602. Response to Viewer—Item 14: Pretty is as Pretty Does


I dedicate this article to Her Prettiness Laura. She asked how men see ‘pretty’ differently than women.

Answer: It doesn’t matter and best if women don’t think about it. Reasons follow, but consider everything one level below her sexual attractiveness and his conquering mode. This means ‘pretty’ in the non-sexual sense. Even though that’s an impossible viewpoint, assume it anyway.

Females think of ‘pretty’ in terms of attire, grooming, and individual techniques used to enhance their appearance. They focus on details that show off their physical attributes as best practicable. It makes them feel good. It bloats self-image, enhances self-esteem, and stabilizes self-interest. Pretty serves females. For males it’s serendipitous.

  • Females define ‘pretty’, because they suit themselves. They know intuitively that men identify ‘pretty’ by personal taste but biased by sexual interests.
  • Thus, women see ‘pretty’ in two shades: To make herself attractive sexually, or to make men focus on her person rather than sex.
  • Two shades polarize Womanhood and confuse women, which creates doubt in mothers. They let daughters generate prettiness standards that generate popularity and capture temporary boyfriends. Consequently, increasing with each new generation, confused Womanhood leads to sexual exploitation of females.         

Men primarily skip appearance to focus on exposed skin or other sex symbols. Women made the invitation customary, and so men do it more assertively than our forefathers.

  • When not so energized to focus on sex, however, men see ‘pretty’ as everything all wrapped up in one person. ‘Pretty’ means her best features shine pleasantly. Her individual techniques, grooming treatments, and special efforts don’t impress men, so they focus on the whole. Her overall appearance pleases manly viewing. 
  • But when asked what creates prettiness, men spotlight favorite features. This points out that men don’t care how she got pretty, they’re just glad that she is. This frees up females to determine and establish their own standards for prettiness. 
  • When men ask men what makes women pretty, they cite face, shape, boobs, buns, legs, or a mix. Modern women pay attention to that and not what men would say to women.
  • If they bother to ask, women get different answers. Unfortunately, several decades ago feminists convinced women not to listen to what men have to say about females.
  • When sincere, men answer women this way: They attribute prettiness to less sex-oriented features, especially the basics of attire and grooming. Men intuitively know that women pay attention to the obvious. In this way men go along with what women determine is ‘pretty’ or not. Men only confirm and appreciate ‘pretty’, they don’t define it.

Pay attention, Ladies. Men don’t know how pretty an individual female can be until they see it. Females make themselves pretty to please themselves and no one else. They judge ‘pretty’ by what becomes successful and standardized at entertaining masculine eyeballs. Popular standards guide and prevent radical appearances.

  • To be sure, the male gender benefits when females prettify themselves. If individuals let that influence them to not be at their prettiest, men don’t know the difference. But such women torpedo their own self-image, self-esteem, and self-interest—which costs them self-confidence dealing with men.
  • Boiled down even further: She should not prettify herself to please particular men (unless at husband’s request, of course). But manly feedback is essential to measure her success and guide her prettifying efforts.
  • Success of Womanhood appealing to the male gender also standardizes female appearance, which determines ‘pretty’ when made popular, and which she needs to guide her efforts at making herself different but not too different or radical.

Consequently, ‘pretty’ is a one-sided battle of the sexes. It succeeds with female coaching, planning, playing, and officiating. Men are for feedback more than to be pleased.

NOTE: The title at top paraphrases Forrest Gump’s mom, and I credit Winston Groom, the author of Forrest Gump.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “602. Response to Viewer—Item 14: Pretty is as Pretty Does

  1. NigheanRuadh

    My fiance says that he bases a great deal of what determines his view of “pretty” on a woman’s behavior. I think a particular woman is the prettiest of a group; he thinks she is the least pretty because he sees her as snooty and therefore unattractive. I once asked my brother if he thought Marguerite in the movie *Ever After* were pretty (I do), and he responded, “She’s cold. It doesn’t matter if she’s pretty or not.” So prettiness (as opposed to sexiness) in a male’s eyes might have very little to do with a woman’s physical appearance.

  2. Laura

    “Pretty is as pretty does” is a regional thing, evidently – because I sure heard it enough, growing up, YEARS before Forest Gump!

    Okay – to the post itself. Thanks for this, Guy.

    I believe it’s fair to say that women are more critical – they judge attractiveness on the basis of symmetry, application of makeup, etc. We tend to focus on individual attributes and to try to enhance the assets and minimize the perceived flaws – and a single flaw, like a short stubby chin (like mine ;) ) can completely sabotage the rest of a woman’s looks – “oh, she really ought to do something about that chin!” (those eyebrows, that nose, etc) –

    I believe men, as you say, take in a whole package without analyzing the individual components thereof? And are more concerned with how a woman’s looks as a complete package advertises or reflects her self-respect, her state of mind, her overall attitude toward him and toward life in general? Perhaps – her looks become a diagnostic tool on what’s going on inside her mind and spirit?

    But then there is the man who’s somewhat mesmerized by a woman’s looks and overall charisma so that he’s blinded to serious character flaws. What then?

    • Manda

      Then he is immature and so not worth your time ;)

      Laura, I agree with your observation that men take in the “whole package” while us gals tend to focus on details. Hence why a woman who is obese but has a certain nice feature, say beautiful eyes or nice hair, may be considered pretty by many women but not by most men. I think it would be a good idea for us to keep this in mind when grooming/taking care of ourselves. Guys never started paying much attention to me until a couple years ago, when I learned to dress myself (you’ll never see me wearing sweats in public now), grew my hair out, and started doing little things like wearing scented lotions, shaving every single day, wearing heels most of the time. My facial features, body type, or hair/skin/eye color hasn’t changed at all. But like Guy said, when girls spend quality time in front of the mirror to make ourselves prettier, it raises our self-esteem and this shows in the way we carry ourselves!! :)

      This is an interesting entry…I used to wonder about two groups of girls: naturally pretty girls who really don’t put any effort into their appearance and don’t get much attention from guys, and girls who are not as genetically gifted but who put a lot of effort into looking nice and get the guys’ attention. I never understood why this was so until recently. Even if you were not born a perfect ten, I think men appreciate the effort you are putting into looking pretty, not to mention it is also a direct reflection of how confident you are. I hope that all makes sense!

      Lots of love and I’ll be back!!

  3. Adrian

    Your post was spot on (as usual).

    I think a certain amount of beauty gets a man’s attention at first. But attitude and character really do matter to men. On our first date, I watched my husband’s disappointed expression when he first saw me. It really hurt, but I hung in there. I knew that I was a good catch and didn’t hold it against him. I tried to remain extremely logical about it.

    All of the marketing tells men that a certain type of woman is desirable. I do not have blonde hair and was overweight at the time I met my husband, although I made a good effort to dress attractively and femininely.

    By the end of our first date he could not stop talking to me, as he had finally figured out how much we had in common and that we had our faith in common. He walked me to my car (it was a blind date and I had driven myself and met him there) and he kept me there by talking to me through my window for at least an hour.

    I truly believe that by not overwhelming him with a bunch of sexual signals (ie: cleavage), that he was free to focus on who I was.

    Nine years of marriage to my guy and it gets better every year.

  4. LB

    Oh yes, I do think men look at the “whole package” and they don’t even notice the details. EX: I have been married for 12 years. About 2 years ago I had a minor health problem and lost 10 lbs, unintentionally. I’m 5’6 and didn’t need to lose weight so 10 lbs is significant – about 3 dress sizes. My friends noticed, my mother noticed, but my husband didn’t notice at all! A female friend commented to him about my appearance and it was news to him. LOL They just don’t notice those things! Of course, if I moved his golf bag 6″ in any direction he would immediately notice…

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