Is it "egotistical" to be aware of your looks? The beauty penalty?

Everyone on here is constantly saying looks don't matter, personality first etc. However everyone knows they do as they are the initial point of attraction to a person.

Does being that you're good looking, above average, average or bellow average (even with personal preference variability) help you gain perspective in how you're initially perceived?

Many of the comments on GAG make it seem that being aware of your looks is only healthy if you're not in the top bracket. That's hypocrisy and something called "the beauty penalty". If someone is good looking and is aware of it (and all the good/bad things that come along with it) why are they egotistical? Also assume they aren't boasting about how awesome it is. How are they egotistical for stating something, in a humble manner (and not using it for power) that may as well be a relative fact such as your income bracket.

Example: a good looking guy is aware of his looks, women chase him even if he's not interested and they're confusing his looks with a character trait. He is aware of why he's treated by them a certain way, even if he doesn't want to necessarily be treated that way. Why is he an egoist?

Why, do people historically cut down the tall poppies for personal gain?
And yes, "good" looks are subjective within reasson. That's not the question.

The question is why a person can't say they are good looking, but stating you're average or bellow average is accepted...if not even promoted as false humbleness etc?


Most Helpful Guy

  • I don't know what "everyone" is saying. Looks do matter.

    People do initially judge a book by its cover because that's the first thing you see. But I would say the cover includes not just physical appearance (since we're usually not just looking at photographs) but also mannerisms. From what I gather, this is particularly true when it comes to what women care about. Also, how someone dresses has an impact on different people.

    But I disagree that it's so easy for someone to know that they're beautiful or handsome. We can look in a mirror but we can't tell what other people think of us.

    I don't know how to judge guys from a woman's perspective!

    A lot of the guys that women fawn over, I have to shrug and be like, "Huh, I really don't get it." It's not that I'm jealous. It's that I really DON'T get it. Even though I don't get it, I'd be happy to learn what women are attracted to if I could ever get a consistent answer.

    The only thing we know is whether we're popular or not, but I'd argue that popularity is not the same thing as beauty. Someone who is popular can easily infer that they're good looking from all the attention they're getting. But I see a lot of popular people who are only slightly above average in appearance, and usually the most popular girl is not the best looking girl in the room. That much I know.

    See, the story of the Ugly Duckling has a lot of truth to it. If you put a swan in a pool of ducks, the ducks are going to ignore the swan because it's not one of them. Maybe it even intimidates them. But once the swan is in a pool with other swans, it realizes how beautiful it really is. Just because the swan doesn't fit-in doesn't mean it's less beautiful than your average mallard. The reverse may be the truth but it matters who is doing the judging.


Recommended Questions


Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 12

  • I agree being aware of your looks and how that effects your first impression and relationships with people is a good thing regardless of what "bracket" you are in.

    GAG has a interesting dynamic because it is overwhelmingly populated by supportive people and people who aren't necessarily successful in relationships or don't have the social life they want. I definitely fit into all three of those when I first joined this forum.

    I also think that being aware of and comfortable with the fact that you are in one of those top brackets kinda gives you a certain responsibility to not shove it in the less fortunate peoples faces. Why you ask? Because by doing so you show your insecurity about your looks if you were 100% confident you where good looking you would never have to say it, you also call attention to the fact that you are different from and even think you are better than the people you are talking to. That makes the ones that believe you are better looking than them feel a little insecure thus annoyed.

    I should sleep I'm pretty sure what I just wrote makes no sense at all.

  • > Everyone on here is constantly saying looks don't matter, personality first

    Long term this is right.

    > However everyone knows they do as they are the initial point of attraction to a person.

    They can be, but I met lots of climbing friends of both genders online first. I had no idea if the women looked attractive or like the back end of a bus. This had no influence on finding them attractive, or my conduct towards them then or since.

    > Does being that you're good looking help you gain perspective in how you're initially [visually] perceived?

    No. Self awareness that you visually appeal to men would though. Being cute does nothing for self awareness per se.

    > Many GaG comments make it seem that being aware of your looks is only healthy if you're not in the top bracket. That's hypocrisy

    To separate these tangled points:

    - self awareness is never unhealthy (self obsession can be)

    - factually I can't recall a recent example of anyone saying self awareness was bad in anyone

    - depending how people use that knowledge can sometimes draw insults though

    - hypocrisy is holding other people to a different standard than you hold yourself

    - people do sometimes attack someone who says "gee, aren't I cute?"

    - however if those attacking such people made similar statements I think they'd expect attack

    - hence the attacks on someone who toots their own horn are not hypocritical

    > If someone is good looking and is aware of it, why are they egotistical?

    If self awareness is the limit of their actions on the subject, they aren't egotistical.

    > assume they aren't boasting, How are they egotistical for stating something

    One implication of your Q is that the person who believes their self to be beautiful and who says so, is stating a universally held truth that others could not logically disagree with. Beauty is of course subjective so some will object on the grounds of not actually finding the person proclaiming their self beautiful to be very physically appealing. This is not finding the person who said it egotistical, it is a disagreement about the underlying beauty.

    Egotism is maintaining and enhancing favorable views of oneself.

    If the person who thinks they are cute is saying to either reinforce their own views, or to persuade others of that belief, then they are being egotistical.

    If they have some other motivation, I agree with you that they are not.

    > Example: a good looking guy is aware of his looks, women chase him even if he's not interested and they're confusing his looks with a character trait.

    Very confused argument again. How is chasing him founded in any aspect of his character? He just looks good.

    > He is aware of why he's treated by them a certain way, even if he doesn't want to necessarily be treated that way. Why is he an egoist?

    Whether he wants it or not is irrelevant to egotism. No part of the example illuminates any aspect of egotism.

  • It's an interesting point and I think it differs for men and women. Men get a huge amount of leeway as to what "handsome" or "hot" is whereas women have a relatively narrow set of looks they generally have to fit into to be considered attractive, depending on what's hot in society/the media.

    I was not attractive as a teenager. I was fat and had glasses. Then at 17 I started jogging, I lost 50 pounds, and I got contact lenses. All of a sudden women started chasing me and it was great for a while, but once I realized I was still the same guy inside as before when I wasn't attractive, it made me feel very hurt and bitter, that my only value to other people was in my looks. I've adjusted that viewpoint since then, but it's still valid in many cases.

    I don't think it's egotistical to know that you're considered good looking. It's egotistical if you use that information as a basis for treating others in a condescending or negative manner. Being good looking is literally only skin deep. I now see I was fortunate to be unattractive in my formative years because I developed a personality and musical talent that I might not have taken all the hours and days and weeks and months that it took if I had had a lot of friends and girls after me. Now I get the benefits of it all - and I'm saying that as a matter of fact, not pride. To an extent, being good looking is a genetic fluke. It's how you cultivate your appearance and treat others that defines your overall character and social value.

    • Right, so why be penalized for being aware of your genetic fluke?

      The double edged sword is that you will also be penalized for saying you're not goodlooking, when infact you are.

      Either way, there is a great deal of resentment towards a goodlooking individual from members of the same sex. Women more so then men, as men tend to be judged on character factors more then looks.

      If a beautifull girl is aware of her beauty, but has never based her life around it..why can't she objectively state it?

    • Show All
    • As for why a girl can't just say "I'm good looking", it's one of those things that is generally totally obvious. There's a woman I'm going out with tomorrow who is a perfect ten to me, and she would never, never act like her looks motivated her in any way. She's not afraid to dress nerdy and hang out with dorks and get dirty. To me that makes her all the more attractive/sexy since I can tell she's got a good heart and mature character.

    • Anyway, jealousy is nothing new. Some people will just always hate anyone who has any advantage over them. I've had "friends" who were really passive aggressive to me no matter how hard I tried to share the benefits of my advantages (picking up dinner checks, setting up dates for them, going on trips and paying). At some point I just realized there's nothing I can do to make someone appreciate me for me if they don't want to. Bottom line, it's about them, not me.

  • I don't regard myself as egotistical because that Implies I think highly of myself, maybe even more so than is realistic. I am ugly. I'm ashamed of it. I hate it. I'm aware of my looks. I know people find me repulsive. But I am not egotistical. I don't think I'm great. I think I'm terrible, and the way people treat me helps to reinforce this.

    In reality, in the wild, ugly ducklings don't become beautiful swans; they get shot.

  • as stupid as it is its just human nature. like have nice abs and also am the opposite of arragant but If mentioned It I would emediately get called arrogant no matter what. some of choose to give in to negitive sides of human nature (the ones that turn people into idiots) but most don't have that discipline. ( I answered this question "Why is he an egoist?") by the way I think now what you mean but not sure so do you mean by "tall poppies"

    • It's an expression meaning cutting down those better then yourself at something.

  • Looks are the FIRST thing people notice. Personality is second. Period. Any other advice is a lie.

  • People don't like it when other people are better than them, so if the person realizes that they get abuse. I don't really mind, as long as you don't treat people like sh*t because of it, or rub it in loads. I prefer that to the "no I'm ugly" approach, I hate that approach.

  • I'm not sure many people thing it's egotistical for an attractive person to be aware of their attractiveness. I think very few people would describe what you're talking about as being egotistical.

  • i love working out to look good and its for myself. If others like it then that's fine but its for me to feel that I have done something that I have aimed for,

    • hahahahaha ROID MONKEY!

    • Show All
    • hahahah suuurrrrrreeee. I've been going to the gym for years and you can't look that big at 17 its impossible. Nice try bud

    • Gonna have a quick life hahaha

  • looks are very subjective. There are popular looks and you can have a popular look but it's not the be all and end all, there are going to be people out there that still find you disgusting. I for one am not a fan of girls with huge breasts or who are really tall, I know other guys that LOVE huge breasts and tall girls. If you look at a model, most of them make me want to throw up like they probably do, but to fashion designers I guess they are pretty and probably to a lot of other people too. So yeah, it's find to think you are good looking but just take it with a grain of salt, even if you are pretty now your going to get old and having a big ego will cause you nothing but problems. And ego is like a piggy bank where you store emotion, and the more emotion you put into it now, the more emotion you will need to deal with when your looks are gone

  • Show more from Guys

What Girls Said 5

  • I don't understand what situation you would ever be in that would require you to stand up and say "yeah I am really good looking". I am good looking, I don't care if it sounds big headed, I am and always have been. I also have a personality and am smart enough to have obtained a honours degree and am currently working on my masters. Ugly girls I don't even know can be bitchy towards me sometimes when I am at a club or something for no reason but I couldn't give a toss its just jealousy and they see me as a threat. Only people who don't know you will be nasty to you based on your looks if any of your friends are treating you differently then it probably has something to do with your personality. In general most people are nice to me as it is a fact that people tend to be nicer to good looking people and that they get further in life and are more successful. Maybe you perceive yourself to be something you are not and its your arrogance that makes people want to cut you down to size. Not getting above your station and all that.

  • If all the person cares about is their looks and bases everything they say and do on it than yeah that's egotistical. But I don't think there is anything wrong with being happy with the way you look, whether that be above average or not.

  • raised some really valid points here :P It's more accepted that you put yourself down or act like you aren't aware of your looks because most everyone is constantly comparing themselves with each other. It's a bitter pill to swallow if you find that you don't measure up to another or to impossible standards. I don't think it is the fact that someone is aware of their looks, I believe it is how they express that. Everyone sub-consciously picks up on body language, confident body laguage is a good thing, but if the person pairs it with words it can be overkill sometimes and rub the wrong way even if you don't realize it. Jealousy also plays a part in the egotistical thing.

  • firstly if someone goes on about being middle or below average they ARE egotists. Its annoying to have your friends go 'oh I'm so ugly, bla bla' when even though they have not been so beautiful, they get amazing women, guys, who are attractive inside out.

    Secondly understanding you have good looks and doing nothing about it makes does not make you an egoist. Looking in the mirror and admiring them OFTEN does, turning down girls left right and centre because you believe you can do better is, believing you should be a treated a certain way because you look good does.

    Thirdly people cut down the tall poppies because they are jelous

  • they do it out of insecurity. when you are fine with your own looks you don't need to be resentful to attractive people who are fine with theirs. as long as you aren't lording it over anyone or being a bitch about it its a non-issue. I would rather someone be confident than mopey and insecure which is what a lot of people on this site are.


Recommended myTakes