I've been thinking some about personal preferences for one's partner, mainly due to some reddit threads, most of which focus on the always argumentative topic of pubic hair grooming. It's really interesting to me how different people are in what they think is reasonable in a relationship-- the people there span from those who don't think it's appropriate to ask a partner to change anything about themselves, to those who think its fine to ask them to change things that take real effort, like weight loss.
I'm somewhere in the middle, there-- because on one hand, I really strongly value bodily autonomy and being happy with yourself, and on the other hand, I do get that sexual attraction is an important part of adult romantic relationships. Which means that I don't have pink hair, since JD finds it appalling, but I also am not entirely sure what his favorite style of clothing is for women, since I wear what i like.
Point is, I think that compromise is an important part of relationships, and I think that that compromise can-- and sometimes should-- extend even into parts of yourself as personal as appearance, whether its shaving, haircuts, facial hair, clothing styles... basically, if it isn't something you are really uncomfortable with, or something that is against your morals, or something that is unsafe/expensive... why the hell not at least give it a try?
So many blogs, especially feminist and sex-positive blogs, talk about how we should generally be willing to try our partner's kinks (though I DID also just read a really good post about how we should respect the more vanilla partner more than many sexuality bloggers do, but since I open too many tabs, which then crashes chrome and makes me lose all the tabs... no linky. sadface). And if we're encouraging people to embrace things they aren't totally comfortable with in the bedroom (which, granted, is private), why is it so bad for people to "change" aspects of their physical appearance for a partner?
I'm not advocating a total extreme makeup, or changing a style completely. That's not a compromise either. And I strongly feel that the person whose body it is should get far larger than fifty percent of say in what's going on with it. But I do think a partner's preferences, and their sexual turn ons, should get some consideration if it's a serious relationship, especially since people grow more comfortable talking about what they do and do not like as relationships become more serious.
A part of feminism is owning your own body, and be honest about your wants and needs, but I don't think that doing things to please a partner are at all in conflict with that-- especially if your partner is also doing things to please you.
EDIT: JD has pointed out that he thinks pink hair would be cute on me, but inappropriate for someone who is going to be an attorney.