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? 


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 (493 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 91


    I trust you’ve read previous posts, not just by me. I think many men have made clear that they are far more willing to trade (hot chick of the moment)’s looks for a great personality. Men in general do not care what women earn, so we do not consider that as a necessary component. (Because hey, we are supposed to pay for everything, right?) Keep in mind we are talking about having a LTR with the person in question, not whether we’d like to bang them. That is the distinction. We understand the reality is that (pinup girl of the month), while hot, is probably far less likely to have a good personality.

    However, as I said above, women simply need to bring looks & personality to the party. Men need to bring looks, personality & money to the party. What I gather from your post is that you lament that you feel men only value looks. I do not feel that women value only money, but they place a far higher value on it than a man’s looks and certainly personality. Mathematically speaking, men need to bring more to the party. (looks + personality +money). I think women who bring less to the party (looks + personality) should not complain.

    Secondly, on the subject of understanding the opposite sex, if women in general cannot understand men’s valid point about the preoccupation women have with what men can do for them economically speaking, there’s nothing I can do to help them on that front. I would note that this economic preoccupation in effect disregards them as people…see the problem?

    The complaint women have is that we overvalue their looks and ignore them as people. Same problem, no?

    Further, on the subject of understanding, I would like to point out that the main response to mine and similar posts is to try and dehumanize me and men who posit the same (“You’re bitter” “Stop Whining” “You must have been hurt”….blah blah). I have news for you – insulting men who may disagree with you (not you personally) is not an effective communication tactic. It’s no wonder so many ladies who do this have relationship problems. Not to mention it gives men zero incentive to try and understand or work with you. Obviously this doesn’t apply to all women as what you state doesn’t apply to all men, but you can see my point, I trust…

  2. 92

    I think many men have made clear that they are far more willing to trade (hot chick of the moment)s looks for a great personality.

    That might be what men say, but that isn’t what men do. I see many men choose a very obvious sexual woman who is not a nice person and have a relationship with her over the “great personality” who is “cute”. What men claim is true, and what men actually do, is very telling and sometimes two different things. That is why you always need to look at a man’s actions before his words.

    I stand by what I said earlier that you didn’t directly address. The big difference between men and women that a woman knows she isn’t getting Brad Pitt but she considers her man better then Brad Pitt. She doesn’t care if she doesn’t end up with Brad Pitt. With men, they know they aren’t getting Jessica Alba, but they “sacrifice” and don’t consider their mate better. They put images like Jessica Alba on a higher pedestal then the own women in their life. It is very disheartening to know this but it is a fact about men and women. Women just appreicate their men more obviously then men value theirs.
    We understand the reality is that (pinup girl of the month), while hot, is probably far less likely to have a good personality
    But what if she does have a good personality then? Come on. Not every pretty girl has a crappy personality. This statement is said more to “appease” women then for there to be any real truth in it.

    Still goin on the “hot pin-up girls” topic, I guess men can live vicariously on the internet with x amount of “hot pin up girls” and “settle” for their real life woman at the same time to meet a man’s needs similtamiously. Unfortunetly, alot of women end up being short changed in their realtionship and feminity with their men because of this. It isn’t men that pay the price for it, it is women.
    Men need to bring looks, personality & money to the party

    I disagree with your assesment that men have to bring more to the party. I also disagree that you seem to think women should not voice their hurts and issues with men because *you* think women need to bring less.

    While a man does have a higher standard on what money he brings to the table then a woman, a woman has a higher standard on her looks she brings to the table then a man. I know so many typically unattractive men with pretty women. I don’t know unattractive women with super hot men.

    Men are not held to the same look standard. A woman just wants a guy *she* is attracted to. And that doesn’t equate to looking like a model. Which is why most women don’t sit around masturbating to models and most men do. (Again, unfortunetly for women since they once again get treated with little regard to their needs).

    I know many men that do desire a woman that works and is motiviated and has a steady income. Maybe she isn’t held to the same standard of money a man is, but he certainly isn’t held to the same standard of looks she is. Luckily for men, women don’t sit around masturbating to men with tons of money to the same extent men sit around masturbating to women who are pretty. If we did, image how much more men would be insecure about the money issue then they already are.
    insulting men who may disagree with you (not you personally) is not an effective communication tactic. Its no wonder so many ladies who do this have relationship problems. Not to mention it gives men zero incentive to try and understand or work with you.
    The funny thing about communication is both genders think they are the better at communnicating, when neither is a very effective in getting their point across to the opposite gender. And just like certain things give men zero incentive to try and understand women and work with us, the same happens in return. Men don’t always give incentive to help a woman try to understand and work with him.

  3. 93

    Good post, Jerseygirl. It’s good to have respectful discourse on the matter. FYI, some words may be flippant for brevity. No disrespect intended. I hope this won’t be too long. I’m going to abbreviate the quotes, for shortness.

    Jersey Girl wrote
    “That might be what men say, but that isnt what men do. I see many men choose a very obvious sexual woman who is not a nice person and have a relationship with her over the great personality who is cute.

    – My answer – It’s based on sex. Men will tolerate a crappy personality for some time as long as the sex is great. (cost/benefit & all) When the crappy personality outweighs the great sex, it’s time to move on.

    Jerseygirl wrote:
    “The big difference between men and women that a woman knows she isnt getting Brad Pitt but she considers her man better then Brad Pitt. She doesnt care if she doesnt end up with Brad Pitt.”

    – My answer – Hooey. The posts above and other threads indicate that women have a clear preference for men who possess looks & money. I mentioned other cited articles that illustrate this (74% marry for $$). I do not doubt that what you posit exists, but it seems clear from the available evidence that’s way in the minority.

    Jerseygirl wrote:
    “Men are not held to the same look standard…..needs).”

    “I know many men that do desire a woman that works and…same standard of looks she is.”

    – My answer – I’ve answered this previously. I’m not going to repeat it. Women in general are more willing to compromise on a guy’s looks if he has $. It’s good you acknowledge the double standard regarding women’s earnings in the dating arena…though I think the crack about masturbation is unwarranted and unfounded.

    I also trust you understand I did not mean you personally in the paragraph that began “insulting men who may disagree . . .”

    Jerseygirl wrote:
    The funny thing about communication . . .work with him.”

    – My answer -Respectfully, your answer is vague. What specific communication to men fail to make? I do not get it. I specifically stated specific communications that cause problems, and have seen none in return. Simply stating that men are not effective doesn’t solve the issue. I admit that there may be some men who are not clear at communicating, but I’ve found that most are. Then again, I don’t date men, lol.

    Good, post again, JG

  4. 94
    dialog with verbosity

    Well, thank you for keeping this blog abuzz with controversy. It certainly stimulates debate.

    My one comment to you is that what you consider “reality” or “fact” or “observations” are perhaps far more subjective than you think. I wouldn’t be so quick as you to conclude that what a tiny fistful of studies suggests equates to the truth.

    Hadley once suggested you were a lawyer. Well, I am a scientist. I’m clearly far more skeptical than when it comes to being convinced that a few numbers represent objective reality.

    Are you certain that you haven’t dated only a SUBSET of women, and that your perceptions of women aren’t limited to the kind of woman you’re attracted to? Absolutely certain?

    Please don’t think I’m trying to insult you with my line of questioning. You’re obviously a deep thinker. I just wonder how often you’ve turned your dizzying intellect on yourself to examine trends in your own thinking.

  5. 95

    dear dialogue,

    “Please dont think Im trying to insult you . . . Youre obviously a deep thinker . . .turned your dizzying intellect on yourself . . .”

    You are insulting, but I’ll be so kind as to answer your question anyway.

    My conclusions (which I do not love, by the way) are based upon data that I have seen, in the form of different statistics, surveys and articles. I am open to other conclusions. No one offers any. Curious.

    “Im clearly far more skeptical than when it comes to being convinced that a few numbers represent objective reality.” By all means, please provide SOME data, ANY data. At least there are a “tiny fistful” of studies for my conclusions.

    As a scientist, I would think that the method of objecting to another’s conclusions is to present evidence that refutes those conclusions in whole or in part. I would think that questioning the scientist’s person or fishing for information about his personal life is not accepted practice…

    Perhaps most people simply don’t like the conclusions I’ve drawn for what those conclusions say about themselves.

    And so I’d like to ask the same question back. “Please dont think Im trying to insult you with my line of questioning. Youre obviously a deep thinker. I just wonder how often youve turned your dizzying intellect on yourself to examine trends in your own thinking.”

  6. 96
    two.can.play (formerly dialog with verbosity)

    Actually it’s perfectly acceptable in the scientific community to first challenge the method by which another arrives at his conclusions. Before I present data to refute anything, it must first be deemed worthy of refuting. Don’t you agree? There are a lot of people out there who make a lot of claims. You couldn’t possibly have the time to address them all, correct?

    And your perception that I have insulted you is perhaps personal projection. I am completely sincere whenm I say you are a deep thinker with a dizzying intelligence. You clearly think deeply on matters, as evidenced by your lengthy posts. And to read the fruits of your intellect is a truly dizzying experience. Therefore, I have born you no insult.

    And if you think I have further insulted you by suggesting you lack the finances to win the affections of the women you’ve pursued, well then you are mistaken there as well. You see, I do not place a value on a person by what’s in his wallet. (I believe you’ve said that’s a good thing) Therefore, for me to suggest you are poor is not a personal attack but a hypothesis to explain why you overly emphasize what you perceive as the female tendency to over-emphasize the pocketbook. By taking my suggestion as an insult, I believe it demonstrates that YOU yourself place a value on what’s in your pocketbook. WHich means you’ve fallen victim to the mentality to which you so strenuously object. For if money were no big deal to you, you would not take my suggestion as a slight.

    If you would allow my personal opinion to enter the discussion, I must say I find you fascinating. Now I don’t have the abundance of free time to devote to this blog as you do (I tend to spend my time on dates with very agreeable companions ), but I shall certainly check in to respond to your titillating posts when time permits!

  7. 97

    This is by far the most foolish and unintelligent site with “advice” I’ve ever come across…”men are dumb and they only want hot bimbo’s”, thank heaven I live among Danish men with way more substance, strength and lust for adventurous and smart women as opposed to this example of the dark ages! But from what I can tell you just erase women as blind if they don’t agree with you on what men wants and what men are about, and according to you that’s solely hot young girls of the most dumb and stereotyp kinds. It equals setting us (men and women) back 50 years or so, and I will not have that shit in my mailbox ever again. Now I’ll go give the next warm, funny and intelligent man on my way a big hug for not being as shallow as this crap!

  8. 98

    Dear Readers,

    If one’s idea of challenging method is to question me and my personal background, it’s nothing more than a fallacious way to turn the focus on me, not the substance of what I said. I grant it is more clever than other posters’ tactics, but the same strategy nonetheless. Funny how still no one proffers any separate evidence to refute what I said.

    By the way, anyone catch the articles regarding how much women lie? Links:

    500 women polled (not the largest sample, I grant)..75% lie about money, 60% cheated on spouse, and other examples.

    The reason I bring up these types of items: Balance. Many men are aware of human flaws and openly acknowledge them. Women, generally speaking, act as though they are morally superior beings who never, ever engage in immoral or amoral conduct. They are not superior. Nor are they inferior (though some men would disagree). They are the same, though different.

    As a note to Two.Can…

    I extended you the courtesy of answering your question. I also asked the same question of you that you asked of me. Your answer indicates quite clearly that you must deem something worthy of refuting. Curiously, synonyms for ‘deem worthy’ include patronize, condescend and ‘lower oneself’… With such a vastly superior knowledge, one would think it would be no trouble at all to refute anything I’ve said.

    Additionally, your comments that assert your sincerity, intimate I am ‘projecting,’ ‘lack the finances’ and that I somehow have “fallen victim to the mentality to which you (I) so strenuously object,” remain nothing more than cute little devices to turn this about me, not what I said or the evidence upon which it is based.

    Now, looking at your post as a whole, you have:

    1. Not refuted anything I’ve stated previously;
    2. Ignored my direct question to you;
    3. Patronized me;
    4. Accused me of projection; and
    5. Intimate I am poor.

    I can say more (such as the use of shaming techniques), but why bother? Readers get the point. I extended you the courtesy of answering your sarcastic original question. You insulted me in reply, and extended me no such courtesy by answering my question. So you see, simply by stating you are not insulting when in fact you are, you make my arguments for me. By providing no contradicting evidence, you make my arguments for me. By patronizing me, you make my arguments for me. By trying to shame me, you make my arguments for me. Thank you for that.

    I’m not going to engage Two.can or any other posters in such silly exchanges any longer. They clearly are unproductive.


  9. 99

    think this article is the perfect counterpoint to verbosity’s over-reliance on studies to make cases for his arguments. I adore the author, Mark Morford, and want to have at least half of his babies.

    ( )

  10. 100

    I never had a boyfriend in highschool.
    In my 6 years of college only one person tried to date me and I married him. In the 19 years of being with my boyfriend then husband of 16 years; no one every flirted with me.
    I have been separated for a year with no ring on my still no flirts or pick ups. I think I am attractive, but men don’t see me has attractive. I smile, try to look open and inviting, still nothing.

  11. 101

    Janne not all men are like that , I’ve been with my mate for 32 years and I suppose I’ve been very lucky to have found the right woman the first time out as she found me.
    I’ve seen the wreckage alot of men leave behind them – kids all over with several women . Thing is few people care to travel the love path – its too much me me me me going on to have anything left for a loving relationship. Thats why we see these dating services all over taking advantage of these losers hooking them up with more women to screw over – it goes on and on . thank GOD ‘ I found true love and I maintain it keep it that way for I don’t want to end up like these losers .
    People think thier occupation is who they are – thats a sample of how out to lunch they are. lol

  12. 102

    All men revere beauty, no doubt about that. If any guy said that Jessica Alba wasn’t hot, I would question his sexual preference. That being said, there ARE differing opinions as to what makes us women desirable and beautiful. Some men prefer small, natural breasts over fake 34Ds. Some guys prefer Asians, while others prefer blondes. One of my best friends liked women with big teeth — ask him why, not me. I have met many tall men (over 6 foot 2) who date only very petite women (5 foot 3 and under). And on, and on, and on.

    All women have visual preferences too, and to deny that is pure hypocrisy. Hence, we see the advantages for tall men. He can have an average face and a mediocre salary if he’s six-four, but the beautiful-faced and totally ripped M.D. who’s five-four won’t get the time of day from many ladies. At least not in the very strange world of online dating. Maybe if you met both guys at the supermarket, it would be a different story.

    The way I see it, a lot of women overlook the Beauty thing for a mate if the guy has other attributes because they place more value on making a lifelong connection. Men are pre-programmed to spread the seed and don’t view things in the same way.

  13. 103

    To Rachel,

    Those six foot plus men you have met that date short women, do that, because that is what is available. Men will never say you that. There are six foot plus women some where in the world, but, that is a very narrow pool of available single women….

  14. 104

    to Rachel,

    I try to date different nationalities, but, I get a much bigger response, if I stay within my ethnicity.

  15. 105


    I respectfully disagree, from personal observation — it was just one example of the many differing things that guys find attractive, anyway. As I said, some guys like this, others like that — and I hope you’ll agree that a guy can find any number of attributes beautiful and have preferences (height, shape, whatever). At any rate, the six two-plus guys I know get hit on all the time by five foot 10 ladies, but they simply prefer the petite women. If you said it was a psychological thing, or social conditioning, I might agree there. Best wishes to you.

  16. 106

    to Rachel,

    Really? Six foot-plus men prefer petite women?….hhhmmmhhh. I have noticed, that petite women try harder/make themselves available/use obvious body language, to get a mans attention….

  17. 107

    To Rachel,

    Ask your six foot plus male friends, that are seeing petite women, “who approached who first?” Just out of curiosity….

  18. 108

    Best of luck to you, Hunter.

  19. 109

    like we stand on our toes to look him in the eyes? 😉

  20. 110

    To Cinnamon:

    Yeah, and it’s so cool when they bend down to gaze back. Plus, we can wear any kind of shoe without towering over the guy. Ah, yes indeed.

  21. 111

    I’m quite petite and get more hit on by taller guys then shorter ones.

  22. 112

    To Rachel,

    Thank you..

  23. 113

    To cinnamon,

    you’re funny!….he, he, he,

  24. 115


    I thought they jumped up & down, firing flare guns & blowing whistles…

  25. 116

    to the rev T,

    Somehow I don’t think short men are afraid of hitting on petite women. It is more like, petite women are attracted to tall men. Women teach tall men the social/relationship skills, men need to relate.

  26. 117

    to vino,

    Ha! Ha!, you are funny!…he, he, he,,,

  27. 118

    We do. And we do all that in a rockin pair of heels and cute outfit.

  28. 119

    to Vino,

    They are always hiring at the Comedy club in Hollywood, I sense, you would do well there,…….

  29. 120

    good idea, next time I have to try that! 🙂

Leave a Reply

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