Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Handsome Women


There is an odd term out there and that is, “A Handsome Woman.” The word “handsome” usually infers a masculine good looks rather than delicate pulchritude.

I’ve analyzed the faces of a few people I know and to me it seems that my definition of handsomeness in women stems directly from something as simple as a nose being a bit more prominent or wider on one’s face. Sometimes it’s the position of the jaw that will make some women handsome. This is not to say the features aren’t feminine, they are, but just not delicate.

I once saw a photo of three sisters next to one another. Two of the sisters were very feminine looking and the third sister was handsome. The handsome sister was not at all unattractive. She was just as attractive as the other two, but she was more handsome with less delicate facial features.

I really have no where to go with this other than it being an observation. I will see a handsome woman every now and then and I'll think to my self, "now there is a handsome woman", but then I feel bad for thinking that. I wish there were other terms for attractive women who don't possess pixie-like features. The term handsome seems so unjust.

20 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

Hey, I think "handsome" is a fine word to describe both males and females. It basically means "pleasing in appearance."
I don't fit your definition of handsome but I wouldn't mind being called that - it's more dignified than "pretty." (Not that I'm saying I'm pretty...)

7:17 AM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

I've known beautiful men too--features that are masculine, but aesthetically beautiful--more like a piece of art. I think the handsome women and beautiful men are far more interesting.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous walter richards said...

In the "old" west ... it was a compliment to call a woman "handsome". Likely moreso than calling her "pretty".

A "handsome" woman was attractive, yet also usually assumed to have qualities that would fit life on the frontier. Whereas a "pretty" woman was usually viewed as too delicate for frontier life.

And then there's "sturdy" women.

9:52 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Ahhh, “Sturdy Women!” For the readers who have never been to Astoria, there is a theatrical melodrama that runs through the summer here called, “Shanghaied In Astoria.” It is historically reminiscent of the old days here where people were drugged and loaded on a ship to work as a crew, maybe to never be returned. Anyway, all the Scandahoovian men in town were totally in love with ‘Sturdy Women,” which I guess were hefty women who could continue working while giving birth or something.

Beth and Lori, being a word nut, I wish there were words that were exclusive to the gender of the situation. I'm digging a hole here, aren't I?

10:05 AM  
Anonymous auntie said...

I was also going to mention that handsome is a preferable description as is "sturdy" and self sufficient.

Pretty implies frailty and someone who might crack open if she had to give birth to a baby. Just my opinion, I am sure I will be corrected.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Being basically a shallow male type, I tend to classify women as Handsome (Candice Bergan) Glamorous (Elizabeth Hurley) Sexual (Angelina Jolie) playful (Allison Stewart on MSNBC) and cute (Sally Field & Mrs Mike S) Probably a weird way of doing it, but as soon as I see the eyes and a smile, I just arbitrarily categorize them into one of those. Probably wrong to do so and gonna catch hell for saying it, but I've always been that way. Often I have to rethink the 1st impression after getting to know them. Pretty or delicate seems too fragile to describe anyone I've ever known, so they're not used. The only truly unatractive folks I can think of would be nasty people like Ann Coulter & her ilk. Ugliness of the soul afflicts that type in my estimation, everyone possesses some beauty unless they're rotten in their essence like her.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Hey Guy, you want your shovel back now?:)

9:49 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Great observations, Mike! It's getting late, and as long as Lelo and Syd and Mo3 don't read the comments we'll be safe. I'll dig myself out with a new article in the morning.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

Oh, I'm here. Just a little late.

I like the term handsome for a woman, when used appropriately.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

I have always been bothered by my lack of delicate features. I was never what anyone would have called "pretty." Though in my younger days many people evidently called me "cute."

But, I did catch myself a man, and now he's got too many kids with me to afford leaving, so, it's a moot point!

10:36 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Syd, are handsome women allowed to wear dew rags?

Mo3, stop it, you're a babe!

8:28 AM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Awww, thanks Guy.

3:39 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Funny, Auntie were just writing about what the readers think we look like. Like how I thought TH was going to be a wirery old guy. I'll have to have a post to invite readers who have never seen me to send me their mental picture.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im a handsome woman. ive never been told that, but i know it. and so does my sister who is close to me. i had an ex who used to say i will have handsome boys.

i think it just means someone who is sturdy and strong. i have a very strong solid body. and my facial features are solid too. im feminine, yet strong. my jaw is stronger than most, so that might have something to do with it. i dont think i look mean or anything though, just very healthy. im actually of scandinavian descent.

have a great day.

4:40 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

There is nothing wrong with being a handsome woman. I prefer the look over the less sturdy subjects. JUst wish there were a better name for it.

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. I think your comments just saved me from the meltdown I was having. A guy called me handsome and I have been in tears since reading the email. So of course the second thing I do is search the internet for "handsome women" b/c the first thing I did was bawlbag to my dad...who I might add laughed at my misery. You know when you are 35 AND single AND never married things like that become monumental.

5:46 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Oh Darlin, I'm glad my words brought you at least some comfort. Be handsome and be proud. Your beauty and strength will make you shine.

5:05 AM  
OpenID maddylonglegs said...

I would far rather be handsome than pretty.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Guy said...

There's nothing wrong with that, Maddy.

10:56 AM  
Blogger HandsomeAngel said...

I was told that I was a handsome girl. I didn't really know what they meant by that so I researched it. One of the definitions was: "A woman with the kind of refined beauty and attractiveness that requires poise, dignity, and strength of mind and character, things that often come with age; not merely sex-appeal. Usually applied to a woman who is also very well-groomed and from an upper class background." Another one was what the blog said. Either one is fine with me. After all, I have been told I act and look like a mother: strong and sturdy ;). So if I look like a "handsome woman", it's a look that I can say describes me just fine. ;)

3:06 PM  

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