Investment in Aesthetics

Health, Fitness, Insurance, ...
7Wannabe5
Posts: 2847
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Investment in Aesthetics

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:29 am

Given that money is a form of social contract, and appearance is an undeniably important factor in social relationships, what forms of investment in aesthetics do you believe will give you the best payoff? For instance, I think most rational, frugal people would agree that some time spent exercising rather than working for $$ at a desk would be a good investment because it will tend towards improving your appearance, mental and physical health and vigor available for other activities. But, how much time/money would you be willing to invest in any practice, product or procedure that would improve your appearance up 10% by objective standards with the goal of improving your financial or economic trading status?

IOW, I am imagining a scenario where you know that your appearance would objectively be rated as 5, and you have an important job interview tomorrow that will increase your income by Y/hr., and I am willing to sell you a money-back-guaranteed potion that will make you into a 6 for $X or a 7 for $2X, or an 8 for $3X, what would your X and Y be? And, what practices, products and procedures do you believe would best approximate such a potion?

Scott 2
Posts: 832
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by Scott 2 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:09 am

I think this comes back to - "who do you want to be?" and presenting consistently with that role.

I typically prefer to be left alone, so I often leave the house in athletic shorts, a t-shirt, sandals with socks, sun glasses, and uncombed hair. Quite cheap, and it works!

For work / social, I do the bare minimum to not be excluded. That usually comes down to pants without an elastic waist, combing my hair, and a shave if I've started to look homeless. I'll wear a collared shirt and closed toe shoes for work. I spent years in a start-up professional environment wearing track pants and t-shirts, succeeding in a technical role despite my total lack of effort on appearance.

Admittedly, the standard is completely different for women.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 2847
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:35 am

@Scott2: Good point that it depends on how you wish others to respond and where you plan on presenting yourself. It is my understanding that although the tech field does not care about clothing, it does care about age. So, if somebody who looked like Mrs. Santa Claus or Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith Show at age 60 applied for a tech job vs. somebody who looked like Christie Brinkley at age 60, there might be some level of discrimination applied?

User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 716
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by fiby41 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:04 am

All my clothes formal/informal, watches, shoes etc. are chosen/selected/bought by my parents or gifts from relatives.

I hate shopping. Whatever little sense of judgement I may have had is gone by now and I trust their choice more than mine. This way I don't have to second-guess and compare.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 5314
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by jennypenny » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:50 am

I'm torn about this. Other than coloring my hair (I went grey in college), I've always thought that clean and appropriately dressed was enough. Some of the comments on the forum have made me question that though. There have been several threads about women not taking care of themselves or letting themselves go or otherwise looking older than men their age, and how that made them undesirable. Add to it the threads about men cheating, and I panicked a little. I guess I'd always assumed that my interesting personality was enough. Apparently, it's not, so I've upped my game a little. I have no desire to look like the botox barbies in Stepford, but I'm working much harder at looking younger and more stylish, and I'm even considering having a little work done. It's so unlike me, but I'd rather work too hard at trying to keep my husband interested than not hard enough--the potential downside for the latter petrifies me.

Scott 2
Posts: 832
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by Scott 2 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:35 pm

The standard is different for women, even in tech.

I've believe the age discrimination is real. My personal experience has been it's unusual for talent to stick around doing them same thing into their sixties. Just because it's a stereotype and all that.

User avatar
TopHatFox
Posts: 1346
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm
Location: NY; 23

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by TopHatFox » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:29 pm

@7Wannabe

There are entire sections on Youtube dedicated to "improving aesthetics". For example: https://www.youtube.com/user/AlphaMconsulting.

Frankly, I think it's a little over the top to worry about every little detail--there are more important things to do, like projects, skill-gaining, relationship building, etc.-- but emphasis on aesthetic is certainly important on getting the most out of social relations and other parts of life. The biggest "gains" can be had by eating healthfully, exercising, drinking plenty of water, taking good care of teeth, getting classic clothing that fit well, showering cold & exfoliating skin, choosing the most complimenting hairstyle and glasses (if you use those) for your face shape, and generally presenting a confident demeanor, whether that's a confident ESTP or INFJ.

I'd only consider physically altering my appearance with surgery if there's a predominant functional component, such as with orthognathic surgery. Surgery is expensive, and altering the body using foreign objects can have adverse effects, such as infection, follow-up procedures, etc.
Last edited by TopHatFox on Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
GandK
Posts: 1924
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by GandK » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:51 pm

Good topic.

My baseline is "healthy looking and attractive to my spouse." Mood management is about half of this issue for me... unhappy people are always unhealthy and unattractive. Walking/jogging 2+ miles per day, sleeping 8+ hours per night, eating well and staying hydrated comprises most of my daily beauty routine, therefore. It keeps me happy and keeps my weight from creeping up.

I otherwise spend about $25/mo (average) on beauty and health products, more than half of which is a SPF/retinol face cream that I apply twice a day. This sum includes all facial, skin and hair care products. I like the results of my current routine. So does G, so... win. I'm on course. I am not willing to spend more, to answer the question.

I've never had or considered elective medical procedures. I also do not dye my hair and have no plans to. I want my actual age to register with people and graying hair is helpful with that. I otherwise look young for my age, which is not ideal because people, especially men, tend not to take younger women seriously. It was fun to mess with people's expectations in my 20s but now I just find misogyny annoying. I'm pleased when people think I look good for 42, but I find there's no real social advantage in someone taking me for 32. Everyone who loves me already knows I'm 42 or thereabouts. Whom would I be deceiving by hair dye and surgery, then? Strangers? And to what end?

I'm also suspicious about how much ROI elective medical procedures actually have. A lot of women start out OK with plastic surgery but they can't leave well enough alone and they eventually end up looking like those creatures in Star Trek: Insurrection that keep getting their faces stretched. I'm way more afraid of becoming that woman than I've ever been of wrinkles.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 2847
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:25 pm

@jennypenny:

I have had a little bit of very good work done, and my judgment would be well worth the cost. Especially, if you compare to monthly cost of buying even drugstore-level expensive unguents which do not work nearly as well. Two frugal shopping tips would be that it is much better to have minor work done repeatedly starting when you are relatively young rather than one major work when you are older, and you need to choose a practitioner (not necessarily certified surgeon, I saved a ton by using a talented DO dermatologist) who is more artist than plumber.

I used to be appalled at the notion, but about 10 years ago, an older Mom-friend of mine was going through a terrible phase where she was working full-time at a professional career, commuting 3 hours/day, dealing with two not very well-behaved teenagers, and a relatively fit and attractive-looking husband of same age as her who was having an affair. She was over-eating and over-shopping to compensate. Then she got a tummy-band procedure, dropped maybe 80 lbs (she was quite short), started exercising regularly once the weight was gone, got her boobs lifted/enhanced and something done to her facial skin. She had a brief retaliatory affair, but her now empty-nest marriage is going great. She and her husband both let their hair go pure silver, so they look like one of those young/old couples in an ad for Viagra. My thought at the time was that she had come up with a sort of alternative feminist solution to her problem because she used the money she earned from her successful career to fund it. Of course, I also observed that the stress from her successful career was partial cause of the problem in the first place.

Anyways, if you aren't carrying excess central body fat, and you think that you still look okay wearing your hair long, and you are still making yourself available sexually, you are likely doing better than 85% of your peers, and there is no way in heck any sort of rational-frugal husband is going to risk marriage for the open market. If you do find yourself on the open market, 7 years is about break-even on the gender divide So, if you want to date men your own age, all other things being equal, you might have to carefully budget around $2000-$5000, which only works out to about $12.50 month max towards drugstore unguents if otherwise invested. So, it's really an easy call IF that is what you want.

I am contemplating this matter again because due to the fact that I am morbidly curious and knowledgeable about data/statistics, I recently determined that I am in the top 15% ( but not the top 5% :evil: ) of attractiveness for women aged 46-53 in my region, and I was wondering if I had any possible motivation for improving that statistic. Then I read a new study on the topic of waist-to-hip ratio which indicated that although women with .7 waist-to-hip ratios were judged to be the most attractive in BMI underweight, healthy weight, and overweight silhouettes by a cross-cultural population of men and women, the overweight .7 WHR silhouette was judged to be 10 years older than the healthy weight .7 WHR silhouette. Since this statistical analysis was strikingly in alignment with a recent comment informing me that I have "a perfect body for a mature woman", I am forced to accept the fact that it may be in my self-interest to lose approximately 15 lbs. However, this is mitigated by the fact that I already have 1-3 (debatable at the moment) very attractive lovers, and I have no intention of applying for a job, and my health is very good.

Anyways, I figure that if I am going to go to the trouble of losing 15 lbs, I might as well figure out what else I might do to crack that 5% ceiling, and what would be the most frugal way to do it. One of my sisters recently went all the way down to the bottom of the healthy BMI chart in weight loss, so I know that losing much more than 15 or 20 lbs would just make me look older in a different sort of scary bones-sticking-out-opposite-of-fat-don't-crack way.

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 3875
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by Ego » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:27 pm

This goes well with the "How are you different?" thread.

I try to be aware of the fact that there are people who control doors. Some of those doors are hidden within walls and many of the them open onto worlds I wouldn't have known existed if not for a nod from the gatekeeper. I don't always pander to gatekeepers but I do operate with the understanding that they exist and I try not to project an appearance that would automatically decline me from places I would like to enter.
7Wannabe5 wrote:Given that money is a form of social contract, and appearance is an undeniably important factor in social relationships, what forms of investment in aesthetics do you believe will give you the best payoff?
Signals. We naturally tend to focus on those signals we are projecting. But often it is the signals we are NOT projecting that get us through the first screening. Tattoos. Overweight/obesity. Unkempt appearance. Smoking/drugs/excessive drinking. Poor posture. Speaking incoherently. Failing to make eye contact. Unusual clothing that calls attention. Impoliteness.

While these signals may open some "cool" doors, I find they close many of the doors that are valuable over a lifetime. So, to answer your question, I guess it is most important to NOT signal something that will automatically rule you out.

Interestingly, people are so driven to express their individuality (in the same few ways) that they are clamoring to rule themselves out. Increasingly, all it takes to get invited into the best circles is to not break any of the most obvious rules.

And despite what outsiders say, where I live the gatekeepers are absolutely dying to increase diversity. Gender. Race. Age. Ethnicity. Orientation. Whatever. They want you if you are inherently different. They just don't want people who take on the trappings of "different" as a facade.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 9067
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by jacob » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:00 pm

In the macro-sense, I think ROI follows an S-curve where on the X-axis of appearance-investment can label the right hand side "cosmetologist" and the left hand side, "cosmologist".(*) Either side have very little incremental ROI on their "I". The biggest bang (ha!) for the buck is somewhere around the average visuals. I also note that focusing on one thing often takes effort away from some other thing. Why you rarely find a cosmetologist capable of discussing nucleosynthesis or a cosmologist being able to tie a tie without looking it up.

(*) We have one of each in the near family. The contrast is quite telling.

Average levels = showered recently, brushes teeth and still has almost all of them, wears clean clothes that mostly fits, facial/body hair under management, doesn't look addicted to crack or cookies.

Because of the well-known S-curve property, ROI is the highest at the average and so when required or desired, a lot of changes can be made from this baseline. Is it required or desired? That depends. If you're average and work in the astrophysics department, then other people might start worrying about your priorities should you suddenly start developing an interest in personal appearance. Conversely, should you be plying your numerical skills in investment banking or finer engineering, people would wonder what you're on about if you show up wearing flip flops. What sends positive signals in one environment sends negative ones in another.

(I once enjoyed a conference in some French mountains, I forget which---it was next to Italy, in which nuclear/astro scientists joined up with nuclear/reactor engineers and certain political heads of states complete with body men and guards. The contrast both in dress and behaviour just between science (bunch of slobs) and engineering (clean cut professionals) was staggering. The politicians were in a class by themselves and subject to much subsequent parody: "This is picture of Russian K-222 attack submarine. Fastest submarine in the world. Next slide please!! (Bodyman hits the mouse for the powerpoint presentation.)". There were also some discussion amongst the astro-bum grad students, possibly after a bit much French wine, as to whether we should have each other turning each others' slides after that presentation.)

Heavy changes are easily made from a position of average. It works on simple psychological triggers and the dress/make-up conventions that are derived from this. This is why make-up, corsets, shoulder pads, and shoe lifts work on the sexual/alpha/etc. power level. I guess everybody have seen those "before/after" natural/makeup compare and contrast floating around. It's a cheap and effective solution. The solution is therefore common. It can be achieved with special clothing and paint. Suits and haircuts for the men. Make-up and heels for the women. Or whatever ... and only if you need it.

I believe the "letting oneself go" statements has to do with falling significantly behind average, e.g. any one of teeth are falling out, pounds piling on/off, hasn't washed hair, wears inappropriate/holey clothes. For many people, some level of personal maintenance sets certain minimum standards. And as noted above, it's pretty easy to exceed standards around the point of average.

In the micro-sense, I think aesthetics is more about sending subtle signals for those in the know. This is more of a tribal thing. For example, investment bankers doing the Lehman handshake (instead of shaking hands, you grab each others ties and turn them around to inspect the label), physicists noting that this guy is so busy discovering the secret of the universe that he can't be bothered to cut his hair, or hair stylists or architects doing whatever it is that I'm too much an aesthetic imbecile to recognize. This goes for everything. Hunters wearing camo patterns in their polo shirts. Fitness enthusiasts being able to recognize if other people work out with the same goals or different goals (the body shape is revealing).

During my brief Wall Street career I've also noted the different levels of projecting image when it comes to wealth. At the noob level, you have either cheap suits and casual khaki/flipflop/polo. Then once people start making money, they move into $100 jeans and restaurant meals. But once people make a lot of money, they move back/forward to whatever they feel comfortable in because they no longer have to give a shite about projecting image. Then they start sending other signals. Example the Steve Jobs uniform. This is a form of micro-signalling.

So the macro-signalling is communicating value to those who don't know. It works on primeval triggers. Females communicate youth/fertility (make up-> full lips/big eyes, narrow waist). Males communicate power/dominance (broad shoulders, tallness, expensive possessions). Micro-signalling is communicating value to those who do know. It works by convention or in-tribe/out-tribe.

PS: If you want to judge some ERE people by how they look, see viewtopic.php?p=120257#p120257
PPS: In case you didn't recognize me, I'm the one with the cut-off t-shirt FU-level dress code. Also, it was 90F and I was melting/dying. Lots of ERE-anthropology going on in these pics :-P

wood
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by wood » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:38 pm

I workout almost everyday for on average 45 minutes. I would only double this amount if it improved my appearance and health immensely (more than 10% boost). Without a full time job though, I'd probably double the amount of time spent on workout for free, because despite the exhaustion I find it fun. I'm pretty happy with the way I look anyway and I only use a few cheap, basic products (deodorant, hair wax, shampoo, shaving foam). Minimum effort/maximum gain when it comes to clothes/appearance puts me pretty much at average I think, and upping my looks noticably would take too much effort in time/money to be worth it to me.

But...One thing thats increasingly on my radar is coloring my hair. I'm 31 and it's slowly turning grey. A few grey stripes now makes me wonder if I will be full grey at 35, something which freaks me out a bit. I'm used to look young for my age but that's changing rapidly and its scary. I know people who colored their hair until age 50-55. Those men looked good, I wanna be like that. I don't know how much I'd be willing to pay, maybe $10/month, which puts me at a nominal $2500 or so before I let it go 20+ yrs from now. And I guess it would be better to start now instead of waiting until it already is half grey to avoid all the questions/comments. I have no idea about the ROI on that investment apart from wanting to like what I see in the mirror every day.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1688
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by IlliniDave » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:35 pm

Probably won't be a surprise, but for me not much above basic hygiene and grooming. And much of that is for comfort as much as appearance. For the most part aesthetically pleasing (or at least not aesthetically displeasing) and functional/healthy go hand-in-hand. I will spend some (I hesitate to say, "invest") for the sake of functionality/health. I also spend money and effort to meet the minimum expectations of my work environment. I'm not a people person so my appearance isn't buying me much financially or otherwise. I just have to avoid being repulsive.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 2847
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:25 pm

GandK said: I'm also suspicious about how much ROI elective medical procedures actually have. A lot of women start out OK with plastic surgery but they can't leave well enough alone and they eventually end up looking like those creatures in Star Trek: Insurrection that keep getting their faces stretched. I'm way more afraid of becoming that woman than I've ever been of wrinkles.
Wrinkles are not so bad. You are still young, so you do not know the variety of issues you may have to choose to deal with or not (sigh.) My problem was that I had a very round face when I was young, but my cheeks started falling off of my bones as I aged. At cheekbone level this actually might be a minor improvement in my appearance, but below mouth level, it had the effect of making me look like I felt sad when my face was at repose. I am a pretty happy person, so it started to drive me crazy when passing strangers would feel compelled to say something like "Cheer up, buttercup." to me, and two different men that I dated were always saying things like "You are so pretty when you smile. You should smile more often." So, I had the bottom of my cheeks lifted back up and behind my ears, but with an err-on-the-side of leaving my skin loose rather than stretched tight aesthetic in mind. I don't believe that anybody I haven't told ever has a clue or notion that I had the surgery. In fact, I've experienced people talking about other people's bad plastic surgery in my presence. Bad results are obviously way more noticeable than good results, so there is a negative bias. You have to consider what will constitute a reasonably natural look. If I ever get to the point that I really want a breast-lift, I will definitely choose the half moon shape that leaves the breast with a bit of top concavity. Also, it is not a time-machine. If you attempt too much, you will regret it. In terms of procedure/pain/downtime, it was better than a root canal. It's just sort of an odd thing in our culture that spending money on fixing any sort of problem with teeth is acceptable, but not skin or hair.
Ego said: While these signals may open some "cool" doors, I find they close many of the doors that are valuable over a lifetime. So, to answer your question, I guess it is most important to NOT signal something that will automatically rule you out.
jacob said: So the macro-signalling is communicating value to those who don't know. It works on primeval triggers. Females communicate youth/fertility (make up-> full lips/big eyes, narrow waist). Males communicate power/dominance (broad shoulders, tallness, expensive possessions). Micro-signalling is communicating value to those who do know. It works by convention or in-tribe/out-tribe.
Both very true. Because I am usually a curvy blonde, I sometimes have to consider whether I want to make myself look more or less dumb/intelligent and/or sexy/classy. There are very few literal doors that are closed to dumb/sexy blondes. They will welcome you at the yacht club and even provide free drinks, but then you have to use all of your big words if you want to be taken seriously as a cosmologist. Anyways, thinking about the macro-acceptability vs. the micro-acceptability gave me a bit of an ah-ha about my resistance to make any effort to join the 5%. Most of the women my age in my realm who would be deemed to be very attractive, look the same to me. I see them walking through the Whole Foods in the wealthy suburb north of me, and they look just like a row of McMansions. Like they all do the same workout at the same yoga or pilates studio, pick up the same assortment of prepared healthy stuff from the buffet, go to the same hair salons, buy their clothes at the same boutiques. B-O-R-I-N-G. My youngest sister would usually be described as "cute", and she used to dress like a very messy 12 year old boy, but she was once asked out on a date by one of the wealthiest men in the world (British tech-magnate), after she babbled at him at a party, not knowing who he was. I also had a friend, bookstore co-worker, who dated one of the 20 most eligible bachelors on the planet (extremely good-looking war/nature journalist.) She was much more conventionally attractive than my sister, but she didn't quite look like one of those boring wealthy suburban women either. Shall have to ponder.

User avatar
Dragline
Posts: 4450
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by Dragline » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:06 pm

Yes, but do they have the same noses? It's when people in an area start frequenting the same plastic surgeons is when it really gets weird.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 2847
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:25 pm

Dragline said: Yes, but do they have the same noses? It's when people in an area start frequenting the same plastic surgeons is when it really gets weird.
Many of them do seem to have the same nose. I think it is called the Charlize Theron. I will probably be forever barred entry to the 5% if I insist on sentimental attachment to the Ian McKellen I inherited from my father. OTOH, as GandK noted, being treated like a pretty baby by men can get pretty annoying after a while, and if I ever want that sort of thing all I need to do is date a guy who is more than 7 years older than me and then do my best Shirley Temple, Margaret O'Brien, Mark Lester or Benji impression. "Please, sir. I want some more?" never doesn't work. Humans are very impressionable, and all things are relative.

@zalo: Interesting link. IMO, Midwestern-winter middle-aged business casual is just about the worst possible style a man can wear. Half the time, I can't even judge within 30% how buff a man is (and believe me, I do try) until he takes his clothes off if he wears this style. The boys of my youth wore tight thread-bare jeans and suede and showed a lot of skin. Loose fitting khakis and a polo shirt with a Bill Cosby sweatshirt. It's like the masculine beauty equivalent of a burka.

@wood: I dated a man who was over 20 years older than me (silent generation!) and he colored his hair, and I think it did make him look younger. He was extremely good-looking in his youth. He lost one of his arms in a gunfight when he was 19, and he chopped wood to heat his large house and played basketball against two-armed people, so he had a hyper-developed upper-body musculature which is what I like. I often date older men, but the other man-candy factors always compensate. My current 61 year old married lover is probably in the top 3% of appearance for men his age. It's just happenstance that they always have a bajillion dollars more money than me and live in the biggest houses in the northern suburbs where the 5% women shop. If I knew where to find a good-looking, intelligent, dominant man with the same amount of money as me who wasn't a musician (or maybe any other combination of S and F) then I would date him too.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 2597
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by BRUTE » Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:20 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:Half the time, I can't even judge within 30% how buff a man is (and believe me, I do try) until he takes his clothes off if he wears this style.
brute once observed a police detective in a suit that was literally 2x as wide as him. it was ridiculous. the man must've lost 100lbs recently or something.

EdithKeeler
Posts: 429
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:59 pm

I don't invest much in aesthetics. My hair is going gray, but I hate coloring it and dealing with roots, etc. Truth be told, I sort of like my gray hair. Recently I was told by 2 people they were surprised I was 51, they thought I was about 45 or so, so I'm pleased about that. I rarely wear makeup, and when I do, it's pretty minimal (eyeliner, mascara, some lipstick). I do try to have nice clothes for work, and recently I've upped my game for weekends as I was looking a bit ratty. I keep my hair cut and styled for work, but usually pony-tail it on the weekends. Hairspray--I use a lot of hairspray and mousse.

Beyond that, I'm a freak for fancy soaps that smell good, wear deodorant daily, and shave my legs only for special occasions. I do get pedicures, and lately have been investing in massages.

I'm spending more time on managing my weight and working out, but that's more for health than aesthetics, really, though I'm pleased with the aesthetics.

Overall, I'm satisfied with how I am. I have no idea where I fall in the continuum of women my age, but I don't really care. I'm pretty content with how I look and feel.

User avatar
TopHatFox
Posts: 1346
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm
Location: NY; 23

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by TopHatFox » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:45 pm

@7Wannabe, how did you determine the top 5% or 15% or any percent for that matter?

I imagine in a US context, it shouldn't be too hard to exceed average aesthetics, especially as the average American ages! (SAAD diet, sedentary lifestyles, lack of money, TV, etc.).

I imagine it does become harder and harder to find compatible people in the higher echelons of aesthetic as we age, though! Something I'm definitely not taking for granted as I'm surrounded by pretty, college-educated women in their 20's who currently eat predominantly processed diets & drink more-than-moderately on weekends.

General Snoopy
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by General Snoopy » Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:07 am

It is easy to be better than average. About 2/3rds are either overweight or obese. Don't be fat and you will be in the top 1/3rd.

http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-informa ... stics.aspx

7Wannabe5
Posts: 2847
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:34 am

Edith Keeler said: Overall, I'm satisfied with how I am. I have no idea where I fall in the continuum of women my age, but I don't really care. I'm pretty content with how I look and feel.
BTDT. This is how I am dealing or responding to the stress of being in some kind of relationship with 3 very attractive men at the same time, and feeling like they are kind of circling in, or establishing set orbits, due to increasing proximity, intimacy and duration of relationships. Here are the kinds of things that are happening in my world. Because I will not have sex with the Peacemaker in a situation where his wife has rescinded open contract, his blood pressure went up so he started biking twice as much as he usually does and he lost 10 lbs. He bikes over to my camper-garden even when I am not there and chats with my neighbors. Last time I was there when he biked over, he took his shirt off to show me his now flat abs below his already buff upper musculature. Meanwhile, the Permaculture Manager is no longer attempting to have sex with me, but he is maintaining tight control over the management of my permaculture project, so he drives his pick-up over to my camper-garden even when I am not there, and drops off bales of hay, and then calls me up to give me a lecture on how I am not following his instructions properly. He makes derogatory comments about the way I am dressed almost every time I see him. He also removes his shirt when he helps me with manual labor. Meanwhile, the Cowboy,with whom I actually spend the most time lately, also comes over to my camper-garden to help me or give me stuff, and when he was pick-axing the hard-scrabble bed that the Permaculture Manager had previously worked on, he asked me "How big is this guy?!!" (all 3 are over 6'1" /190 lbs.) Also, relevant is the fact that due to this situation I am being fed too much because I am not doing a good job of sticking to my rule about only eating 2/3 as much as any man with whom I share food. I have shrunk down to somewhat less than 5'9", and I do not bike 36 miles a day, and I do not want to weigh over 190 lbs.
zalo said: how did you determine the top 5% or 15% or any percent for that matter?
Not super scientific, but you can run an artificial intelligence rate my photo app, or you can allow your photo to be rated by the general population or just your age peers on a dating site. Also, if you are female, hits per hour when you are logged in to your dating profile are a pretty accurate indicator that has been statistically analyzed with age as a factor. Doesn't work as well for males because females are more conservative in their hits. Of course, people are more or less photogenic, and in person chemistry/behavior is hugely influential, so take with serious grain of salt.
I imagine it does become harder and harder to find compatible people in the higher echelons of aesthetic as we age, though! Something I'm definitely not taking for granted as I'm surrounded by pretty, college-educated women in their 20's who currently eat predominantly processed diets & drink more-than-moderately on weekends.
General Snoopy said: It is easy to be better than average. About 2/3rds are either overweight or obese. Don't be fat and you will be in the top 1/3rd.

True and not true. It's mostly just different rather than worse or harder. For instance, I could dial up a buff guy in his 20s to deliver himself like a free pizza to my door, if that was what I wanted. However, if I am semi-consciously scanning a crowd for attractive men, I am usually going to "see" fit men in their late 30s or early 40s. It is ridiculous to attempt to look like a 19 year old when you are 69, but what will work to some extent is to try to look somewhat like somebody in their early 30s when you are in your early 50s, and then when you are in your early 70s you can attempt to look somewhat like somebody who is in their early 50s and attempting to look like early 30s-lol. Sort of an infinite semi-successful regression to latest-phase fertility appearance. IMHO, although it is absolutely true (and bad on me) that not being over-weight is helpful in this regard, being too skinny without seriously working on muscular maintenance past a certain age can also be quite detrimental to your appearance. My late 40s sister looked 10 years older and like somebody who was quite ill when she weighed 129 lbs. as opposed to 149 lbs at 5' 8". Of course, this varies with your inherent phenotype, somebody with a smaller frame, more delicate features, and more mesomorphic or ectomorphic figure might still look their best at 129 as they age. I am lucky because I actually look my best at an even higher healthy weight than my shorter-waisted and longer-limbed sister (our anti-competition contract formed when we were 14 and 15 is that she is the thin brunette artsy one and I am the curvy blonde nerdy one, our 3rd sister is the popular jock domme, and our 4th sister is the cute little baby/brat. We occasionally fight over clothing and cookies, but never over boys or men.) , but I shouldn't use that as a rationale for being somewhat overweight at the moment (sigh.)

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 3875
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by Ego » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:56 am

One of the things I like most about this place is that those who come here are very much unwilling to mortgage their future well-being for immediate gratification.

Some "procedures" are not all that different from dental work while others like the lap band procedure with the high complication/failure rate seems to be bordering on mortgaging future health for aesthetics. Same goes for maintaining extra pounds because plumpness looks healthier or younger. In the distant past the ideal beauty was plump, not because it signaled health but because it signaled wealth. Today we know better. Now everyone has the wealth to maintain plumpness and the challenge is in the opposite direction.

Plumpness stretches skin causing wrinkles to disappear, so plumper old people don't look all that different from plump young people. Youthful appearance vs health. Seeming vs being. Mortgaging future for immediate gratification.

Those who maintain a healthy weight are now outliers in the same way that those who are not in debt up to their eyeballs are outliers. Freaks. They are easy to caricature as cookie-cutter health freaks in the same way EREers can be caricatured as tightwad misers who don't know how to have fun :D.

The world is changing fast. Be careful of the new social comparisons you buy into without thinking about the consequences.

Now, I've got a mile to swim. ...

7Wannabe5
Posts: 2847
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:54 am

@Ego: According to the more individualized and complex calculators, the payoff in longevity for ME if I lost 20 lbs. would be approximately 1 year. The payoff for every year I delay menopause is 1.7 years. There is some level of mutual exclusivity in body fat percentage/bone density/estrogen-maintenance. I am not going to throw myself into a statistical pool with middle-aged men with skinny shanks and hard-high paunches and declining testosterone when I make decisions about my future health. I absolutely believe that I should lose some weight, but I also absolutely believe that for ME losing weight down to a BMI of 19 would be a very poor decision. It might actually be the case that for any given individual the circumstances under which they look the most attractive are pretty damn close to when they are the most healthy. Blind adherence to the extreme limitations of medical research and statistics at this point in history seems like highly risky behavior to me. If you can show me clear evidence that lowering BMI once a waist-to-hip ratio of .7 or less and a waist-to-height ratio of .42 or less is achieved increases longevity and vigor in middle-aged to elderly women then I will consider undertaking such a task. I also refuse to give a damn about my ability to perform a pull-up so long as I am able to attract others with relatively more upper body strength to wield a pick-ax. Also, given the clear statistical evidence I have offered that increased sexual frequency, corrected for other cardio-vascular risk factors, improves heart health statistics for men over the age of 40 by 45%, maintaining oneself as buff enough to attract females may be a good decision for any aging man even though it may have some mutual exclusivity with BMI. Lastly, the most "alive" woman in her 90s I ever met, showed up to a party we both attended a bit tipsy after preparing tiramisu to share, she was rather plump and not completely steady on her pins, but she was still living by herself and gardening all day long, and she told me about how she met the Dalai Lama when she was 49, and she thought she was an old lady among the young hippies then, but now she was twice that age. So there! (insert imaginary tongue-sticking-out emoticon.)

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 2597
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:08 pm

Ego wrote:Same goes for maintaining extra pounds because plumpness looks healthier or younger.
is the type of plumpness that looks like baby fat already dangerous? brute would imagine that it would be at most 10-15lbs before it looks worse rather than better to most humans. brute thinks that health implications at that level would be relatively small.

talking of age and fitness, one of the most muscular/shredded men brute has ever met was late 40s or even 50s. it might just have been impressive because it's so rare, but this guy had popping veins on his biceps and everything. when asked by brute how he got this lean, he answered intermittent fasting and powerlifting. he actually followed the leangains.com protocol.

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 3875
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Investment in Aesthetics

Post by Ego » Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:01 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:Most of the women my age in my realm who would be deemed to be very attractive, look the same to me. I see them walking through the Whole Foods in the wealthy suburb north of me, and they look just like a row of McMansions. Like they all do the same workout at the same yoga or pilates studio, pick up the same assortment of prepared healthy stuff from the buffet, go to the same hair salons, buy their clothes at the same boutiques. B-O-R-I-N-G.
It's funny but this is how I imagine most of the women who post here, without the B-O-R-I-N-G :D . They look similar (like McMansions as you say) because healthy people actually do look similar to one another, especially when they've just come from an exercise class and are wearing the requisite attire. They've figured out what they need to do to be healthy (and wealthy) and they do it, no excuses or rationalizations requiring mental-gymnastics or individual, complex calculators. They pay attention to what's going into their mouth in the same way they pay attention to the line items on their budgets.

I guess the thing that struck me is that some of the women here are worried that it is not enough to be a McMansion/provider/smart/capable/fit/funny/strong woman and they are actually concerned about holding onto their men and their marriages. I wonder if that thought has even occurred to any of the men.
7Wannabe5 wrote:I also refuse to give a damn about my ability to perform a pull-up so long as I am able to attract others with relatively more upper body strength to wield a pick-ax.
Ability to attract others. Is that a healthy gauge? It is definitely a currency so an investment in aesthetics might very well be justified. But is it healthy?

Post Reply