“What we look at is what we want, but what we want isn’t always what we go for.”
Fair enough, the research devised for this article was taken from twenty months ago, but I think it’s safe to say that nothing drastically has changed in the time from then and now.
If ever proof was needed to back up numerous claims on this blog towards women choosing to “date down” in physical attractiveness when male selectivity is at their disposal (and let’s remember that women do the lion’s share of choosing up until the age of 35 to 40), take a look at the below snapshot or read the whole thing:
Three in four British women would choose a man with love handles over one sporting a six-pack.
That's 23 million of us who find muscular men a turn off; 96% predict a date with an abs-obsessed bloke to be positively dreary.
These stats are the result of a study commissioned to mark the DVD release of Bad Neighbours, a film featuring numerous shirtless scenes of actors Seth Rogen (in the flab corner) and Zac Effron (in the abs).
Unfortunately it didn’t document the numbers of women the question was put to, but you would like to think it was more than a few in order for any credibility to be ascertained. More importantly, it would have been based on anonymous identity, and this is the only way to get predominant truth out of women who otherwise would give false answers to hold down their integrity in respect to how they would act out their words in real life. As we all know when it comes to emotional subjects, especially involving preferences in the opposite sex, their words are different to their actions.
In fact, even a small number of anonymous female delegates would tell fibs to an extent, in a way to convince themselves they are not insecure, lacking in confidence, or self-conscious. With this in mind, I’d estimate an extra 10% or so of this fib factor added on to the findings. This would mean 8 to 9 out of 10 women prefer flabbier men for long term compatibility than men with admirable bodies. If I go back to the beginning of this blog over 2 ½ years ago, this figure of 80% to 90% was always subscribed to. Open your eyes, look around, judge honestly, and you will usually be right.
There are some qualifications I would put to these findings, and the general dynamic of women deciding to date down in physical attractiveness:
- The research was taken from a British female
perspective only. From my
experience of travelling the world, British women are less confident and
more insecure than their peers residing in other countries. On this basis, it would be the natural
inclination and ego comforting based decision to opt for a flabbier man
over a man with a good body.
- Britain has a lower percentage of cute and hot
women, and the mean physical attractiveness grading would be lower than
most overseas equivalents. If women
are already, in the main, uninspiring looking themselves, the default
tendency would be to go for fatter (hence uglier) men.
- In comparison to the above points, women in
countries where there is a higher percentage of good-looking women – such
as Italy, Spain, Portugal, Australia etc – will not find it as internally
disturbing and uncomfortable to date a ripped man for long term prospects.
- Although not as noticeable as the female analysis,
Britain also has a lower percentage of physically attractive men against
most other countries. When gifted
looking men with tight bodies are more prominent, more women are prone to
date these men.
- Without proof, there is a strong possibility
that the vast majority of interviewees were women aged above 23. This would skew the answers towards male
flab preference over male toned choice.
- If only women aged 23 or younger were picked
out, the 3 out of 4 preference for flab over abs would be more like a
- Women, in general and universal terms, in an
ideal world would sleep with a bodily profiled man concurrent to being
seen out with, and having the provisioning facilities of, a less visually
- All the above points are relevant to the
“everyday people” situation we live in.
If a man who attained a good body was famous, or he even possessed
high local social status and wealth, 3 out of 4 British women would choose
him over a run of the mill man with a few extra wobbly layers of blubber.
- Women would more likely date a facially
average looking man with broad shoulders, washboard abdominal muscles and
firm pectorals, than a facially good-looking man sporting the same body
It’s strange, because from what I read gym membership is at its highest rate ever for men, and male aspiration is now stronger led by looking good than earning good – at least in comparison to generations gone by. If this theory is correct, what you find in the modern day is more men trying to look good during a simultaneous timeframe where women have never been so self-conscious of their own bodies, and as a consequence they are choosing flabbier men over profiled or muscled men.
However, what you need to bear in mind is the average man in a gym/health club is not exactly Enrique Iglesias. He is usually the man just looking to get rid of few pounds so he can justify consuming some beers and a take-away meal at the weekend. Not many women are going to be intimidated by that kind of guy. Also, there is now the year on year middle aged divorced or separated man trying to make up for lost time, and in turn striving to impress younger women by looking fitter than he did in married life. Again, few women will see him as the stereotypical gym sculpture. Further still, people are living longer and staying healthier, so the high numbers of gym membership as a whole are contributed marginally by this older and retired demographic. This leaves a reasonable proportion, but by no means a majority, of gym members who an innocent bystander might think represent a male gym poser. This is by no means the case.
Nevertheless, this article shouldn’t allow any man to think he can let himself go and expect women to flock to his feet due to the ego thrill and emotionally securing feeling he will offer them due to his love handles and belly fat. Women still have concerns to how the outside public (and their army of Facebook “friends”) view them, and a man carrying too much weight damages this externally validating reputation. This is why, if you hold desires to be a lapdog and lead your life by only what a woman wants, you should stay within that 10% to 15% strike zone. That is, be this percentage margin below her in the looks stakes.
Why do I not follow this advice, you may ask? Well first, pure and simply I refuse to be a lapdog accustomed to most current day men’s characters in the face of women. Second, to lead your life by what she wants doesn’t make you a man who is his own man. What kind of man does this make you if you choose to be dragged by a lead attached to her hand? Third, and as highlighted in the fifth and sixth bullet points above, women preferring less physically attractive men tend to mainly be women who are past their own best looking days, yet creeping up (if not already there) to their most demanding days in materialism and residence status requirements. As I’ve said before, I refuse to pay the highest market cost for something that has already reached price saturation.
Acknowledgements and further reading