If Men Like Only 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?  


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!

Join our conversation (501 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 281

    dazza, are you asking how does a man know if a woman is hot?…most men know when they see her..

  2. 282

    Seriously this makes me sad. No mention of love. But I suppose it is true. Only women bleed huh.

    1. 282.1

      Katherine, no mention of love?…..you mean love at first sight?….at 50? unlikely, at this age we choose to be with someone…..

  3. 283

    If the girl in that pic is considered “average,” and is among those getting “overlooked” by men in favor of hotter women, I am royally screwed.

    1. 283.1

      laura,….how so?…

      1. 283.1.1

        Basically what she is saying is that the woman in the picture is above average at the very lowest, and to honest, I totally agree. If that is “average” then you have to be Jessica Alba to be considered “attractive” which is about 2-3% of women.

        1. hunter

          rondolo, …….”which is about 2-3% of women.”       I believe the percentage of   “attractive” women is higher.

  4. 284

    Ah sorry folks.   I happen to know of  two extremely beautiful woman whom men avoid.    Both have it all physically.

    And know it.

    And this seems to be a huge put-off for all those available men out there.

    To be fair, I once dated a man with film star looks and yes, this attracted me.   However, his rather horrible personality was a turn-off.

    Takes all sorts.   Thank God.


  5. 285

    Judy, does that mean your two, tall, long neck, shapely girl friends, have a horrible personality?

  6. 286

    To women: REACT.




    Stop being nice to EVIL treatment the minute you receive it. And let’s see if they keep those high standards… Our grandmothers knew this SO well…

  7. 287

    It leaves everyone in that situation in the friend zone and every guy that does that in the a world of trouble became women shouldn’t be friends with a guy like that

  8. 288
    liminal minimal

    Also it sure seems to me dudes like ‘spinners’. I know at 5’9″ (the height of the average American male) I’m considered”tall.” Add some nice 3″ Italian ankle boots,  my ‘high-maintenance’ unstraightened curly hair and my   glasses-wearing ass ain’t getting much interest.

    However conversely, as some have pointed this out (no super-hotties though?) the super hot dudes in my experience are so sick of being a POA to chicks, often getting physically sexually harassed in the meantime can’t even come out the wood work even here. So ladies, if like em suuuuuperhot, you might just get yourself a less-shallow, sensitive, feminist hottie if he’s evolved a bit after the 25 years fucking spree. Average 6s, acceptable 7s, lookin’ good 8s and carefree 9s take note: here’s a lot of nice lonely superhot guys out there just waiting for you to see past the dazzle…


  9. 289


    This is an old article…but I disagree! Women seem to me to be much worse than men when it comes to unrealistic expectations around looks. Ive tried to set women who are 5s up with buddies who are 5s but while the men might give it a shot the ladies aren’t feeling it out of the gate (admittedly the underlying hope from the guys was to get laid).

    When I ask there same women why they rejected an associate of mine I get back a bunch of nitpicking (too short (even though taller than she is), reversing hairline,car not nice Enough, etc)….

    Sorry ladies you are beauty ninnies as much as we are…

    1. 289.1

      This is untrue for several reasons.

      1. Standards for women are more strict to begin with. Women are expected to jump through never ending hoops to look attractive and remain young looking while men aren’t. Men don’t have to get Botox, and filler and breast implants, and do their make up or any of that stuff that women feel they have to do simply to remain revelant to society.   Heck, the U.K. Is still trying to fight agaisnt businesses who show discrimination toward women by demanding they always wear heels.   man are never forced to meet such ridiculous standards professionally or personally. Society is filled with images that present unrealistic images of women at a significantly higher rate then that of men. Women and their bodies are used endlessly over mens in imagery. Young teen boys grow up worshipping photoshopped images of beautiful women which screws expectations. Or playing video games of nearly naked, perfect looking game girls. And sadly, little girls also grow up with photoshopped images of beautiful women that society convinces them to immulate. Little girls aren’t pouring over magazine and media of unrealistic images of photoshopped men like boys do once they hit puberty.

      2. Personal perception of one’s looks doesn’t mean accurate judgement. Just because you think these women matched your friends in looks, doesn’t mean they were matches. You most likely have a stricter judgement for these women vs your own friends.

      3. Your friends experiences do not automatically exist as the world’s experiences. You are more likely to see a beautiful woman with an unattractive male but it is rare to see a beautiful male with an unattractive female.


  10. 290

    So men, if you meet a woman who is “okay” looking or is pretty, but not model material, would you entertain the thought of a relationship with her if she has a great personality, common interests, not after your money, etc?

    I see a lot of beautiful women in relationships, but I feel like I equally see the same amount of “average” beauty women in relationships.

    I agree (as a female) that there has to be a certain level of attraction. I don’t need a o or 10, but I need to be somewhat attracted. If I’m somewhat attracted, usually personality can increase their level of attractiveness…in my personal opinion/experience.


    1. 290.1


      *I don’t need a 9 or 10

    2. 290.2

      Sarah, a man knows who he wants, when he sees her…

      1. 290.2.1

        Right, but I’m asking if she’s attractive, but not a 10, would you still consider her dating material? Maybe I’m misinterpreting this article, but to me, it’s saying a woman has to be a 10. What if she’s a 7 or 8?

        1. hunter

          Sarah, all men are different, some men prefer 10’s, other men 7 or 8..still other men 6 or 5….

  11. 291

    I guess it’s the same for women as well.

  12. 292

    So why are we arguing here, people?? Men like pretty women…so women, get a gym membership. Do something with your hair, nails, and teeth. Be hot. It’s the easiest thing to do. Men: be better. Get a good job. Pursue your passions. Workout. Educate yourself. Make money. Jesus. Be better…so if we can just do the basics, then this shit blog wouldn’t even exist.

    1. 292.1
      Empty Well

      A gym membership won’t turn a 5’2″ 41 year old with short legs into a 5’8″ 19 year old leggy super model. Hopeless for any woman who’s not a perfect 10.

      But who wants to marry Shallow Hal anyhow? He’ll throw you away when something younger and hotter comes along. Losing battle.

    2. 292.2
      Empty Well

      A lot of us can’t be the Perfect 10’s men demand.

      I take care of myself but not for dates. I know I’m not hot enough for men my age and no amount of exercise and grooming will make me a young Jennifer Aniston.

      Forget dating. I don’t need a Shallow Hal in my life or want that kind of guy for a husband! Happier alone than with constant put downs.

  13. 293

    The only problem I see with this article is it didn’t really answer the original question. “And trust that the right man will love you as you deserve to be loved.”   You can’t guarantee that.   You didn’t offer any advice on how an average or plain woman or one lacking wow factor or whatever it is a man needs to fall in love, can get a man to fall for her, in spite of her appearance.   There is only so much one can do in terms of grooming etc. I don’t believe the problem is always the woman is looking for a man who is out of her league.   The problem is often men want women out of their league and even when the woman drops all of her criteria and settles the man who himself is a 3 or 4 still wants a woman who is a 10 and would rather be single and alone than mate with a 5 or 6 woman.   

  14. 294
    Empty Well

    I have been trying to look like a blonde Barbie doll since my teens. Developed an ED obsessing over my fat, ugly body. Never good enough.

    If all single men are emotionally abusive–I have dated my share–I will never date again. Seriously. No woman enjoys being repeatedly called ugly. But guys think we do somehow.

    My dad and other men are kind hearted. Not shallow either. But they married before 25. Like all decent men do.

    Not picky. But I refuse to settle for an abuser!
    Women over 40 shouldn’t date. The only guys left in the pool are abusive drunks and creepers.

    1. 294.1

      Hi Empty Well – Sorry for you bad experiences. However, there are good men over 40. I met my now hubby when he was 67. He is not a drunk or a creeper. He is a real gem !

  15. 295

    This article is spot on. Guys in all categories want fit women. Facial beauty is not important as I have seen from many of my ex’ s. They only care how fit or thin a girl is. When I got married I was very fit and weighed 130 at 5’6 most was muscle and my husband still wanted to know when I was going to lose weight. My ex husband left me when I gained weight. The guy after that said I wasn’t fit enough in spite of losing weight and doing orange theory 5x a week. The girls he dated after me were much thinner but much uglier. His good friend only dated girls who were crackhead thin as he liked to say. Every guy on the online site I talked to stated they don’t like fat girls and asked me if I was. I am average now but I refuse to date guys who even bring up weight as a subject and of course most of them were not that great body wise. I am in the process of losing weight just so I can date because for some reason all the guys who don’t make weight an issue are all taken. I learned guys will not change and if i want someone i will just have to give them what they are looking for.

  16. 296
    Danielle Bell

    I’ve noticed that a lot of men (single over 25) actually choose to date plain homely women…while I don’t consider myself beautiful I find myself only being hit on by married men with overweight unattractive wives. One had only been married for 1 year so I know his wife was heavy when he decided to marry her. It seems men want to settle down with uglier girls.

    A single man I was very attracted to didn’t even give me much of a chance when I tried to engage him in conversation. He is now dating a very out of shape ordinary woman with a child from a previous relationship.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *