Beyond beauty

All Woman

CHECK any Hollywood gossip website featuring celebrity musician Seal and his model wife Heidi Klum, and you're bound to find in the comments section, someone who is totally taken aback by the fates which drew such different-looking people together.

While Klum, a stunningly beautiful German model hasn't (at least as far as we searched) officially commented on the looks of the man she chose as life partner (Seal's face is scarred over from the ravages of discoid lupus), she did tell Oprah that the deal was pretty much sealed when she saw his package in a hotel lobby in New York City when Seal had just come in from the gym wearing tight shorts.

And while many women who find themselves in this position won't readily admit that the other packaging - whether it's potency, a great personality or financial stability - was what drew them to an unattractive partner, people will continue to speculate at the reasons for the union when they see an unmatched couple together.

So is it money, personality or something else?

Sophia, a Linstead resident, who has entered a number of local beauty pageants as well as the 1990 festival queen competition laughs when she speaks of how she diverted from dating the "cute red-lipped Indian guys" she preferred, and fell in love with "a rough-looking black man" years ago, all because he was "sweet".

"Before, they [men I dated] had to be a definite eye-catchers and head-turners," she said. But she fell in love with a man who was not only not attractive physically, he was five feet four to her five nine.

He soon became the father of her child.

"I don't know what happened. Somehow he just seemed like the sweetest thing then. He really treated me like a queen, he had an unmatched personality. I just could not resist his charms. Before I knew what hit me I was pregnant for him," she said.

"I guess the truth is that he was secure," she added.

Four years into their relationship they broke up, but today Sophia is married to someone else - not an 'eye catching, red lipped Indian' but an "average looking" guy.

Juliet, a striking coffee-coloured Mandeville girl remembers when at 17, she fell for Ramone, a toothless bicycle rider who worked at the fast food place she frequented.

"He was my first boyfriend," she said. "And to this day I laugh at myself when I remember. I used to kiss him passionately even though he had the top two front teeth missing. I don't know how I did it, seriously."

She said the attraction for her may have been that he gave her the attention she needed, at a time when she had to be playing mother to her younger siblings while her mother went out working and her father went drinking.

"It's not that I couldn't find anyone else. There were lots of guys in the district who were interested, but Ramone talked about buying a house and a car. He talked about marrying me and moving me out of my mother's house. That was enough of an incentive to be with him."

Today she's married to a man who she says is even "uglier than Ramone", but who she says treats her "like the goddess I am", and has an "anaconda" to boot.

It's this added factor that women like Renee latch on to, when it comes time to choose a mate. Fresh from a six-year relationship with a "very unattractive banker", Renee says the attraction was all in the packaging, as he "reinforced the theory that black men are truly blessed."

"I dated the attractive ones," the beautiful artist said. "But I wanted something else and the first time I dated someone who wasn't a looker I realised that where God didn't bless him in the face, he was certainly first in line when schlongs were being distributed. Since then I've experimented and realised that nine times out of 10, the blessings flow the other way."

One only has just to look at the lovers in any public space to see the disparity - more and more unions are emerging where the woman is a perfect nine point something, and the man is, well, sometimes just plain hideous.

One Kingston woman shares an insight.

"Every woman wants to be treated like a queen," she said. "The beautiful woman knows that she has many admirers, so she will act quite confident and cool in her relationship with her ugly man, while the ugly man in turn will do anything for her knowing that any mistake he makes, another man will take her away. Knowing that she is being treated well, she stays in the relationship."

Jamaica Health, Beauty, Weddings & Motherhood Stories for the Jamaican Woman - Jamaica Observer - All Woman -

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