The Pursuit of Physical Beauty

Model: Before and After

A commenter on my last post lamented:

On a serious note, is the somewhat beautiful girl in life harder to find? Or is it the girl with both beauty and personality that you consider truly rare? Right now your statement kinda discouraged me a little bit, as if beautiful girls are harder to be with.

Girls with great personality are a minority. Girls who are beautiful are a smaller minority. Beautiful girls with amazing personalities are a very small minority.

The higher your standards get, the smaller the availability of women who will fulfill you. Doing this stuff is a double-edged sword in some ways. Check out “The Abundance Paradox” and “Isolation Paradox” posts.

Beautiful girls aren’t harder to be with. Once you pick them up, they’re human and with the exception of some feelings of entitlement, they’re more or less the same as other women.

Chasing the hotter and hotter girls though is a false prophet. It’s a hamster wheel. Your standards only continue to increase and what used to be minor flaws, now become serious issues to you.

Girls you think are hot now, if you keep pursuing beauty, will become mediocre in a few years, and girls you find hot then will be mediocre a few years after that.

This may sound good, but you’re never completely satisfied. There’s never an endpoint. You never reach a point and say, “OK, this one’s hot enough.” You always find more flaws. Even models and strippers will have minor scars, stretch marks, unsightly hair in odd places and strange asymmetries. You just don’t notice them until you lay in bed with them for two hours.

And believe it or not, when you see them, it will bother you.

It’s funny, the girl in part two of that series, 3-4 years ago I would have put her out of my league. By my standards then, she was insanely hot. But I saw her again the other night, and I found myself getting annoyed that her two front teeth were a little small.

I mean, we’re talking about a girl who got opened by 4-5 guys WHILE I was out on a date with her. In a five-floor club with hundreds of people, if she wasn’t the hottest girl there, she was definitely top three. And all I can think about is that her teeth are 3mm too short for her mouth. Are you serious?

This has been a constant though. Every time I’ve picked up a girl, who at the time, I thought was very, very hot, I always end up noticing flaws.

In the beginning, it was obvious stuff like, “she needs to lose 10lbs,” and “her hair looks like shit.” Then, as I became better and gained more experience, it became more nit-picking stuff like, “she doesn’t wear high heels often enough,” and “you can see some acne scars when she takes her make up off.” Now it’s reached the point that her teeth are too small, or in the case of the last model I dated, she had tiny stretch marks near her hips.

There will always be something. We’ve idealized beauty and models we see on the internet to an unhealthy degree. If you ever bring a girl like that home, you suddenly realize that she has razor burn and an awkward tan line on her back and there’s actually a small gap in her teeth when she smiles. And it will bother you. It’s fucked up.

It’s a way of thinking that many men suffer horribly from. And I’ve been trying to break myself out of it. If anything, just because at this point, I’ve dated runway models, and I’ve dated bookworms, and hippy girls, and plain-Jane’s. And the bookworms and hippy girls and plain-Jane’s have made me happier and I’ve had more fun. You could say I haven’t met enough runway models then, but let’s be real: they’re pretty hard to find… and is it really THAT important to me?

Obviously, beauty does matter. As men, it’s something we all care about. But I think much of what the dating industry promotes, is an obsession that is reflected in completely unrealistic portrayals of women in popular culture. Magazines and ads are full of airbrushed models, porn is full of women who have undergone 3-5 plastic surgeries. Even “hot” club girls and strippers have caked on layers of make up, have fake tans, fake hair, and wear clothes specifically designed to exaggerate their proportions.

It’s a mirage. And although nobody wants to date an ugly girl, reigning in the need for that cover girl or gogo dancer may not be a bad idea for most of us.

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20 Responses to Obsession with Physical Beauty

  1. Leo says:

    And even if you find an incredibly beatiful woman, for how long can she stay like that? How about if she has kids. You are talking about how much pressure we put on ourselves looking for that perfect beauty. Can you imagine how much pressure women feel to try to fit that impossible model of beauty that can only be reached with photoshop? No wonder why so many women suffer of eating disorders. I’ve dated women that are good looking enough and they think they are fat, or they look horrible in some pictures, etc. It’s a lot of pressure and it’s impossible to reach in reality.

  2. Fikri says:

    I think you’ve had enough of “PUA world” Mark. Now you need to settle down with a nice plain-Jane’s girl, and have some kids. :)

  3. "45" says:

    I actually find girls with flaws more attractive… especially bookworm and Plain Jane types. Give me a hippy chick with tiny breasts and gappy teeth over a runway model any day. In fact, the girl I fell for the hardest in my life had a nose that you could land a Cessna in… but I didn’t care.

    My biggest problem in this area is that once a girl turns 30, my attraction falls through the floor. I’m not proud of this. I wish I could hypnotize myself to find older women attractive. I hope the solution is when I find a girlfriend… hopefully I’ll like her so much that when she ages it just won’t matter.

    • Leo says:

      “My biggest problem in this area is that once a girl turns 30, my attraction falls through the floor. I’m not proud of this. I wish I could hypnotize myself to find older women attractive. I hope the solution is when I find a girlfriend… hopefully I’ll like her so much that when she ages it just won’t matter.”
      This happens to a LOT of men, it’s natural, I’d say is part of evolution, we find attractive the women who have fertility traits: young women. Even though they are emotionally immature. But few older women look better that young women and they are supposed to be mature. Look at Jennifer Aniston, she’s 41.
      Why do you think a lot of women get desperate get married and have kids when they are close tu turn 30? They know they are not so attractive anymore and they are not so fertile as they used to be.

  4. Gully says:

    Personally, I find myself increasingly less conventionally good looking girls as I get older.

    I find when I meet a girl that I really click with as well, her flaws/faults actually become part of that attraction. Thats true attraction in my opinion, accepting/enjoying that person as a whole. As soon as you start nick picking, its no longer enjoyable.

    Where I go to university/college – there is an abundance of hot girls. Seriously like a 3rd of girls here are at least 7s, a quarter 8s and above. So personally, I dont think hot women are that rare. Personality on the other hand..

  5. christian says:

    I agree with “reigning in your needs” but I wonder how you would go about doing this…..how do you retrain your mind to find different things beautiful?

    I wish appearances didn’t mean anything to me because i feel like its an artifice that stops me from meeting alot of cool girls. I know that alot of “attraction switches” are actually societally programmed because for example I used to not care about a girls ass at all and now Ive noticed just by growing up watching ass porn and hearing people talk about girls asses now it matters to me at almost an subconscious level.

    Sometimes when I’m with a girl who is ok looking but not great I enjoy our time the best when the lights are out and i can’t see anything…it is all feeling and touch. all the bullshit my brain comes up with when i am judging a girls appearance just faades away.

  6. JCZ says:

    Allow me to chime in with Gully somewhat. Lately, I’ve been noticing that girls that are deemed to be ‘hot’ (stared at a lot in night time venues) do not interest me very much – when I’m not able to have a proper conversation with them, that is. When I do, and when I notice this attraction spark (which unfortunately doesn’t happen too often since I’m not at all good at this – yet), in my eyes she becomes hotter and hotter. This can totally happen with girls that aren’t exactly model types.

    Really got me to think Mystery is right in that he says: “beauty is common.” (next follows something about personality, but I forgot the exact wording)

    Maybe when (and if) I ever get ‘good’ at ‘game’, I’ll be bothered by small imperfections as well. As for now, sometimes I do notice them and I actually find them cute…

  7. The1 says:

    Good point made. I feel like beauty is a superficial standard that we are conditioned to chase by our society. Just like anything else that is superficial, you get over it after getting your initial fix.

    The1

  8. Domonic says:

    Read this article on MTV:
    http://clutch.mtv.com/2010/10/06/oh-shut-up-already-8-sexy-celebs-who-insist-theyre-not-sexy/
    The hottest Celebs: Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz, Megan Fox, Nicole Scherzinger, Salma Hayek, Emma Watson, and Carrie Underwood, all think they’re not hot enough. If Megan Fox thinks shes not hot, I don’t know who is.

    This reminds me of your post that had pictures of the Louis Vuitton models before and after make up. You also have a video on your youtube channel that showed the whole entire process of a model getting photo-shopped.

  9. D says:

    The hands-down sexiest woman I’ve ever been with was 41 when I met her (I was 40).

    Most people would call her hot if they saw her (she gets hit on all the time even at her gae). But what makes her *sexy* is her personality. She’s wicked smart and very witty. And she’s a writer too.

    I’ve found that writers turn my crank because they seem see the world a little differently and are able to articulate it.

  10. Leo says:

    Something that helps me to come back to reality is to check my own flaws. Nobody is perfect, we are imperfect too. Even though some times we want women to be close to perfection.

  11. Jon says:

    Great post Mark. This made me think of something that happened to me Friday night. I was at a bar with some friends. It was one of those lower east side bars that tend to get swarmed by PUAs, but a friend of a friend was having a birthday, so I was there. There was this one girl there who was very attractive, and dancing up a storm. She was being ogled by half the guys in the bar. I made eye contact with her on the dance floor, but went back to my friends. She came and sat down next to me, facing away and playing with her phone. Obvious approach invitation, and I started talking to her. It all went very well, and when I put my hand on her back, I noticed how sweaty her dress was. That’s obviously not the most attractive thing to feel, and this post made me think of it.

    However, my reaction to noticing a very hot girl’s physical flaw is a bit complicated. When you see a really gorgeous girl at a bar, she looks perfect. Every guy at that bar was mesmerised by this girl. Hell, I was too. We all thought she was physically perfect. But of course she isn’t. Nobody is. Feeling the sweat on her back, and noticing her slight embarassment, brought me back to reality, but it also made me feel very at home with her, because really, I’m no different. I walk around carrying myself like a bad ass wall street guy, and I like to make an impression on people. In the same way, she clearly puts effort into and enjoys appearing as this perfect physical specimen. But people only really seem perfect from afar. She can’t connect without showing her flaws. When I touched her, I realized that she wanted all of those guys to admire her, to think she is perfect, but from me she wanted something different – she wanted a connection. To get that connection, she had to get close, and getting close means exposing your flaws, and risking rejection, which she did for me, because she would rather have a connection with me, than have me believe in her perfection.

    Beauty, power, charisma, charm, all of these things are sorts of performances that, when you get good at them, can fool most people into thinking you are cut from a different cloth. The danger is in believing your own hype. The scary, but exciting thing about seeing a physical flaw in a beautiful woman is the reminder that her image to the rest of the world is just that, an image. It’s scary because it reminds me that my image is just an image too, and that I am just as flawed and vulnerable as she is. It’s exciting because it’s through these flaws that you connect, not the images. It reminds me of a Leonard Cohen lyric: “there are cracks in everything, it’s how the light gets in.”

  12. michael says:

    let me give you the perfect example within the pua community.

    i still watch the old david deangelo programs over to work on myself but in his more advanced stuff, like transformation or becoming mr right, he keeps on talking about finding that “10” or that “total 10” who has everything, looks, personality, intelligence, etc.

    And he is around 40 now. he gets into relationships, has enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life, but ends relationships after a few years.

    I’d say that for a person like david d who may still be chasing after his total 10, that total 10 for him never exists because he either will become disillusioned with her if he got her, or she feels that she is too good for him because she IS a total 10.

    so we are trapped. the abundance mentally has made us free but it may not give us what we have always wanted.

  13. Paul says:

    You are 100% right about the idealization of physical beauty. While looks are nice and grab my attention, what sustains my attention is something totally different. What it all comes down to, for me at least, is intimacy. That is what every truly exceptional relationship has: two great communicators.

    Being able to empathize with one another, understanding and supporting each other…that is the real stuff, and there’s no fucking way you can fake it. I don’t even waste my time anymore seeing women who don’t have these skills (or don’t want to learn them). It’s made the pool of women I date a lot smaller, as you mentioned. I am much happier though with the experiences I do have with women and am gaining a lot of insight and growth from this process.

    When it comes to seeing the beauty in women though, beyond just the physical, there is a quote I often recite that summarizes what I think inspires radiant energy to emulate from women: “You don’t love a woman because she’s beautiful. She’s beautiful because you love her.”

    For me, that is ‘The Secret’ when it comes to attraction :)

  14. Ron says:

    Interesting post.

    I think the community believes that beauty is all a function of some evolutionary slave ship that we travel on. The community (especially Mystery, Brad P and other systems) are continually harping that we are “creatures” of our evolutionary genes. If you read and believe books like Mean Genes, The Red Queen, Sperm Wars, Magic Bullets (which they all promote or put on their reading lists) – women are just looking for the best quality sperm out there. In other words, life is nothing but true darwinistic replication. For them, beauty and the flip side dominance is the end all be all for survival of the species. Men look for female beauty, women look for masculine dominance. Both will fight and select until they find the best for replication. Ying meets Yang. Of course there is money to be made from this….but that’s another story or is it?

    In community doctrine there is nothing there about actual love and actual beauty. Its all about replication and being an Alpha. All this talk about personality, who lies more or some DHV stuff is only fluff around the underlying meaning. I think the community truly believes its pure scientific thing yet how does one account for old fashion romance? There is very little element of romance in the community nor about individuality. Its like some science class and doctrine.

    Mark, am I on to something here?

  15. Mark says:

    Ron: I’ll agree that that is the interpretation that community has given evolutionary psychology. Unfortunately — and I’ve been reading a number of evolutionary psychology books lately — it really on scratches the surface.

    If you look at the science, there are anthropological and biological evidences and purposes for things such as social monogamy (as opposed to sexual monogamy), jealousy, heartbreak, sacrifice and commitment.

    It’s easy to just look at how chimps fuck rampantly and say, “See, we’re like that!” But we’re not. We’re not totally monogamous species, but we’re not on the other end of the spectrum either. Most scientists seem to believe we fall somewhere in the middle… namely having 1-2 socially monogamous partners and “mates” our entire lives and then occasionally having a discrete affair on the side.

  16. marvelous says:

    I realize that this was written two years ago, but fuck it, maybe new readers will benefit from my contribution.

    I think an excellent method of scaling back men’s (and women’s, for that matter, many women would benefit also) warped vision of beauty is to constantly ask yourself “is that a healthy, athletic, and natural appearance?” when you find something attractive. Like, looking at high fashion models and comparing them to Olympic women’s volleyball players physically (because, let’s face it, the swimmers and gymnasts have lost their femininity somewhere along the way), it starts to change your perspective on why you think something is beautiful, and then it changes what you think is beautiful (hopefully). Also, a healthy viewing of Google images before and after Photoshop model pictures is good to gain perspective.

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