If Men Like Only Hot Women, Where Does That Leave an Average Woman Like Me?

If Men Only Kike Hot Women, Where Does That Leave an Average Woman Like Me?

Dear Evan,

Why do dating experts for men teach them how to get the hottest women possible? Unlike women, they are rarely told to date someone they might not find attractive at first because she might grow on him. As an average looking woman (I am fit, well-groomed and fashionable, but I know that I am not a bombshell. I don’t make people gag, but I don’t turn heads either.), I feel that no man is going to find me desirable because all men feel that they deserve and can get the hottest woman out there. Just where does that leave women like me? 

Tia-Maria

Dear Tia-Maria,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for asking this question. A few months ago, I promised to write a post about shallow men, and this note from you is the perfect excuse.

First, a story:

When I started writing Why You’re Still Single, back in early 2005, I was working with a different woman than my eventual partner, Linda Holmes. This original partner was a noted matchmaker who brought a certain credibility to my pet project – she’s experienced in her field, she’s telegenic, she knows plenty about single people, etc.

One of the first chapters I completed was called “The Beauty Myth Is Not a Myth.” It didn’t necessarily debunk Naomi Wolf’s seminal work, but it did establish one very important concept that women need to understand: Men are as shallow as advertised. And while women can beat their heads against a wall, wishing that this were not true, they’re fighting a real losing battle if they expect men to stop worshipping at the altar of beauty.

Like much of my advice, it can rub a woman the wrong way. But I wasn’t condoning the behavior, I was merely reporting it. This is what men do, whether we like it or not. Yet my writing partner felt so unnerved by my stance, that her version of the “Beauty Myth” chapter only served to contradict everything I had written.

She mentioned that she was in the business of connecting souls.

She stated that as men mature, they learn to appreciate inner beauty.

She encouraged women to hold out for the kind of guy who isn’t as focused on the outer packaging.

That’s when I fired her from the project.

I tell this story not to make myself look good (clearly), but because I refused to put out a book that gave bad advice. And make no mistake about it – telling women to hold out for men who don’t care about looks is BAD ADVICE. Why? Because men like this are as common as Halley’s Comet….

Here’s an excerpt from Why You’re Still Single:

“I am not suggesting that men are pure objects of lust with all the depth of a bathtub. Nor am I suggesting that men don’t have the ability to love and accept any physical imperfections. They can and they do.

Just not as much as women. At least in my experience as a dating coach where I have the unique privilege of being given access to some of my clients’ online dating accounts. And after years of doing this, I’m still flabbergasted that no matter how unattractive a man is – no matter how little hair is on his head, or how much on his back – he STILL has the same twenty-something supermodels on his favorites list as if he was Colin Farrell.

Yes, Shallow Hal lives – and I believe he lives in a majority of American men. Men who are 5s want women who are 10s. And women who are 5s are often left out in the cold, at least in L.A., where I live…

Men who are 5s want women who are 10s. And women who are 5s are often left out in the cold.

If anybody should be judged harshly, it’s men for refusing to let women age gracefully. Most men do not break out of gender roles and societal expectations. So while you may know a handful of men who don’t care about looks, they are rarities. They are the gold standard, the type that every woman should be striving to date. But if you’re under the illusion that they grow on trees, it’s time to wake up and smell the Kiehl’s anti-aging lotion. The number of guys who are “above” the whole looks thing may fill a classroom, but not a stadium, and definitely not a big enough portion of the male population to suggest any type of trend.

In a weak moment, I bet that even the most non-judgmental guy around would say that he wants a mind, soul, and body connection – but only if she takes care of her body.

So, Tia-Maria, why do dating experts tell men how to get the hottest women possible? …

Because that’s what men want. Plain and simple. Dating experts try to sell products by connecting with readers’ basest wishes. And for men, the holy grail is to be able to get the hot girl. What these men rarely consider is that the hot girl might also be emotionally bankrupt, unintelligent, flaky, humorless, and lack basic human empathy. These details don’t concern them. Men’s repeated refrain: “I can’t help what I’m attracted to.”

Who do we blame for this? Men, of course, but there’s more than enough responsibility to go around. After all, women buy into the Beauty Myth just as much as men do. Advertising and media saturation reinforce the image of perfect bodies and skin, and women spend thousands of dollars each year striving for an impossible standard. And to please whom? Men? Themselves? I’m not sure anyone can agree on this stuff.

And where does this realization leave you, Tia-Maria? I would say right back where you were before. Secure in who you are and who you’re not. Validated in your opinion that men are impossibly shallow. And rightfully concerned that you’re going to be overlooked.

Despite my shallow man diatribe, please bear in mind that there is a lid for every pot. Just look around. Most women don’t qualify as “hot” in the Maxim sense, and yet they still get married. The real struggle is in keeping a healthy perspective and a positive attitude until you find the right fit.

So don’t worry about what you can’t control (men); instead, take care of what you can control (yourself).

And trust that the right man will love you as you deserve to be loved.

 

For more commentary on shallow men, please read:

Where Are All The Emotionally Available, Mentally Healthy Men?

How Come Everyone I Want to Meet Online Isn’t Interested In Me?

Are Women More Likely Than Men to Require Chemistry To Go On A Second Date?

Online Daters Are Shallow! And Water Is Wet!

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Comments:

  1. 211
    TheThinker

    What’s in it for a woman who invests her time, resources, and feminine energy, in a “less confident “man — and gets left like that?
    One very fundamental truth that is being left out in all these is the fact that human beings do have certain features that make them human. One of such is the ability to bond with another. Not all men simply get up and leave a woman who has made significant contributions to their lives. Even when some men cheat, they make it clear to their mistresses that they won’t ever leave their wives and kids.
    A woman who won’t contribute to a man’s life does not deserve him. Same with a man who won’t help the woman out. Heck, didn’t Evan recently write an article which showed that successful marriages require two generous people in them?
     

  2. 212
    hunter

    @thethinker#213,
     
    …the longer one stays at home on the screen(t.v./computer) the more work one creates for the counselor/psychologist….there must be a way to navigate through the “ocean” of men. 

  3. 213
    Goldie

    ” If I were a woman trying to decide what to “compromise” on, or “settle” for, I would pick confidence.  Plenty of single guys with decent jobs and basically pleasant personalities and an interest in a committed relationship have a deficit in success with women and feel pretty down on themselves.  You can be their savior.  And here is the best part: if you bolster his confidence, you are now dating a guy who is more confident!  Whereas, if you pick a short guy, even after you shower him with your admiration, he may be appreciative, but he will still be short (and I am saying this as a guy who isn’t tall).”
     
    Been there, done that (several times, in fact), disagree with that. Of course this depends upon what one means by confidence. But from my experience, if you date a guy who has a giant chip on his shoulder, then a few years later, he will still be the guy with a giant chip on his shoulder. He will still have that giant chip on his shoulder when he leaves you for some perceived slight (since he will have very thin skin, due to his low confidence). Whereas with a short guy, if you two have a good thing going, you will have a hard time remembering that he’s short a few months into a relationship. My x husband walked with a limp since he was a teenager. I stopped noticing the limp during our first year of dating. After 20 years together, I completely forgot that he had it. But a guy’s inferiority complex will always be on the front of your mind, because you’ll be walking on eggshells around him every day of your relationship.
     
    Don’t get me wrong, men with low confidence and low self-esteem have all of my sympathy. I can be their friend and their shoulder to cry on. I just cannot be their partner. They need a therapist, not a partner. I am not qualified to be their therapist. I cannot give them the help they need, but they can and will drag me down to their level. I’m speaking from experience. For my next relationship, I will be looking for a man who is balanced, happy and content with himself (by which I also do not mean a man who lacks ambition, or interest in learning and growth).

  4. 214
    judy

    I think a man will be attracted to a pretty woman.
     
    What a woman wants in a relationship? To be protected, cherished, listened to (ok not too much :o) and to be in a loving team.  (And that he gets the same treatment, right?)
    Otherwise, frankly why bother?

  5. 215
    Eliza

    i strongly believe that this post is not entirely true.Through my encounter with blogs and forums,it is stated that males mature into looking and valueing the beauty beneath the surface as they matire.Alot of men on forums say that they would rather date an average looking woman rather than a hot one that has no brain and a horrible personality.There’s a blog by an average looking woman who often dates handsome men and she posts the truth and how she does it.Its called ‘5 things I’ve learnt from dating really really good looking guys’ on xojane.com.Look all around you ,there are pleanty of less beautiful or ave rage looking girls and women with partners,the less beautiful ones are sometimes ,or quite often the ones with boyfriends,and the goodlooking ones do not.I went to a fair and observed that most couples are of a better looking male with a less good looking female ir that the girlfriend is simpler than the ashionable ones going in groups with their girlfriends.They are also the ones that look more plain.

    aNd that confidence is they key.And you can beautofy yourself with makeup and clothes.
    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder s,so whether if the men are really shallow in LA for example,the woman are attractive elsewhere and that all males have different opinions and standards on attraciveness.
    There are women on youtube and websites that can trick menninto thinking they are better looking or are man-magnets.This comes to the fliring techniques and personal values.

  6. 216
    hunter

    …@216/217,
     
    …surely, by now we all know…..a mans eyes, are his biggest sex object….harvard did a study on relationships, they found 2/3’s of all men marry for sex/sensual…..

  7. 217
    Karl R

    hunter said: (#218)
    “harvard did a study on relationships, they found 2/3′s of all men marry for sex/sensual”
     
    Could you provide a link to this study? I can’t find any evidence that it exists.

  8. 218
    hunter

    @219,
     
    ……I bellieve it was in the book, “the evolution of desire”,  by Buss, if the quote isn’t there, let me know, I will, suggest another book…that I might have read it out of…..hhmmm…

  9. 219
    The Truth

    I agree. Men are shallow. But women are just as shallow. If you can have the hot, smooth guy, you would pick him almost 100% of the time, just like men would pick the hot woman. The more I live, the less differences I see. Plenty of differences in details, but the end result is the same. If there is anyone we all should be angry at, it’s God. He made us this way. Most of us are fucked from the word “go.” Sweet dreams everyone! :)

  10. 220
    erock

    Just switch teams and date women. You can also just start using men. Sorry but men are unfaithful and generally only value playboy playmates. They are selfish and have no honor or respect for women. I am a very good looking woman and that’s not enough for them either. Men are never satisfied…..and generally lying scum. My adive would be dont emotionally attach yourself to men as they have no feelings.

  11. 221
    hunter

    @219erock,

    I disagree with you, there are herds of good/nice men, that good looking women are not “attracted” to.

  12. 222
    Anais

    Yeah, men care about looks and to say otherwise is a lie. There are a ton of things women can do for themselves without plastic surgery or whatever, if they feel they aren’t “attractive enough”. And if a woman feels she isn’t beautiful enough, it’s going to come out in some way. A lot of men out there don’t find super models attractive in terms of what they want their wife to look like.

    I think my hour glass shape and my baby face is what often physically attracts men, and I enjoy wearing clothes that accentuate it. And I also prefer to wear feminine looking clothes (whether it be a blouse, pants, skirt or dress) over sweats and sneakers, unless I’m going to the gym. I’m definitely not a “10” by Maxim standards but I have no trouble catching a guy’s attention.

    Also, beauty to some degree is subjective. Just because Maxim or whatever says that some woman is the hottest on earth, that doesn’t mean every man will agree. The same way not every man thinks that fair skin, long blonde hair, blue eyes and skinny as a runway supermodel is the epitome of beauty.

    Kay I’m not sure how old your posts are– I’m black Jamaican American, and brown skinned, not “exotic looking” and often feel the same as you. But at the same time, I realized I was choosing men (black and other races) who reflected a lot of my insecurities, so they created a self fulfilling prophecy. Now I’ve realized this, I’m getting ready to change that around.

    I feel I understand where you are coming from, that our society has A LOT of negative stereotypes against black women. But dark skinned black women out there are still getting married to black men and other men, and many have options so it is possible to overcome. I know a lot of those women. Most are married or in relationships with black men, some are with men outside their race.

    I also feel there’s a conspiracy behind spreading all the negativity that black men don’t date black women anymore. Forget statistics and mainstream media, a lot of it is negative garbage. I don’t even watch the news anymore because hearing how this person got shot by their spouse ever day isn’t helping me progress in life. Forget what they say about us, especially when you know you don’t fit that description, the right man for you also won’t care what society has to say.

    Perhaps living in another country will work better for you. I love to travel so maybe I’ll meet someone outside the US too. But I’m not going to dismiss all American men. You certainly sound like you’ve invested a lot of time in receiving professional dating advice. It will pay off. Good luck to you, you can do it. :-)

  13. 223
    John

    Stop it!  Woman and man are the same PERIOD

    1. 223.1
      AllHeart81

      They really aren’t. Largely speaking, our media messages are dominated by a heterosexual male normative fantasy which exclusively focuses on what 18-34 year old men want to see first, and then what 35-55 men want to see. Which means women are subject to media perception based largely around what men want. Most sexual visual content out there is centered around what pleases men most, not what pleases women. So men have largely grown up in a world that has exclusively catered to their visual pleasure. Average joes, even ugly joes, have come to believe they are entitled to 20 year old women that could pose on the cover of male magazines. Because lets be honest, that’s what the world tells them. So many men never grow outside themselves or the media that placates them into remaining Peter Pans. Of course, some men escape this menality and learn how to appreciate women and their sexuality on completely different terms. But most men remain locked in their teenage mentalities toward women, their bodies and sexuality. 
       
      Men and women are not the same. Men are more shallow with a higher level of unrealistic expectations because the media primiarly caters to men’s school boy fantasies. 
       
      Women want real connections with men they find attractive but their idea of what makes a man attractive isn’t nearly has twisted up as men because the world doesn’t cater to the image of a young, buff 20 year old guy serving all her shallow whims in the way men have this entitled fantasy around them everyday. 
       
      So yes, 50 year old men live with the belief that they are just as sexy and exciting as 25 year old men. They aren’t. But 50 year old men live in a world that offers men more entitlements then it does women. 
       
      One day I hope that changes. But for now, men are as shallow as ever and they feel entitlement not just to women and their bodies, but to hot young women and their bodies no matter the man’s age. Remember that kid who shot people and wrote the female-hating manefesto? ALOT of guys feel just like him. They just don’t go shooting up schools but they stil experience those feelings and that level of entitlement aorund women. Women do not have nearly the same level of entitlements. 
       

  14. 224
    Pat

    Men are simplistic in what they are attracted to – they are attracted to “hot” women. But, as far as long term relationships go, most men will tell you that hotness alone doesn’t cut it. There is a reason the man you’re dating isn’t with the hotter women he dated before you, and is with you, and it’s probably not just that he’s thinking “you’ll do”.

  15. 225
    00000

    You know, all those “beautiful” women men lust after are usually Photoshopped. Nothing is like that in nature. Sure there are some naturally beautiful women out there, but guess what? Even if they’re a model they’re still Photoshopped. So men can jerk off all they want at the thought of these “women” who are actually digitally modified. I’m kind of hopping one day sex-bots will be real, then men can leave women alone and live with their stupid immature fantasies.

    1. 225.1
      marymary

      I see quite a few models, they look even better in real life.  Gah!

  16. 226
    Bert

    I tend to disagree with you, to quote Smokey Roinson “pretty girls come a dime a dozen, you’d better find one that’ll give you true lovin”, in fact it is very difficult to find women that aren’t pretty and yet I very rarely want to date all these beautiful women. I’m a very selective man but what attracts me are certain traits, what they bring out in me or how they make me feel. I recently met a beautiful woman that I had no sexual interest in until we’d had a wonderful conversation and I found out that she was everything I’d ever wanted in a woman. A few months later I noticed she had hairy legs, now I’m a leg man, I love them and I love them smooth, but with her I could care less. Yes most men are shallow but we have broad tastes, the woman who wrote in is likely stunning and so are all of you. The only people who feel otherwise are other women, gay men, and guys that prey on low self esteem. 

  17. 227
    Margaret

    I’m a 51 year old woman–still single. I agree with the author that men are very shallow.  It doesn’t change as they get older. A year ago, I thought I had finally met my soul mate–a man a couple of years older, divorced twice, with two grown daughters. We talked about marriage and forever.  And then we met in person (hey, this is the 21st century–we met on FB but knew each other as kids).  The first meeting was almost magical–I had been nervous that he wouldn’t find me young or attractive enough. I’m not unattractive but don’t have the perfect body. Well, he didn’t.  Suddenly, all of the love he proclaimed for me was dropped. In his second trip out to see me (he drove 12 hours both times), he was openly flirting with younger and beautiful women in front of me…one night at a bar he and a 20 something miniskirted woman were making a connection right in front of me (even though we were supposedly engaged).  We fought about it, he left me the next morning (a few days before he had planned) and told me “not to read anything in to it.”  He broke up with me a week later.  Yet he called me almost daily for the next six months and now he is almost never in touch.  I know he finds me brilliant, smart, funny and we have the same interests and see life the same way but the truth is I just wasn’t hot enough for him.  He is very attractive and why should he settle for someone when he can have hotter and younger?  In a way I don’t blame him.  But it is his loss.  He has a medical condition that will probably leave him wheelchair bound in a few years. I didn’t care.  I loved him and would have taken care of him. I excited his mind–even after he broke up he called me almost nightly for six months.  That lessened over time and I’m sure he’s dating other women. But I know in my gut he misses me and wonders if he made a mistake.  Still, I do get it.  Looks are very important to men and sometimes the other stuff doesn’t make them want to be with you.  It is a hard swallow to pill for someone who is beautiful inside–and as I mentioned, I’m not unattractive and some people would say I was beautiful.  I just wasn’t beautiful enough for the one man I have loved more than anyone else.  That sucks.  Maybe in the next life I can be the Victoria’ Secret model.

  18. 228
    Helen

    First of all,I am not looking to get married! Ever!  What I wanted to say is that women are just as VISUAL as men, the only difference is women are more secretive about it. Call me shallow if you must but I would not date someone whom I find repulsive. I am a fitness freak and work hard to keep myself in good shape, I diligent about personal hygiene and grooming. Is it unreasonable to expect to date someone similar?

  19. 229
    Me

    YES men focus on looks! Not fair to us women but true. Women need to focus on things they love in life, create meaningful friendships, passion for creative pursuits, putting energy into causes they believe in. Doing this creates a vibrant and fulfilling life without a man and if one comes along who doesn’t mind how you look then he is the one for you. 

    It’s completely reasonable to feel disappointed and even angry about the injustice BUT creating a full and meaningful life will  take the edge off.

    Even those 10’s find it hard because they may find someone who they think loves them only to find as they age their man turns away from them  Yes, men can be very shallow regarding their expectations about looks and I wish it wasn’t this way….. but it is. That is why it is vital for any woman to create a vibrant life for herself regardless of whether she wants a commitment with a  man or already has one.

  20. 230
    Kate

    Sorry to say, but I do initially focus on looks. I am a 40yo divorced woman & I do have physical preferences. I like shorter, stockier men with brown/darker skin & a twinkle of sexual naughtiness in their eyes. Tall, Anglo men do not attract me, however nice they are. The looks get me in & then next on the list is petsonality traits. Yes, I am superficial, but Brad Pitt, pretty boys are NOT my cup of tea. 

  21. 231
    Jan

    I am an unattractive woman, born that way, through no fault of my own. It saddens me that all of life’s milestones (getting engaged, married, and having children) have all passed me by. I am compassionate, well educated, have a good sense of humor, but none.of that has ever mattered to any man. I have never even been asked out on a date. It is very difficult being on the outside looking in.

    1. 231.1
      hunter

      ..dating coaches help…..

  22. 232
    JennNOLA

    “But I wasn’t condoning the behavior, I was merely reporting it. This is what men do, whether we like it or not. ”

    Thank you for your refreshing and rare outlook, Evan. I see nothing wrong with “calling it as you see it”. If you are wrong, debate the point on its facts – look for real-world evidence. Don’t pretend that the world is not as it really is. 

  23. 233
    K

    this is terrible. Unclear who you are writing for or what you trying to achieve. Outside beauty, while evident, is not the piece is the attraction puzzle.

  24. 234
    chris

    women can be shallow just ask an ugly guy………
    im a guy lets say on the scale of 1 to 10 im 2.
      i know what it means to be  rejected or never getting that call from girls ,they speak to you but could never see you as a potential date.
    they say,smile more,dress better do this do that….i see guys dressed like bums who get girlfriends but physically they look better then me………
    im coming to that stage where i cant be bothered and im not interested anymore.  
    confidence and self worth is vital because  it shows what you think of yourself.

    1. 234.1
      hunter

      chris,
      ….I think  seeing a dating coach can help with your situation…

  25. 235
    starthrower68

    I just saw a scene, on Glee of all places, where the rather masculine female coach is asked out by an attractive male coach. She tries to talk him out of it because she “doesn’t look the way pretty girls look”.  Being average myself, I get that.  It’s very difficult to receive a man’s attention when you know you don’t measure up.  Yah, maybe on one hand it’s insecurity to an extent, but I am naive. I know how these things usually work.

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