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Physical attractiveness - do I overemphasize this?


corvidae

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I'm interested in two questions and would like people's views:

 

Right now I am concerned with the question "am I ugly or am I attractive or somewhere in between." To be it is the most important question when it comes to success with the opposite sex.

 

I am basing this a lot on how I see women react to men, and on hearing women talk to each other. The question women always seem to ask is 'is he hot' rather and all other details seem to be secondary considerations. I also base this view on the fact that I have many good qualities including wit, career success and intelligence, but women do not seem to be attracted to these qualities at all.

 

So my questions are:

 

1. Do you think I am overemphasising the importance of physical appearance? I would particularly be interested in the views of British women on this (but please post anyway if you want to).

 

2. How important is eye contact and smiling in making someone find you attractive? If you thought someone was good looking, but they looked moody and did not smile at you, would you smile at them? Again, I'd most like the views of women, but please do post whoever you are.

 

3. They say confidence is important, but I want to understand what people think this means. I do not think I am not confident, in fact I will talk to anyone as I have a great deal of confidence in my personality, however I don't think I am attractive physically because the evidence I have from the reactions of woman indicate that MOST (99%) either think I am not attractive or actually think I am ugly.

 

4. A question really for women, which is: has there ever been a case of you being attracted to man but not acting on this at all and even deliberately ignoring this person. If so, why did you exhibit this begaviour?

 

The purpose of question 4 is really to try to understand the link between how women act outwardly compared to how they feel inwardly. I know people are different, so I'd appreciate a range of responses.

 

Here's a range of pictures of me, I know some will think me ugly some not, but I want to know if, just based on my phsical appearance, how limited do you think I am in terms of being able to find women to date? (I put three pics soley to give you a better idea than one photo would give you - they are from different times and places).

 

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1. yes, great observation for yourself. this is what, your 3/4th post you are asking about your appearance or something similar? stop dwelling on this. it projects outward to the world. and yes, to women.

 

2. always make eye contact with someone you find attractive. if they seem to be glum or look like they are in a bad mood, you can shoot them a smile. no harm. if they look away, forget about it. you worry too much.

 

3. being confident is a bundle of things. it's not just physical and it's not just mental. it is however mostly mental. you have to know your strong points. if it's not your looks that you think are your best quality, maybe it's your humor, being artistic, or something else. you have to accent those points about yourself. it's like marketing. basically, being confident is being comfortable in your own skin. you shouldn't worry what people think of you. especially someone you don't know.

 

4. i'm not a woman, but....there are plenty of times women don't make moves and some girls play games.

 

there is not for sure link between how a woman acts and how she feels. everybody is different. if you find a woman attractive, go talk to her. just do it.

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I'm really shy around guys I find attractive, so I'll make quick eye contact and look away. Some of that is my own self esteem - guys find me very attractive but I look in the mirror and see my mom! So I am more smiley and friendly to "average" looking or even "unattractive" guys because I feel more comfortable.

 

Why do I say this? Because you aren't going to find generalities when it comes to how women will behave. I think everyone responds differently, based upon mood at the moment, things on their mind, how they feel that day, do they feel attractive at the moment, etc. Mix your own insecurities with a woman's insecurities and you can have fun trying to solve for X.

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1. Do you think I am overemphasising the importance of physical appearance? I would particularly be interested in the views of British women on this (but please post anyway if you want to).

 

Yes, you are. And to be honest, vanity in men is a real turn off for this British woman! It just seems very self-absorbed to be honest, which is deeply unattractive. This level of self-analysis is not endearing. It's like the classic girl question 'does my bum look big in this' - it's not charming, it's just irritating.

 

2. How important is eye contact and smiling in making someone find you attractive? If you thought someone was good looking, but they looked moody and did not smile at you, would you smile at them? Again, I'd most like the views of women, but please do post whoever you are.

 

I like men who chat me up. Never been interested in chasing after a guy. I assume he's not interested if he's looking moody.

 

3. They say confidence is important, but I want to understand what people think this means. I do not think I am not confident, in fact I will talk to anyone as I have a great deal of confidence in my personality, however I don't think I am attractive physically because the evidence I have from the reactions of woman indicate that MOST (99%) either think I am not attractive or actually think I am ugly.

 

Forget about physical appearance - you're giving it too much importance.

 

4. A question really for women, which is: has there ever been a case of you being attracted to man but not acting on this at all and even deliberately ignoring this person. If so, why did you exhibit this begaviour?

 

I don't act on it generally - I am quite shy, and so I let the guy make the move.

 

Seriously, yu're not going to find the validation you seem to need of your physical looks here. It's not about looks, it's about that spark.

 

So long as you're groomed, make the most of yourself etc (i.e toned body, clear healthy skin, bright eyes!), then everyone can be nice looking enough to pull. It's personality that counts...

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So long as you're groomed, make the most of yourself etc (i.e toned body, clear healthy skin, bright eyes!), then everyone can be nice looking enough to pull. It's personality that counts...

 

That statement in itself is enough to cause self-esteem issues in people. There are also plenty of happy relationships out there between people who do not hit the gym, might have a few skin blemishes (Brad Pitt had terrible acne pitting for example), and might not be photogenic.

 

As long as you or anyone else makes an honest effort to be open, friendly and pleasant, I think those are the keys.

 

You have a very nice smile - I'd suggest using it as much as possible ;-P

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1) Yes you're over-emphasizing physical appearance. A lot of people tend to look for things in others that they like about themselves, if you find yourself observing this desire for a "hot" guy in physically attractive women who are very concerned with their appearance - that might be part of your explanation.

 

2) You're a decent-looking guy, certainly far from ugly. What about your body? Physically-speaking, it can be as, if not more important in terms of attraction for some women and, thankfully, it's the part of us that almost everyone can do something about to improve. I never got much attention from the opposite sex until I went to the gym and worked on getting a fit body.

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So long as you're groomed, make the most of yourself etc (i.e toned body, clear healthy skin, bright eyes!), then everyone can be nice looking enough to pull. It's personality that counts...

 

That statement in itself is enough to cause self-esteem issues in people. There are also plenty of happy relationships out there between people who do not hit the gym, might have a few skin blemishes (Brad Pitt had terrible acne pitting for example), and might not be photogenic.

 

As long as you or anyone else makes an honest effort to be open, friendly and pleasant, I think those are the keys.

 

You have a very nice smile - I'd suggest using it as much as possible ;-P

 

All I was saying is that I think we can make the most of our looks without worrying too much. And of course you can get over anything (hey, newly deformed hand here!), but I do think that if you want to maximise your chances of scoring with the opposite sex then a toned body and good skin are fairly easily achievable. Something about taking pride in your appearance and looking as good as you can is very attractive.

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Just to explain, for a long time I have 'blamed' my physical appearance on my lack of success with women. Even now I am still not 100% convinced that the key problem is NOT my looks.

 

Please understand the context in that I have suffered from what I now believe to be body dysmorphic disorder where I did not just think that I was unattractive, I actually though I was disfigured. Posting my pics is very worrying for me as I am still expecting people to come on and tell me how horrible I look and affirm my suspicions.

 

You also have to understand that in the last two years I have been called ugly by two women at my work place. It wasn't outright, but in both cases they said something like "all the men coming to the party/where I work are ugly". In both cases, referring to a group of men of which I was a part. You must understand that this impacts my understanding of women judge men, and also it contradicts much of what is said here.

 

Yes, I over-analyse, yes I'm obsessive, yes I am potentially a bit crazy and need counselling. But are you telling me I'm the only one?

 

I'm really shy around guys I find attractive, so I'll make quick eye contact and look away. Some of that is my own self esteem - guys find me very attractive but I look in the mirror and see my mom! So I am more smiley and friendly to "average" looking or even "unattractive" guys because I feel more comfortable.
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1. Do you think I am overemphasising the importance of physical appearance? I would particularly be interested in the views of British women on this (but please post anyway if you want to).

 

Yes & No. It doesn't matter how good you look or how ugly one man can be. If you can work with what you got to a "T" you can make a woman fall head over heels for you.

2. How important is eye contact and smiling in making someone find you attractive? If you thought someone was good looking, but they looked moody and did not smile at you, would you smile at them? Again, I'd most like the views of women, but please do post whoever you are.

 

It's about style, swag, cuteness, class but doing it in a way to not seem desperate or seeking their approval. It's all about being smooth with it.

 

3. They say confidence is important, but I want to understand what people think this means. I do not think I am not confident, in fact I will talk to anyone as I have a great deal of confidence in my personality, however I don't think I am attractive physically because the evidence I have from the reactions of woman indicate that MOST (99%) either think I am not attractive or actually think I am ugly.

 

Once again, I have seen some really funny looking guys get quite a few women under their sleeve. And guess what? It wasn't because they had money, cars, looks or whatever the case.. it was because they knew how to draw attraction. And you can do it too.

 

4. A question really for women, which is: has there ever been a case of you being attracted to man but not acting on this at all and even deliberately ignoring this person. If so, why did you exhibit this behaviour?

 

Women are very sensitive creatures and they don't take rejection very well at all. So even though she may be attracted to you, her small hints & clues may be limited because she doesn't know if you feel the same flame for her. Rather than take a chance, she'd rather wait and see what you do.

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Oh my god. Your post really resonated with me, in that I pretty much have the same concerns/worries. I'm not British, but I'm at least female, so I'll offer some insight.

 

1. Although physical attraction is important, it's not EVERYTHING. I mean, think about it. A lot of people who are dating ( and I hear this ALL the time ) admit that they were not instantly attracted to their SO. In addition, there's more than just looks when it comes attracting somebody. The "state" of being attractive is more likely a combination of charisma/friendliness/openess/likability. A beautiful person is not automatically 'attractive'. ( unless you're just looking for flings/one-night stands/casual sex--which is a completely different game, I think. If someone's just looking for a fling, things like personality and charisma aren't going to count for much. ) So yes. You might be placing too much emphasis on the physical factor. Don't get me wrong--it's important, but remember that it's something that can grow over time as your perception of the other person changes.

 

2. Very important. If you don't do these things, you might considered unapproachable. For example, I'm quite reserved and quiet, and people tend to take it as snobbery. The truth is that I'm the exact opposite of a snob. But unfortunately, I'm not a naturally outgoing or 'smiley' sort of person. I don't smile at random people/strangers, and I don't go out of my way to be friendly. People think I'm mean and cold. So obviously, there's no reason for any guy to try approaching me, regardless of my looks.

 

As a female, I would not try to engage anybody who looked moody, angry, or depressed. I think most guys would say the same thing.

 

3. Confidence is a tricky game. Even the most confident people in the world face rejection at some point or another. I would say it's an important factor, just for the sake of your own self-esteem and sanity. Whether confidence is real or faked, it shows a strenth of will and character, and at the very least a desire to get out of your comfort zone .

 

4. I have seen women exhibit this behavior. They do it to try and maintain some semblance of dominance in the situation--they don't want the other person to know that they 'like' them. It's a common game, and there are some men who play it, too. Bottom line--they don't want to appear too weak, or too easy, or too obtainable. The psychology behind people's motivations to do this are quite complex. Human nature is just strange. People do strange things.

 

Based on your photos, you have few limitations in the dating world, if any. In terms of looks, men have it easier. I know some women are just as critical and shallow when it comes to looks, but any woman with a shred of common sense doesn't just rely on a man's looks alone to determine if he's date-worthy. By the way, don't even think of yourself as having limitations--An unattractive female has far, far more limitations than an unattractive male. Most men aren't going to care about how great her personality is, or how much money she has. A sad reality, but true.

 

But don't you worry! I think you look great, really. The women who said you were 'ugly' are probably thinking they can bag 'Brad Pitt' or some other Hollywood equivalent. ( personally, I've always thought Brad P. was BORING and rather /average/! Haha. ) You do NOT want to date women like that, anyway. I have NEVER in my life looked at a guy and then complained to my friends/coworkers about how 'ugly' he was. That's just pathetic. Women like that are not worth your time and effort.

 

Just hang in there. Don't let petty comments/other people's shallowness get you down.

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Thank you everyone for your comments, by and large they are positive and sensible. If I turn out to be wrong then I am very willing to change my perceptions.

 

Just to answer a point made (see below) I just want to throw in my view on this based on my observations, which are my observations. Without being rude to my friends and acquaintances, I know a lot of women that are not conventionally attractive. I know some women that might be described, by someone with an unkind nature, as ugly. None of them have had zero success with men.

 

By zero success I am talking about a woman who wants a boyfriend and yet can't find someone. I am 30 years old, I've been to two Universities and lived in three cities including London with a population of 10 million people. I have met thousands of women over my life. I have never met a woman who literally cannot get a man UNLESS, that woman was quite young, say under 20. One of the most successful women I have ever met when it came to men was called Hannah. She wasn't much to look at, and she admited as much, but she had an 'attitude' or (and I don't mean to get metaphysical) an 'aura' about her that just attracted men. I think it was a lot to do with how she used her eyes, her smile and voice modulation.

 

Conversly, I knew a very pretty girl once called Natalie, but she was very moody and unsmiling and simply wasn't as popular with the men.

 

So it works both ways. From my perspective, I find women tend to over-emphasise the importance of looking good, then expecting men to approach them. My key piece of advice to any woman who is not successful with men, be she pretty or not pretty, would be to be more open and friendly and to approach and talk to men so the men can see what their humour, intelligence etc is like. Not in a desparate manner, but just to show basic human friendliness, to make a connection with other people rather than relying on physical appearance to cause men to approach them.

 

I know some women are just as critical and shallow when it comes to looks, but any woman with a shred of common sense doesn't just rely on a man's looks alone to determine if he's date-worthy. By the way, don't even think of yourself as having limitations--An unattractive female has far, far more limitations than an unattractive male. Most men aren't going to care about how great her personality is, or how much money she has. A sad reality, but true.

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