Many brilliant, attractive, talented single women may find themselves asking the question, why do men prefer less attractive women over perhaps, a more striking one. After all, it’s not an uncommon occurrence to see a tall handsome man enter the room with a woman on his arm who is rather plain in contrast to her companion. This is horribly discouraging to beautiful and grievously single women who view this syndrome and wonder why they even bother brushing their hair in the morning because, clearly, looks have nothing to do with the issue. However, the answer most women are seeking may be miles from their initial suspicions. Men do care about the way women look, but, perhaps, it is just that they care about other womanly aspects even more.
Why Do Men Prefer Less Attractive Women?
Lori Gottlieb shocked the feminist dating regime in February of 2010 when she published her dating memoirs under the title Marry Him. She wanted to solve the dilemma regarding an increasing number of intelligent, witty, successful women over the age of 40 who cannot seem to find a suitable lifelong mate. Though many feminists attacked Gottlieb’s advice, which basically encouraged females to reduce their dating criteria in the younger years, aka "settling," the pervading realities brought forth in her book are absolutely crucial for understanding the male mind.
First of all, if you’re wondering why men often prefer less attractive women, you need to explore the issue of what men consider attractive. The truth is, very few men will pass up perfection. If someone offered a man either a Porsche or an Isuzu, the vast majority of men will choose the Porsche. However, if that said Porsche required costly monthly maintenance, running up bills into the thousands, a lot of men will find themselves longing for the Isuzu. Yes, most men won’t pass up perfection, but it is a stretch to claim that perfection "only" includes the realm of physical perfection.
Intimidation vs. The Low Hanging Fruit
Supermodels are amazing to look at, which is why most men can’t help but look at them. Yet, supermodels also come with fast-paced jet-setting careers and a host of dietary issues; and let’s face it, some men are actually very insecure. At first it may stroke their ego when every other man in the room is coveting their date, but as the weeks wear on, some men become anxious that perhaps their date will find these other men more enticing than themselves.
Meanwhile, there are less attractive women who are more emotionally and physically available, and even more grateful for the attention. Most people desire to enter relationships that will make them feel good about themselves. Much has been written in the past regarding the male ego, though the female ego is just as prominent and in need of watering. Both parties typcially enter a relationship for the mutual ego stroke.
In short, as men grow older, many of them find themselves less beguiled by physical perfection, and instead, opt for less attractive women who make them feel comfortable and appreciated. By then, a mature male has realized that looks aren’t everything. Sure, everyone enjoys a challenge from time to time, but not necessarily every day of his life. That plain looking female on the arm of a handsome attorney may be the most warming and supportive influence in his life. Good men, once comfortable, are not looking to trade up.
The Cosmetic Craze
Of course, there is also the issue of what men find attractive. Outside of Hollywood and the larger cities, the standards of what is considered attractive tend to differ. Although some women feel that their $900 haircut and matte rouge lipstick increase their vampy appeal, some men are absolutely turned off by vivid makeup and coiffed looking hair. Perhaps they favor a more natural look. Very few men will be attracted to a women who is dirty and unkempt, but fresh-faced natural looks are typically the favorite of more serious men.
You can check out this slideshow feature at Cosmopolitan.com, where men were asked to examine the makeup and hairstyles of common celebrities. Again, the more natural looks fared far better that the creative, sassy, and fashion-forward styles. These thoughts are quite contrary to what fashion advertisements teach women about their appearance, but the prevailing attitude men seem to possess regarding women is that, regardless of their level of beauty, natural grace and femininity are the preferred traits.
Solving the Puzzle
Next time you encounter an average woman attached to a handsome man and wonder, "Why do men prefer less attractive women?", see if you can approach the two in conversation. Ask what drew them to one another, and listen carefully to what the woman says. Despite your good looks, it is always possible that this woman possess qualities you never explored within your own character. It’s also possible that the man harbors both deep insecurities and loathing towards beautiful women because of what some cheerleader did to him in high school; but the former assumption is probably the more credible route.