Over there… There’s that one smokin’ hot chick in the room (it doesn’t matter if it’s a bar, a party, a classroom, an office…) It’s impossible to not NOTICE her.
A certain amount of energy is humming in your brain and in your body — because of her.
Deep rabbit hole alert: This is going to get controversial…
Whether you are male or female reading this: That “smokin’ hot chick” that I’m talking about — just sitting in your chair and thinking about her right now, just the fact that I’m writing about her — is bringing up some emotions for you.
Physical beauty is a deep and fascinating subject. And we humans are powerfully affected by it.
I don’t know how much of it is genetic and how much of it is the social status that our (U.S.) culture places upon it, but the simple fact is, beauty is not without it’s serious problems.
I could write a book on the difficult issues and challenges it raises for the woman (or even a very young girl) who possesses remarkable physical beauty — it will be nearly impossible for her entire life to not get caught up the expectations, positive and negative, from the rest of us– but in this post I’m not talking about her issues… I’m going to talk about the problem it raises for the rest of us.
Recently I wrote a review about a program that a close friend of mine created for “how to get a girlfriend,” and in my review I mentioned that he himself has a very beautiful girlfriend (she’s a professional model in fact), and further, the sales copy of his program also talks about how he dated “all of these beautiful women and models” before meeting his current girlfriend, as way to convince men they should trust him and buy his program. (As a side note, because he’s a friend and I don’t want it to be misinterpreted, it’s entirely true). [Update: In the years since I first posted this, I officiated their wedding and they are deliriously happy!]
I got several emails from female readers saying that they were disappointed that I wrote the review the way I did, and that I was furthering the idea that men only wanted “beautiful” women as girlfriends.
They complained about how every “average” or even “ugly” guy, spends his days and nights trying to figure out how to land that smokin’ hot chick… even if it means that he ends up being lonely and frustrated… when there were plenty of “average” looking women that would be delighted to have a nice boyfriend.
About 25 years ago a friend of mine from Europe (herself, as it happens, a smokin’ hot chick) said to me, with a tear in her eye: “It must be just awful to be an unattractive woman in the United States.”
Back in her Scandinavian country, there was no social stigma for average looking people to date and fall in love with each other, or anyone else. “Looks” in general were not as highly regarded, and being unattractive was no indication of your social value, and did not automatically mean that it would be difficult for you to find a date, or a mate.
I haven’t spoken with her about it in a while, but I doubt that it’s true anymore, because the U.S. is a monster at exporting our culture through television and movies and now facebook and instagram, and I have many readers in Europe–and based on their emails, they have fallen victim to the mania around physical beauty.
(And of course I don’t mean to say that the U.S. invented this issue because Helen of Troy caused a war with her physical beauty… and even if that story is apocryphal, a lot of ancient greeks head it and thought, “sounds true to me.”)
The smokin’ hot chick:
Women are jealous of her and resent her, and men want her and hold a grudge against her when they can’t have her. (I’m not talking about YOU, dear reader, of course!) but the bottom line is that she causes a lot of problems for the rest of us.
I thought about these emails that I was getting from women, and how unfair it really is that this stereotype exists, and that our culture reinforces the idea that every man harbors this ultimate desire to one day get the hot chick… even if it means that he’s stuck alone if he can’t be with one.
My brilliant friend Eben Pagan wrote (under the pen name David DeAngelo) a series of excellent books and programs about how a man can become more attractive to women, and he made this observation that he refers to as the “elusive obvious”:
“Attraction is not a choice.”
Said another way: We don’t CHOOSE who we’re attracted to. You can’t talk a woman into being attracted to you. If she’s not sexually attracted to you, you can buy her drinks and flowers and take her on expensive dates, and you can logically explain all day why you are such good husband-material, but none of that is ever going to change her physical response to you.
She might think you’re a nice guy and WISH that she was attracted to you, but it’s not a choice.
This is equally true for women. It’s not fair, but “attraction is not a choice.” A man is either attracted to you or he’s not, and there are a very small number women out there that soak up most of the male attention.
It’s also known (and probably biologically wired), that while women are attracted to physically beautiful men, it is less important to them than many other factors, whereas men are much more attached to physical beauty as an attraction trigger.
Here’s the other side though:
While it’s true that very beautiful women have more “universal appeal” that nearly every man finds desirable– it’s also true that every man also has a unique and personal set of physical attributes that he finds particularly attractive…
There are many women out there that are extremely polarizing: Some men find them irresistible while other men have no interest in them.
Taking this further, there are also women that, PHYSICALLY, are “just right” for a subset of men, even though they may not be that attractive to the general population of men.
Now I emphasized “physically” in all capital letters above, because there are an entire series of other, non-physical female attributes that males find sexually attractive:
A bright, unguarded smile, a flirty sense of humor, feminine mannerisms, social status, playfulness, and an innocent (or sometimes a “bad girl”) nature, high self esteem, and positive self-image of her body and sexuality are some very big ones.
But like physical attributes, where some men like big breasts but many prefer small, these characteristics are very particular for particular men.
Some men love jaded and sexually aggressive women, while others have a thing for the innocent girl next door, or hippie chicks, or glam girls, or biker babes.
Based on this, there should be a guy for every girl and a girl for every guy.
And yet, this is not the case.
Compared with generations past we live in a world where many more men and women than ever before are lonely and struggle to find sex, intimacy, and partnership.
The reason for this is the powerful social status we have placed on physical beauty as a society, and a fetishization of “hypergamy”.
Hypergamy means “marrying above your social class,” like the rich debutante falling for the farm boy or Cinderella marrying the prince.
Today “hpergamy” is becoming a common term of derision towards women who will only date men with money and social status. A large number of (bitter, disappointed, heart-broken, and angry) men who have been sexually unsuccessful, use it as an excuse for misogyny because of their belief that MOST women (if not all) will gladly give up love, cheat on their man, or dump him in exchange for a man of higher social status.
This belief about women has become incredibly popular in recent years… which is frustratingly bad news for men, women, and society as a whole– because, not only are women who pursue hypergamy in this way vanishingly small in number, but it turns out that the OPPOSITE is true:
It is MEN who are obsessively hypergamous.
And as my friend from Europe observed many years ago, our culture has granted physical beauty the ultimate social status.
Models are superstars.
A man who dates a Victoria’s Secret model is “cooler” (has higher social status) than famous athletes, world leaders, or even billionaires… and he’s certainly cooler than a man who dates a Nobel-prize winning scientist.
It’s interesting to note that the highest status men (billionaires, world leaders, etc) are far more likely than other men to be comfortable dating ordinary looking women. They already have status.
It’s a difficult thing to NOTICE, much less to unwire, but if you are a single man reading this you might be able to reflect that (if you are like most men in our society), when you are talking to a woman socially, you might become aware that you are not only considering whether YOU feel physical attraction for her, but how dating her would play to your buddies.
Could you justify her level of looks and cool to your friends?
You might notice thinking about whether other men would consider you cooler or less cool if they saw you with her…
This is not exclusive to the men, of course… This internal conversation around what your friends and peers will think if you date this person and show up to a party with him/her is a universal piece of human nature.
If you catch yourself in the act, it’s a BIG OPPORTUNITY to grow into greater freedom, self expression, and true happiness, by shaking loose the shackles of cultural programming, listening to your body, and following only your own true heart.