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dating coach for smart, strong, successful women Evan Marc Katz
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 like 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 their fixation with attractive women, 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 worked 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 – particularly a woman with low self-esteem – 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 these 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 — men STILL feel like having twenty-something supermodels on their favorites list as if they were 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 it’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 attractive women, not average looking women. What these men rarely consider is that some beautiful women 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. Be secure in who you are and who you’re not. Validated in your opinion that men are impossibly shallow, obsessed in their pursuit of dating attractive people. And rightfully concerned that you’re going to be overlooked.

Despite my shallow man diatribe, please bear in mind that there’s a lid for every pot. Just look around. Most women don’t qualify as “pretty girls” or “hot” in the Instagram model sense, yet they still get married. The real struggle is keeping a healthy perspective and self-esteem, and most importantly, 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.

~Evan