Quick Hit: Poor Menz!

Please check out this Alternet article that I just posted about over at Broadsheet. It tells the tragic tale of men who, after being bombarded by images of beautiful women, cannot find it within themselves to love ordinary ones. This is, of course, because of evolution. It’s scienterrific!

Money quote:

Our minds have not caught up. They haven’t evolved to correct for MTV. “Our research suggests that our brains don’t discount the women on the cover of Cosmo even when subjects know these women are models. Subjects judge an average attractive woman as less desirable as a date after just having seen models,” Kenrick says….

So the women men count as possibilities are not real possibilities for most of them. That leads to a lot of guys sitting at home alone with their fantasies of unobtainable supermodels, stuck in a secret, sorry state that makes them unable to access real love for real women.

Psst, Michael Levine, actresses and models are real women — they’re just real women who don’t want to date you. And that’s the tiniest tip of the fucking iceberg. Discuss.

73 thoughts on “Quick Hit: Poor Menz!

  1. BEAUTIFUL GIRLS is a wonderful film about this. Small town snowplow drivers assume they should be with models. It manages to be show the humor in the situation, but also how it hurts the real-life women in their lives.

  2. I saw that article on the Psychology Today website. I am pretty sure that its a bunch of horseshit. Its implying that all men have the same standard of what’s attractive. And that is simply not true.

    Not all men even find women attractive at all. It’s ridiculous.

    That article made me want to commit random acts of violence.

  3. Well if it is evolution at work, then they’ll die off without reproducing, quashing that particular ‘improvement’ without much of a bump in the road.

    So more power to ‘em. Take them out of the gene pool.

  4. O I feel for teh menz! They cannot tell the difference between their fantasies and reality. Unlike the super-smart women folk who realize that Tyson Beckford is not the standard.

    Godzilla – this article just paints everyone with the stupid brush!!!

    One thing I must argue, however is that the images of the models aren’t real, as we all know.

  5. Boo. Hoo.

    Is anyone familiar with the song “Attainable Love” by Christine Lavin? Now I have it stuck in my head… (If I can find the lyrics I’ll post the most applicable bit…)

  6. Oh, sorry for the double post, but it JUST occured to me that (much though I hate to mention that movie), this is the “problem” that the main character in Shallow Hal has in the beginning of the film. *snort*

  7. “It’s scienterrific!”

    OMG best new word ever. I can’t believe I haven’t seen anyone else use this yet. I must not be reading enough.

  8. Why do I read Broadsheet’s comments? What is it about them that draws in every asshole with keyboard? It fucking kills me that there are great, smart, funny women with unbelievably low self-esteem, while the other side of the coin is men who think so highly of themselves that they wouldn’t dare lower themselves to date someone who they consider to be “average.” Christ! It’s so fucked up! No one – “supermodel” or otherwise – in her right mind would date one of these assholes.

  9. THat whole article reads TO ME like a very long, involved, “it’s not my fault!” letter of apology (sort of) (perhaps bettter described as letter of excuse?) to his ex-wife. Apparently he dumped her after being IN THE SAME ACTUAL ROOM with a lot of young hotties, and then subsequently found that, hey, the Young Hotties weren’t all over him like he had imagined! In fact, they didn’t think he was hot enough or rich enough for them, the damned ho’s. Buit unlike OTHER men, he actual met them in person, ya know? So he should be excused for dumping his middle aged wife. No Man would/could have done diffferently- it’s Hard-wired!

    I also read between the lines that he has spent a considerable period of time sitting around lonely in his house, sans wife, and with no earthly hope that they beautiful teases he is constantly surrounded by will call.

    Honestly, it’s just sad! I hope his ex reads it and laughs and luahgs and laughs all the way to the 1)bank and 2) home to her new husband who loves her.

  10. I think this dude may need to, uh, spend some time working on his own self. Like, growing a soul would be a good start, oh he of the “we can’t blame marketing ’cause they’re just giving us what we want!”

    Fuck you, dude. *I* don’t want photoshopped blonde teenagers!!

  11. That reminds me of a story I read in a magazine (I think it was Glamour) Where a male friend of the writer was talking about how he was thinking of asking out a woman from his gym, but when he got closer, he decided she wasn’t “pretty enough.”

    According to the writer, the woman was Claudia Schiffer – without makeup.

  12. Unlike the super-smart women folk who realize that Tyson Beckford is not the standard.

    Interesting, isn’t it, how you never see these kind of bullshit articles discussing why women are just sitting around, “stuck in a secret, sorry state”, refusing to date “real men” because they’re convinced that, I don’t know, Romeo or Mr. Darcy or Lancelot is going to come sweep them off their feet (not that I think that happens, really). It’s always, always, always about the Menz.

    Is it because women are taught to have “realistic” (i.e. low) expectations for themselves, especially if they are fat or otherwise considered not classically attractive?

    Is it because the prevailing mood in today’s pop culture defines “settling” for men as “not getting with a woman who looks like a supermodel, fucks like a professional, is submissive to his needs, but also independent enough to make her own damn money so she’s not preying on his?”

    It reminds me of a section in Mike Dugan’s book, Men Fake Foreplay. I’ll have to paraphrase since I don’t have the book in front of me right now, but it goes something like this:

    “Women will pick themselves apart in front of the mirror over an imaginary five pounds, while a balding guy with a beer gut will look in the mirror and think he can date the same women as Brad Pitt. Men’s magazines in grocery stores are geared to tell men that they can have these unreal, gorgeous women, while women’s magazines are geared to tell women how to perpetually try to become an unreal, gorgeous woman. Just one day I’d like to go in and replace all the men’s magazines with a blank picture and the words, “No more naked women today. You masturbate too much,” and all the women’s magazines with a blank picture and the words “It’s ok, relax. You look fine. It’s cool.”

    Plus, as someone mentioned above, I hate these assertions that “all men” think a certain way/find a certain type of woman attractive, or even find women attractive at all. I mean, certainly our culture only presents a certain type of woman as attractive, and yes there is certainly pressure to go along with that, but there are many men who resist it.

  13. “Actresses and models are real women”

    This may be true, but the images on the fronts of magazines are not real women.

  14. I was also pretty skeeved out by the mention of divorce rates of male high-school and college professors. College students are adults, but high school students are not. The article assumes that the most attractive people in the world are teenaged girls without even examining the background, context, and implications of that.

  15. “Actresses and models are real women”

    This may be true, but the images on the fronts of magazines are not real women.

    And most men have never met, nor will they have the opportunity to meet an actress or model that they have seen on a magazine cover, in real life.

  16. I wanted to make a note about this section that I paraphrased:

    “while a balding guy with a beer gut will look in the mirror and think he can date the same women as Brad Pitt.”

    The thing is, a balding guy with a beer gut can date very attractive (physically and/or mentally) women, when they are intelligent, witty, or otherwise delightful enough, which I’m sure pretty much everyone here would agree with. Hell, some women even find a belly and a bald head attractive. And this is the way it should be.

    I think what really gets to me though is this cultural mindset that if a bald, bellied guy isn’t dating supermodels (if they are, in fact, who he is interested in dating), it’s somehow the fault of the women. “Those bitches won’t accept me the way I am.” And it’s like, well, have you brought anything else to the table? Because if you’re generally a good person, play to your strengths, etc., there almost always will be someone out there, yes possibly even a supermodel, who will give you a shot.

    I’ve not seen the same concept hold true in reverse, however. In this culture men are, yes, theoretically supposed to look for intelligence and independence , etc. in a woman–most men I know at least claim to not want some submissive blow-up doll (in practice, of course, some of them have shown themselves to be liars). But it’s always IN ADDITION to being attractive. It’s like being thin and pretty is a prerequisite to having your other attributes even considered, which generally does not seem reflective of men’s experiences, to me at least.

    Or maybe I’m just giving too much importance to my own experiences. I don’t know.

  17. Meh, no sympathy from me. Beautiful women are a status symbol for men, plain and simple. If you think you’re obligated to have a runway model on your arm simply because you own a penis, then you’re obligated to be alone in most cases.

    People really fool themselves into believing they’re making personal choices about what they really want. But is this guy really making a personal choice? Or is he making a choice that will give him status? Is he too fooled by the media into believing young attractive females are sexually and emotionally available to all men at all times? He claims that this choice is hard wired and it isn’t because it is a choice.

  18. STORY!!!!
    My university was ranked as one of the top 10 ugliest campuses by Playboy. I did not know this until I attended.

    My first day I walked around, literally stunned by how unattractive everyone was. The campus was full of smart people who could not care less how they looked. And other people who went so far as to make themselves look as awful as possible.

    After about a semester, perfectly average people began to look INCREDIBLY attractive. There was a running joke on campus about people sleeping with unfortunate acquaintances over break because of the “CMU goggles.”

    In fact, my ex boyfriend, definitely a case of those. When I moved to Chicago it took me a few months before every single guy I walked past didn’t nearly cause me to swoon.

  19. excellent post, kate!

    yo entoaggie:

    “Is it because women are taught to have “realistic” (i.e. low) expectations for themselves, especially if they are fat or otherwise considered not classically attractive?”

    uhmmmm….yep! in fact, i can testify that this is pounded into our heads as young women/teens/girls…..

    yo yellowhammer:

    “Not all men even find women attractive at all. It’s ridiculous.”

    hmmm…i wonder if anyone ever gave the THOUGHT that some of these women who are constantly ogled (not to mention the women who are NOT ogled) by men may not even be attracted TO men as well?

    i guess not, ‘cos…..that would be terribly upsetting to think that all women do not exist solely for the pleasure of TEH MENZ….

    note: no snark towards y’all…..

  20. The first thing I thought of when I read this was, “I knew that dude! I totally knew that dude!” Nice enough guy, but a young Ernest Borgnine lookalike with acne, shy, and working a dead-end pizza job. When word got back to him that a (truly adorable) fat girl was interested in him and he should ask her out, he declined, saying she wasn’t his type. When asked what his type was, he answered – in all seriousness – “Heidi Klum, Christy Turlington, Nikki Taylor…girls like that.”

    I don’t have any words of wisdom or insight here. I just wanted to say, “I knew that dude! I totally knew that dude!”

  21. Just a quick PS – I’m not the truly adorable fat girl of the story. I was one of the people trying to get him to ask her out.

  22. I knew a number of people like this in college, and participated in quite a few degrading conversations about it. But I will say that as I have gotten older, I have met fewer men who think this way (that “average” women aren’t beautiful enough, that airbrushed models are the epitome beauty, that beauty is the most important thing in a woman, and that they “deserve” any woman at all).

    Maybe I move in especially felicitous circles, but I think articles like this make men out to be much worse than they actually are. Unfortunately I think they also encourage the nasty ones and the fence-sitters in their nasty ways: “I can’t help it! It’s nature!” Yeah. Your nature as an asshole.

  23. First thing I noticed about the article (besides the overwhelming odor of eau de douchebag): the words “straight,” “gay,” “heterosexual,” and “homosexual” do not appear once.

  24. While I agree that Levine’s article reads a bit heavy on the “woe is me” scale, I also think it’s worth thinking about his points, not as a “get out of jail free” card for male idiocy, but as a reason to think that feminist media literacy is as important for men as it is for women.

    Levine’s point seems to be more complicated than Kate’s giving him credit for, in that he’s arguing two things are happening at once:
    1) Television/Film/Advertising is “standardizing” a notion of the feminine ideal in ways that are far more specific than a preference for symmetry (which might possibly be arguably an evolutionary preference related to the perception of fertility and health)
    2) The constant barrage of images of only these women in the media causes heterosexual men to incorrectly estimate the potential pool of sexual possibilities in ways that cause them to aim higher than what they can reasonably achieve (in the sense that, in RL, those women they see on TV are *not* really available to mere mortal schlubs of the average sort that match up to us mere mortal chicks of the non-airbrushed variety).

    At least some of us have given some thought about how women are hurt by internalizing unrealistic expectations about our bodies. And those of us into Fat Acceptance often do work in media literacy to combat these images by calling attention to the ways in which real actresses and models don’t even look like themselves once they’ve been rendered into a “product” on film. It makes perfect sense that heterosexual men would be affected as well.

    And it’s not to women’s credit that we’re somehow able to not be fooled by pretty men on TV, as men in TV and advertisements are much closer to unairbrushed men, with a wider variety of body weights, physiques, ages, and levels of attractiveness keeping the media from producing as narrow an “ideal” for the male body and face as exists for women.

    Rather than attack Levine’s argument, I’d just say that what’s missing from his analysis (which focuses on the psychological) is a systemic sociological/political layer that lays the blame on (white) men like Levine who are the producers of the very media which is having this unintended consequence of leaving them perennially tilting at windmills.

    [As a sidenote: The idiotic male readers on Broadsheet are, as a whole, likely to continue to tilt at windmills for the rest of their lives, as, based on their comments, I cannot imagine a smart woman–much less a beautiful one–giving them the time of day.]

  25. I haven’t read the original article yet, but I guess I’m not clear on why the quoted part requires snarking? I know that guy. Hell, I’ve gone on dates with that guy (in a couple of different packages — dude is a master of disguise). You see that guy on the internet all the damn time (keeping up with those thousands of profiles he keeps on blogs and forums and dating websites has to be a lot of work, I tell ya). That guy has a close relative who is the “if I can pay for strippers/hookers who meet my exact specifications, there’s no reason I should date women who don’t” guy (and I’ve met him too).

  26. I guess I’m not clear on why the quoted part requires snarking? I know that guy.

    The snarking is because Levine wants us to feel terribly sorry for that guy and his predicament.

    the words “straight,” “gay,” “heterosexual,” and “homosexual” do not appear once.

    And he subs “people” for “straight men” at least once.

  27. I really, really wish I hadn’t clicked through to the comments on your Broadsheet post.

    That said, I think everyone knows that dude. Unfortunately.

  28. Entoaggie:
    If there were a story on women’s outsized expectations, their dumbness would not be rationalized by evolution and “they just can’t help themselves.” They would be scolded as overdemanding cows who deserved to be alone as a punishment for their high expectations.

  29. I really, really wish I hadn’t clicked through to the comments on your Broadsheet post.

    Yeah, I haven’t looked and don’t intend to. Many of the regular Broadsheet trolls have made it abundantly clear that they ARE That Guy, so I knew the comments on this post would be ugly.

  30. So Levine is another evo-psych-spouting eejit. I’m willing to take him at his word that he (and the sort of men he describes) is unevolved and may therefore go the way of the dodo.

  31. Ick! The comments on Broadsheet always read like an MRA primer. It makes me wonder if their fierce repetition has EVER actually changed anyone’s mind, somehow I doubt it.

  32. Pleh. That dude is my ex (figuratively, of course). My favorite was when, after I made a comment about how I thought I looked hot in a certain dress, he informed me that I was, in fact, not hot at all. I asked for clarification, of course; apparently only girls who look like the models in Maxim, for example, are hot, and I am thus strictly excluded from that adjective. Notice I said ex.

  33. This article just confirms my belief in the superiority of women. That’s not to say that some young women don’t subscribe to the same beliefs that most (many?) men have-“I deserve the best looking one out there cuz I’m hot”-they exist…at least for a time.

    I believe it’s correct to say that most women come around to reality much sooner than men. A thoughtful, introspective woman with any brain in her head will realize eventually that they are worthy of being treated with value and honor by a man who loves her for her brains, her strength, her humor, her abilities and insight–not just the size of her breasts, her weight on a scale, or her physical beauty.

    Women reach this conclusion much faster then men. We understand that true beauty is not just how you look on the outside, it’s how you operate on the inside, how you deal with crises, how you interact with your partner, your kids, your coworkers, your ability to think beyond the needs of your penis.

    I grew up in a household full of women. There were 6 girls, one boy (the youngest) and a mom and dad. It was clearly evident to everyone in the home that my brother was the “golden child”. My dad even admitted to me when I was 18 that if my brother had been born first, he wouldn’t have had the rest of us! (Thanks dad!) He got special treatment because he possessed a penis. No chores, catch with Dad, excused from most everything the rest of us had to do. It sucked. And from an early age, I knew how unjust this was, so I would dress him up in dresses and makeup, make him play with dolls, and picked on him incessantly.

    At 40 years old, he is better because of it. He has three girls and relates to them very well. He’s sensitive, smart, intuitive and caring, though very much still “a man”.

    I’m not saying that I hate men. In fact, I adore my husband and his ability to think beyond his penis. He is a true treasure and I know he is not the only one. He truly abhors men who don’t fully appreciate the value of women and the abilities they possess. The ablilty to procreate, to nurture, to deal with crisis, overcome obstacles, express their feelings, DEFINE their feelings, problem solve, multitask, etc, etc, etc.

    What I rail against, what enrages me, is the disgusting belief that men feel entitled for the sole reason that the were born with male parts. This is why I have such a hard time with most religions. The belief that men are the more “valuable” human being, superior to women in physical strength and therefore MUST assume the lead role in conducting the business of the world. Most religions, and dare I say cultures of the world, deny and ignore the true worth of women. They refuse to acknowledge that without women, the world would die, and continue to minimize our equality and even superiority in some aspects. Men often use the bible or their (mistaken) beliefs to control, manipulate, abuse, batter, neglect, belittle and devalue women. It’s’s absurd.

  34. That guy has a close relative who is the “if I can pay for strippers/hookers who meet my exact specifications, there’s no reason I should date women who don’t” guy (and I’ve met him too).

    Do they also have a second cousin in the “I don’t want to pass my genes on so I will only have serious relationships with women who are willing to have their tubes tied, but I won’t get a vasectomy” guy? I’ve met that guy….

  35. I kind of feel sorry for Michael Levine, though.

    He seems to recognize that there is a problem with his thinking, he admits to realizing that he is being marketed unattainable women. But he never questions the system, he never wonders why he should be attracted to the women is is told to be attracted to.

    I think men in this situation are like a 1950’s housewives struggling with a nameless sense of discontent, and then deciding life would be easier if they just drank more.

  36. And it’s not to women’s credit that we’re somehow able to not be fooled by pretty men on TV, as men in TV and advertisements are much closer to unairbrushed men, with a wider variety of body weights, physiques, ages, and levels of attractiveness keeping the media from producing as narrow an “ideal” for the male body and face as exists for women.

    Very good point.

  37. >>hmmm…i wonder if anyone ever gave the THOUGHT that some of these women who are constantly ogled (not to mention the women who are NOT ogled) by men may not even be attracted TO men as well?

    *raises her hand* I would be one of those, yes. EVERY time I go out, I get catcalled at least four or five times and that’s just on the *way* to my destination of choice. I usually get catcalled three or four times on my way home, too. >.<

    And, no, for the record, I have absolutely no use for or interest in the Menz.

  38. Several months ago — it was in the wintertime, but of course I have no idea which blog it was on — I read an article about this research that was much more moderate. I think Levine may have taken the original idea of the article and appropriated it for his own issues. Maybe I’m stating the painfully obvious.

  39. He seems to recognize that there is a problem with his thinking, he admits to realizing that he is being marketed unattainable women. But he never questions the system, he never wonders why he should be attracted to the women is is told to be attracted to.

    That’s precisely the reason I don’t feel sorry for him, bella. The world is bristling with men who notice something is kind of wrong, and who maybe even start to put a finger on what it is, but who just can’t recognize that they are part of the problematic system. And yes, that is a step of knowledge that’s hard for a lot of folks to take – in any system. Many of us had to take such a hard step into fat acceptance, for example.

    But fat acceptance has just been picking up speed in the last few years. Feminism, on the other hand, has been around forever. There have been waves of feminism. And books. Some of them are taught in school.
    Had Levine considered reading the writing of smart women in his research (if he did any prior to writing this publically released piece) he might have had an antidote to his can’t-date-idealized-women doldrums.

  40. Oh, that’s freaking hysterical.

    Menz, I love you, but please don’t listen to asswits like Michael Levine. You will never know the pleasure of finding great women out there because they don’t look like Halle Berry or Jenna Jameson. This also goes for the gay men who can’t have the equivalent of John Barrowman or Chad Allen. Don’t be that stereotype all those men’s (and women’s) magazines make you out to be.

  41. This also goes for the gay men who can’t have the equivalent of John Barrowman or Chad Allen.

    Finding out that Chad Allen was gay dashed a million barely-adolescent fantasies of mine, btw.

    Somehow, I got over it and learned to “access real love” anyway.

  42. The thought of Micahel Levine sitting around, with nothing but his right hand for a date, marinating in his own lonely misery doesn’t inspire sympathy in me.

    What’s that saying? You made your bed, now jerk off in it. All. By. Yourself.

  43. “That leads to a lot of guys sitting at home alone with their fantasies of unobtainable supermodels, stuck in a secret, sorry state that makes them unable to access real love for real women.”

    Oh. *shakes head* Well, yeah.

    It IS a sorry state.

    That doesn’t mean, Michael, that we should feel sorry for you men that are in it.

    To quote the incomparable Cher from her Oscar-winning performance —

    “*SMACK* Snap out of it!!!”

  44. Hasn’t Levine pulled this kind of thing before? Using pseudo-science pop psychology to reinforce a point?

    And I’m sorry, Regina T, but I can’t let women off the hook as if we never fall for this. And I’m really uncomfortable with blanket statements about the inherent “superiority” of women. We’re just as dumb as men, some of us. We’re just as entitled, we’re just as screwed up, we’re just as awesome. Bashing an entire sex doesn’t solve any problems.

    Case in point, if I spend a lot of time staring at Ben Browder in a week (like, say, this one)? Normal human males don’t look quite so appealing to me afterwards. I know the standard for attractiveness in men has never been as tightly controlled as it is for women, and people say “oh look that means women are so much less focused on the physical” but I think that’s a load of crap, honestly, for a variety of reasons (starting with the fact that men own the media; I believe firmly that if more women owned media outlets, well, Ben would be out there shirtless a lot more!)

    Also there’s more than one way to be brainwashed by your culture.

    I have absolutely seen the “women are holding unrealistic expectations” article. It focuses on Austen, or Disney movies, or fairy tales, or romance novels, and talks about how women have these false hopes from the media that they’re going to meet the perfect partner and therefore when they marry some poor schlub who isn’t flawless they turn into shrieking harpies, etc. Of course, in those articles, it’s always the woman’s fault for being too stupid not to see through the bs and get real. It’s never questioned that the media is bad for messing with our heads. There’s rarely a reference to the fact that the society is heavily invested in making women never question that their ultimate goal in life should be a partner who can support their domestic side, because that’s where women are supposed to be investing their energy in order to preserve the social order, blah blah blah.

    DRST

  45. Interesting, isn’t it, how you never see these kind of bullshit articles discussing why women are just sitting around, “stuck in a secret, sorry state”, refusing to date “real men” because they’re convinced that, I don’t know, Romeo or Mr. Darcy or Lancelot is going to come sweep them off their feet (not that I think that happens, really). It’s always, always, always about the Menz.

    Actually, I see a lot of articles about women with unrealistic expectations of men, it’s just that in those, the blame is placed squarely on the women, not the idealized men they’re ‘subjected to by the media.’ The women are told they need to ‘get real,’ and stop being so unrealistic, because any idiot must know that the idealized version of people they dream about doesn’t really exist.

  46. We were just discussing This Guy over at Rachel’s site the other day — That Guy who is single and lonely because he’s convinced that he deserves nothing less than a supermodel, and anything else would be selling him wonderful self short. Sadly, This Guy is all too often not conventionally attractive or super-rich or anything that a 20-something model might find enticing, but does that stop him? Nooooo, he “deserves” a model! He’s not gonna lower his media-set standards!

    Oh, it’s just so tragic when male privilege breeds male entitlement and then runs headlong into hard, cold reality.

    On the other hard, it’s worth noting that some men outgrow this infantile stage. My own husband once admitted to me that when he was in high school he (along with most of his friends) fully believed that they would one day marry the sort of woman who posed for PlayBoy. Fortunately, he realized that was a) stupid and b) not even what he actually wanted. On the other hand, he has friends in their mid-30s who are still single and miserable but holding out for their air-brushed dreamgirl. You know, the one they “deserve.”

  47. “beauty is nature’s shorthand for healthy and fertile”

    There is little that makes me foam at the mouth more than this myth. Yes, sick and weak isn’t attractive. But it doesn’t follow that the more you fit into a culture’s current beauty standard, the more healthy and fertile you are.

  48. ‘Sick and weak’ has had its innings too — though under such terms as delicate, fragile, otherworldly, etc.

  49. This dude needs a tall glass of quit-yer-bitchin’, as a friend of mine likes to say. If you can’t get it up for anyone who’s not a supermodel, and they won’t date you, then be alone. And if you have a couple friends who can tolerate your whining about it, fine. But “wah wah waaaah, supermodels won’t fuck me” really shouldn’t be a phenomenon worthy of publication, should it?

    And with respect to the part about the high-school girl as epitome of attractiveness, may I just say – ew with a capital EW. If Creepy was an Olympic event, he just took home the gold.

  50. But it doesn’t follow that the more you fit into a culture’s current beauty standard, the more healthy and fertile you are.

    Exactly. Somebody needs to tell these men that plastic surgery, Botox, and Photoshop are not elements of Nature.

    There is a photography book out (Makeup Your Mind) that features models without make-up, very up close. However, the point of the book is to “enhance” natural beauty with cosmetics. But seriously, some of these guys should look at the book. The models have freckles, greasy faces, and redness. Ya know, like normal women! And it’s surprising how different their facial features can be tweaked with makeup too. For example, Naomi Campbell’s nose was seriously “slimmed” down for the cosmetics photo, probably with help from Photoshop.

  51. There was a comment at the Alternet site blaming fat women for the poor single menz. Asswipe. I’m sure the happily married fat women here could put him to shame.

  52. This quote just cracked me up:

    The contrast effect not only undermines marriages; it then keeps men single — and miserable.

    Dude. If you’re so shallow that you’re sitting home single and miserable because you think your ass is too good for perfectly wonderful women who don’t happen to be supermodels? Thank god you’re home alone and not making one of us wonderful women unhappy.

  53. “And I’m sorry, Regina T, but I can’t let women off the hook as if we never fall for this. And I’m really uncomfortable with blanket statements about the inherent “superiority” of women. We’re just as dumb as men, some of us. We’re just as entitled, we’re just as screwed up, we’re just as awesome. Bashing an entire sex doesn’t solve any problems.”

    I think I made it clear in my original post that some women make the same mistake as men do when it comes to swallowing the beauty myth placed there by the media. As far as my blanket statement about the superiority of women, that’s my opinion. It’s a belief I came to realize growing up around all types of women. The fantastic part about seeing that? Most of those “superior” women accepted the tremendous responsibility that comes with greatness. They didn’t flaunt it, tout it, abuse it or manipulate with it. In fact, most of them served others before serving themselves….with diehard fervor, undying love, and strength beyond measure. BEING superior and SAYING you’re superior are two totally different things.

  54. @Linda: no kidding. If for some reason people like to tell you about their medical histories, you come to realize just as many conventionally attractive people as otherwise are pretty much only surviving thanks to modern medicine.

    @Sarah: I’ve gotten that one a lot, actually (that by being fat I’m somehow personally depriving men of the hotness that presumably would be a skinny me (and which they are, of course, entitled to enjoy)). WTF.

  55. well, I think that the female beauty ideal represented in the media hurts everyone involved. Men also have this ideal shoved down their throats, and while it may not necessarily be in their nature to heighten their standards, I do think peer pressure and social conditioning play a large part in what they choose to find attractive. Women fall prey to it too, thinking we have to live up to it. Its a vicious circle.

  56. better divorced and pining for teen hotties than married and despising one’s wife for not being a teen hottie.

    i don’t actually have any particular problem with men preferring to dream of christy and nicky whoever rather than “making do” with the near by fat girl — just as i prefer my own pinings to the men who have come on to me.

  57. I call bullshit! Dude just wanted to brag about his inability to avoid the “hawties”. Venus wept.

  58. i don’t actually have any particular problem with men preferring to dream of christy and nicky whoever rather than “making do” with the near by fat girl — just as i prefer my own pinings to the men who have come on to me.

    I agree. However, these guys want to force their views onto ALL men, not just themselves. They want us to accept their views as evolutionary “fact,” and those of us who challenge it are just bitter and ugly fatties.

  59. Holy. Crap.

    Seriously? SERIOUSLY? There are a bazillion and a half awesome single people of both sexes hanging around the world or even just this country, who’d love dating, marriage, or plenty of them even just a nice fuck every once in a while, and THIS douchehound is whining because the latest teen-something heartthrob won’t flounce over, toss her hair, and offer to surrender her virginity (for the third time) to him?!

    Now why is it that I’VE been repeatedly told that there is no Prince Charming and “you women have these scary fairy tale expectations for men and relationships, you need to live in Reality,” if it’s perfectly acceptable for HIM to not only sit and wait around for Halle Berry, but to actually expect her to show up? To the point that he can whine about it publicly and get ass-pats for it?! What an idiot. All this time he sat around in his “dark and secret sorry state” he COULD have been getting laid by women who are not only perhaps a better match for him mentally than dear Halle, but ultimately, just as attractive.

    Clearly, Ladies, we should hurry and get all pretty for guys like him (instead of pining for Batman? And really, why ISN’T this guy Batman? he’s obviously not got much else so he BETTER be a helluva fine arm decoration for me if he expects me to starve, primp, and hair-toss for his benefit), because “he can’t heeeeeelp it, it’s in his geeeeeeenes.”

    Hmm, well, guess what? I’m short, fat, and FUCKABLY ADORABLE, and I wouldn’t touch a creep like THAT with a ten foot pole. All of which (including the lack of attraction for jerks, who might potentially kill my offspring, thus endangering my genetic future, now THAT’S science) is “in my geeeeenes and I can’t heeeeeelp it.”

    If this is where “scienterrific” gets us, I suppose it’s time we all went and tried some new “genes” on for size. The caveman variety (you know the style, it’s the one where they took the zipper out because he kept getting his penis caught in it) is SO last millennium.

  60. Maybe slightly off-topic, but about the whole high school girls as the epitome of attractiveness thing, whenever I see the Humbert Humbert character rendered in pop culture (American Beauty for just one example) it seems to me that a huge part of the man’s attraction to the female character has not to do with her beauty, necessarily, or her youth in terms of reproductive fitness or whatever, but with the lack of responsibilities and adult cares that a high school aged person has. Like the contrast of a young woman who just wants to have fun and the “harpy” wife who is worried about boring shit like, oh I don’t know, how they’re going to pay the mortgage and what their kids are doing.

    It seems to me clearly at least 50% about wanting to access the carefree, stress-less and wide open future of the young, yet dudes like this take away from it that it’s just that sixteen-year-olds are blistering hot. It makes me wonder if they know any teenagers. Like, sixteen-year-old *models* are blistering hot, but real sixteen-year-olds have the same range of body types and facial features that any random group of women have. I find that disconnect strange.

  61. . . . real sixteen-year-olds have the same range of body types and facial features that any random group of women have. I find that disconnect strange.

    Hey, maybe they have their TEENSIMAYFUCK blinders on? I’m 16 and average (though with a face only a mother could love) and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten any attention ever from males I know/don’t know. My guess is that there’s a limited subset of hot 16 year olds they’re willing to take and everyone else might as well off themselves now because IT’S ALL DOWN HILL FROM HERE, LADIES.

  62. Just one day I’d like to go in and replace all the men’s magazines with a blank picture and the words, “No more naked women today. You masturbate too much,” and all the women’s magazines with a blank picture and the words “It’s ok, relax. You look fine. It’s cool.”

    EntoAggie, Mike Dugan is made of win and so are you for quoting this.

    On older guys and high school girls: I don’t think it’s a looks thing, at all. I used to get older men try it on me from an unpleasantly early age, while the guys my own age that I fancied never returned the compliment. My guess as to how that worked is that the older guys simply honed in on a painfully shy, naive, yet physically mature young woman who was desperate for some kind of male attention (because she’d been raised to believe she wasn’t worthy if she didn’t get any), and wasn’t about to tell them to piss off the way a more experienced woman of their own age might have done because she’d never been taught how or why. Oh, for a female mentor at that age.

    I would so love it if guys like this one would point their wrath in the right direction, like squarely at the advertising industry that’s selling us all these images of unreal. The fact that they blame anyone but the real culprits just shows how deep the brainwashing goes.

  63. I’ve never found those magazine cover models to be attractive, but then again, I know photo shop like the back of my hand. Maybe the problem isn’t too many models, but not enough. Give me a normal looking woman anyday, I’m sick of models.

  64. Oh fer chrissake.

    To me, the saddest part of this is that even though most women will read this and think “Oh, boo hoo. Too bad I left my tiny violin in my other pants,” an awful lot of women will read this and think “This guy’s just saying what EVERY OTHER GUY IN THE WORLD is already thinking.” To them, this will just prove all the negative voices in their heads asoultely right. You know, the ones that tell them they’re hideous and nobody will ever find them attractive, much less fall in love with them.

    I know that’s what I would have thought if I’d read something like this as a painfully insecure teenager.

  65. I don’t see the problem as the advertising, entertainment, or fashion industry. I see this as a result of Levine not being a grown-ass man. Most grown men realize their wife doesn’t look like Angelina Jolie, but that they don’t look like Brad Pitt either, that everybody is making compromises to have the kind of life they really cherish, and the things that matter most (love, kindness, smarts, etc.). He is globalizing his immaturity to all men and blaming it on evolution. I wish Darwin were alive to give him a kick in the slats.

  66. limes — sixteen was two years ago for me, and I was part of that subset, I was the one who got the catcalls and HOW I WISHED that some of those girls over there would get some too, except not, except I kind of did, but … you get the gist.

    Nobody hollers at me anymore when I go out, and it’s just … DOWNHILL, indeed. It used to make me feel like a fraud. ‘What, I’m not hot anymore?’ and then I took a good look at myself and realised that the gap between my biological age and what I look like increased again when I wasn’t looking (does that happen to anyone else?), and now I guess I look like I’ve aged so far out of the HOTHOTTEENS! range that I cannot possibly be mistaken for the teenager I am.

    I suspect it also helps that I don’t wear my school uniform in public anymore. Seriously, there are guys who look at your school uniform and you can SEE their brains short-circuit and they get that slightly-open-mouthed glazed look. Especially if you have breasts and you’re wearing a summer uniform that was not designed to accommodate a D-cup. It was a bit maddening, and some of them were SO CREEPY. So creepy. Oh, so creepy. (And rude. And obnoxious. And CREEPY.)

  67. The other thing that really irritates me about his article is the sentence which implies he’s somehow connected with publishing, ie., marketing books?? How appalling is it that, anyone with the access that he must surely have to entire lifetimes of literary comment on exactly the sorts of issues that his silly bimbo self is struggling with, could write such debasing and scientifically questionable drivel and all the while think it’s adding worthwhile fodder to the debate?

    If only he’d just had a quick flick through The Beauty Myth before putting fingers to keyboard, we might have all been spared – and he himself might still be in a loving marriage.

    For goodness sakes man, put the mags down, take your hand out of your Y-Fronts, and have a look at what’s really going on around you.

  68. Maybe it’s just my selfishness talking, but seriously, dude: thanks for selecting yourself out of the pool of Men Whose Thinking They Are Hot Shit and I Should Agree Or I’m a Frigid Bitch that I have to deal with. Men who sulk in their basements because, boo hoo, supermodels don’t Jello-wrestle on the front lawn for the right to date them are no one I want to deal with anyway. Or, as Paris Hilton would say, “NOT HOT.”

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