Are Men Judged by their Looks?

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Male
How important do women rate good looks on a man. Is it a make or break thing, or is there more to it than that. Advice
It of course varies from woman to woman, but in talking with all sorts of women, it seems to sort itself out by age. Teenage girls are often very keen on looks, have posters of boy bands, fall in love with Orlando Bloom. When I get questions from teenage girls, they often talk about wanting a certain cute guy or gorgeous guy that they've never talked with. They just want him because he looks good. To be fair, the same is true with many high school guys - they want to date a pretty girl. It's the MTV messages that age group is bombarded with - buff guys, bikini girls, and who cares what they talk about or care about.

As you get older, you realize that looks really don't matter. Big breasts get saggy. Firm muscles get flabby. Also, by the time you're older, you've probably dated some nice looking people that were really nasty to you. You have realized that a nice body isn't worth dealing with the nasty personality. It's SO much better to have a nice personality in an OK body. And if your aim is to stay together forever / marry, think about your bodies when you are 70 or 80. They're not going to be much like your bodies now anyway. So obsessing over something as temporary as 'current body shape' is pretty meaningless.

That being said, every human being is unique. There are many, many teenagers that date someone they care for regardless of their looks. And there are many older adults that still obsess over looks. Just look at the guys in their 50s who date teenage girls and love the sex but could care less what the girl actually thinks about or cares about. And very few people are completely look-neutral. If a person had say a very obvious scar on their face, most people would notice it and think at least "how unusual". But for some people it would be just a "interesting" sort of thing, just the same as a person having blonde hair or an earring. To others, it would be "that's abnormal!" thing where they couldn't imagine dating someone with a scar. It's all how obsessed an individual is with beauty.

Something to think about is *what is beauty*. There's no one beauty standard. For guys, if you look in the movies, there are tall dark guys. Tall blonde guys. Short swarthy guys. Short thin wiery guys. And all of them are quite attractive. There are guys of just about every age, hair style, size and shape that has been sought after, each for his own unique style. So there's no way you can say "but I'm short!" or "But I'm not uber-muscled!" or "I'm bald!" There are many, many role models out there who are short and not-muscled that are still cast as leading men.

It comes down to what the guy offers, what he *is*. The guys that tend to attract women don't try to pretend to be someone else. They are what they are, they are caring, or strong, or honest, or fun, or whatever. Relationships are about two happy people being together. So if a woman comes along and sees that you are happy, and comfortable with what you are, it interests her. So what if you're bald, Jean Luc Picard is and is very sought after. So what if you're short, Tom Cruise is short. But when you think about those guys, you get a positive mental image about being with them (well women do :) ). You think 'trustworthy' and 'fun' and 'pleasant' and so on.

So think about the image you project! Do you feel happy with yourself? Do you show yourself as a happy person, a person who can be trusted, someone who has fun hobbies? In the end, those are the sorts of things that keep your attention, long after that 'first glance' impression has faded. If you see a pretty person with a snarl, and a regular looking person with a contented smile, that smile draws you in almost every time.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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