Men · Mindset

Hyper-Attractiveness in Mass Media and the Problem of Skewed Male Self-Image

Many men, even attractive ones, drastically underestimate where they rank in terms of attractiveness. There are many reasons for this. With younger men, an issue is that women their age may simply have access to a larger dating pool. An 18-year old girl could date guys of any age and may realistically go for someone seven to eight years older than her without much pushback. In contrast, an attractive 18-year old guy may have to simply wait it out until he has gotten a bit older himself as he can’t plausibly date younger women in many parts of the Western world.

As guys get older, their self-image may be lagging behind reality. Having internalized that they didn’t get laid much in their youth, or not as much as they would have liked, they think that they are unattractive. On top, they get bombarded with images of very attractive people: trending videos on Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok often have hot women (and men) in them. Social media platforms that are based on pictures are not much different in that regard. Then there are movies and videogames. While there have been concerted efforts to uglify movies and videogames, at least with regards to female characters, male characters are as buff and sexually attractive as they ever were. When was the last time you saw a busty, hot chick in a Western movie or video game that made you get a random boner? Thought so. In contrast, buff dudes are a dime a dozen.

It seems that too many men compare themselves to the most attractive specimens of their sex. Oftentimes, those images may even be edited, if not partly computer-generated. Lighting and cosmetic surgery are further factors. Thus, it would help to step into the real world a bit more often. I was reminded of this when I recently attended an industry event that catered to people in a particular technical field. If you wanted to see good-looking people, this was the wrong event. While it wasn’t the case that the place swarmed with short, deformed, obese neck-beards with greasy long hair, it was nonetheless not a pretty sight.

My rough estimate was that among the roughly 100 guys in the venue, at most five could have been considered attractive: they were tall, in reasonable shape, and dressed well enough. Among the rest, more than half had clothes that didn’t fit well or wore colors that clashed with their skin tone. Personal hygiene was a problem as well and, yes, a lot of the guys were short. Then again, I’m 6’3″ so I tend to perceive most people as short. In that room, though, there was one guy who has even taller than me, but judging by how he had dressed, he’s been wasting his potential.

More or less every guy who ever told me that he thinks he’s average-looking would have easily stood out in that kind of audience. Now you can say that a geeky tech event is not indicative of reality, but it is. This was underscored by my subsequent ride home on public transport. Man, if you ever think that you’re not good-looking enough, take the bus, train, or subway, and you’ll surely feel better about yourself afterwards.

There is, however, one aspect that I should not ignore: today’s women perceive the world largely through their smartphone and they likewise have a skewed perception of reality. Yet, they are the selectors, so they may think that the top 0.01% kind of guys she’s been ogling online is representative of men in general. Thus, her standards go through the roof. This is part of the reason why many men find online dating so unsatisfying. Sure, in that arena, you compete against the Giga-Chads in your city or even wider metropolitan area, which may be a tough battle. In contrast, offline your chances are arguably better.

Lastly, it is possible that you’re way above average looking but women still ignore you. I think there is a trend that women increasingly zero in on an ever-smaller percentage of men. After all, a male 10/10 is only a few swipes away. However, as much as women love attention, they do love sex as well. Women get more encouragement than ever before to spread their legs, so I don’t think we will see significant numbers happily holding out for men they will never get. Instead, they will just do what they’ve been doing for decades — “they” refers to the whole female sex since the 1960s as well as some women in their personal lives who have been sexually active since their early teens if not sooner — which is to hold out for those elusive top guys but to happily give themselves to any decent-looking enough guy who comes along in the meantime. There is a sweet irony of this: women may want a one-night stand with the hot enough guy, or maybe a fling that lasts a few weeks, but want a relationship with the top-shelf guy. Yet, the decent-enough guy may be interested in a relationship while the top-shelf guy much more often than not isn’t. The decent-enough guy may think he can’t do much better than her, but the top-shelf guy knows that the next willing woman is just around the corner. I’d say that this is a great life hack for a good-looking guy who is maybe at around the 65th to 80th percentile in looks, i.e. quite good looking but not in the category of top-shelf men. However, before you start believing that you’re at, for instance, the 70th percentile, take a good look at yourself because it could easily be that you’re a male 9/10 with the self-image of Joe Average. I’ve seen it happen countless times.

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43 thoughts on “Hyper-Attractiveness in Mass Media and the Problem of Skewed Male Self-Image

  1. To add to the closing sentence: I have encountered a lot of guys who compared themselves to movie stars in terms of looks but who were objectively really good looking. I remember one guy who sent me an update, telling me about him having banged seven women in a month, which was more than he has had in his entire life before. Anti-game also comes into play here because the number of men who are quick to dismiss a woman smiling at them or trying to initiate an (often awkward) flirt is legion.

    1. Women only tend to be super forward with guys at least 2-3 points above them.

      If you regularly have sixes hit on you in a blatant way, then you’re probably at least a nine male.

      *At least = because it depends on her level. The lower her level, the more levels she will want to jump. A four female doeant blatantly throw herself at 6-level men, she does so for male eights. So if you constantly get fours throwing themselves at you and being pretty forward you’re at the very very least a 7.

    2. I posted the above comment under the wrong thread. Meant to post it where there was a discussion about ehat does it mean if lower tier chicks keep hitting on you.

    1. You can’t aks for percentiles. The easiest way is to look for feedback from your environment. Has any reasonably attractive woman ever told you that you’re cute or handsome, or grabbed your crotch in a club? If not, then I’d say you’re at least not in the top 10 to 15 %.

    2. I’d add confounding factor here. If you haven’t gone clubbing much, and you have permascowl face (like lisbon), you can be a top 10% guy and not have had women grab your crotch. If you are so extremely unapproachable the women are afraid of approaching you, some drunk slut will still muster up and do it, but since that’s rarer then women who would do it if you’re at least not-hostile-looking… you need to go to places with drunk sluts enough times to have it happen.

      So an alternative metric (if you’re unapproachable or haven’t gone too many nights out to such places)… is how often did you have women just stop in their tracks and look at you as you pass by on the street. Have you ever turned female heads?

      A female stranger making eye-contact for 5 seconds is like saying fuck me.

    3. To clarify: A woman checking you out like that may indeed communicate “fuck me”, but that does not mean that she’ll follow up on it as it also depends on availability and opportunity. She may, however, think of you the next time her provider boyfriend is pounding her with his puny pecker.

    4. Aaron,

      What if people send pics in, could you then give a realistic attractiveness estimate based on that?

    5. This is a very common request. I’ve provided such assessment to dozens of guys. If you’re interested, just book a consultation session, email or Skype, and we’ll take it from there.

    6. “You can’t ask for percentiles. The easiest way is to look for feedback from your environment. Has any reasonably attractive woman ever told you that you’re cute or handsome, or grabbed your crotch in a club? If not, then I’d say you’re at least not in the top 10 to 15 %.”

      I do wonder how common this is though. Doesn’t it happen to any reasonably good looking guy? I imagine they must be more than 10% of the 18-40 range. And what if the women themselves aren’t that attractive? When I was going out regularly quite a few women approached me to tell me I was beautiful, but that certainly isn’t a word I would use to describe myself. The majority of the women who did this weren’t attractive enough for me to want to go home with them though, which makes me wonder if I should discount their evaluation.

    7. Has it ever happened to you? Women checking you out or smiling at you are also giving you relevant feedback that indicates that you’re way above average in terms of looks.

      Unattractive women tend to be very forward because they need to. Some ugly woman may genuinely find a 6/10 guy attractive, but, obviously, not as attractive as a 9/10 guy.

    8. A less rambling and more to the point version of my previous post:

      If you HAVE experienced a reasonably attractive woman telling you that you’re cute or handsome in a club does that mean that you definitely are in the top 15% for looks? What if it’s happened frequently?

    9. I’d say that it’s very good evidence that you’re way above average. If it happens frequently to you, then you may be in the top 5 to 10%, if not higher.

    10. @Alek or Aaron – ok what if your walking in a mall and say you notice women look at you and then look away or if you walk by them then last minute they look at you and look away. This happens to me at times especially since losing weight. I’ve never had women stop and stare at me though.

    11. I’ve never had a girl grab my crotch in a club. But certainly have gotten compliments by them on my looks. One time in Rosarito, Mexico I was checking out a girl who seemed receptive. I jumped off my chair and began to approach. Her old man came up behind her and I sat back down demoralized. As she passed she rubbed her hand above my crotch. I didn’t do shit because her boyfriend was right beside her.

    12. I’ve never had women stop and stare at me though.

      The moment I wrote that I realized i misphrased it. I didn’t mean that a woman stops in her tracks to look at you, i think even a 9 guy isn’t hot enough to get that, and only a 10/10 guy would ever get that.

      I mean stop with what they’re doing to look at you, not stop in their tracks. Like she’s checking out products in one aisle, spots you, moves to “look at products right next to you” and keeps glancing at you. Or a girl who’s talking to her friends, all engaged, you walk by, and she just starts looking at you.

    13. Years ago a fashion-knowledgable acquaintance picked out two outfits for me: a nice fitted suit and a leather jacket and jeans combo. He also advised me to stand up straight and never look down when l walk.

      Both outfits easily improved my looks to such a degree that it actually exacerbated my anxiety problems. Suddenly l was getting all of this positive attention that l had never received before (i.e. women staring and smiling at me in the street, women giggling and whispering when they passed me, female service workers treating me with big smiles and enthusiasm).

      I soon returned to my normal drab outfits and became comfortably invisible again.

      The point of my story is that the quickest way to improve your looks dramatically is to get a fashionable outfit and be conscious of your body language.

    14. This only works if your physique is appealing. There are no outfits that work for obese guys, for instance. Their best option would be wearing an expensive suit and finding other ways to show off wealth, but even then they stand little chance against a guy who is in good shape, even if he’s not quite as wealthy.

    15. @Aaron

      Agreed. I did not mention that l am fortunate enough to have genes that allow me to remain thin despite a history of poor eating habits.

  2. Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Writing in to say thanks for this article. I fit the profile you describe — tall (6’2″), handsome (I would say 8.5, probably 7-9 depending on which girl you ask), high IQ (135-145 on different tests).

    For most of my life, despite being frequently complimented on my appearance, I had incredibly low self-esteem and really believed there was nothing special about myself, simply because girls seemed to be treating me like shit. My inability to reconcile this experience with what I saw in the mirror, and heard from other people, caused severe cognitive dissonance and drove me absolutely insane. Before I found your site, I would often try to discuss this contradiction on other “red pill” forums. Of course, brainwashed posturing morons would come out of the woodwork, telling me that my ideas about women were “cope,” and that if I wasn’t getting “eye fucked” and constant “IOIs,” I must actually be ugly and and incel.

    After getting into pickup, with a reading focus on your material and that of some very old-school “redpill” theorists like bonecrckr and philalethes, I learned to look beneath the surface, and gradually racked up a notch count of 40, learning along the way what kind of social and sexual power I actually had.

    I live in the SF bay area, which seems like one of the worst dating markets for men in the US, and women on the street here still completely ignore me; the difference now is that instead of taking this at face value like I used to, I just smile and remind myself of the fact that I can get laid easily, after perhaps a little effort and rejection, simply by choosing to ignore&persist through the bitch shields.

    So, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you sincerely — writers like you are helping restore the sanity of men like me, who are being effectively gaslighted by our gynocentric culture.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I’ happy to hear that you have found my material helpful. Also, it’s great that you managed to change your outlook on life. You can bet that there are plenty of guys in a similar situation who find the black pill community and think that their only options are “roping” or “LDAR” (lie down and rot). This is probably the biggest danger that is lurking in that corner of the Internet. I bet that some of the most prominent members of that community could get laid at least with some effort. One case that springs to mind right away is “Face” from FaceAndLMS. He’s above six-foot (6’2″?) and works in IT, so he makes decent money. Yet, he tells himself that he’s ugly and that he’s low-IQ. You need to listen to him just for a few minutes to realize that he’s clearly way above average in terms of IQ, and with his height he should at the very least get some interest.

    2. Facelms is indeed a stark example of a guy who could get laid and isn’t really an incel, it’s not involuntary that is.

    3. I’ve always thought FaceAndLMS is very talented at making videos. Remember when Youtube de-monetized him? Then he started over-censoring himself to spite them. Why the fuck would they de-monetize him? I’ve heard a hell of a lot more cussing on YouTube. Is it really that controversial to say that women care immensely about a man’s looks? Is Youtube sympathetic to PUAs or something?

    4. That’s not the issue. However, I think it’s safe to assume that his videos are considered “hate speech” by YouTube as he draws attention to observable behavior by women, which makes them appear shallow and fickle. Criticizing women is a big no-no. If he wanted to bash men, in particular straight, white men, I bet he could use all kinds of foul language without negative consequences.

    5. I’m not over 6 ft tall and managed to get some ass. Face is really preoccupied with visage. Visage trumps everything. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. He has that manlet guy on his show sometimes and he is good-looking in the face, however, 5’3’’.

      If I had to choose between being ugly and tall, or short and good-looking, I’d choose ugly and tall any day. At least I could gym max and mog other guys. Being a manlet seems to really be a death sentence.

      Btw, there is a pic of Face floating around out there. He really isn’t THAT bad off. He should be able to get something. And according to him his standards aren’t even that high. He’s probably more of a mentelcel than a true incel.

    6. @pickernanny – I’m 6’3.5 I’d rather take good looks over height but maybe Id say that because I don’t think I’m good looking enough even thought people have told me that I am. We want what we don’t think we have I guess.

    7. Have you ever been in a situation like the following: you sit around with a bunch of friends or colleagues. A woman joins late and basically ignores you. Yet, when you get up and she realized how tall you are, her demeanor changes completely. She may even look at you with her mouth open. This is the effect of height. Be glad that you are tall because a short guy with a pleasant face will not get that kind of reaction. The equivalent would be at the end of a masked ball when a woman he met gets to have a look at his face for the first time. That’s a much less common situation, though.

    8. Deus, height beats face every time. Especially if you add some muscle on it.

      *Of course in this conversation, we’re comparing tall vs short, not tall vs average. If you’re saying you’d trade an inch in height to get more face, ok maybe. You’d rather be short and have a model face? That’s a death sentence. Plaster the hottest male face on a short-male body… doesn’t do anything.

    9. I disagree, I’m short with a slightly above average face and I do a lot better with women than many of my tall friends. If we are talking about being really short I agree. There is a point where no woman will give you any attention, but then we are talking about 1.60m or something.

    10. Zwijntje, yes we were actually talking about 160. Pickernanny mentions 5’3 which converts to exactly 160.

      How tall are you?

    11. I’m short with a slightly above average face and I do a lot better with women than many of my tall friends

      If true, I highly doubt your slightly-above-average face is the reason you do much better than them.

      How tall are you?

    12. I have no idea what country you’re in, but 1.75 is average in most countries, in fact the worldwide average 1.76.

      Unless you live in the Netherlands, no you’re not “short”

    13. So let me guess. When you say you do better than your tall friends, you’re using the global definition of “tall”, whilist using the netherlands’ definition of “short”?

      Are you doing better than 6’8 guys? (that would be tall in netherlands).

    14. Even if his story is true, you can bet that he has cherry-picked his “tall friends” for his argument because, ceteris paribus, tall guys do better with women than short guys. He cannot generalize from his experience, so there is just no worth in his comment, except as an illustration of flawed reasoning.

    15. Sorry, that was a typo. The netherlands equivalent of a “tall guy” would probably be more like 6’4 or 6’5

    16. Even if his story is true, you can bet that he has cherry-picked his “tall friends”

      Oh I bet, I can smell the manipulation a mile away. Even if you do find one short guy who bangs more chicks than his one tall friend, it doesn’t change the general truth… unless he bangs more chicks than all the tall guys he knows.

      – That’s on top of all the other logical tricks he attempted (first by claiming he’s short at 1.75, which barely qualifies as short even in netherlands, like very barely)

      – And I bet that when he says tall friends, it’s “tall” by global standards… yet he uses the netherlands standard to deem himself “short”. i.e. a popular trick of dishonest debaters (use different standards for the same thing in different parts of the same argument, so that it suits your needs).

  3. Aaron,

    – “The easiest way is to look for feedback from your environment. Has any reasonably attractive woman ever told you that you’re cute or handsome, or grabbed your crotch in a club?”

    – “Women only tend to be super forward with guys at least 2-3 points above them. If you regularly have sixes hit on you in a blatant way, then you’re probably at least a nine male”. – Alek

    On a related note, what about feedback from strip clubs? I’m not a fan of going to such establishments, but the times I have gone in the past in my younger days, I noticed that girls would often grab my crotch, complimented my appearance, but I never took their gestures and compliments at face value. I have hook up with strippers for pay for play in the past. Often, what they charged me relative to what they would charge other customers was very minuscule.

    1. Well, hookers and strippers are women, too. I heard of guys who get freebies from hookers, i.e. they pay for vanilla but get free anal on top. I’d be careful with strippers. It could be part of their routine, i.e. they tell you how amazing you are and that they normally charge X$, but you’re so hot that she’ll do it for 50% off. If it is indeed true that they charge you less than others, and not just a lie they tell you to make you spend money on them, it would be confirmation that you’re a sexually attractive man.

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