Is Love Truly Blind?

 


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Visual attraction is a key factor in establishing romance, first impressions really do count in this as much as if not more than in other aspects of life and, shallow as it may sound, human beings do tend to make snap judgements about each other based on their appearance.

At its root, our attraction to each other based on looks stems from evolutionary impulse – we have certain deep seated factors that determine our perception of physical attractiveness which are fundamentally related to health, well-being and strong, well rounded genetic makeup. In other words, attraction to members of the opposite sex is grounded in a subconscious assessment that they are good breeding stock!

Notably this analysis only holds any water when applied to heterosexual attraction, since homosexual relationships cannot produce progeny the concept of breeding stock does not apply. Leaving out the detailed analysis of human psychosexuality that this train of thought would tend to lead to, it is certainly true that both male and female homosexuals have often been at the forefront of progressive body image politics.

Questions of *** orientation aside, humans seem to have a natural revulsion for the disfigured or physically disabled on some basic animal level. A key indicator of a society's level of civilisation is its capacity to intellectualise and thereby surpass its baser instincts, and determine a social order that does not simply reflect gut reactions. Indeed, in our current society the position and treatment of disfigured and/or disabled people is at what amounts to probably its most positive level at any time in our history, and yet some taboos remain in place more firmly than others. The sexuality of disabled people, for example, remains a largely unspoken subject. For years and years disabled children and adolescents were denied any sex education whatsoever as the common accepted wisdom was that they would not need to know as no-one would find them desirable. This issue is further compounded by mainstream, able-bodied society's readiness to label any able bodied individual who does find him or herself attracted to people with unconventional body types (including but not limited to those with disablilties or serious disfigurement) as a pervert.

The very fact that this issue exists indicates that there is a positive answer; that yes, in many cases, love is blind. Love, by virtue of it's very nature is in some ways a very individual and private thing, yet it is also a thing that society at large feels entitled to comment on and to set boundaries for. Until society, to coin an oxymoron, opens its eyes wide enough to achieve that same blindness, an uphill struggle seems inevitable for those for whom love truly does transcend the boundaries of the physical.

Croydon J Hounslow works for an online chat service

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