The Challenges of Being an Attractive Girl

FreeImages.com/Fran Priestley.

FreeImages.com/Fran Priestley.

I recently had an opportunity to peak into the mind of an attractive woman – let’s call her Lorraine – who honestly discussed with me the issues she is getting around men.

I met her on a hospitality exchange website and spent some time hanging out with her. We had a take-away meal together, took a walk, and went for a coffee/ice cream over the course of two days. It definitely wasn’t just a quick chat.

She confessed that men she meets on that website are frequently falling in love with her, which expresses itself in an odd behavior such as trying to give her frequent (unwanted) massages, crawling into her bed to snuggle, or just generally going gaga over her. She said that none of those men she considered dangerous, nonetheless I can understand why she is averse to that kind of behavior. It can be pretty annoying if someone you barely know is constantly all over you.

Attractive women inevitably get trained from a young age on how to deal with stuff like that and acquire a sixth sense for the bullshit. She said she knew within walking into someone’s home if he will bother her like that or not.

I said to Lorraine that I’m not surprised that she has that kind of effect on men, because she obviously is attractive, but I acknowledged that they shouldn’t be doing that to her. I mean, there is nothing wrong if someone just tries to flirt with another person, however it becomes objectionable if that leads then to harassment. Especially uncool is to do that as a host and harass a guest of yours.

She couldn’t understand, though, why a man would fall for a woman he has only just met, even though she is attractive. What about first establishing a connection with a person? Obviously, that was her female brain speaking. On the other hand, men are primarily visually stimulated, and although looks are not everything, they can give an attractive woman a huge initial advantage, partially due to the halo effect.

The halo effect is a cognitive bias that induces you to have a positive predisposition toward a certain thing if you happen to like one aspect of it. For example, if you find someone attractive, you may also perceive them to be trustworthy and friendly, even though you don’t know anything about them.

I guess that somewhat explains the origin of the so–called “bitch shield”, a front women will sometimes put up in the presence of men, if they don’t want to be hit on. They will act like cold bitches in an effort to neutralize the halo effect and be left alone. Not that any of them is normally aware of what they are doing – they have just internalized appropriate behavior by trial-and-error and watching how other women deal with men.

Lorraine didn’t act bitchy toward me at all (it would make little sense to do that in a hospitality exchange, and could potentially lead to a bad reference on her profile), but she did eventually confess to me that she was being a little stand-offish toward me, as she didn’t want me to fall in love with her like so many others. I found that quite amusing.

She has another challenge, though. In addition to many men who are acting obsessive when in her presence, some of the men out there are being emotionally indifferent toward her. She lamented that it just doesn’t seem that a healthy middle ground exists.

I don’t know enough about Lorraine to speculate whether or not she has a pattern of being attracted to the wrong people – i.e. players who have no desire of being in a relationship – or whether she just has a bad luck with men. Or something else entirely.

She said that she can never know if guys really want her because of her or because of how she looks. She thinks that less physically attractive women are better-off, as they don’t have to deal with this kind of problems.

Maybe she has a valid point here, I don’t know. I certainly don’t agree that unattractive women have an advantage over attractive ones (quite the opposite), but maybe being a cute, average looking woman is in fact emotionally healthier than being a super hot one.

Speaking of hotness: Mark Manson, a former dating coach, once wrote in his book that men should ditch any sort of rating scale for women (e.g. 1 to 10), as it is toxic, because it induces men to treat really beautiful women differently for superficial reasons. He recommended men to use a binary system: either you’re interested or not. Nothing else should matter.

His book got revised in 2016, but you can read my review of the book from the previous year. I highly recommend this book to anyone, man or woman. It is arguably the best book on dating on the market.

Click here for the review of his book “Models – Attract Women Through Honesty”.

There is no easy answer to this conundrum, though. Even if all men would internalize the principles laid out in this book and would be able to hold a normal conversation with a very attractive woman without reverting to obsessive behavior, the fact remains that she will still have more potential suitors than an average girl, due to the fact that more men find her attractive.

So, I guess attractive women will always be a little stand-offish for a simple reason that they can’t possibly give attention to all the men who would want to talk to them. There simply isn’t enough hours in a day. That’s the price of living in a high population density world of today.

But maybe we can all seek to understand each other better and not take things personally.

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Posted on July 25, 2016, in Personal development and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. First, congratulations for your blog. It´s a pleasure to read such smart people. It´s funny, this very morning in the street I was thinking about the halo effect (I didn´t know this concept existed) when I passed next to a beutiful girl. I wondered whether they would be morally good thanks to that people tend to treat them well or if they wouldn´t as they didn´t need to. Of course they must have some personlity features due to their genetic background and other enviromental issues but this behaviour of people around must also have an impact. We also have to consider our current culture. I mean, many men just look for sex when they meet an attractive woman and this is a permitted and even encouraged behaviour that lots of women accept. When you have men with high levels of testosterone in this cultural enviroment it is no surprise that you get this result.
    Apart from this topic I´ve also wondered how true it may be the corretation between beauty and healthy. I don´t know if there are studies on this that prove this assumption.

    • Hey! Thanks.

      I believe there is some correlation between health and physical attractiveness, although I haven’t researched this topic much. A lot of it is common sense: for example, clear skin is generally considered beautiful, whereas skin with patches of unusual colors may be a sign of some skin disease and is generally considered unattractive.

      There have been some studies that indicate that people are more attracted to faces with high degree of symmetry. And there is a good reason for this: “Since achieving symmetry is a difficult task during human growth, requiring billions of cell reproductions while maintaining a parallel structure, achieving symmetry is a visible signal of genetic health.” (from Wikipedia)

      The things get even more interesting as there are also indications that also intelligence and physical attractiveness may be positively correlated to some degree. So the halo effect, where you would perceive a beautiful person to be more intelligent because of their beauty, is not necessarily completely without any basis.
      Possible explanations for this include:

      1. Intelligence and physical attractiveness both depend on healthy bodily development, so they are indirectly connected.

      2. The genes for intelligence and physical attractiveness tend to flock together as attractive people tend to mate with intelligent people.

      Of course, (reverse) halo effect may also play a role: if you meet a person who makes an impact on you with their high intelligence, you may start perceiving them as cute.

      • Thanks for your answer. I don´t think there is a correlation between intelligence and beauty because there is too much evidence to the contrary: e.g. Woody Allen. Neither between intelligence and health:e.g. Stephen Hawking. Besides there are loads of examples of talented people with mental problems: e.g. John Nash (schizophrenia) or I. Newton (probably autistic). Some sorts of autism are famous for the high IQ of the people of suffers from.
        We all know people who are both beutiful and rather stupid.
        Although there seems to be some correlation between intelligence and honesty there are also many examples of the contrary. Experts say, that psycopaths tend to be quite smart.

      • Well, if positive correlations between intelligence, beauty and health exist, they certainly are not very strong. But citing various counter-examples (Woody Allen, Stephen Hawking) proves absolutely nothing, as correlation is a statistical thing, and can only tell you that something is more likely or less likely. You cannot determine the outcome of any specific case by relying on correlations.

  2. I didn´t pretend to prove anything. Of course we are talking about statistic truths. The examples are only indications, signs of your assertions don´t seem true in my opinion. The evidence I mentioned rely mainly on my own experience. Remembering my old fellow students and other people I´ve known in my life, I just get the impression that those correlations wouldn´t be statistically significant. But I admit that the scientific value of my opinion is zero.

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