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The Difference Between Looking Attractive and Being Attractive to Men

Updated on September 3, 2011

In this lens, I tell you as a woman about the difference between just looking attractive and actually being attractive to a man. By reading this you will learn how you can attract the man of your dreams, even if you don't have model looks.


Society sends a very clear message to women and this is that in order to attract a man you must look physically attractive – have a pretty face, curves, breasts, and be slim at the same time. The trouble is that by definition, the majority of women fit within the range of average looking. So does this mean that only a small percentage of women who look like swimsuit models or Playboy Playmates are ever going to have men falling over them, while the rest of the female population are left to fight over the scraps (or miss out altogether)?

Most women feel that the answer to this question is a resounding “yes” (to either a greater or lesser extent). As a result, they put in a huge amount of time and effort to choose just the right clothes and then again in the bathroom before every time they go out. This is in order to give themselves a fighting chance of being one of the chosen few.

Since our society tells them that their value as women is completely determined by their physical appearance, they feel that they are going to have to be at the top of their game on a continual basis if they are going to be valued by society and desired by men. The competition from other women who also have the same mindset is so great that they just cannot afford to have a bad hair day or get lazy with how they dress.

So is it really true that in order to attract a man, a woman needs to distinguish herself by her physical appearance ie. look hot? The truth is “no”; there is actually quite a difference between just looking attractive and truly being attractive to a man. Sure, good looks are not going to hurt your chances of being attractive to a man. But they are certainly not the be all and end all that society leads us to believe. There are a number of other important factors that make up the attraction equation, three of which I’m about to disclose to you.

1. Self-esteem

Having high self-esteem is something that is very attractive to men (and human beings in general). Men want to be around women who like and accept themselves, despite any flaws that they have. The thing about physical beauty is that it does not automatically convert into high self-esteem. There are many very physically attractive women who have low self-esteem and this instantly negates any attractiveness that their looks give them initially. On the other hand, most of us probably know women who are only average-looking (or worse), but who just come across as being completely comfortable in their own skin.

The reason why self-esteem is so attractive to men is that it is a strong indicator that a woman is going to add to their life and build them up. High self-esteem people feel as though they have enough in life and therefore are more giving and constructive people. Conversely, low self-esteem means that a person does not love and accept themselves, meaning that it is hard for them to love other people. Because they don’t feel like they are enough and have enough, they are more likely to be a drain on those closest to them. There is a saying that goes like this: “Hurt people, hurt others”. This sums it up really. Men don’t want to be with a hurt woman (even if she is extremely good looking), because subconsciously they know that if they choose her, they are going to experience a lot of drama and grief through her.

One thing that I must point out though is that high self-esteem requires that you take pride in your appearance and make an effort to look your best. You can’t just say that because physical attractiveness is not the be all and end all in terms of overall attractiveness to men that you are not going to make any effort at all. This mindset is actually associated with low self-esteem. Men expect you to make the most of what you have got. You can’t be 70 lbs overweight, sit in from of the TV all day eating junk food and chocolate, and then say that a man is just going to have to love you how you are. Sorry, but this is not going to happen – at least not with a man that you would find desirable. On the other hand, if you are that much overweight and are putting in reasonable effort to lose the weight (eg. watching what you eat and going to the gym), this will be acceptable to many high-quality men. This same distinction applies to every area of your physical appearance.

2. Confidence

Confidence is something that is normally associated with self-esteem. When you like and accept yourself, you feel as though things are generally going to work out for you in life. As a result you are able to engage with people (and life in general) freely. You expect people to like and accept you, so you feel able to present your true self when you interact with them. However, it does not bother you when someone just doesn’t like or accept you, because you are secure in yourself – you don’t need their approval. Self-esteem and confidence also mean that you are willing to go after your dreams in life and achieve them, since you ultimately believe that you will be successful, despite any challenges and setbacks which you may experience along the way.

All of this generally carries over to how fun you are as a person to be around. Men want a woman who is fun and carefree, not someone who is anxious, fearful, angry and full of drama. They want to be with a woman who is smiling and happy most of the time, not someone who constantly has a frown on her face.

Confidence tells a man that a woman is someone who doesn’t need him and therefore isn’t going to be a deadweight tied around his neck that is going to slow him down in life and make the journey unpleasant. Quite the contrary, she will help to make the journey towards his own goals in life just that much more pleasant.

Finally, on the subject of physical beauty, a woman who has the looks but no confidence is just not going to be able to hold a good man. If she brings drama to his life and is not fun to be around, it will be just a matter of time before he ends the relationship (if it even began in the first place).

3. Femininity

Femininity is the final part of the attraction equation that we are going to look at in this article. While the other two factors (self-esteem and confidence) are vital to being highly attractive to men, if femininity is absent men will only like and highly respect you ... as a friend! Femininity is where the sexual attraction factor comes in. The masculine is attracted to the feminine and the feminine is attracted to the masculine. Just think about it for a moment - you as a woman are probably not attracted to "girly" (ie. feminine) men. In the same way, men are not attracted to masculine women. This gut-level attraction is not caused by physical beauty (as is commonly believed); physical beauty is only a symbol of femininity.

So what is femininity? Well, this is a huge topic which is impossible to fully convey in the few lines that this article permits. However, I will do my best to give you an idea. Femininity is about love, vitality, radiance, the flow and expression of emotions (specifically positive ones such as joy and happiness), spontaneity, freedom, being in the moment, cooperation, nurturing, supporting, and most of all, surrender to the masculine. To bring all of this back to earth, it means that if you are happy, smile a lot, are open-minded, always up for a bit of fun, and allow a man to lead by being receptive to him and following his direction - he will find you feminine and sexually attractive. However, if you tend to be poker-faced, rigid and closed-minded, driven and focused on achieving goals, a complainer, dominant, and unwilling to be led by a man - he will neither find you feminine, nor sexually attractive - no matter what you look like. Physical attractiveness will never compensative for qualities such as these.

If you would like to find out more about femininity and how to be attractive to men, I can highly recommend "Men Made Easy", a bestselling book by relationship expert Kara Oh. In this book the author teaches you how to use your femininity to become highly attractive to men and 11 other secrets that are vital to being able to attract and keep a great guy. Please go to Men Made Easy Review or Kara Oh Review at my website for more information about this.


So, to conclude, there is a huge difference between just looking attractive and truly being attractive to men. Physical beauty is but one part of the attractive equation. If you do have this quality it will at best give you a head start over other less (physically) attractive women. The reason is because your appearance is what men first notice when they look at you – your other qualities are not so observable at first. What this means is that men will be more eager to meet you and find out more. However, if looks are the only thing that you have, the best guys will quickly turn their attention elsewhere when they realize this – to women who have more of the other things that they are looking for, such as self esteem, confidence, and especially femininity.

Further Resources

Well, I hope you have learned some useful ideas about men and attraction in this article. For more discussion on the things men find attractive in women, I suggest that you check out my article: What Men Want in a Woman. And to take this a step further when you find a great guy, read How To Make A Man Fall in Love With You. Finally, check out some of the articles from my blog below:

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