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Feminine Beauty Is Highly Controllable

September 21, 2011
Advice abounds for women looking to score a guy, and some sources actually have solid suggestions. But while these sources tell women all kinds of strategies for being approachable or meeting new people, none of them address the most important matter: appearance. A number of the articles I've read have promising titles or sub-titles, but they qualify the initial admonition to "look good" with so many caveats and clarifications that by the end they've essentially told the reader to "be herself" - which is nothing more than a waste of her time.

The topic is avoided because women do not realize how controllable their appearance is. This is understandable, because if female beauty were not controllable, telling a woman she could attract more men if she would just improve her looks would be no more useful than suggesting a paraplegic man "just" learn how to dunk a basketball to impress women. On top of providing no worthwhile advice, it would serve as a painful reminder of her inadequacies. However, the notion that a woman's attractiveness is anything less than highly controllable is patently false.

Time and time again, I see the same thing: the women who aren't getting attention from men fall almost entirely into two categories:
  1. Women that are unfit
  2. Women that do not present themselves well
Hopefully you noticed something important about this list: it does not include women who have "ugly" faces, or even deformities. Obviously, natural good looks cannot be overlooked, but they are given far more credit than they deserve. It is the height of hyperbole - you might even say a myth - that women are either born attractive or not.

To drive this point home, I spent entirely too much time identifying the various components of feminine beauty and quantifying the importance of each one. The result of this effort is shown in the table below. (By clicking on the table or pie charts you can enlarge them.)


Notes about how I generated the numbers in the table can be found here.

  • The 'Importance' percentages simply indicate how much each aspect listed matters to a woman's overall appearance. They collectively add up to 100 %, so they can be literally interpreted as a percentage of overall beauty.
  • The 'Controllability' rankings indicate the amount of control a woman has over the various aspects of her appearance. 0 % represents completely uncontrollable aspects of beauty, while 100 % represents those that are completely controllable. Some items in the table are 0 % controllable to most people, but 100 % controllable to others (for example, breast size and facial structure are both alterable in extreme cases by plastic surgery). The controllability ratings for these items are a guess at the average between those extremes, based on the frequency of occurrence. Or, for example, even though a girl can't change her bone structure, 'height' is rated at a nominal 8 % because there is a small amount of controllability with the size of heels a girl chooses to wear.
  • The 'Attention Deserved' is an index that is calculated by multiplying the Importance by the Controllability, and dividing the product by the collective sum of these products. This can be reasonably interpreted as the percentage of the total time spent on her appearance a girl should devote to each item in need of attention. So a girl that is overweight would be justified in spending 72 % of her time (that is, the time that she invests in her appearance) only on losing weight; or a girl whose clothes don't usually complement her complexion would be smart to spend 8 % of the time she invests in her appearance on shopping for clothes that work well with her look (or on earning extra money for that specific purpose). Obviously, no one is going to count the minutes or hours. The point, though, is that some things are worth spending more time on than others. Don't waste your time worrying about your eyelashes (1 %) when you are overweight (42 %) - go to the gym.

I've also put the data into a few pie charts. This is what you should care about (Importance Rating):

Components of Feminine Beauty by Importance Rating

This is what you should spend your time on (Attention Deserved):

Components of Feminine Beauty by Attention Deserved

Now, even though I have gone to rigorous ends to elicit these ratings from the recesses of my mind, obviously they are still relative to my personal taste. That being said, while men will all disagree over the minutiae of female beauty, few will disagree with the important aspects. This post should give you a solid idea of what matters to most guys, and how much.

While the numbers speak for themselves, I want to highlight one main point: notice how controllable the most important aspects of female beauty are. To wit:

  • 18 % of feminine beauty is more than 100 % controllable. This means that if a girl is not opting to do these things, she is missing out on 1.8 points out of ten due to ignorance or a personal decision. Included in this 18 % are simple things like wearing heels and jewelry or removing excess body hair.
  • 63 % of feminine beauty is more than 80 % controllable. This is the driving point behind this "analysis," expressed numerically. If you take nothing else away from this post, remember this. It means that you are in control of your appearance far more than you think. It means that the time and effort you put into your appearance will produce results. Do not worry if your gut tells you otherwise; your gut is informed by beauty pageants and "100 Hottest Women" lists, and a thousand other influences that both reinforce and reflect the notion that beauty is a matter of winning the genetic gene pool - i.e. a matter of 'haves' vs. 'have-nots.' This notion is bullshit. That 63 % of beauty is at least 80 % controllable means that no girl needs to be less than a five on the ten scale (0.80 x 63 % = 5.0). If you present yourself well and get in great shape, you will be above average. And for those of you that are naturally about average, the sky's your limit.
  • Only 32 % of feminine beauty is less than 30 % controllable. In other words, there is very little about your appearance that cannot be improved.

One final pie chart to summarize these three points:


Far too many women fail to recognize the leverage they have over their own appearance. This leverage translates directly into control over the ability to attract men.

For photos of women improving their appearance, check out this post.

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