Appearances

[To begin with, apologies for the low level of activity here at this blog, and elsewhere. I am still catching up with comments here. Hopefully I will have time to respond to them today. The next few weeks will be very busy for me, and posting and commenting will be erratic, at best. So don’t be surprised if my weekend, religious themed posts are the only ones I make. Not sure how long this will continue, but into October at the very least.]

Short post today, following up with something I said in my most recent musings post. Therein I said the following:

Something that I want to address as well is the Looks/Athleticism versus Personality debate that seems to show up all the time in the comment section at The Rationale Male. A lot of folks there place too much stock in Looks, as compared to the other LAMPS/PSALM attributes. My suspicion is that the reason why is because Looks and Athleticism are obvious to everyone, whereas Personality/Power can be much more difficult to pick up. Not sure when I will get to writing it, but would love to finish it sometime this month.

To clarify, when I say Looks in that quote I meant the more general category of Appearance, which is used in the simpler alternative to my LAMPS/PSALM formula, APE, to encompass both Looks and Athleticism. I don’t think most of Rollo’s commenters distinguish between the two, so for the remainder of this post I will use Appearance, or A, in lieu of Looks and/or Athleticism.

To quickly summarize what many argue over at Rollo’s blog: Appearance matters more than anything. Good looking men get all the good looking women. Personality and “Game” only gets a man so far. If you aren’t born good-looking, you are just out of luck.

There’s more, but I think I got the heart of it. As for my response, well, I think that argument is bunk. Which should surprise no one, really, since I’ve argued for over a year that the most important part of male sexual attractiveness is a man’s masculinity and personality, which are both tied together. I think there are two reasons why many of the men there have come to that erroneous conclusion.

The first reason is that handsome, good-looking men are also more likely to be confidence and assertive, and those score stronger on their Personality/Power attribute. This comes about because Appearance is the easiest attribute to evaluate. You just need to look at a man to get a fairly accurate reading on where he falls on the scale of Appearance. Since women notice it so easily, they will often direct a lot of attention early on at handsome men, in order to evaluate them more fully (although they may not consciously realize this). Such attention will often, at least initially, be positive. Good-looking men who receive this kind of positive attention are likely to build their confidence more easily, as well as to hone their communication skills with women. This in turn will, over time, improve their Power/Personality scores as well.

So it isn’t simply that handsome men just have their looks going for them, they often will also have their confidence and interpersonal skills going for them as well. But those talents/skills aren’t as visible as a man’s looks. So those who observe the success of handsome men with women don’t realize that a lot more is going on beneath the surface than just looks. This is supported by reports from many in the ‘sphere of conventionally handsome men who were able to get initial attention from women but quickly lose it due to personality defects. Whether that is shyness or feminization leading to an emasculated personality, those men find themselves victims of the fact that Power/Personality is more important than Appearance to female sexual attraction.

The second reason for this disconnect is that women want it all. Women want a man who scores well on all the LAMPS/PSALM factors. If given the choice between a good-looking man “with Game” and an average-looking man “with Game”, women will choose the former (at least, in so far as attraction is concerned). Since good-looking men tend to be confident, they “have Game”, more often than not, it stands to reason that a good-looking man will simply be more attractive all around than a man who isn’t good-looking. Surmounting that hurdle is possible though. Strong External factors, such as social Status or Money, can give an average-looking man an edge. But relatively few men can have that kind of Status or Money. So in the present SMP good-looking men have a significant advantage over men who are only average (or below) in looks. This is only heightened by the fact that women can often achieve decent Status and Money values for themselves, thus raising the bar for men. Personality can compensate for a deficiency in Appearance, but it is very, very difficult to have  Power/Personality score that is high enough to beat out a man with a high Appearance score and a high Power/Personality score.

Taken together, those two factors- good-looking men also have a high Power/Personality score, and women wanting it all, explain the phenomenon that the commenters at Rollo’s blog have observed and described. Of course, my readers are free to disagree and voice that disagreement in the comments.

I should note that I also have another post on attraction which I want to work on, although I have no idea when I’ll have the time for it. I want to explore some alternate theories of attraction, including that which Rollo seems to advocate.

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14 Comments

Filed under APE, Attraction, Desire, LAMPS, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Sexual Strategies, Women

14 responses to “Appearances

  1. Novaseeker

    Taken together, those two factors- good-looking men also have a high Power/Personality score, and women wanting it all, explain the phenomenon that the commenters at Rollo’s blog have observed and described. Of course, my readers are free to disagree and voice that disagreement in the comments.

    I agree for the most part. Success breeds success, and the better looking men are the ones who have initial success due to visibility, and that (in many, but not all of them) breeds confidence and better social skills, which leads to more success. If a man like that can fill out the rest of the dance card, he is unmatched — that is true.

    What I said to the guys who were pushing this over at Rollo’s (many of whom seem to be short men) is that while your looks (which height is a central factor of for men) are not competitive in the top 20-30% (and, again, a guy who is 5’6″ is by definition not in the top 20-30% in looks regardless of the rest of his appearance, due to his height deficiency), you still have the ability to become competitive by blowing the doors out in the other PSALM categories — become the fittest, strongest 5’6″ man you’ve ever known, establish mastery, develop confidence and social dominance, and excel in your career and finances. You still won’t compete with the man who does all that and is good looking and 6’1″, but you will do okay. The issue arises when men who suffer from a defect like that do not take it upon themselves to become top tier in every other area — they must do that if they want to compete at all, because that kind of a deficiency is otherwise deadly. A man who isn’t good looking (height or other areas), and who is just bog standard average in every other area is simply this: a deeply unattractive man, from the perspective of almost every woman who has any sort of options. So the takeaway for guys is this: if you aren’t the best looking guy, work on other things, and accept that you will have a ceiling on your success, but realize that you need to work on the rest otherwise you may fail completely due to your deficiencies in that area.

    Some of the guys who are pushing this idea over there are guys who are obviously looking for ways to justify their own lack of success, their own addiction to pornography and so on — not realizing that using pornography as many as some of them claim to have done in itself reduces their attractiveness substantially because of the other impacts it has on their lives and personas.

    [DG: This is an excellent comment, and I agree wholeheartedly with it.]

  2. Yeah, the main thing to realize is that some of the factors have ceilings on their success. Some factors are unchangable like height, some factors are semi-changable like athleticism, and some factors are what you make of like personality and status.

    The best you can do with yourself is attempt to maximize your potential until you hit the ceilings of all of them. But the fact of the matter is that most men will never get close to maxing out all of them so there’s no real reason to complain when you can still do things that you can improve on especially personality.

  3. mdavid

    Everything you say is true, but I think you left out a very important facet. “Looks” (height, muscularity, athleticism, facial and body symmetry, good teeth and skin) correlate with IQ, which again correlate with Alpha. Go read Roissy’s or Vox’s blog; each must be well over IQ of 140. This intelligence breeds confidence and authoritative behavior.

    Case in point: it’s almost comical when walking through a high-earning office building, say $150k-$250; one with think they would all be fat, nerdy wimps, but not so. Almost everyone is male, tall, and in good shape. The few women who make the IQ cut are uniformly pretty and thin. I think “confidence” is also based in good all-around genetics, and “looks” correlate with this.

  4. @ Deep Strength

    But the fact of the matter is that most men will never get close to maxing out all of them so there’s no real reason to complain when you can still do things that you can improve on especially personality.

    The thing is, I suspect that most just want to complain. That is easy. Spending the time to work out, improve your communication skills and work on your confidence, plus build status and wealth- that is hard.

    Of course, it must be acknowledged that the potential payoff isn’t necessarily all that great. A guy can really improve himself and it will be for naught if he cannot find one of the rare marriageable women out there.

    @ mdavid

    Yes, there is a lot of correlation at play. No doubt about that. A high score in one field means you are likely to score high in others as well.

  5. Novaseeker

    Case in point: it’s almost comical when walking through a high-earning office building, say $150k-$250; one with think they would all be fat, nerdy wimps, but not so. Almost everyone is male, tall, and in good shape. The few women who make the IQ cut are uniformly pretty and thin. I think “confidence” is also based in good all-around genetics, and “looks” correlate with this.

    Careful.

    There are plenty of very, very high IQ people who are not in suburban office parks working for corporate America. And as for the ones who are there, that set is smart but also has other characteristics (politically savvy, socially savvy, etc.), and believe me, most of the women are not thin and pretty — some are, but they are not generally the smartest or most powerful ones (having worked at a F100 for 20 years now).

    What correlates is ambition and good looks. It makes sense, because people who are driven to succeed are also driven to improve their appearance — it all falls under the rubric of self-improvement, and that is mostly based on personal drive rather than intelligence. Many driven people are less intelligent than other less driven ones, and so they get further in life, because drive and ambition matter much more than intelligence does.

    The real link is therefore drive/ambition and good looks, because they naturally correlate — they come from the same place of hunger/drive/ambition/desire. That isn’t equally distributed in the population. The most driven tend to be smart but are almost never the very, very smart, because if they were they would likely be less single-minded (easier to distract, more interested in esoterics than pragmatics, etc.).

  6. mdavid

    Nova, …drive and ambition matter much more than intelligence does. The real link is therefore drive/ambition and good looks, because they naturally correlate

    The difficulty with this is metrics. Intelligence, height, and income are easily definable and testable; mountains of data exist. Is “drive” even definable, and if so, how does one tease out cause and effect? Note I make no claim on job-IQ causation, I’m merely looking at correlation based upon data.

  7. Feminine But Not Feminist

    This can go the opposite direction as well. In order to explain this I will give an example: there is a man that works where I work. When he first got hired and I knew nothing of his personality, he didn’t strike me as good looking at all. He wasn’t ugly, but he wasn’t handsome by any means, if that makes any sense. But then I got to observe his personality (he’s very personable, friendly, outgoing, charming, and absolutely hilarious) and even though his looks haven’t changed one bit, I’ve come to think of him as being handsome. Not uber-hot, but still handsome. So what was said above about improving other PSALM/LAMPS factors if you aren’t good looking is true.

  8. Novaseeker

    The difficulty with this is metrics. Intelligence, height, and income are easily definable and testable; mountains of data exist. Is “drive” even definable, and if so, how does one tease out cause and effect? Note I make no claim on job-IQ causation, I’m merely looking at correlation based upon data.

    Yes, the data says that, but the odd thing is that I don’t know where all of these beautiful and super-smart people are hiding. I’ve worked with very intelligent and very educated/successful people for 25 years in different cities and settings. They tend to be generally less severely overweight than the US average (although there are some exceptions to that), but otherwise the proportion of beautiful people was not very high, and certainly not higher than in the general population. The men are average height in general (lots of 5’8-5’10”) and not generally overly toned, the women are, again generally not obese, but also not lookers in any way, shape or form. Some people are quite attractive, of course, but not numerically disproportionately so compared to what is at the local mall. Yes, it’s anecdotal, but it’s also in two different cities and three different employers, and I was also surrounded by very high IQ people when I was an undergraduate. I just don’t see it reflected in my reality that these high IQ, highly successful people are all tall, muscular (or thin/pretty) and beautiful while being brilliant. I really do wonder where the stats come from, to be honest.

  9. mdavid

    Nova, I don’t trust my own anecdotal experience (it’s probably the classic “looking for correlation”), but height is where I first noticed it because it’s so easy to test (count the # of white guys at office vs the store, for example) and the results are stunning when you get select enough (say, top 5% US income). Note I haven’t seen a “muscular” correlation, merely a “fit”; since people from better families eat, dress, workout, and care for themselves better, the beauty part is abc.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201012/beautiful-people-really-are-more-intelligent

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2013/04/why-are-taller-people-more-intelligent/#.VB7g2leGexA

  10. Novaseeker

    Yeah I’ve seen the articles before, but they really don’t correlate to my own experience in multiple cities and in different work environments, as well as at university. Oh well.

  11. Mrs. C

    Just wanted to add that there were many flaws in the experiment so it didn’t really prove anything….it was just an interesting look at the differences in how the men and women reacted.

  12. Thanks for linking that article Mrs. C. I might turn it into a short post later on, probably next week. Of course, I like how they call the men shallow, when what is really going on is they are pushing back against what they see as a bait’n’switch move. And if they really wanted to test out female shallowness, they should have gone beyond looks to status and money. For example, have him pretend to be a rich doctor and then “reveal” himself as a janitor.

  13. Mrs. C

    “Of course, I like how they call the men shallow, when what is really going on is they are pushing back against what they see as a bait’n’switch move. And if they really wanted to test out female shallowness, they should have gone beyond looks to status and money. For example, have him pretend to be a rich doctor and then “reveal” himself as a janitor.”

    I know. It would have been more interesting and realistic to see how the men reacted to maybe just a 20lb difference in weight rather than packing on 100 lbs. I’m thinking that with how pretty she was that a few more curves wouldn’t have necessarily been a deal breaker if she had a nice, feminine personality to match. What they did was really just over the top bait and switch and of course the men are going to bail, not just because of the weight but the complete dishonesty.

    As for the women, I wonder how many were nice to him in the moment and then never returned his calls once the date was over. The one exception might have been the woman who asked him to go to the farmer’s markets.

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