Saying that a certain feature is all you require might imply what you say. However, saying that a certain feature is a prerequisite does not mean that other characteristics/requirements do not matter.
Certainly, a man's height or fitness level may, to you, be necessary but not sufficient. You would, as you state, turn down a "broke, fit, ugly" man (although now we've left the realm of helpless "attraction" which you earlier defended so hotly). But not everyone is the same.
My response is based on hearing other people (in real world, not LSD) declare their preferences loudly and proudly, emphasizing light skintone/"good hair" (for African-derivative people of all nationality, Brazilian/PR/Cuban included); fair complexion (Indian); and eyes with more pronounced folds (East Asian; Taiwanese and Korean). In each case I'm thinking of, the proclaimer made sure to stress that those particular features were of number one importance
for him or her (no, ladies, you are not exempt). Further, when some of these people's partners strolled into a room, it became plain as day that partners with the said desired attributes were..erm...lacking, shall we say, in many other areas of aesthetics and/or personality.
I cannot help but come to the conclusion--based mostly on some people's public statements--that lighter skin, looser hair, and more "rounded" eyes were in fact both necessary and sufficient in a partner. This is what I suggest is problematic, not your discriminating (in the original sense) tastes.
If we are to avoid using criteria that will hurt others' self-esteems then doesn't that basically require us to be open to everyone? Because surely, any criterion will exclude someone and thus "negatively affect a person's self-esteem his or her whole life".
Can't speak for we, but *I* might do well to avoid: making public one's views on potential partners' necessary and
sufficient physical characteristics (I would stretch this to include ethnicities). This is primarily to avoid making oneself look like a clod with no social sense, not to spare others' feelings.
I might do better to: examine critically and honestly my own preferences, determine what role--if any--social standards played in shaping my preferences, and see if they might be altered a bit, if only one time, and if only out of distaste over having my future preferences laid out for me at toddler-hood in my Disney videos and the comments of wrong-headed relations .
You ask "Why?" Because I act with circumspection, analysis, and a discerning mind in most other aspects of my existence, so why not in this, the most intimate factor in my life--my romantic partner?
Why is it that despite all criteria hurting someone's self-esteem, certain criteria are okay anyway while others are not okay? What makes historically charged criteria like skin color and hair type especially bad when their ultimate effect (hurting others self-esteems) is the same as any other criteria?
As my previous posts indicate, I never limited my objections to "historically-charged" criteria. I disagree with sweeping and otherwise undiscriminating
(ironic) emphases on most in-born physical characteristics (yes, skin and hair, but also body type, male pattern baldness level, height, eye color, etc.) and on ancestry/nationality. These are facts people can't change about themselves. It's not damaging, on the other hand, to expect that a broke potential partner get a job, or to announce that you only date shy people, or flight attendants, or a-holes; those are things that apply equally to everybody and which a potential partner can change.
Now you're venturing into something different.
I think my posts and the supporting article I provided reveal that social and cultural dynamics that play out in the family room, board room, or movie theatre figure heavily in the bedroom, and one's choice of bed or life partner.
The toddler from blck_reign's scenario watches with wide eyes while Daddy extols his wife's skintone to the exlusion of all others
...and maybe she will grow up to herself seek a light partner (because she is "just more attracted" to a light man/woman), or maybe she will peroxide her skin, or maybe she'll go all Black Pride and marry a dark Congolese person--dismissing all light potential partners with the same fell swoop as her father dismissed the dark ones--and maybe she'll feel an unhappiness inside her and ridicule any light-dark couple she sees in the street.
It is possible and, realistically, even common to be sexually indifferent to a feature while still seeing the beauty in that feature and in those who possess it.
LOL. There's nothing "indifferent" about "I don't care if he's not rich, how he treats his momma, or how he dresses--my future babies' father will have good hair."
"It's just prettier, that's all. It's what I like."
(real exchange with a Cape Verdean)