The following DW Rant is written by guest contributor, Dennis Hong. For clarification on this post, please see the follow-up that appears here.
I’d like to tell you about a woman I know. I’ll call her Jodie, and you might have a friend just like her.
Now, Jodie isn’t unattractive at all, but she’s not particularly attractive either. If we were to rate her looks on a totally-subjective, totally-superficial scale of 1–10, she’d fall squarely at a 5. She’s the Olive Garden of feminine looks – perfectly decent, but nothing to drool over.
Jodie also puts zero effort into her physical appearance. Her hairstyle can best be described as “disheveled,” the vast majority of her wardrobe consists of flannels, and she absolutely positively refuses to wear any makeup. Ever.
“I want a guy who likes me for who I am,” she proclaims. “I shouldn’t have to be fake.”
Perhaps not too surprisingly, Jodie is rarely asked out on a date. She’s less than thrilled about this, and, yet, she refuses to compromise her principles. So, she just keeps waiting… and waiting… and waiting.
As a guy, I have so many ideas I want to fling at her, in the hopes that at least one or two will stick. But, I know her mind is made up. And that’s why I’m taking to the internet. The Jodie I know won’t budge, but maybe you yourself are a Jodie, and maybe you’ll be open to my suggestions….
Here’s the deal: Guys are superficial. You’ve heard it before, and I’m saying it again. Physical appearance will always be the first thing that attracts us to a woman. If your personality is a 10, but your looks are a 5, you’ll draw the attention of nowhere near as many men as the woman with a 5 for personality and a 10 for looks. It may seem unfair, but here’s something else you’ve heard that I’ll say again: Life is unfair. Deal with it.
So how do you deal with it? Simple. You just have to put a little more effort into your appearance and even up the score a bit. Wear clothes that are stylish and form-fitting. Do your hair (whatever “do” refers to). Make it all smooth and silky, like in those shampoo commercials. Wear makeup.
“Now hold on a second,” you fire back. “Why should I expend all this effort just to impress a bunch of superficial douchebags? What’s wrong with waiting for the guy who isn’t shallow, who’ll see me for the glimmering diamond I am on the inside?”
Well, that’s great… in theory. But in the real world, here’s the problem: If you take the brilliant little gem that is your personality, and you bury it under a mound of dirt, and you deem that the only men worthy of you are the ones willing to dig through the dirt… well, guess what? Few men will oblige, because the world is full of other personalities – rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and yes, cubic zirconia. All of them are polished and gleaming, and they’ll be the ones the guys actually notice. While you hide your amazing personality behind an amazingly bland exterior, there are plenty of other women who put effort into both their interiors and their exteriors. Guess who wins? (And remember, it’s not just the douchebags who are attracted to the pretty facades. If you make guys dig, yeah, you’ll weed out the douchebags. But I guarantee you’ll also weed out a ton of great guys).
If you’re a Jodie, and you want to attract someone, then you simply have to spiff up your looks. No, you don’t have to wear makeup (I admit, I was being purposely inflammatory in the title). And you don’t have to brush on the frosted blue eyeshadow, or pencil in that black line around your lips, or feather your bangs, or do whatever it is that women do for makeup these days. [Well, it’s not penciling a black line around their lips… — editor] Just put some effort into your appearance. Make us notice you and then blow us away with your personality. Don’t just expect us to dig through a layer of muck when we have no reason to believe there’s anything worthwhile under there.
And this goes for men, too. If I’m trying to meet more women, then I’ll do my damnedest to make myself look good. You will never see me out in public wearing a torn t-shirt, unwashed jeans, ratty hair, and just generally looking like I’m one brown-bagged bottle of whiskey above homelessness. Yeah, sure, some guys can pull off the jaundiced wino look and still have women flock to them. But frankly, I’m not high enough on that 1–10 scale to do so.
Jodie certainly isn’t. And chances are, you’re not, either. And that’s why we “average” folks have to consider our options wisely. We can stick to our principles and refuse to doll ourselves up and seethe at how shallow the opposite sex is and end up all bitter and jaded about dating. Or, we accept that we have to play the game, and we figure out how we can fix up our facades so that plenty of the opposite sex will want to experience the awesomeness that is us on the inside.
Now, excuse me while I go feather my bangs.
Dennis Hong engineers happiness at WordPress.com by day. By night, he is a relationships and comedy writer, which can be redundant or an oxymoron, depending on your perspective. Dennis is the creator of Musings on Life and Love, a group blog for sharing life lessons, and LemonVibe, a relationship advice site for couples. You also can find him on Twitter (he is not the creator of Twitter).
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