Sexy Women Make Everyone Feel Bad

It’s no shock that the portrayal of women in magazines makes women feel like dirt. But did you know images of hot chicks make men feel worse, too? Everyone knows that the way women are portrayed in our culture – sexy, skinny, tall – makes the average woman feel a bit like the gum I had to peel off my shoe this morning. When we look at magazine ads or watch TV shows, we women feel inadequate – and it’s no wonder, when the average woman model weighs up to 25% less than the typical woman and maintains a weight at about 15 to 20% below what is considered healthy for her age and height. But the 40,000 or so ads the average American is exposed to a year aren’t just affecting the girls. A new study coming out of the University of Missouri found that men react negatively to unrealistic ads, too. What’s interesting is it wasn’t images of hot men that got the guys feeling self conscious – it was images of hot women.

The research began by trying to see if men were as negatively affected by men’s magazines as women are by Cosmo and the like. Men that were given men’s magazines like Maxim had lower self image, which got the researchers to question exactly what about the magazines cause the drop in self esteem. So they showed men just the pictures of objectified women, men, and the articles and again checked their esteem levels. They found that, surprisingly, it wasn’t the images of idealized men that made the guys feel inadequate – it was the women. Even more surprising was that the male fashion group reported the least amount of body self-consciousness among the three groups – the guys couldn’t care less what the other men looked like.

If you’ve ever been in high school, it’s obvious why seeing a hot woman would make a less than ideal looking guy feel bad. I mean, what guy hasn’t choked when trying to talk to the head cheerleader? Attractive women are intimidating, and the mere sight of one is enough to cause any average joe to give themselves a quick once-over.

The theory is that a beautiful women makes a man self conscious because the he’s reminded that he’s not in her league – that is, they take one look at a hot girl and quickly realize there’s no way they’re good-looking enough to bang her. Since women have the larger investment in offspring, they tend to be considered the ‘picky’ ones, evolutionarily speaking. The men and their billions of sperm have to compete with other guys to convince a girl that they’ve got the genes to be worth it.

To test this theory, the researchers performed one more experiment. They broke the men into two groups – one received magazine layouts of sexually idealized females and the other received the same layouts with average-looking ‘boyfriends’ added to the photos, with captions about how the female models are attracted to the average-looking men. The men who looked at just the model were more self-conscious, presumably because when the other men saw the bombshells liked ‘normal guys,’ they no longer felt she was out of reach.

Personally, I’d like to see if images of hot men have the same effect on women. Despite the evolutionary argument, I think that women would have the same reaction to male models as men do to female ones. After all, you don’t hear a girl say “oh crap! I gotta go fix my hair!” when this guy walks in the room:

I want you. I need you. Oh baby – oh baby. Read more of my stuff over at Observations of a Nerd

The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Want more? Sign up for our daily email.

215 thoughts on “Sexy Women Make Everyone Feel Bad”

  1. Thats why in our religion order us to overlook strange woman because if you didn’t look to her you will be pleased and your feeling is pure even jessus said in bible if you look to woman in appetite thats mean you had sex with her so try to take just normal information about islam and wonder why muslims are increasing every year
    Here is just 2 sites

  2. It seems that many of you have strange ideas of attraction, possibly a result of your movie watching and MTV. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realize that happiness is not dependent on finding a mate.

    People need to be more realistic. Admit to yourself that you are not the most attractive female or male on the Earth. Stop evaluating yourself in relation to other members of the same sex. Your entire conception of self-esteem is holding back your happiness. Your goal should be zero self-esteem–eliminating the emotional roller coaster that accompanies negative AND positive evaluations of one’s self.

    Women, if you go to clubs and get drunk and grind on random males, please don’t complain about the hedonistic males you’re attracting. Your behavior is causing your own complaints. Pleasure is not happiness. Sex is not happiness. So don’t complain that you can’t find a decent guy if you slather on the makeup, don’t know how to read, can’t appreciate subtlety, and look at the pictures in Cosmo. In fact, women that wear makeup are deceiving males by saying “my genes are better than they actually are.” Also, when women are ovulating, their skin is naturally more red; the point of blush is to unconsciously trick men into thinking that women are ovulating.

    Men, the same message concerning self-esteem applies. Stop comparing yourself to the steroid-abusing wrestlers. Realize that you will never have sex with Megan Fox and that women are sometimes fun to talk to. Most importantly, even if it’s very difficult, you don’t need a mate or even sex for happiness. Realize that women bear the majority of the reproductive burden. Can you imagine what it would be like if you had to stuff cotton up your penis every month? It serves women right that they should be picky. They’re looking for a supporter–one that has financial and emotional stability. This is a good thing. Though you may not be able to change your facial structure, you can definitely increase your MATE VALUE by making more money or being more caring!

    Maybe I’m an idiot. After all, I’ve had only 2 semi-serious relationships in my life and I’m 23, but it seems most people are so silly.

    • well theoretically u r right.. But, bro, even u know how wasted,loser,dickhead,useless trash kinda piece of **** does an average guy feel when he sees a beautiful girl(megan box) going around with a wrestler type/hunk/hott/perfect guy without even caring for average guy.We just feel like stupid freaks born just to be mere trash can.

      If I become Hitler I would kill all the ugly guys and girls so that they dont have to die every day and every moment for being ugly.

      • Thats about how us average ladies feel when average guys won’t give us the time of day because they’re too busy falling all over themselves trying to get a Megan Fox. Then who’s left for us? Oh yeah, the mouth-breathers who are _also_ shooting out of their league. That’s why a lot of us go for the older guys who know what they want and have their priorities straight. You young bucks think with your wangs too much.

  3. guys are pretty simple, if girls will just accept themselves for what they are and flaunt what theyve got guys will love it. Im not exactly model material but i do think im pretty. The only reason i get guys attention is because ive got them all convenced that im the best thing they will ever come their way, whether i am or not that is what they are thinking. if girls are confident and know what they want guys are attracted to it. If you tell a guy you think you arent good enough hes going to think you arent good enough. If you tell a guy you are the best thing ever, hes going to believe you. And if he doesnt, hes not worth your time. Guys like the chase anyway as much as girls like to be chased

  4. Magazines are in business to SELL COPIES; and as neanderthal as it is, SEX SELLS! Unfortunately, years of visual programming (by reading these pubs) set up unrealistic expectations and the unenlightened (and clueless!) go through life thinking this extreme exterior perfection is the gauge to their own happiness.

    So the premise of the article: Does seeing a hot woman hit a man’s insecurity button? Well . . . I think THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT IN THE MATING GAME! There’s a fine line between feeling insecure – and feeling challenged! MEN ARE HUNTERS and a smart woman knows this! Your smile and F-factor (the overall physical package) will draw him in. Your warmth, confidence, smarts and happiness about life in general will keep him there. Alot of women are focused more on the physical aspect and less on being the interesting, sensual, engaging person that real men are looking for! Previous posts indicate, ‘looks are skin deep,’ and to that I say, AGREED! Smart men know this and once attracted, they get by the looks pretty quickly – and want to know more. Smart women know this too — they know their looks ARE their calling card – JUST this. Women come in all shapes and sizes, thank God, because so do men! ‘Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ . . . and there’s lots of folks, both men and women, doing the beholding! So, be comfortable with who you are and let your confidence show.

    The call to WOMEN: Get into your best dating condition, both mentally and physically. If you want the best, you’ve gotta be your best. Get in touch with your softer side, your inner diva; do what makes you happy; take care of yourself – eat well and get in some physical activity everyday; read voraciously and follow your passions so that you’ll be an interesting person. Stop trying so hard to find a man! It makes you look desperate! Remember that what you choose to wear when you go out is advertising. You may be attracting what you don’t want! Be classy-sexy and you’ll attract classy-sexy! Think about what you value in a partner and make that your criteria for evaluating ALL the men who will approach you. If they don’t fit the bill, give them a gentle send-off ’cause you don’t want to waste HIS time – nor YOURS. You create your own happiness – men don’t want to feel this weight anyway. LISTEN to everything a man says upon first meeting – a man will tell you everything you need to know about his intentions if you’d only listen objectively! Be a class act and be kind to other women. Build a positive vibe – you may find a new friend – AND she may introduce you to Mr. Right!

    The call to MEN: Ditto on getting into YOUR best dating condition. It’s imperative that you put your best foot forward as there is only one chance for a first impression. Go after women who are your equals mentally. This levels the playing field – you’ll be more comfortable and better equipped to impress her. Approach the woman who smiles back. If your looking to get laid for the night, be prepared for the brush-off. Women can feel a fraud a mile away – and remember, women talk and reputations precede so think about the dynamic you’re setting up for your future. If you’re looking for “quality,” be “quality.” Character, manners, intelligence, integrity and respect go a long way in making a good impression – and in keeping her interested. If you’re NOT looking for quality, you’ll find plenty of interested parties out there too; and that’s ok as long as she’s aware and accepts the agenda – so you both can act responsibly. My gyne, who’s a guy, says “assume that everyone’s infected with some sort of STD today.” He says he sees alot going through his office. BUT, that’s a whole different topic!

    I’m sure I have alot more to say, but I’ve already said enough! Happy dating!!!

    5’5″, 130, entrepreneur, blonde, blue-eyed, fit . . . and beautiful!

  5. or google search How to get rid of acne or repleace the word acne with scars etc i’m in a similier situation but with a bad case of gum diesease which i find i have to treat myself (quite well these days)for since the doctors and dentists don’t know what it was or how to treat it.

  6. The reason this is equated to looking like a whore is because that the only thing these women are looked at as providing is sexual pleasure… Anyone can do that… An example of comments seen many times when it comes to these women include things like, “what does her face look like?” and “Who cares?” Obviously this is not a respectable image.

    So please answer this… Why is it that men want to see women dressed up like tramps/whores, yet a ‘respectable’ woman is publically condemned if there are public images of her in a sexy picture? For example an actress who has posed in a sexy picture for a magazine… Men want the excitement of a sexy tramp, yet they want their partner to be ‘respectable’. Notice the word RESPECTABLE. And what about a woman’s need to be sexually desired by her man? Noone cares about that, we only see comments about what a man desires from many sexy women, slim, large breasts, etc., etc., etc. It seems pretty insensitive to expect women to ‘just understand’ that men want strip bars and to watch other women naked. How is a woman supposed to feel like she’s not being cheated when she wonders while they are having sex when he comes home that night if he is thinking about the stripper he was watching earlier? We always hear about a man’s need for sex. What about a woman’s need to be the only one? Doesn’t anyone care?

    If this sort of thing doesn’t make women seem inferior, why is this a very common issue? Why do we use the word, ‘respectable’???

    And why is it that there are so many comments about women needing to stay looking good for their man, yet many of the most beautiful women in the world are still cheated on? Rather than providing all the stimuli that cause men to go out and look elsewhere, what would be the difference if social stimuli focused on keeping couples together?

  7. “Beauty is a tool to to weed out the weak” I kinda like that one. It’s more fitting than many would think. Just look at many of the female leaders in your own company. They ain’t ugly women who don’t gave a damn about their looks. Most success women do look good.

  8. What do you mean by average guys? Looks, height, money, personality. What makes a guy average vs. desirable. Can a kind average guy get hot girls? It sounds like from what you are saying that you hate men who are arrogant regardless of where they are in the scale of desirability. Am I correct? Or, are you saying that a so called “highly desirable” guy can be arrogant, unkind, and say what ever he wants and you will still want him. Any one reading your comment, who is was not lucky at birth, in looks, education, or influence, seems doomed to never have what they want. What kind of achievement is birth luck of genetics or money. I would like to believe in a world where if you work hard you can achieve the things you want regardless of what you were born into.

  9. oh look, just remember this: so many “men” are more likely to screw anything that moves, should a sheep feel flattered?

    Im not talking about you, ok? but about them. The men that make you feel worthless, are the worthless ones. So, you are safe from them. Are all men like that? No. There are some nice ones, maybe hard to find, but don´t believe romantic comedies, life is tough, and so must be you.

    Not bitter. Laugh, dance, dont give a sh*t about them.

    This is your only life, and your best revenge is to enjoy it with ot without them.

    If you just want sex, that´s easy for any woman.
    If it’s love, that’s hard for everyone.


  10. oh look, just remember this: so many “men” are more likely to screw anything that moves, should a sheep feel flattered?

    Im not talking about you, ok? but about them. The men that make you feel worthless, are the worthless ones. So, you are safe from them. Are all men like that? No. There are some nice ones, maybe hard to find, but don´t believe romantic comedies, life is tough, and so must be you.

    Not bitter. Laugh, dance, dont give a sh*t about them.

    This is your only life, and your best revenge is to enjoy it with ot without them.

    If you just want sex, that´s easy for any woman.
    If it’s love, that’s hard for everyone.


  11. I wish I could meet you. What you say is so sensitively spoken and reassuring. I could love someone like you

  12. I couldn’t agree more. However there are many percpectives to see this from. You believe because you are not gorgeous that you don’t turn a mans head. I’m hear to tell you that society has become so numb to the natural relationship between men and woman that it doesn’t matter what you look like. I am tall, gorgeous with exactly the right hip/waist ratio. I may turn heads but that is about it. Men don’t approach me or speak to me ever and I have the biggest heart of all my girlfriends. Most of the girls I know are catty and compete nonstop with each other. Just like you I feel that I am just me. I want one man to love and desire me for inner and outer beauty. The outer beauty will fade no matter how many times a week I go to the gym.

    I look at all the average people and feel jealous because I think they are the ones who have it so much easier. A man feels so much more comfortable with average women. Average men are terrifid of me and on the flip side all the hot men who chase me are into games and they are soooo stuck on themselves that it doesn’t matter how beautiful I am, because the next beautiful woman is going to turn their head too.

    I do believe it is important for both men and women to take care of themselves for health reasons and I am not attracted to unhealthy men. It just doesn’t fit in my lifestyle. Whenever I am around one and they are eating nasty I just want to encourage them to go to the gym and get frustrated when they reject the idea over and over again.

    One more point. I do agree with the media creating an unrealistic image however I believe it is very important to acknowledge the fact that americans are more obese than ever and I believe that plays an important role too. If women all looked like they did back in the 70’s before this generation of obese people then I don’t think such a market would have grown so rapidly.

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