When Looking for Smart, Attractive Adult Women…

Look for smart women who were not physically attractive as children / teenagers, but have become attractive adults.

Hot teenage girls can get cocky and become accustomed to coasting on their looks to earn attention from men.

Nerdy and unattractive teenagers must be unusually witty or entertaining to earn attention from men. If they become attractive adults, they retain the braininess cultivated in youth, with the added plus of physical attractiveness.

I am not sure whether the same theory could apply to women searching for men.

Bottom Line: Dating web sites should include two photo boxes: a recent photo and a photo from when you were 15 years-old.

(Thanks to Maria P. for helping generate this theory. Bottom Line is partially in jest.)

14 Responses to When Looking for Smart, Attractive Adult Women…

  1. Probably shouldn't claim this says:

    The basis of a pick up line I have used before

    ‘Were you fat when you were younger, cause you have a fat girl personality’

  2. Craig Mische says:

    This is very true but ofcourse there are many women that have had killer looks from the get go and work extra harder at academic, community, political, etc. pursuits.

  3. Willy says:

    Ben, since you were so successful as a teenager, what does this theory say about you? :)

  4. Chris Yeh says:

    Stated in a slightly different way:

    It’s a lot easier to improve your appearance than to improve the quality of your mind and character.

  5. Colin says:

    A friend of mine always swears by looking for attractive girls with non-obvious stretch marks somewhere. Previous fat girls seem to give in to the usual sweet talk a lot easier then lifetime attractive girls.

  6. marc says:

    I think I’m correct in saying that it’s a known finding that a persons estimation of their own attractiveness is strongly determined by their teenage years.

    In addition people determine their attractiveness by comparing themselves with those around them. This leads to a situation where people who spent much of their teenage years in groups with an above average attractiveness are likely to systematically underestimate their own attractiveness. I think the example that I read was that of ballerinas.

    On the question of whether the reverse is true, I think that women actually value the confidence and poise more than the looks.

    In fact I’d go so far as to say that although looks and attractiveness of men is correlated it’s only because guys that are good looking when they’re young get positive feedback. This makes them confident and it’s this confidence that women later find attractive.

    So in answer to your question I’d say no, this idea wouldn’t work for women. The distinction is that men ARE interested in the looks without the attitude. As women value confidence and attitude as much, if not more, than looks, getting a guy with looks without attitude won’t be as valuable.

  7. kai chang says:

    This presupposes the notion that conventional beauty is a priority – a young man’s attempt to min/max your mate-selection.

    Deemphasizing physical attractiveness opens up a wide range of people who are thoughtful, supportive, excellent listeners and great partners.

    Or put in the blunt words of my friend Kevin – “Sexy, Smart, Sane – Pick two.”

  8. Maria says:

    Good to know I could be of help, Ben : )

    This isn’t unlike the theory you have about metrosexuals. The more time someone spends focusing on looks/fashion, the less time they have to pursue their intellectual interests. The younger you are, the more impact this has on your personal development.

  9. Beauty is considered to be about genes, which is a total myth. Most people’s faces look perfectly OK and can be “made over” to look better. Really looking food is much more how you care for, present and project yourself- and nice, intelligent people get better at those the older they are, generally.

  10. LP says:

    Cf. Shallow Hal.

  11. Wayne says:

    I like the thought on dating sites including two photo boxes. The only problem I see is that most women would appear as nerdy or “unattractive” at 15 years old. But it could be easier to gauge sense of humor and confidence level from the photo they post.

  12. Chuck says:

    it is amazing the sense of entitlement some women who were attractive as teenagers have.

    even if they let themselves go they still act as if they can get away with the same things they did when they were hot. that’s not how it works, sadly.

    my own theory carry their self-perception as school age kids far into adulthood. formerly hot girls act as if they are still hot. former jocks still have that aura of cockiness.

    this study, cited in Freakonomics points out that popularity in high school is associated with higher adult income.

    link to freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com

  13. Amen to Chris Yeh’s comment.

    I concur, having spoken earlier this year (that vague time description should give me enough cover to continue this comment) at a conference where people drawn to the profession seem to have focussed more on appearances than differentiating value for their clients (per their asn.-wide internal survey!)
    Now I’ll get off my high horse.

  14. [email protected] says:

    I prefer no photo on the dating site! ;)

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