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HIGH LIFE : Seeking a Piece of the Attraction? : Looks Are Important, but So Are Intelligence, Humor and Knowing Just the Right Thing to Say

April 09, 1988|KELLY SOLESBEE | Kelly Solesbee, a junior at Brea-Olinda High School, is an assistant editor of the school newspaper, the Wildcat, a member of the speech team, junior class representative, and she enjoys dance and poetry. Her story first appeared in the Wildcat

Call it cheap. Oh, what the heck, call it low-down and vain. Call it whatever you want, but the truth is, you want to know just as bad as the desperado sitting next to you in class.

What is it that members of the opposite sex want? What do they look for? What turns them on?

Face it, we get up every morning in hopes that someone will notice that we had the decency to take a shower and do our hair (well, most of us anyway). Why? Because we care about what others, especially those of the opposite sex, think about us.

And that's why I decided to write this article. Not for cheap thrills or lack of something better to do, but because a group of about 40 students at Brea-Olinda High School took the time to fill out a questionnaire that just might be the key to a lonely person's brighter future.

If you're wondering why the opposite sex isn't falling at your feet or bombarding you with phone calls, maybe, just maybe, this article could be the answer to your desperation.


In a man's view, the face is where it's at. This is the major focal point, according to more than half the males polled, followed closely--very closely--"behind" with the derriere and then the legs. Surprised, girls? Don't be. Results show that you, too, favor the face first, then the derriere, and third place goes to the upper body (torso, chest and arms).


The results in this particular category were contradictory to common belief. There seems to have been a revolution in taste from the age-old footballer and his cutsie-wutsie blond girlfriend. Though humor was rated the No. 1 desirable mental quality by both males and females, "at-least-average" intelligence ranked a strong second. As far as the guys are concerned, a girl with a sensitive soul and an outgoing personality is a must. The girls also say sensitivity is a definite, but so is a boy with a sense of understanding.


Ah yes, bad habits--easy to make, hard to break. These are the "no-nos." The guys' vote strictly prohibits smoking--the yellow teeth-bad breath syndrome. The second worst habit a girl could have: using profane language. Third on their blacklist was the ever-common cuticle-gnawing sport. Guys find this grotesque habit of nail biting ugly and unnatural.

So what makes the girls gross out? Again, profane language, and girls swear that this is by far the worst habit of all, even over such breeches of etiquette as spitting, smoking, "doing dip" and being an overall obnoxious and crude dude, all on their "next-to-worst" list. So now you know what not to do, unless you enjoy spending lonely nights in the company of you, yourself and no one else.


Everyone has a different way of defining the word "sexy," whether it is a list of physical traits (such as blue eyes) or even a specific name (like actor Kirk Cameron). Most interesting were those spontaneous definitions that ran a little deeper. Some sentimental guys said:

* "The way a girl comes on to you . . . if she makes YOU feel sexy."

* "Someone who is honest. an honest person is the sexiest person around."

* "Someone who is spontaneous and does not necessarily dress sexy. . . . Even conservative can be sexy."

But some simple minds settled for:

* "A '10' in a bikini."

* "Some just are . . . some aren't."

Girls' responses ran just as deep and just as shallow. From a boring "good personality and a nice smile" to a predictable "tall, dark and handsome" to an unexpected "sexy is a dumb word without meaning" to a risque "someone who knows how to dress--and undress."

One female made a strong point that those males who take it upon themselves to wear heavy gold chains and an entire bottle of Polo are going to be those poor lonely souls who spend nights alone.


Preferences in the categories of hair color, eye color, style of dress and body type compared similarly in the eyes of both males and females. OK, all you California girls! Whip out the Colorific--brown is in the crown of wanted women, unless you're willing to place second with those golden tresses. And blue is unmistakably the guys' choice in eye color, followed by a vote for "serene green," as one fellow put it. And casual is the word on wardrobe, so trash the pleated pants and tailored Tees. The leather look came in a close second, and most guys agree that a medium-to-average body is all they're looking for--no skimpy wimpies or muscle-mamas.

The femmes like a guy with a medium-to-average build as well, with a possible hint of muscle here and there--but NO bulges through a sideless shirt. They want a man who knows what to wear and when to wear it. There was a tie in the vote for eye color, a close call between green and blue. Brown was favored least, and hazel didn't receive a handful of votes either. Brown gets the vote again in the hair color department, and trailing behind but not-so-closely was blond.


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