Attraction is a complicated topic, and entire scientific fields are dedicated to studying it. As guys, we often simplify attraction to an extreme degree.
A common sentiment in the self-improvement world would lead you to believe that there’s only one way to be attractive.
But, if you spend half an hour in any downtown area of your city, you’ll see all types of guys with attractive partners. This observation tells us that no matter your “package,” there are ways to become more attractive.
How to Approach Attractiveness
Improving your attractiveness is highly personal yet universal, which may seem contradictory, but it’s not. Consider attractiveness as a pyramid.
At the bottom are traits that hold true universally and cross-culturally, like health, confidence, and status. These traits are almost universally attractive across societies and cultures, forming the foundation of the attractiveness pyramid.
- Health: This trait manifests in various ways, such as physical fitness, clear skin, good posture, and general vitality. Health is attractive because it signals good genes and potential to be a good partner or parent.
- Confidence: Confidence signals that a person is capable and self-assured, meaning they’re more likely to be successful and resilient in the face of challenges.
- Status: This can mean different things in different societies. In some, status is tied to wealth or job position, while in others, it may be tied to family connections or accomplishments. Having a popular YouTube channel, being good at a sport, or even a video game can give you status in certain circles. The beauty of this pyramid’s foundation is that we can control all aspects of it to some degree. Most guys can choose to become more physically fit, work on their confidence, and develop some status.
As you move up the pyramid, the traits become more personal and culturally dependent. The middle layer includes things attractive depending on your culture.
For instance, having a small head as a guy in Korea is deemed extremely attractive. Or, being a super extroverted people-person is considered attractive in North America, while in places like Japan and Northern Europe, you might be seen as strange or weird if you strike up a conversation with strangers.
The top of the pyramid contains the most personal and individualistic traits—traits, quirks, habits, or interests that make you uniquely attractive to certain people, independent of cultural norms or universal principles. This could include:
- Individual Physical Traits: Having a big nose, thick eyebrows, or big lips are features that can make you uniquely attractive.
- Niche Interests and Skills: Being incredibly passionate about a specific hobby or having a unique skill can be very attractive to people with similar interests.
- Personal Style and Expression: Your dress style, hairstyle, tattoos, and more express your personal style and can be very attractive to certain people. For instance, if your personal style is goth, you may not appeal to everyone, but those who like you will REALLY like you.
- Individual Personality Traits: Unique elements of your personality that aren’t necessarily related to confidence or universal values can make you uniquely attractive to the right people. For example, having a unique sense of humor, being very creative, or being incredibly empathetic.
Focusing on What We Can’t Change
Often, guys focus on things they can’t change about themselves, like height, race, or facial features. These factors undoubtedly contribute to attraction, and it’s understandable why they might make some guys feel bad.
Nobody likes to be excluded, especially for something they can’t change. These aspects are both understated and overstated. For instance, height matters.
Generally, women prefer men taller than them—in 92% of couples, the man is taller than the woman. However, even if you’re 5’6″, you’re still taller than roughly 60-70% of women. That’s a significant portion to consider!
Take UFC fighters Demetrious Johnson, Jon Dodson, and Alexander Volkanovski, for example. They range from 5’3 to 5’5 and aren’t traditionally handsome, but they all have attractive partners.
Their status as UFC fighters could play a part, but comparing their partners to those of taller UFC fighters, you don’t see a huge difference. No matter what cards you’re dealt with, there’s a way to work with it.
Focus on Your Strengths
A mistake many guys make is trying to be something that’s incongruent with their natural features. If you’re a square-jawed, bearded guy with strong facial features, trying to look like a TikTok pretty boy can be off-putting.
Instead, lean into your natural features, and take advantage of what nature gave you. The same rule applies if you’re more delicate or boyish-looking.
This concept extends beyond physical appearance. If you’re introverted and enjoy deep one-on-one conversations, you don’t need to force yourself to be the life of the party. You can be attractive in your quiet, thoughtful way.
- Focus on Universally Attractive Traits: Improve your health, build your confidence, and strive for status in a field that matters to you.
- Pay Attention to Cultural Attractiveness Norms: Understand what traits are typically valued in your culture, and see which of those align with who you are. Don’t try to force fit into norms that don’t suit you.
- Celebrate Your Uniqueness: Embrace the things that make you different, be it a quirky hobby, an unusual style, or a unique personality trait. You might not appeal to everyone, but the right people will appreciate you for who you are.
- Accept the Things You Can’t Change: Acknowledge and then shift your focus to the things you can control.
- Play to Your Strengths: Embrace your natural traits and lean into them. If you’re tall and athletic, use that to your advantage. If you’re shorter and more cerebral, plenty of people will find that attractive.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to attractiveness. What one person finds attractive, another might not. The key is to become the best version of yourself and attract people who appreciate you for who you are.