The Rules of Attraction
by Chris Shugart
Michael has it going on. He really does. He's 26 years old, smart, has a damn good career, and a cool personality. Everyone likes Michael. Men want to be his friend. Women do too; they just love being around him. He's that kinda guy.
Problem is, these women don't want to be his girl friend. They even tell him that they "love him like a brother" which, by the way, is equivalent to stabbing a man in the heart with a rusty ice pick, only slightly more painful and humiliating.
What's the problem here? Michael possesses all the characteristics women say they're looking for. Along with the intelligence, the personality, and the good job, Michael does his best to make himself more appealing. He drives a nice car. He wears stylish clothes. He pays attention to the details that the men's magazines tell him are important: the right shoes, the right watch, the right styling products. He even trains with weights a few times a week. He is (or at least he should be) quite a catch.
So what's the deal? Why can't Michael get a girlfriend or at least a meaningless hook-up every once in a while?
Answer: He's fat.
Well, he's not obese. Small children don't gasp and point him out to their mamas at Wal-Mart or anything. But he could stand to lose 20 or 30 pounds and drop the gut and love handles. His chest is a little droopy too. He doesn't have full fledged man-boobs (or moobs), but they're pretty flabby. Although he belongs to a gym, he's not as hardcore as most of us are about this stuff, and his diet is pretty awful.
I think about Michael and his situation a lot. I also think about the eternal question, "What do women want?" especially since what they say they want is often very different than what they actually want. Well, in spite of all the great things about Michael, they certainly don't want him. He's chubby, and that's a deal breaker. I've been there. I know.
Ugly Is Better Than Fat
Believe it or not, a smart, beautiful woman can be won over by an ugly guy. Women often say that looks don't matter in the big picture. And that's largely true, at least for mature women past the age of 20 or so.
Yep, women can deal with ugly. In fact, I have a theory that ugly dudes sometimes have an advantage because they often try harder at all the other things and develop better social skills, better "game," and better outward personalities. (Well, usually. Sometimes the ugliness just makes them bitter or withdrawn and they're forced to sit at home on Saturday night posting rude comments on internet bodybuilding forums.)
But here's the kicker: while you can be ugly, you can't be fat. An ugly face and a lean, muscular body can take you a long way. An ugly face and a fat body won't get you through the door.
Ugly face? "What face?" most females ask.
The Room Scan Theory
I call it the "room scan theory." Think about it. You walk into a room with a bunch of people in it — a bar, a party, an office, a gym, whatever. You scan the room, right? And during that natural scanning process, you spot members of the opposite sex and evaluate them at the speed of light.
You immediately categorize them. Some you glance at for half a second and disregard. They're not pretty, they're fat, they're plain, they just don't get your loins jumpin'. Your eyes pass them by like they're not even there. Others catch your eye and you pause to look at them. They're good looking and/or have good bodies.
Well, women do this just as much as men do. And poor Michael, because of his flabby body, just gets looked right over. While personality and intelligence and goals and core beliefs and all that good stuff really does matter to females, they don't give Michael a chance to display these qualities because he's fat. Sad, but true. Men do the same thing to women.
Sure, a chubby guy or gal can still meet someone and have a great relationship, but their odds are poor compared to the non-fat person. It's much tougher for them because they just get missed in the room scan.
Ugly folks get overlooked too, but again, an ugly mug on a killer bod certainly improves the chances of getting noticed or getting that foot in the door. After all, a bone-skinny person, while not ideally attractive in the physique department, is a better choice to most people than a fat person. Fat, quite simply, is the deal breaker.
Fat Makes You Invisible
All this comes back to a subject that's near and dear to me: the physique transformation — massive changes in body composition. I've always been sinfully ugly, and I added fatass on top of that back in college. After I lost the fat and discovered iron, the world changed. I was amazed.
As a fat guy I was invisible. When I added muscle and uncovered the abs, it was like flipping on a social light switch. Oh, I'm still plenty ugly, but the healthy, nonfat body makes a big difference.
Michael's world would change too if he lost the extra flab. That's why when it comes to the subject of physique transformation, loss of body fat is almost always part of the equation. For most people, it should be the number one item on their list.
Now, every time I say this, I get knee-jerkers who put me into the same category as those 140 pound, muscle-free skinny guys who, for some reason, are trying to lose more weight so they can weigh 125. No, obviously muscle gain is important here, and I'd never suggest a radical fat loss diet to a beanpole. You've got to have something underneath there, otherwise you've just changed from "ugly fat body" to "ugly puny body." (But you know what? Puny is better than fat, at least when it comes to getting laid. Sad? A little. True? You betcha.)
But still, fat loss is going to be the main goal for most people, especially with the obesity rates skyrocketing. The "average" person these days is carrying too much fat, and the main thing they could do to look better, feel better, and improve health is to lose it.
Maybe it's a little unfair that chubby people are so often disregarded, not even given a chance to show their other qualities to prospective mates. But it happens, almost instinctively it seems.
Our primitive brains and bodies are coping with an exploding population, and we've learned to make snap judgments and rapid categorizations. And if you're too fat, you go into the slush pile pretty quickly. You are categorized by the opposite sex and put into the "not gonna happen" file in under two seconds.
And not just with the opposite sex in relationship scenarios. Studies have shown that fat people even get unfairly labeled at work and are perceived as being lazy and weak-willed. Fair? Maybe not. True? Absolutely.
And yes, confidence and good game in the field play a role, and even fat guys can score, but all things being equal, the confident guy with the muscular V-shaped body and six pack is going to have better success than the confident guy with the beer belly and double chin. He's going to be given a chance instead of being immediately discarded in the room scan.
There's hope for Michael. I think he knows exactly what's holding him back too. But of course it's easier to buy a nicer car or a more expensive watch in an attempt to attract the eyes of women (whether those are the kinds of women you'd want to attract is a whole 'nother rant) than it is to train harder and smarter and clean up his diet.
Twenty or thirty pounds of fat is controlling Michael's life. I hope it's not controlling yours.
© 1998 — 2007 Testosterone, LLC. All Rights Reserved.