Monday, 19 October 2009

Do Looks Really Matter?

I think this is one of the first things if not the absolute first things that people consider in marriage. Somehow more so guys than girls or maybe my viewpoint is based mostly from what I've noticed among the Desi (Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi) culture. Or maybe because I haven't spent time reading too many girls' profiles or girls tend not to talk about looks even if they desire a good-looking husband. I don't want to imply that it's wrong to want someone you are attracted to, infact, it is important to at least feel some attraction. What I dislike is when people tend to give it more importance than anything else or it is their sole consideration.

It seems like some people are obsessed about looks and that's all they can see/talk about. They don't care about your religious values or to ask about anything else. They can only talk about pictures, meeting you in person, or describe how pretty they think you are, etc. Sometimes they are easy to spot because their profile includes words like "pretty, beautiful, fair, slim" and it concerns me to talk to them because I'm not sure if this is the sole reason they contacted me. And when I talk of other things, it comes across as though they've never thought about it as their response is rather vague.

I once read a sad debate among Muslim guys on a popular Muslim blog about how "ugly women" have the least chance of getting married because women are more in number therefore even "ugly men" can find a beautiful wife simply because of the ratio. Seems like they are looking for "trophy wives". SubhanAllah. I wonder how many women will marry a man with such thinking.

Didn't the prophet (pbuh)'s hadith talk of marrying a woman for her religion? And a similar hadith telling fathers to marry their daughters to a man who is good in character and takes care of his religion? A beautiful person will be pleasing to the eyes as long as they do not offend you. I believe a good character is most pleasing to the heart and most essential for a happy marriage and that remains my key point in my search.

11 comments: said...

I completely agree with you. And as you said it much more of a problem with the brothers. However, I have seen it start to creep up lately with the sisters. Personally I believe everyone is good looking in their own way (after all Allah SWT created them). In all honesty a man can be the best looking man on earth but if the words tha come out of his mouth are ugly and his behavior is ugly....the truth of the matter is he is, in fact, ugly himself.

single4now said...

Very true and well said. Somehow I feel many Muslim men are letting religion slip out of their hands. They are forgetting that just because a girl wears a hijab doesn't mean she's religious, the same way simply keeping a beard doesn't make a man more religous. It's the total package that counts. And what appears outwardly may not be a true representation of that. The outer shell might attract us initially but it's what's inside (in the heart and mind) is what'll keep one's interest.

SoulSeek said...

Why are some men like this?

For a muslim guy who has saved himself for marriage, you have to understand that was the most difficult challenge in their life. Yes it really is that difficult for a number of men in this society.

I'm not justifying why they do it just stating the obvious.

Now me and a number of brothers agree a good women is more important than looks but I also believe that both parties should some sort of mutual attraction.

For those that keep trophy wives deserve all they get.

single4now said...

But shouldn't a good Muslim man think of saving himself for the best? Not saying there's anything wrong with wanting to be attracted to your spouse but some men can't see anything past looks. And that is their number one priority which I dislike.

I want my husband to appreciate me for who am (my character, my deen) and not not soley because of what I look like or how attractive he thinks I am. Guys who are only looking for the attraction factor are taking a big risk for the lifelong commitment called marriage.

SoulSeek said...

They should but because it's so difficult to find a decent Muslimah, most guys either give up and get married back home or just hold out. It's an instinct they have to fulfil like thirst. It's inherent.

That said this is another topic on the cards, so I'll leave it at that :)

single4now said...

lol, I'm looking forward to that. Infact, I've got an idea for a post myself. Hopefully, not the same as what you are thinking.

Usman said...

I am personally not looking for a "beautiful girl". But guess what, My mom does. She does want her daughter in law to be beautiful enough. Same thing happened when my elder brother got married. My mother was anxious over the complexion of her daughter in law since in her view She(the bride) was not "as beautiful as his son is". This attitude is very common among Pakistani families. Or should I say Pakistani WOMEN. That said most of the time, at least in Pakistan, these are the Women who are looking for a beautiful bride instead of man in question.

I'm curious how would you reflect on that

single4now said...

Attraction is important and if you see that in the girl you plan to marry then you should be able to convince your mother of that irrespective of what your mother defines as beauty.
I think the understanding is that if the wife/daughter-in-law is beautiful, the marriage will last longer. This is not true because people who are attractive get married and divorce each other every single day. So beauty obviously can't save a marriage.
The second reason might be pressures of society. The mothers might be thinking about what the relatives and neighbours will think if their daughter-in-law is not fair or extremely pretty. So, they are not really thinking about what's important is whether their son is happy with the girl's looks and that she is of good character which means she will be respectful, loving, kind, and everything else one would need for a strong marriage.

Anonymous said...

i find the religious guys to be more fixated on look as they believe by being pious they deserve something better. my mom says "a daughter in law is like a decoration in the house, she has to be pretty to make the house look good". *shakes head* but my brother goes along with her thinking.

Saad said...


I don't think looks matter when you go for a life time relationship like marriage. There was a time I used to think that way (Because I'm a guy with below average look so my thinking was that I should never think about marriage with a pretty girl) but now I have realized that its our own mind that presents someone as beautiful or lovely. If you like someone for whatever he/she is as a whole, you will definitely find him attractive (as far as I have experienced). Regarding mothers: They always think their son is the most prettiest boy on earth (even if it is someone like me :P) and only some hoor from heaven will be suitable to marry him.

single4now said...

Walaikum assalaam Saad,

Well said. Each person has their own idea of what beauty is or isn't. But the marriage won't survive on beauty alone if the personalities clash.