WTF Is Handsome?

Discussion in 'Underwear, Clothing, and Appearance Issues' started by Bbucko, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Bbucko

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    I'll admit to a certain vanity on my part; I don't care how well-adjusted one is to getting older, one cannot deny what one sees every day in the morning's mirror.

    Up until my early 40s, I'd always been pleasantly pleased by what I'd see there. There'd be a line or two and my chin went white at about 32, so I understood the effects of aging in a gentle way.

    Then I got hit by two things that forever changed my face: long-term effects of certain HIV medications that induce lipoatrophy*, and a chronic pain condition that is otherwise entirely unrelated to HIV, but which furrows my brow and irritates my face when the pain, never really under control short of full sedation takes over. Unless I'm extraordinarily relaxed or in a (somewhat) altered state on consciousness, that's what I see because that, frankly, is what's there.

    *The Lipo first attacked my "oysters" (the bits of flesh in the hollows of one's temples, which I've named after those bits of flesh commonly found on the backs of poultry. Next came the fat in my cheeks, leaving me with a gaunt look, then finally around my chin, which now looks bony. Additionally, my eyebrows seem to have taken over the center of my face, and nearly cover my eyes completely now that there's no more fat under them to hold them up and away.

    I had the chance (and, under certain circumstances, still do) to have my face "filled" with products that minimize or eliminate these Lipo issues. It's a temporary but very successful antidote to the changes found in the faces of long-term survivors of HIV, especially those of us who went through years of toxic early versions of certain retrovirals. At the time, I chose not to, for two reasons which I believe to be true to my nature (if not my vanity). The first is that it's somehow always overdone, even by the most skilled dermatologists (who, at any rate, would not be at my disposal) and it looks weirdly, incredibly fake; the second is that I rather prefer to look HIV+ rather than not. After 26 years, I've earned the right to wear my scars proudly: but then, every morning, there's that damn mirror again.

    "Handsome" to me, when I was growing up, meant Rock Hudson or Cary Grant. It meant that fascinating look of the professor on Gilligan's Island or the incredible Guy Williams (a crush so early I named my Teddy Bear after his character in Lost In Space).

    It meant everything but what I see when I look in the mirror now. This is not a thread meant to induce flattery or platitudes regarding my appearance. I seriously mean it as a serious conversation about what defines the beauty of a man who is described as "handsome". It's an overwhelming adjective choice in my gallery section (thank you to all who have done so: sincerely and from my very heart's center). I also hear it so continuously at work as to render the word almost devoid of meaning (I work in a gay bar): just last night I received a $140 tip from an extremely attractive English tourist for a $40 charge, and although otherwise highly complimentary regarding my service, manner, intellect and ease at socialization, was most impressed by how "handsome" he found me (note: no sexual services were offered or suggested, on any level whatsoever),

    I'm not second-guessing anyone, but I seriously don't get it. What the fuck is "handsome", anyway?
     
    #1 Bbucko, Jul 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2010
  2. remiel

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    Handsome is a term applied to someone who is attractive or pleasing to the eye. :p
     
  3. invisibleman

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    Handsome (from my skew) is applied to how a man looks...how he carries himself naturally. How he is totally put together whether he is casual or formal in appearance. Handsome is a combination of a man's personality and his physicality.

    Here are some guys I find handsome: Henry Rollins. Billy Dee Williams. Robert Redford. Scott Stapp. Any of the actors who played James Bond. Yeah, Guy Williams. Montgomery Clift even pulled off some handsome moments.



     
  4. sxjTheFirst

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    The cliched response is handsome is in the eyes of the beholder.
    We associate certain terms with certain looks. Handsome for (supposedly) masculine looking men instead of cute for example. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine would be called handsome or sexy but not cute by most people.

    BTW you are handsome :)

    And what's it TWF???
     
  5. Bbucko

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    Hugh Jackman is one intensely attractive man: all classical definitions of "handsome" would apply.

    WTF means "what the fuck", FWIW (for what it's worth).
     
  6. Bbucko

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    Henry Rollins certainly qualifies, as does my personal fave Desmond Harrington.

    Pretty isn't handsome, at least by my definition and understanding of the phrase.
     
  7. invisibleman

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    Yeah, some men are pretty but never handsome. Like Montgomery Clift...in some (or most) films that he appears in...he is pretty. But in a few movies...he is handsome.

    Lines between fugly, pretty and handsome comes down to genetics... and the eye of the beholder. :smile:

     
  8. nudeyorker

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    Handsome in my opinion is someone who was good looking in their youth and aged with some character and strength. FWIW you have aged beautifully.
    The people who don't allow the natural aging process are those who try to hold on to what they once saw in the mirror and not evolve with time and experience.
     
  9. D_CountdeGrandePinja

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    Handsome - being an authentic human being in mind, body & spirit!

    Being an instrument of peace to and for all.
     
  10. Industrialsize

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    I think you made a typo in the title.......I edited TWF to read WTF......
     
  11. Lex

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    I find that my personal definition of handsome is broad, so that it encompasses a lot of things. I further think that there is handsome for different age ranges. I can't fully explain it, but I know it when I see it.

    Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler, The Rock, Russell Crowe, Chris Pine, Sean Connery, are all handsome.

    Bbucko-- you know I think you are a very handsome guy. I appreciate the fact, as others suggested, that you have allowed things to run their course. A man who is not afraid to age is most certainly handsome.
     
  12. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Agreed to the fullest!
    It's always a turn on (to me) to see someone who is truly comfortable in their own skin.
     
  13. Joll

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    I agree wholeheartedly.

    People who age with dignity and don't try to hide it earn heaps of respect in my book.

    If you alter your appearance to hold back time you rob yourself of the link between how you look and the things you've been through and experienced during your life...kinda takes your identity away a bit.

    I think Bbucko's appearance is very dignified and definitely handsome. I know you didn't want flattery or platitudes, but it's true, so tuff. :wink:
     
  14. D_Harvey Schmeckel

    D_Harvey Schmeckel New Member

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    "Handsome" is the last flattering adjective one can expect to hear after age 55. Well, maybe "hot" is not completely in the past, but I'm hoping to see/hear more "handsome" from now on.
     

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  15. Bbucko

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    I think your second point is the main reason why I didn't get my face filled back when it was easily available and at no cost to me.

    Not aging gracefully is obviously a sign of some arrested maturity development at some point: it strikes me as deeply neurotic.

    :redface:
    I proof-read the post but not the title: my bad. Thanks for the correction.

    I'm not afraid of aging, per se: I mean, what's the fucking alternative besides death? There are, however times when I feel more confident in my appearance than other times. Maybe part of the preparation I insist on before going to work involves a sub-conscious auto-suggestion to boost my confidence; I certainly don't meditate on it actively, but it certainly seems to come across loud and clear, especially at work. The clincher for me was that over-the-top $140 tip. Though much appreciated, it seemed ridiculously disproportionate to the services rendered.
     
  16. D_Tim McGnaw

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    I don't think handsome has definable parameters in quite the same way other terms for a man's appearance may have.

    I think it's a quality, I think primarily it defines the attractiveness of a man who is no longer boyish and who is masculine in his features. There are times when this quality can be used to describe men who are not conventionally perfect, a man can be handsome without being symmetrical or he can be handsome without being well groomed or well preserved, though it need not be any of these things either. Whatever handsome is it's certainly not pretty or boyish.

    I think handsome implies an attractiveness which is quintessentially male, strong, full of character, frank, unadorned and untampered with. You either are handsome or you're not, it's not really something you can get out of a bottle or from a few hours of surgery.

    A man who is handsome is virile in a quiet and self assured way and sexually attractive whether he knows it or not.
     
  17. earllogjam

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    Handsome is a quality of masculine sex appeal as opposed to cute or pretty which some men are which are qualities of feminine beauty. Bold vs refined features, pronounced jaw, cleft chins, 5 o'clock shadows, goatees, shaved heads, character lines, thick necks, thick eyebrows, deep voices, tatoos...all can be aspects of a guy's handsomeness.

    I think a lot of guys don't realize how handsome they really are and sometimes find it puzzling why people often compliment or say they are incredibly handsome.
     
    #17 earllogjam, Jul 6, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  18. nubian

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    You are handsome and it is a good thing. Handsome goes deeper than fleeting things like hot or cute. It represents not only a distinctive, manly look, but someone who has a real presence about them.
     
  19. big_tits4big_dicks

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    Handsome for me is a man that is secure in himself, and being a stylish dresser does not hurt! I'm sure plenty of people find you handsome, even if you are having a hard time with it. We never really see ourselves for what we are I think. I'm sure when your friends see you they don't focus on another wrinkle, or anything like that. They just see their friend :D
     
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