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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > Beauty and Dating

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Differences in Cultural Standards of Beauty and Dating

"Different Strokes for Different Folks"

Today I read an article In Yahoo about Jennifer Love Hewitt's new, slimmer body and her bodacious dieting tips. She even bares her bod on the cover of Shape Magazine. Huh? Dieting tips?

I have shoes that are larger than her dress size! Yet she and women like her grace the covers of many mainstream magazines, and are often viewed as sex symbols in the American culture.

Forgive me if I'm not being “politically correct”...but these wafer-thin women wouldn't even merit black book status with the brothers. Sorry, but cuties with little boodies need not apply.

Heck, even Tyra Banks, the “Sports Illustrated” model turned talk show host stated that her large bosom was in vain because men of color typically prefer chicks with “junk in the trunk”.

Truth be told, beauty standards vary from culture to culture, (and there are no absolutes), but just the same, they play an integral role in dating and attraction factors.  And I can attest as a woman who since my college days has worn every dress size from a 3 to a 12, size matters.

This is certainly not to suggest that men of the Caucasian persuasion don’t dig voluptuous women; some do. Take for instance the new reality dating series, More to Love.  On this weekly program, larger size gals get to show off their many assets and compete for the affections of guys who prefer plus size women, and turn away from their petite peers.

In the words of Whitney’ ex, Bobby Brown, “It’s your prerogative.”

So how do aesthetic preferences differ for dudes of varying races?

I put a poll to the public and here’s what they’ve said:

“Yes, I do believe that men of different cultures vary in what they consider to be attractive. For example, when we travel to the islands inhabited by people of color, unlike men in the United States, the Island men prefer heavier women. And it stands to reason, even today, that men still living under oppression still adhere to a Eurocentric standard of beauty which is why Kanye West was quoted as saying he likes "mutts" or women of mixed racial heritage.”
~ T.T. Steph, 38

“For Black men booty is in the eyes of the beholder!”
~ Anonymous, 39

“From my understanding, I think Black men like curvaceousness and big booties and our European counterparts like European standards of being skinny.  I am not familiar with other cultures.  However, there are some men that just love women.  They just have to breathe!”
~ Shorty Long, 31

“I believe the stereotype is that Black men prefer big butts, while white men prefer big breasts. And I know plenty of men who have preferences outside of the stereotype. However, I think categorizing is a form of prejudice that keeps us from appreciating that individual choice is the only path to happy relationships.”
~ The Ultimate Poet, 58

“Black men prefer women with more meat on their bones than whites.” And I would venture to say that my more educated friends opt for thinner girls comparatively.”
~ Frances, 37

 “Yes, I believe that men of different races differ in what they consider as being attractive in women. Since their mothers/sisters are the first females that we see, they will form first impressions of attractiveness.  Some cultures place a premium on heavy-set women, although small-proportioned or thin women seem to be more appealing by Western Culturestandards. Hair styles also differ widely by culture, from short/bald to long waist-length hair being attractive. Depending upon the culture in which you grew up, and the media exposure they now receive, men will form their various opinions on what is 'beautiful' in their eyes.”
~ Mr. Greenwall, 49

So there you have it, folks. What’s your take on this topic? Weigh in at!


Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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