The aesthetic appeal of moral wickedness

The aesthetic appeal of moral wickedness

The moral and aesthetic values of people can be pulled in opposite directions. Serial killers like Richard Ramirez and Ted Bundy were infamous but had lots of female fans that sent them letters and attended their court hearings.

However, they were already perceived as attractive despite their crimes and some reprobates behave well with a small number of people. This does not support the aesthetic of moral wickedness but further the fact that beauty is seen as good.

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It takes us a while to see a person that we are attracted to for who they may be. This kind of projection is easy to maintain but only up until the event when we become the victim of another's callousness.

Meanwhile, there are people who have this innate desire to be the one to reform the other person, morally, and act as their moral savior. Therefore, badness in this case is in itself not the one that is attractive but the opportunity it presents.

Badness is often correlated with other desirable qualities like self-confidence and independence, but if we see badness through this perspective it's like telling ourselves that we prefer grueling flights because we can endure a ten-hour plane ride but not an hour for a taxi.

Negging means making snide remarks to other people and they always give out negative feedback, more so in men to women.

The mechanism as to how negging works has very little to do with the putative attractiveness of being rude or mean. Neggers is often seen as valuable because they appear insufficiently interested and give out very little compliments.

Thus, we argue that neggers are not desired due to their impertinence but rather are chased for their kindness.

There are many people who have negative reactions towards extreme altruists - these are the people who donate organs to strangers and those who otherwise help others at a very significant cost to themselves.

However, we find extreme altruists unattractive because we feel like we may not be good enough in comparison to them. Therefore, it is an indictment of our own character.

This is also known as the Bonnie and Clyde syndrome where certain people are attracted to those who have committed some sort of outrage.

But, having this technically means that badness in men is attractive to women.

George Eliot

"The presence of a noble nature, generous in its wishes, ardent in its charity, changes the lights for us: we begin to see things again in their larger, quieter masses, and to believe that we too can be seen and judged in the wholeness of our character."

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Research on makeup: why woman wear it
  1. Camouflage – Women who are anxious and insecure tend to use makeup to appear less noticeable.
  2. Seduction – Women who want to be noticeably more attractive tend to use makeup to be more confident, sociable, and assertive.

Friend-zoning is a notion that men and women have different perspectives.

Men are more frequently attracted to their opposite-sex friends, even if they state that it's just a platonic relationship.

  • Ignoring context: Crossed arms don’t mean much if the room is cold or the chair they’re sitting in doesn’t have armrests. 
  • Not looking for clusters: It’s a consistent grouping of actions (sweating, touching the face, and stuttering together) that is really going to tell you something. 
  • Not getting a baseline: If someone is always jumpy, jumpiness doesn’t tell you anything. 
  • Not being conscious of biases: If you already like or dislike the person, it’s going to affect your judgment. 

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