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Love Is Physical Attraction, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1371

Essay

Throughout history, many writers and poets have completed commentary on their definitions of love. Many describe the emotion as the ultimate feeling, one that allows man to perform crazy acts. However, many men and women have reported that they had become attracted to members of the opposite sex purely on the basis of looks. In fact, scientists have demonstrated that the chemistry of love first requires two individuals to be physically attracted to one another before deeper feelings can develop. In response to this more realistic truth, modern poets have called attention to this definition of love that states that love is a direct consequence of the physical appearance of an individual. Three poems that demonstrate this phenomenon include “Play-by-Play” by Joan Murray, “I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and “Junior Year Abroad” by Luisa Lopez.

In “Play-by-Play” by Joan Murray, the author discusses the attraction that a group of young women feel for a group of men playing baseball. Specifically, this poem concerns a group of young women admiring young baseball players from a distance and the poem reveals that this group finds them to be attractive. The descriptions of the baseball players provided makes it seem that the women are very aware of the bodies of the men, which draws their attention. This attraction is denoted by phrases such as “the slim waist of the pitcher”, “the strength of the runner’s legs”, and “the torso of the catcher”. These descriptors are meant to reflect the thoughts of the women who are admiring the men from afar. Since the women are not in a close proximity to the men, it is clear that they developed feelings for them purely on the basis of looks. In addition, the men seem to be completely unaware of the women’s observations. This is apparent based on the author asking “Would it surprise the young men”. This scenario directly contradicts the traditional literary understanding of love because the characters never had the opportunity to meet and fall for each other’s personalities. Therefore, it is evident that love can be based purely on physical attraction rather than emotional compatibility.

In “I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed” by Edna St Vincent Millay, the author focuses on the author’s tendency to fall for men based on physical attraction despite the unhappy endings she has experienced. The author states that she is “urged” to have relations with the man, but she less enjoys their conversations. In fact, when the main character is forced to have conversations with the man, she notices that her attraction for him diminish. Specifically she notes that she tries to find this individual’s personality “fair” but she has been left “undone”. In particular, the author describes her changing feelings without emotions indicating that she no longer cares about what the relationship with this man once was. This indicates that the author is more attracted to physical appearance than personality or compatibility. Another aspect of this is evident when the author states “Of stout my blood against my staggering brain”, to compare and contrast her feelings of love based on attraction compared to the influence for individuals in society to be primarily drawn to personality. The author’s staggering brain represents the thorough thought and understanding that must go into loving relationships that result from conversation. Ultimately, it is easier for individuals to fall in love on the basis of attraction, and this is an experience that the author of this poem frequently encounters.

In “Junior Year Abroad” by Luisa Lopez, the author discusses a relationship that she had overseas that she now          regrets. She tells a story about an individual that she is involved with during her vacation overseas. She finds this person interesting at first because of his physical appearance and the excitement of new things. However, in the present, she no longer has feelings for him. The author specifically discusses the fact that her feelings change by stating that, eventually, the shelf life of her promise “expired”. She uses this line to demonstrate that she was happy with this man at the beginning of their relationship, as she was blinded by love. She felt that they could be “together alone”. However, she called herself and the man “amateurs” showing that she regrets the relationship. She now explains that she “didn’t love him anymore”. Ultimately, the author’s heart was broken because she fell in love with a man purely on the basis of his looks. While she tried to make this relationship work over the long-term, she recognizes that she cannot be attracted to this individual from afar which means that she can no longer attracted to him at all. She recognizes that even though she is able to communicate with him after she returns home, his personality is not enough to draw her in to a continued relationship with him. This demonstrates that the draw towards an individual is purely based on looks.

The three poems discussed demonstrate that although many people think of love as an emotion that is defined as a tight bond between individuals on the basis of emotions and compatibility, this is not always the case. In reality, individuals become drawn to one another on the basis of physical looks, which could either be misleading or contribute to the development of a deeper bond. Regardless of the definition of love that a majority of people abide by, it is clear that all definitions must start with an adoration for the way that an individual looks, as this is a trait that is readily noticeable when two individuals meet. Over time, this adoration then has the potential to be reinforced or broken depending upon the other attributes of the individual. In “Play-by-Play”, “I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed”, and “Junior Year Abroad”, the women discuss the various situations that caused them to be attracted to members of the opposite sex. In all three cases, these women spent short amounts of time with the men, which caused them to be drawn primarily to their physical attractiveness. While this met with varying degrees of success, it is clear that physical attractiveness was the primary trait these women considered when analyzing their compatibility with the individuals that they discuss.

In conclusion, love is defined as the ability to feel physically attracted to an individual and to allow this feeling to drive a relationship. This is exemplified by the fact that the men in these poems attract the women primarily due to their physical attraction. In “Play-by-Play”, this love is exemplified by the admiration that the observing women have for the bodies of the baseball players. In “I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed”, this is marked by the tendency of the main character to fall for men who are considered physical attractive while losing this attraction on the basis of these individuals’ personalities. Last, in “Junior Year Abroad” the character notes that she can no longer be attracted to the man that she meets over spring break because she is not near him and can therefore no longer appreciate his good looks. It is clear that all three of the women discussed in these scenarios would not have been attracted to the men in these stories if they had been described as personable rather than good looking. The primary reason that the men were given attention in the first place is that these women considered them to be better looking than their peers, which made them stand out to the characters.

While physical attraction as a definition of love is not necessarily a positive way to think of the meaning of the word, it is the reality. All relationships begin because there is something about a person that draws their partner to them. For “love at first sight” to be possible, there must be initial physical attraction. As a consequence, in life and the aforementioned poems, attraction is what defines relationships and love. It is therefore essential to give physical attraction more credit in determining which couples achieve success and happiness. According to the situations experienced by the women in these poems, a relationship is likely to last longer if a couple is able to remain satisfied with one another’s looks.

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