Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder


Every year, a publication called, “Travel and Leisure Magazine,” does a survey which is presented in their August issue. They use an online questionnaire, which this past year was filled out by approximately 300,000 of their subscribers, to determine the best cities as travel destinations, in terms of classiest hotels, night life, luxury shopping, sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, and destination spas. Here’s something you may not know. The survey included cities in the United States that have the most attractive populations, and those, considered to have residents, you might not want to bring home to momma. To be honest, I find this to be a little insulting. Don’t they know that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder? Growing up, my mother would often say to me, “Son, beauty attracts the eye, but personality attracts the heart; and you have a wonderful personality.” I’d always reply, “Thanks mom……. I think.”

The last survey rating attractiveness that I could find was in 2016. I think the 2017 one, might have excluded this category after millions of supposedly facially challenged people like me, canceled their subscriptions. Personally, I think the survey’s methodology was seriously flawed. First of all; who are the people determining who is attractive, and who’s not. If it’s three hundred thousand middle-aged men with their best years behind them, traveling as tourists to warm, exciting, and exotic locations like Miami, Florida; then we have a problem. I’m not saying my judgement is great, and I’m no prize myself, but put me in a comfortable and colorful Hawaiian shirt, hand me a bottle of delicious and smooth rum, blare some wonderful Latino music, and then bake me in the sun for eight hours. I figure by sunset, you could put my dog, Chase in a string bikini, and he’d be fairly attractive.

I’ve been to different cities in the United States, and every one had, what society calls attractive men and women. Opinions on beauty or good looks, is such a subjective, and arbitrary thing. If you know where to look, but more importantly how to look, it’s pretty easy to find very attractive people. First of all; it might be a good idea to avoid going into a Wal-Mart while on vacation. Next, you start looking for the little things. Watch how a person carries themselves when they enter a room, their eyes, the way they smile and their sense of humor, and do they have a sharp wit and mind. My momma was right about the personality thing – it is very important in determining human attractiveness.

Personally, I don’t worry too much if strangers find me attractive or not. The important thing is, my wife thinks I’m incredibly handsome, physically resemble those Greek statues you see in museums, and I’m quite debonair (suave and sophisticated) – All right! She just walked in now. Let me ask her. “Honey, I have a serious question. Do you still find me attractive, after all these years together?”…………………….Hey, what’s taking you so long? Go ahead, I’m listening. “Well………….. Let me see how I can put this. You’re very dignified looking for your age, still have all your original teeth, don’t scare small children, and have a sort of animal magnetism. Oh, I almost forgot. You have a magnificent personality.” “Sweetheart – have you been talking to my mom?”

The strange thing about this survey of cities with either attractive or unattractive people, is that every year the locations keep changing. A few years ago, Atlanta, Georgia was the hot spot for those fortunate enough to have modeling careers. Now, it’s a wasteland for finding a date, while Boulder, Colorado, and Honolulu, Hawaii, are near the top of the attractive list. I guess I should tell you that two cities in my home state of Pennsylvania, consistently rank in the top ten, year after year for having unattractive inhabitants. The two cities are Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Recent surveys have Philadelphia at number five on the list of facially challenged cities. I don’t know if it’s just a crazy coincidence, but I’ve lived in both cities. I guess that explains the shortage of mirror salesman, the large number of people with bags on their heads, the explosion in the number of plastic surgeons setting up residence, and why eHarmony and have pulled all their advertising off local billboards.

In perusing the lists, I’ve noticed some strange things. I didn’t see New York City, on either the attractive or ugly list. I could be wrong, but it’s probably because, when you’re  in New York City; you spend your time, jumping from taxi to taxi, dodging crazy drivers, and leaping out-of-the-way of speeding buses. I guess there’s not much time to rate people’s attractiveness. Did you know that Providence, Rhode Island, is a hot bed of good-looking human beings? The only thing I can figure out, is it has a smaller population. Maybe, an incredibly handsome couple moved there after the wife gave birth to sextuplets, and it skewed the survey results.

For all you people out there, who maybe be wondering how your own cities fared in the survey. Other cities, tourists felt had, large quantities of unattractive people included: Memphis, Baltimore, Cleveland, Oklahoma City, and Louisville, Kentucky. I wasn’t surprised to see Portland, Maine had made the ugly list at number ten. Years ago, I was in Portland, and had stopped at a bar in the Old Port, on Wharf Street. I’m not saying the people were unattractive, but it looked like a scene from the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean.” I swear, one guy had a face that looked like a lobster.

I guess I shouldn’t judge. This morning I got up, stumbled into the bathroom, looked in the mirror, rubbed my eyes, and for a split second wondered why I was still wearing the Halloween mask, I had put on last night to scare my wife. As my vision cleared, I realized that I was looking at my real face. For a moment, I just stood there in shock. Luckily, I always look at the bright side of things. I thought to myself, “Wow, if this continues, Philadelphia might just move up to number one by next year.”

About Patrick Dykie

I'm a simple, middle class family man, living a quiet life in eastern Pennsylvania with my wife, Barbara. I have two sons. the oldest, Daniel is out on his own, and is very successful in the business world. My youngest, Adam, is in his final year of college. After many years in the construction field, I decided to take a chance at becoming a published author. I love to write humor-filled narratives about people, places, things, animals, and popular culture that we see in our everyday lives. My first book, Simple Observations - A Humorous Look at the Absurdity of the World Around Us, is now available. I'm currently working on a second book, which I hope to have out before the end of 2018. I hope you enjoy your visit. Any comments are greatly appreciated.
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7 Responses to Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

  1. Aunt Beulah says:

    It’s never entered my head to look at people in large cities and judge their attractiveness. I’m either too busy looking at the city’s important sights or too frazzled from finding them to notice the good people all around. I’d have to skip that question on the survey.


  2. dellymari says:

    This was really funny. I enjoyed it. 🙂


  3. It looks like I’m safely ensconced in a city that is not entirely unattractive. I’ll take it!


  4. ivor20 says:

    I see your survey, didn’t go out America, which I suppose is to be expected, as you’re all very busy making America Great again, trying to improve on your mean and ugly image, and I’m sure your President is leading the way, in upgrading your countries sagging personality. News arrives down under quite slowly, so maybe the betterer looking side of America might be in the next issue of our “Better Homes & Gardens”


    • I didn’t go outside of America, because the results would be embarrassing for us here in the states. If people here knew that 99.4% of the good people of Australia are very attractive, everyone would book tickets to there, and our tourist industry would tank.


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