Ugly Ducklings?

I thought I’d dealt with the ridiculous notion that there are lots of attractive girls who just can’t find a man to marry, but the goalposts have moved: now it appears that many of them are actually too ugly.  Of course, there are some truly deformed, ugly people out there, but that’s always been the case and they aren’t that common, so does it  really have anything to do with the modern phenomenon of “where are all the good men now that I’m ready”?  This all actually leads into a post concept I’d been planning to work on, so let’s deal with this new myth, shall we?

First, if you know a 35-year-old, shrewish, short-haired careerist who’s battling an extra 10-15 pounds and complains a lot about how much men suck, it’s completely believable that no one wants to marry her now.  But she wasn’t always 35, shrewish, careerist, etc.  Once upon a time she was a fresh-faced 18.  Was she really so ugly then that no guys were interested for the next several years, or did she shrug them off because she was too busy “living”?  Let’s consider.

I did a quick search and found a small, Midwestern high school that puts its senior pictures online.  (I’m not going to say what town, because I figure it’d be kinda mean to have one of them do a search someday and find these pictures and my mean statements about them.  Suffice it to say it’s a middle-American town like thousands of others, with small enough numbers to keep my experiment manageable.)  I grabbed the girls’ pictures from 2012 (the last year available), arranged them into a montage, and numbered them.  The result:


So, how many of these girls are “too ugly” for any decent man to be interested in?  Well, #6 is clearly whatever we’re calling “retarded” these days, so she may not be marriageable for other reasons.  I don’t think any of the rest qualify as “ugly.”  I could nitpick some of them: #4 has a heck of a man-jaw, #12 needs help with her makeup, and so on.  But those aren’t big things, and they wouldn’t turn off every guy.  The main problem I see is that three of them are significantly fat — enough to keep away a lot of guys — and a few others have at least a hint that they might be putting on weight.  That doesn’t have to be permanent, though; and if those girls lost the weight, their features look good enough that they’d fit in with the rest.

So my contention is that 27 of these 28 girls could be married to decent guys with jobs by the age of 20 if that’s what they wanted.  None of them are doomed to a life of cats due to their looks.  Very, very few women are — nowhere near the numbers to account for all the career girls hitting the Wall these days.

However, pick out any one of these girls, and imagine her after 15 years of college, work, and club-hopping.  Add 20 pounds, cut off the hair to give her a “sassy” do, and give her an N of 12-20 and the personality disorders to prove it.  Now, when she cries that no man ever wanted to marry her, are you going to buy that?  Before you do, think back to the cutie she once was.

Out of curiosity, I also grabbed their pictures from 1962, 50 years earlier.  The results:


Now, I actually find this group homelier than the 2012 girls, which surprised me, but that’s mostly because the hairstyles do absolutely nothing for me.  (I’m very heartened by the amount of long hair in the 2012 pictures, actually.)  I’m sure many of these girls would be much cuter with long hair.  But the most striking thing is that not one of these girls appears to be overweight (maybe just a hint on #3, but barely).

Does anyone doubt that these girls were able to find husbands?  Of course not.  But that’s not because they’rte more attractive than the 2012 girls; they’re less attractive in my opinion.  It’s because girls wanted husbands back then and they didn’t want to put them off until their 30s.

59 thoughts on “Ugly Ducklings?

  1. Pingback: Navigating the Murky Sexual Marketplace: Good Girl Edition | Cail Corishev

  2. “Daughter and I have talked about this and she is contemplating not being so tunnel visioned that she doesn’t see possibilities. Unlike her mother, I don’t think she expects to tingle right away, sir Deti.”

    I haven’t been knighted, at least not yet.

    I think you’ve hit on the primary issue here. Most young women looking for marriage are still, I think, looking for absolute perfection. Her expectations are stratospheric. He has to be perfect in every way, else she won’t even consider him for marriage. And I can see why – after all, she’s going to be hitched to this guy for life (theoretically).

    Another huge, huge problem is the hedonic marriage model too many women fall for. Marriage is not bliss and happiness and mind-blowing sex with a perfect body all the time; in fact that’s not what it is MOST of the time. Most of the time it’s mundane, mind-numbing routine. It can be fun; but it can also be a run through a lake of fire. I’ve done both – many, many times.

    I just believe most women, from top to bottom, of all ages and stations, have a completely unrealistic, Disney Princess expectation of the relationship of marriage that is completely counterfactual and not grounded in any kind of reality at all.

    But you can make a marriage work, and a girl can fall head over heels for and be in love with, “pretty good” or “great” but not “ideal” or “perfect”.

  3. Pingback: May The Odds Be (N)ever In Your Favor | Donal Graeme

  4. Elspeth,

    Is your daughter putting herself into positions where similar minded men would be? I would not count the college as that since the culture there is very different. How would she come across such a man in the areas she spends her time?

    The idea of a matchmaker of some sort seems reasonable and may be much better than the random “I hope I bump into him” approach. I doubt God’s plan is for her to stay single her whole life, but she could end up that way if she doesn’t actively take part in changing that.

    My experience is more than 25 years out of date, but I was largely interested in women who were active in the church activities I was into at that time in my life. Is she anywhere such a man could find her? Trolling the street or even the campus does not seem like something most men would try, except for the PUAs.

    I would see this as like complaining that you didn’t have a good job when you never did anything to find or “bump into” that good job.

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