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Philippa Courtney



How Much Do Looks Matter?


Dear Philippa,

I'm tired of being the plain Jane in the background. Everyone likes me but no one wants to date me. I'm thinking about changing my appearance, losing a few pounds, going blonde, and maybe even getting my nose shortened. Don't you think when you get down to it, that it's someone's looks that really matter when it comes to being popular?

�Sherrie, Las Vegas, NV


Dear Sherrie,

On the subject of whether looks do count, I saw a Dilbert cartoon the other day that I loved. It reminded me of a time when I was tired of going out with good-looking guys that treated me poorly. I told a friend that I was going to date less attractive guys because maybe they would treat me better.

In the Dilbert cartoon two women are working out at the gym. One woman, Amber, tells her buddy she's tired of dating attractive, dumb, self-centered men so she's thinking of finding an intelligent homely guy to date. Then Dilbert walks over and talks to the women. Amber's friend takes one look at him and screams, "Don't do it, Amber!"

I'm trying to think of what the male version of this cartoon would be. Two guys have a similar conversation, only it's a voluptuous dimwit with a laugh like a hyena that comes over. Would the male friend scream, "Don't do it" to his buddy? I don't think so. I've read that Men are biologically wired to be more visually oriented.

Do I think that you should go out and get yourself a total makeover so you will attract more guys? The fact that a woman has the "right" look doesn't always mean she attracts more men�and isn't it more a matter of quality than just quantity? It seems the women who feel that they are attractive, even if they don't fit into the stereotype for beauty, are the ones who get the male attention. Next time you're at a dance or any type of social get-together, watch and see which women get the male attention. They are usually the ones having the most fun, the ones who seem the most approachable, and not necessarily the best-looking women in the place. Plus, women who are in touch with their own sensuality send out signals that men follow in droves.

Dear Abby recently got a letter from a man asking the same basic question. He said he was a likeable person, physically fit, and takes pride in his appearance. But he didn't think his looks were good enough. And like you he felt over-looked by those he wanted to meet. This guy can change his wardrobe, grow or shave his beard, or even have his face surgically changed. But more importantly he can change his mind-set about himself. It sounds like he took the rejections of some women to heart and used it to reinforce his own poor self image. I guarantee that if this man turns around his thoughts and believes that the right women for him will find him very attractive, the confidence he exudes will attract women better than any physical makeover possibly could.

Did you know that a recent, national survey of single men and women showed that the majority of them put both intelligence and sense of humor above good looks and jobs when it comes to what they look for and find most attractive? That doesn't mean you can be a dirty slob with a great sense of humor and high IQ and you'll be a babe magnet. Looks do count to a point, but they are not the whole enchilada. It sounds trite, but the truth is that until you love yourself, who else is going to want to love you? And, don't we all want to be loved for who we really are, including our imperfect looks?

Sure, get the new hairdo and wardrobe, even get your nose done if that will help you turn around your self-image. But don't count on merely a physical change to change your life. Recognize that you are a beautiful creation of God. Focus on feeding and filling your heart and mind with loving, positive thoughts. Then strut your stuff knowing that some guys are going to be lucky enough to have the opportunity to date a fabulous woman like you.




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