Does Society Affect Our Attractions?
In February 2018, Vice released an article specifically addressing the subject of a Transgender dating demographic. One quote from the transgender woman and writer, Abigail Curlew, is:
“[she isn’t suggesting it’s] imperative to be attracted to trans women…[but] your attraction is shaped by preconceived notions and stereotypes.”
Curlew begs us, although seemingly only cisgendered heterosexual men, to “critically reflect on the factors that might shape your attractions.”
In the conclusion, Curlew understands that dating preferences are simply, well, preferences, and discourages people to view videos such as Riley J. Dennis’ controversial vlog which stating everyone should essentially be…bisexual(?)…are harmful to the transgender community- which is true. Curlew’s article has been circulating across my social media for the last two months and continues to get a variety of comments, especially from the heterosexual community. Some of the heinous comments make me wonder if people are actually buying the Straight Pride pin off Amazon…but I digress.
I’ve definitely questioned myself after reading Curlew’s article. Is society truly affecting our attraction to other people? Within the media, I see countless interracial couples, various age gaps, and even dating within the transgender community, as seen recently with Laverne Cox showcasing her new boyfriend. Society has been progressing over the last decade and it still continues to move forward today. Just look at current commercials: What once was fully of busty blondes – essentially becoming the term All American – we now see more ethnically ambiguous persons advertising love and a happy home. We’re moving ahead as a society, and while we aren’t where we all want to be yet. Progression doesn’t happen overnight. With more positive influences in the media and society, I fully expect to witness an abundance of complete opposites dating. However, to say society is the reason we have dating preferences is a bit fickle.
Personally speaking, I find myself arguably attracted to a wide variety of personalities and bodies. Typically, I have a type, and that is Older, but I’m known to be a little flexible. In the same breath, I know there is a huge dating scene – although much more closeted – for heterosexual men and the transgender women community. Everyone has a niche and will seek out what turns them on the most. There’s nothing wrong with that, but rejection takes the most control over an ego, which leads to ridiculous vlogs and blogs of people whining they are being discriminated against for dating preferences. Some people truly are cruel and rude, yes, but I’m failing to see the big issue with dating preferences.
I frequently joke through various articles about my desperation while being single, but I act almost as if I can’t get a man to turn his neck as I walk pass. That’s not true. I get hit on, plenty, yet I remain single by choice – as I want to genuinely be attracted to someone and not force feed myself some bogus relationship for the sake of comfort, loneliness, or sharing memories together on social media. I’ve been attracted to an endless amount of men who aren’t attracted to me. People merely have a type and don’t tend to sway far from it.
We could sit here all day and argue the hypocrisy in the dating game. I’ve encountered plenty of jocks – for the lack of a better term – who have turned me away for being too feminine. Yet, I see them in a crop top and booty shorts in the club while they’re on GHB with their arms around a local Drag Queen screaming “YAS!” I’ve ghosted on an older man once (or twice) and gave him a cold shoulder when he requested a reason. I never gave one, which he without reason alleged it was age difference– only to spot me on a date with a man his age a few weeks later.
I would also absolutely laugh in your face if you told me I had to be attracted to an 18-year-old College Student who had a crush on me. That’s never going to happen. Why is age the only justified reason for not being attracted to someone? I wouldn’t have anything in common with a teenager – especially be attracted to one – but if he is attracted to me, does that mean I must automatically give him a chance? NO!
In my opinion, we’ve got to stop putting pressure on someone for having a preference in dating and stop labeling it transphobic, femmephobic, racist, or the like. Are we all so narcissistic and vein that we must blame others for not finding us attractive? What ever happened to “there’s plenty of other fish in the sea?" Is that phrase long dead since we live in too politically correct society? It’s time to stop with the excuses. Wherever your from, whomever did you wrong, didn’t be who you wanted them to be- anything. It cannot be about other people anymore and how they’ve affected our mentality. It’s up to us to find love and consensual relationships. It’s time to stop trying to force them.
This post is the opinion of this contributing writer to Instinct Magazine. Opinion pieces do not always reflect the stance of the magazine or the other contributing writers.