Why do guys speak so critically about women's appearance when the women aren't actually bad looking?

I've heard guys make some awful comments about women around me, evaluating their bodies... when I didn't think the women looked that bad.

Example: Criticizing skinny women for having cellulite on their upper thighs (which like 90% of women have due to genetics, regardless of whether they work out),

Another Example: upon seeing a girl wearing a skimpy outfit of short skirt and tall boots, comment that they wish she wasn't wearing that outfit (apparently she was chubby, I thought she looked fine).

My boyfriend tells me at least two thirds of guys make comments like this about girl's appearance. I know that there are women out there that comment on guys appearance, but I don't do this nor do most of my friends, so seems like a guy thing to be critical from my POV...

Yet, I couldn't help but notice those same guys don't actually date girls any better looking than the ones they speak so harshly about. So how can they be so harsh?

For the same reason, I've never gotten how so many celebrities can get picked apart yet they usually still look better than the person commenting.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Yeah I notice that too and I don't like it either. I don't think most guys truly understand how much it hurts to get picked apart and judged. I can tell from girls' answers on here that it's painful. It's harder for us to empathize because most guys aren't really used to being treated that way and I think it's partly because, for us, there's no serious consequences. If you openly criticize a girl the worst thing that'll happen is she'll call you a**hole and storm off. If you openly criticize another guy he might punch you in the face. We're not used to being on the receiving end of the comments and so a lot of guys get kind of blasé about it and they do it without thinking.

    I think that, for men, it's easier to nitpick then it is for a woman because the characteristics that attract a woman to a man are (I think) a lot more abstract and intangible than those that attract a man to a woman (at least initially). It's easier for us to spot what we like and what we don't. Having seen so many women, guys can kind of develop an idea of the hypothetical "perfect" woman (for them) that is the sum of all their favorite physical features and then compare other women against it (and yes, I know that's incredibly unfair.) Real women, however, are not Mr. Potato Heads and even the real jerks know that.

    I guess there's multiple reasons why guys can be so harsh. A lot of guys are into "shock humour" and think it's funny to put people down if it's very offensive. Some guys are bitter and have a grudge against women. And some guys are just plain hypocritical. Personally, I try not to think that way. I resist the temptation to narrow my taste in women and compare them to my "type". I prefer to keep an open mind. I look at women for what they are, instead of what they are not. I've been very attracted to many women who look nothing like one another. I've come to love how women are so diverse. They're all different (physically and personally) and I find that variety interesting and exciting.

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What Guys Said 6

  • Honestly I hate that too. I really don't like when a friend of mine might criticize a girl who isn't bad looking at all. I think "how would you feel if someone was saying that about you?" Guys act like they are only interested in 1/4 of the women when if most guys are like me its really closer to 3/4

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  • I don't know why honestly. I don't really do it - everyone has flaws. When some guys do this around me, I look at them and think to myself they really have no business saying anything about those women, because they themselves have some flaws - if those flaws were on the other end they'd point it out most likely. I don't know if its an inferiority complex or something - almost like they are trying to boost themselves by saying others around them arnt good enough for them. In my experience a lot of guys don't really do it to the degree you mentioned above anyways

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  • I don't know, really. It's just a stupid guy thing, I guess.

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  • No ofeense, but could easily say the same thing about girls.

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    • wow offense even

    • OK, but to add to this... research shows that male peers making negative comments about women's appearance is one of the biggest contributing factors to women's eating disorders moreso than women's negative comments about other women's appearance,comments by other family members, etc. So while girls do make negative comments, the effect isn't as damaging.

  • Because, as a whole, people tend to focus on the negative. I doubt that guys are any more critical of female appearances than females are of men's, but they might just be more vocal about it.

    Also, due to widely varied tastes, what one might consider gorgeous, another might consider awful.

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  • Well, I can't speak on behalf of all guys, but I am a guy and I hang out with a lot of them, and I have never heard one say anything about cellulite or what someone was wearing unless it was hot or she was humongous. I would find it hard to believe that most guys do that, especially around your age.

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What Girls Said 6

  • Both genders do it, it's annoying.

    Like when Britney Spears got "fat" or when Jessica Simpson got "fat," I was like... really? SHES fat? Really, now?

    People are shallow.

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  • people just jealous & mean

    they wish they had true love where flaws don't matter

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  • ive often wondered the same thing

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  • Some guys are just jerks, don't pay any attention to them.

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  • I know what you mean. When I was with my previous boyfriend ad his buddies that was a big problem. Their would be times when names of people would come into our conversation and sometimes if they were girls (girls who I thought were pretty, some prettier than me!), they would feel the need to comment on their looks like eh she's not that hot. Or she needs to fix her face. It made me so self conscious and it hurt immensly even though they werent even talking about me.

    Personally me and my gfs are never that critical towards guys.

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  • They're bitter that women don't come airbrushed like they do in spank mags ...

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