People that aren’t completely deluded or living in a fantasy world will acknowledge that in general, women are judged based on their looks and men on their resources. From a biological standpoint, this makes perfect sense. The traits that are associated with being a good-looking woman signalize fertility. Great ability to birth children is a fantastic trait to be sought after from the standpoint of the furtherance of the human species.
At the same time, we shouldn’t judge women for going after rich men. Again, from a biological standpoint having a man with the ability to provide for multiple children makes the most sense. That being said, modern humans aren’t slaves to their biological urges. We have the ability to look upon the different trait that are found in the dating pool and make rational judgments.
The greatest looking women might not be the most suitable mothers for children. They might prioritize boozing it up at late night parties, rather than focus on the babies. In addition to this, beautiful people have different psychological traits as a result of how people treat them. It is no secret that most people, including babies, pay more attention to those blessed with good looks.
If we want to focus on traditional values and want to raise healthy children, we mustn’t succumb to base biological desires without looking at our potential mate as a whole. As I mentioned, a stunning woman might have baggage. Although I find nothing ethically wrong with sleeping around outside of a committed relationship, we can at the same time recognize that it has serious implications. Like it or not, there is a statistical tie between the number of sexual partners of a person and the likelihood of divorce.
In the same vein, a man with the ability to rake in heaps of cash might have lost some desirable personality traits along the way. A lawyer commands a hefty salary, but might bring his instinct for finding flaws in the arguments and reasoning of courtroom opponents into family life. The successful CEO might have bent a few rules and done some unseemly things along the way in order to reach the top.
This brings us to makeup and cosmetic surgery. A gun can be a great equalizer. With a gun, a frail 80-year old grandma and a buff 25-year old bodybuilding man are equal in terms of being able to protect themselves from physical assailants. If we hold equality of opportunity to be a societal value, we should champion gun rights. Should we look upon makeup and cosmetic surgery in the same way?
It is a fact of life that some people have won the genetic lottery to a greater extent than others. Some people are born with desirable physical traits, while most of us are somewhat average. Makeup and cosmetic surgery can thus be viewed as tools in service of equality. By denying people access to these tools we force them to play the game of life from a disadvantaged starting point. Who benefits? Those who are already beautiful.
At the same time, we can’t deny that makeup and cosmetic surgery are unfortunate from a pure biological standpoint. They mask the lack of outward signs of good fertility. They can thus “fool” a potential mate into picking them instead of a more suitable suitor. I don’t have a final answer to this question, but I think it is a debate worth having as a society.
Perhaps it could help illuminate the problem if we looked at male enhancers. Let’s say a man used a “wallet stuffer” to signify greater wealth, wore “inflatable arms” to portray bigger muscles or put a banana in his pocket to… showcase his babymaker. Does this change our answer to the acceptability of using enhancers? Is it desirable for us to trick mother nature? What are the long term implications for humanity?