyone has different taste. Take celebrities for example, everyone has their crushes and some people will agree and some people won’t. I don’t see what the Ryan Gosling deal is, but tons of other women (and men) love him. He has thin lips, guys!

This brings me to another question. Do we find people attractive because we recognize subconsciously that they have similar features to our own? This is a very narcissistic view, but I think there’s a lot of truth to it. You know how some couples start looking like each other over time? What if they always had similar characteristics but we just didn’t notice it until they had matching wrinkles? I think my husband looks more like me than my own brother. It’s a weird thing. It also explains why I had a bulletin board dedicated to Taylor Hanson when I was 9.taylor-hanson

During Christmas time, I went to a party with a bunch of my husband’s friends. I met a girl there who really spoke her mind. She kept telling me how beautiful I was and how lucky I must feel to go through life with a face like mine. Of course I stayed by her the entire night because she became my new best friend forever. But it makes me wonder what is it about my face that attracted her? What attributes did I have that she liked? I should’ve asked her to expand. “Please, tell me more. Go into detail if you must.”

Have you ever had the urge to compliment someone on a characteristic that they have no control over but it just stands out to you so much that you have to say something? Why do we feel the need?

I have to say that the best compliments are about who you are as a person, not what you look like on the outside. You can change your outer appearance so easily. You can dye your hair, tan your skin, get color contacts. But who you are as a person, your spirit, your sense of humor, your wisdom, all make you YOU.

What physical characteristic is the most attractive to you, and which personality trait are you most drawn to?



52 thoughts on “Only Skin Deep

  1. Interesting topic. Not that I’m sexually attracted to guys (I swear!) but men I do consider more attractive are ones who I either think look like me or I think I have the potential to look like.

    I’m not sure which I’d rather hear though, that I’m beautiful on the outside and not the inside or vice versa. I think most people associate them together. Nobody has ever told me I was beautiful but I was an ugly person or that I was really ugly which is a shame because my personality is so wonderful. Could it be because my personality closely matches my looks? Could be.

    Most physically attractive I find is a really nice smile which, hey, might say something about the person on the inside. Best personality trait cannot be described. It’s just the natural chemistry.

    • unfetteredbs says:

      umm I don’t know you Mr. Mooselicker but your little icon picture says nothing but handsome. And the comments I read that you leave on blogs says nothing but beautiful. Ok .. I am done.

    • Oh great, now Audra stroked your ego and you’re probably high on yourself now. Compliments are the best.
      Anyway, you bring up a good point. No one would really come out and say “I like your face but not your personality.” Most people probably have a similar look to the way they act. Although there as been an occasional beauty that’s dumb and mean or a super funny ugly chick.
      I like nice smiles too. Your friend Hank Stromboli had a nice one.

      • Hey, nothing wrong with compliments among friends.

        What about someone who really likes someone for something they did, like say for instance they’re a big fan of their music but hate the person? I guess that’s kind of in the same family. Something like that just happened to me.

        Hank Stromboli is not my friend! But he’s smiling at the compliment and says thank you.

      • donofalltrades says:

        I’d say that to a person. Last week, I told a woman I’d just met that she was pretty but she seemed like the kind of person I could only like in small doses before I would want to punch her in the face. But then I could like her again after doing so because she was pretty. Lol, nevermind me, I’m just passing through and talk out my rear a lot.

  2. I’ve always had a thing for shoulders in a weird way, on the appearance side. But what’s always been most attractive to me is a sense of humor that rivals my own.

    • Haha I can see that. Shoulders are nice. I guess I don’t notice them off the bat though. Sense of humor is probably the strongest pull for people. It can make us attracted to people just because they make us laugh. So crazy.

  3. ZZ says:

    It depends on the culture. In the West, we think of a beautiful woman having prominent cheekbones, clear skin, big round eyes, symmetry (i.e. left and right sides look similar), and a curvy figure. I’ve heard it said that the reason we find all this attractive is that these features imply fertility and men are programmed by evolution to look for those.

    We’re all gonna change our behaviour around beautiful people. We can’t help it. We’re going to give them more attention, smile at them more, laugh more at their jokes, and give them more chances when they screw up.

    I think it’s a burden for beautiful people like our host, because they have to be extra sensitive to this and try to figure out when someone is treating them well just because of their looks. Full marks to Lily for being so thoughtful on the subject.

    • You bring up a good point ZZ. I’ve definitely seen people act differently because of the way someone looked. Haha you don’t have to call me beautiful. You haven’t even seen me in real life. I’m not for everyone! But yeah I know what you mean. People can treat you a different way if they think you’re ugly or pretty. The best kind of people don’t judge either way. Thanks ZZ!

  4. I love your new designer Blog! Seriously… it’s awesome! You’re gonna have to design one for me. I’m sick of my Winslow Homer painting. hahaha! Great post. The Taylor Hansen picture cracked me up. He basically was you. LOL! MM Bop!

    • Well thank ya! I honestly didn’t really do anything–it’s a free wordpress theme so I just clicked a button and I had a brand new blog! We can look at some sweet designs when I come home.
      Thanks! MMM Bop is a classic song. God Bless the Hanson brothers. Even Issac.

  5. erinorange says:

    Yeah it’s weird, even if someone’s nasty I would still be attracted to them if they had full lips, that’s because mine are rubbish – I think I want to have theirs – not in a silence of the lambs kind of way.
    I loved Hanson too – major crush on the youngest one – Zac? I remember thinking I heard someone at school saying I looked like Hanson and I was secretly over the moon – totally not thinking – ‘yeah, they’re boys.’

    • Hahah not in a silence of the lambs kind of way! How do I know you don’t have a collection of full lips in your bedroom? How do you feel about Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s lips or Eddie Redmayne’s? Too full? I don’t think so…I love them!
      You were smart for thinking Zach was cute. I didn’t realize how cute he was until it was too late! I like that someone said you looked like Hanson. Like, the entire band.

      • erinorange says:

        Anyone with any type of lip will do – my top one is so very teeny – I have a lipgloss that stings your lips and makes them swell up, so it’s all good πŸ™‚ (apart from when you forget you have it on and kiss someone and they’re like what the f***! woops!)
        I know – if only I’d known back then that they meant I generally looked like three boys – I think it was my penchant for a baggy jean and messy hair…o dear.

  6. Can the guys just say what they wanna say?


    There, I said it! I said what every SINGLE GUY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD likes but doesn’t just come out and say. And sure, they might LIE about it. But, boobs are the truth. They aren’t the ONLY thing, but seriously.

    Never hear someone say “wow, that flat chested, dirty looking, smelly, pajama pants wearing, one toothed woman over there MIGHT have an attractive personality, I am gonna go engage her in conversation” no…never EVER happens to anyone EVER.

    Guys think “look at those boobs, they might even have brains in them! I am gonna go find out!”

    But I dunno. I’m a really ugly guy and never had women approach me……….probably because I didn’t have boobs……

    • I like how your example of a girl with no boobs is dirty looking and smelly and has one tooth. A lot of models have no boobs. So you wouldn’t want to date one of them? You’re not a really ugly guy! I think you look cute in your picture! I like your hair.
      But yeah grow boobs. Men and women will be attracted to you then!

      • No boobs doesn’t equal those things. Those things are just there along for the ride. You can have biggin’s and someone will talk to you no matter how much of a butter face you are.

        Well thanks, maybe your best friend will be mine too.

  7. unfetteredbs says:

    Like the new look Lily. I am a little afraid of your premise that spouses tend to morph into one another. I am either going to grow a giant head, humungo feet and lose my hair or he is going to shrink about 14 inches.. either way it ain’t pretty.

    • Thanks Audra! Well, I meant more facial characteristics, but if your husband shrunk 14 inches you could call Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and become famous. So that could be exciting!

      • unfetteredbs says:

        yea but then I would be arrested for voodooo head shrinkin.. haaa mmm now there is a wifely talent eh?

  8. I have absolutely no idea what specifically turns me on physically about a woman.
    But I recognize it when I see it.
    Personality wise, smarter than me, with a sense of humor.
    Gets me every time.

    • Lol I was afraid that people were going to think that I was calling myself pretty. No no no! I’m definitely not everyone’s type. Luckily I whitened out a lot of my face in my avatar…! haha

  9. I think you just wrote this because you wanted us to compliment the new look of your blog. Well, it totally looks good on the surface but it’s also pretty great on the inside too.

    What you said about complimenting people on something they have control over reminded me of today when I took C to a baby gym class (yes I am becoming that mother.) There was this other kid there with really cute cheeks and at some point I said to her mom “Your baby has really cute cheeks!”, as if the mom had anything to do with it. It was weird, but I can’t really pinpoint how. I guess I never imagined myself complimenting some random baby’s face.

    • Yeah it’s a weird thing. I love when I get compliments on my freckles. I’m glad people like them, but I have no control over them. I guess we want to feel proud of ourselves for having good genes or something, but it’s just weird.

      Thanks for the blog compliment! I’m glad it’s the full package–beauty inside and out! πŸ˜€

    • Whattt?! I think she’s gorgeous! But yeah if I think about John Voight being her dad, it’s like eeewww. But yeah, this is what I was talking about–different tastes!

  10. Addie says:

    I like (how to say this without sounding like someone in Deliverance) a nice mouth with fuller lips, as mine are thin. I also like a man not to be in perfect shape. I’m not talking way out of shape, just sort of squidgy. A little. And the trait I like is a sense of humor with a laugh to go with it.

  11. I Think it human nature, we always look for the outer appearance first. We might admire the person’s apperance but it does not mean we admire/like the person’s personality already.
    Just like any girl too, I like to hear people say I am pretty or beautiful :)..

    • You’re definitely right. It takes longer to see what someone is like on the inside than just glancing at them on the outside. It’s nice to be genuinely complimented huh? πŸ™‚

  12. rohan7things says:

    Great post πŸ™‚ The thing that attracts me most, physically at least, is uniqueness or difference. I really can’t stand “perfect” looking women, where all sign of individual personality have been bleached, dyed, dieted or cosmetic surgery’d out.

    I’ve always been attracted to people who many would not necessarily consider “attractive”, I know it’s a cliche but it really is what’s inside that’s important. I’ve gone out with cheer leaders and models (brag brag), but if we don’t get along really well on a personality level, then no amount of good looks is going to sustain a relationship.

    Really interesting post, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚


    • Thanks for commenting Rohan! That’s good that you’ve dated all different kinds of women. It’s cliche, but it’s true. Wouldn’t you rather have someone you could talk to for hours, who really understands you, than just a pretty face/body? I mean, both would be good, but if you had to choose, I think most people would go for inner beauty. But maybe not…

      Thanks again!

      • rohan7things says:

        Oh definitely inner beauty, every time. If you like one night stands then I guess you could go for looks every time, but if you want an ongoing thing then it needs to be more.

        Whenever I’ve thought “Wow, I would look cool being seen with her” it’s always ended quickly. When I’ve thought “Wow, I could spend a lot of time with her” it always works better πŸ™‚

        Beauty is a complex thing.


  13. I like a dignified, straight-laced woman and:

    “I like big butts and I can not lie
    You other brothers can’t deny
    That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
    And a round thing in your face
    You get sprung
    Wanna pull up tough
    Cuz you notice that butt was stuffed
    Deep in the jeans she’s wearing
    I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring”

    And, of course, she must be modest, too.

    • I’m getting some mixed signals. But I think I understand the gist of what you were trying to get across. A girl can never actually be modest with a big butt though. It’s all people will see. I wasn’t blessed with junk in the trunk, thankfully. My jeans fit just fine! Not like Kim Kardashians…

  14. Pete Howorth says:

    I am partial to an excellent sense of humour, anyone prudish or stuck up I’ll more than likely not even bother speaking to. Physical traits I find attractive I’d say are freckles, you can’t beat freckles. Curly hair is another thing I’m attracted to. I dunno why; it’s just the best hair. Though saying that I still don’t find Hurley from Lost attractive.

    • I don’t have curly hair, but I do have freckles and a good sense of humor, so basically you’re in love with me, right? Haha jk jk. Lol about Hurley. He definitely has a crazy fro going on. My brother and dad have super curly hair and I somehow missed out on that gene. I don’t know if I would be able to handle that kind of hair though. I would end up looking like Hurley.

      • Pete Howorth says:

        Why do you think I have a shrine of you in my cupboard? Like Helga from Hey Arnold; except I cut out pictures of curly hair from the internet and glue them over your head. Your head is made from bubblegum that I’ve dotted with permanent marker for freckles.

        The good thing about the internet is, you don’t know if I’m joking or not :O :O

  15. I once read an article claiming we in fact search for a partner that looks like us. We’re attracted to people who remind us of ourselves.
    O the narcists we are!
    Difficult questions though. I’m mostly attracted to people who pay attention to me. Does that count as well? πŸ˜‰

    • That article definitely makes sense to me! I think it’s good that you are attracted to people that are attracted to you. That’s very healthy. I was always like that too. I didn’t understand girls who didn’t like someone who liked them! Hmmm.

    • LOL hahah well she was intrigued by my hair color. She said, “I bet you’ve never dyed your hair in your life!” I wish. And she was like, “You must feel lucky to have your face.” HOW DOES SOMEONE RESPOND TO THAT? Yes? Uh I guess? Kind of awk but definitely flattering! πŸ˜€

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