Do looks make a big difference for us?

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Jayo
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23 Dec 2017, 4:47 pm

As a guy now married and in my 40s, and was always regarded by peers as having very good looks...plus working out a lot in my 20s...I was able to get quite a few dates and short term relationships, despite my struggles with ASD/HFA (which wasn't diagnosed till I was 27). I'd go to clubs with my circle of accepting friends, dance with females or chat them up and get their number - but my confidence would wax and wane, sometimes I'd subconsciously think of all the bullying, rejection, and raw deals I got in life, thinking, wow could I ever get somewhere with her or her etc. , what if she notices I'm "not normal" despite my other qualities, etc. Having said that, the term "confidence" is a very relative one, not an absolute one- while NT peers thought I may have lacked confidence, if you add a conversion factor relatively speaking, I'd have actually had *more* than them given my circumstance.

So it got me thinking, if someone looked like Brad Pitt (circa Fight Club) or Bradley Cooper, and he had ASD/HFA, would women still be turned off by him??? Or would they be willing to forgive more?

Or for female Aspies - what if one of them looked like Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Lawrence? Would NT guys still proceed with dating and commitment etc., and not just "bang and dump"?

Now that would be an interesting pop psychology experiment for the Malcolm Gladwells out there. As would a study to determine if Aspie guys with Brad-like looks were able to get female success not because of looks alone, but they were able to improve their social / emotional interactions by virtue of having that foundation of confidence, they believed that they had more of a chance and were less demoralized by their circumstance. They'd be the "Outliers".

There's one clip on Youtube I looked at about a British athlete who's got Aspergers but he managed to get somewhere with females b/c of his looks and physique...he reminds me of me in my late 20s... and he seems to have milder-moderate Aspergers like do (like about a 2 on a scale of 10, where 10 is "rainman"). Maybe you can relate also or give an opinion on it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8FqG5DBM_o



hale_bopp
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24 Dec 2017, 4:52 am

Looks matter in the sense you have to find them appealing, but it’s nothing compared to chemistry.

I would not be more inclined to date a hot guy if that chemistry wasn’t there.

People with appealing looks are always going to do better in the general population. Better looking people have better lives.

It doesn’t mean average people can’t have great lives, but better looking people have, had and always will have a massive advantage in all aspects of life.



Fireblossom
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24 Dec 2017, 6:58 am

I'd say it does. I mean looks are the first thing people notice about other people in real life, so if someone looks very good, more people will be interested in knowing them better. When there's lot of people around you, the chances that there's also one (or more) that you have chemistry with grows.



honeymiel
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29 Dec 2017, 10:58 pm

Jayo wrote:

Or for female Aspies - what if one of them looked like Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Lawrence? Would NT guys still proceed with dating and commitment etc., and not just "bang and dump"?

Now that would be an interesting pop psychology experiment for the Malcolm Gladwells out there. As would a study to determine if Aspie guys with Brad-like looks were able to get female success not because of looks alone, but they were able to improve their social / emotional interactions by virtue of having that foundation of confidence, they believed that they had more of a chance and were less demoralized by their circumstance. They'd be the "Outliers".


So I am an attractive Aspie. I'm tall, slim, well-proportioned and pretty, good skin/hair/teeth (and genetics). When I was in my teens and early 20s, I was approached by a few modelling scouts but when I tried to pursue that, I wasn't able to photograph well (awkwardness and stuck inside my head) and my social anxiety held me back.

I did however make friends easily because people wouldn't mind the fact that I was shy and reserved, they just liked having a "hot girl" around to add to their own popularity. Also I think there's a bit of an advantageous stereotype about quirky, shy and/or reserved girls who are smart and really attractive. Like in the Taylor Swift music video for "You Belong With Me" ...lol, or The Princess Diaries or whatever movie that is, where the nerdy girl with glasses gets made over and stuns people.

Because of this, I learned a lot more social skills and basic life skills - other girls would do my makeup and hair and teach me how to dress, or where to look for ideas on how to be more attractive and sociable. People would invite me to parties and gatherings just because I was attractive and different. Though I did often get teased playfully for my quirks, it did give me a lot more confidence in myself, not just thinking "I'm a failure" but just like "I'm a bit different but a cool kind of different" - and it wasn't until my mid 20s that a string of social failures made it too difficult to ignore that my "differences" were also hinderances.

So I think I am definitely an outlier in some regards - I can charm/entertain people, I have good manners and hygiene from a strict upbringing, and I know how to dress well and do makeup. I play on these things now as an adult in order to pass as NT. But people who get to know me do see me for who I am, and the autistic traits I have do play a marked role in my life

In terms of men, I had to learn how to pick the ones that were more decent from the ones who were just playing me around and trying to get in my pants. This took a lot of failure and I didn't really have my first relationship until I was 21 (though I'd been trying since I was 14). So long as you pick a decent guy, there are plenty who will proceed with dating and commitment because of the unique traits that an Aspie can bring to the table. But the world is also full of short-sighted or narrow-minded people, or people who either intentionally or unintentionally stigmatise differences. Then again, some people embrace and seek out "different" because sometimes different is successful and refreshing.

These days I am pretty good at screening people early on to get an idea of their views and ethics. I'm also pretty good at getting men to fall for me once I find one that I want to pursue something with...I think by virtue of being honest and relatively innocent, having a strong moral code and excessive empathy/sensitivity, for some men it triggers their protective instincts? And those things for me are also Aspie traits that can get me into trouble or see me being manipulated by the wrong people.

Last part of my ramble, it helps that I am intelligent and have actively sought to improve my understanding of others. I'll never be NT, but I do read psychology articles regularly and research neuroscience and various mental disorders in my spare time. I think it helps me to understand and identify certain things about how others work and what they may be thinking/feeling. My communication skills could use some improvement, but overall I manage to compensate for my Aspie traits (though it is really hard work at times)



hale_bopp
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30 Dec 2017, 6:47 am

Goodness, I don’t know how people are comfortable talking about themselves like that. I’d sooner sniff dirty socks than call myself pretty and all those other things. :lol:



fluffysaurus
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30 Dec 2017, 7:19 am

People know whether they are attractive or intelligent I've never understood why people are supposed to pretend they hadn't noticed that about themselves. :?

I'm about a seven (I'd be an eight with effort but I don't make any because I find it all really confusing) but I wasn't a seven till my late 20's before that I was prob a five. Men are more forgiving of weirdness in women they find attractive, they see it as quirky particularly in the 20's. Young women get a lot of warnings about weird men, so I think for a lot of Aspie guys it's really hard particularly in their 20's unless they are good looking. Women don't expect a weirdo to be good looking so I think it makes a bigger difference being good looking if you're an Aspie male than an NT male.

Since we don't get the instruction manual telling us to pin a man down while young, we Aspie females struggle more latter on while for some Aspie males their situation improves as women their age are no longer looking for charm so much as reliability. If he's good looking that will again counteract a lot of the looking weird.



hale_bopp
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30 Dec 2017, 7:21 am

fluffysaurus wrote:
People know whether they are attractive or intelligent I've never understood why people are supposed to pretend they hadn't noticed that about themselves. :?

I'm about a seven (I'd be an eight with effort but I don't make any because I find it all really confusing) but I wasn't a seven till my late 20's before that I was prob a five. Men are more forgiving of weirdness in women they find attractive, they see it as quirky particularly in the 20's. Young women get a lot of warnings about weird men, so I think for a lot of Aspie guys it's really hard particularly in their 20's unless they are good looking. Women don't expect a weirdo to be good looking so I think it makes a bigger difference being good looking if you're an Aspie male than an NT male.

Since we don't get the instruction manual telling us to pin a man down while young, we Aspie females struggle more latter on while for some Aspie males their situation improves as women their age are no longer looking for charm so much as reliability. If he's good looking that will again counteract a lot of the looking weird.


I guess I get shocked by some people’s lack of modesty. It’s an unwritten social rule, so I am not that surprised I guess a lot of aspies don’t know it. Might vary from country to country as well.

If I was forced to give my looks a ranking out of 10, it would be 5.5.



fluffysaurus
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30 Dec 2017, 7:37 am

hale_bopp wrote:
fluffysaurus wrote:
People know whether they are attractive or intelligent I've never understood why people are supposed to pretend they hadn't noticed that about themselves. :?

I'm about a seven (I'd be an eight with effort but I don't make any because I find it all really confusing) but I wasn't a seven till my late 20's before that I was prob a five. Men are more forgiving of weirdness in women they find attractive, they see it as quirky particularly in the 20's. Young women get a lot of warnings about weird men, so I think for a lot of Aspie guys it's really hard particularly in their 20's unless they are good looking. Women don't expect a weirdo to be good looking so I think it makes a bigger difference being good looking if you're an Aspie male than an NT male.

Since we don't get the instruction manual telling us to pin a man down while young, we Aspie females struggle more latter on while for some Aspie males their situation improves as women their age are no longer looking for charm so much as reliability. If he's good looking that will again counteract a lot of the looking weird.


I guess I get shocked by some people’s lack of modesty. It’s an unwritten social rule, so I am not that surprised I guess a lot of aspies don’t know it. Might vary from country to country as well.

If I was forced to give my looks a ranking out of 10, it would be 5.5.


I used to work as one of a group of women in a book shop and they would begin a ring where one would say something negative about her own body and then the others would follow on. I knew that if I didn't say something negative about myself they would say things behind my back like 'someone thinks they're perfect' so I would say my fat thighs and then they would say I didn't have fat thighs (I do) because they were bigger than me and suggest I was anorexic (I'm not, nor do I look it) so I couldn't win, which I think might have been the point of the exercise. A sort of bonding (for some) over the weirdo (me, but sometimes someone else).



honeymiel
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30 Dec 2017, 9:05 am

Ok, let me just say, both perspectives are right. It IS an unwritten social rule not to talk about your positive qualities, but this is an anonymous forum and that is different to me talking about it in social settings, as far as I'm concerned.

Then the flip side, when you are told you're attractive by almost everyone you come across, get complimented most days on your looks or intelligence (the two tend to go hand in hand, halo effect and all), it gets REALLY flipping old pretending you don't know. (Edit: It's also rude and strange to reject compliments, or to make a "modest" comment about a bad physical feature to downplay what was said to you - if people make a comment about objective aesthetics, how do you tell them they're wrong?)
"Oh, I'm pretty? I had no idea... I totally can't see the people staring at me when I walk through a crowded space or anything. No no I'm blind" (or sometimes I just don't wear my glasses/contacts so I don't make eye contact with starers)
"Thanks for letting me know though, I wasn't really sure?!"

Nope. That is not reality for some people. Sorry about it, I don't make the rules. You guys do (society, that is)

Had this conversation with the guy I'm dating because he kept calling me gorgeous/hot and I asked him to tone it down. I'm like, yeah I know I'm attractive. People stare at me/tell me all the time. Yeah I am deeply insecure about certain physical features of mine BECAUSE people stare at me and I feel like I'm constantly under surveillance (attractive friends of mine have had similar insecurities). Yes I beat up on myself sometimes, or self deprecate, because I want to stay grounded and not get arrogant. But that doesn't change the way that others see me. All it does is help me relate to others better



fluffysaurus
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30 Dec 2017, 9:20 am

^When I was young I wished I was attractive but once I was in my 20's I realised that I would hate the attention that would get me. So I think 7 is a good place to be at, I just wish I had realised earlier that being asked out is more reciprocal. I mean that you have to be doing something, like eye contact and stuff.



honeymiel
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30 Dec 2017, 9:37 am

fluffysaurus wrote:
^When I was young I wished I was attractive but once I was in my 20's I realised that I would hate the attention that would get me. So I think 7 is a good place to be at, I just wish I had realised earlier that being asked out is more reciprocal. I mean that you have to be doing something, like eye contact and stuff.


As in, you thought guys would only ask girls out based on their looks? I think it tends to go along the lines of, if a girl gets attention then she's more confident and eye contact comes easier, so that probably reinforces that. But I tend to think that people go for people they relate to best, physically as well as mentally/emotionally (maybe some people fantasise about very attractive people, but most don't have the guts to ask them out)

And yeah I am really f*cking insecure and have issues with myself. Less now than when I was younger, but still noticeable to others



hale_bopp
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30 Dec 2017, 9:46 am

It has nothing to do with not knowing. Everyone knows how intelligent or attractive they are. It’s just a bit stange to me that people feel that comfortable bragging about themselves to that extent.

When people compliment me, I generally say “Thank you”.

I’m not saying don’t do it, you can say what you like. It was just a passing observation. I have a friend who is always talking about how many guys like her and think that’s bizzare as well. Each to their own.



Last edited by hale_bopp on 30 Dec 2017, 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

honeymiel
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30 Dec 2017, 9:47 am

hale_bopp wrote:
It has nothing to do with not knowing. Everyone knows how intelligent or attractive they are. It’s just a bit stange to me that people feel that comfortable bragging about themselves to that extent.

I’m not saying don’t do it, you can say what you like. It was just a passing observation.


It was part of a post based on whether attractiveness affects Aspie traits and social success though, was it not? Did I misunderstand the OP?

You're right that I probably could have found a different approach to sharing my perspective. I'm not sure what that would have been, but I am sure that I am not subtle when speaking my mind



hale_bopp
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30 Dec 2017, 9:51 am

honeymiel wrote:
hale_bopp wrote:
It has nothing to do with not knowing. Everyone knows how intelligent or attractive they are. It’s just a bit stange to me that people feel that comfortable bragging about themselves to that extent.

I’m not saying don’t do it, you can say what you like. It was just a passing observation.


It was part of a post based on whether attractiveness affects Aspie traits and social success though, was it not? Did I misunderstand the OP?

You're right that I probably could have found a different approach to sharing my perspective. I'm not sure what that would have been, but I am sure that I am not subtle when speaking my mind


Don’t feel you shouldn’t do it, It’s just not really part of something I get, I like to try and learn about as many types of people as possible. You have the right to speak your mind here. I probably should just be quiet.



honeymiel
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30 Dec 2017, 10:01 am

hale_bopp wrote:
honeymiel wrote:
hale_bopp wrote:
It has nothing to do with not knowing. Everyone knows how intelligent or attractive they are. It’s just a bit stange to me that people feel that comfortable bragging about themselves to that extent.

I’m not saying don’t do it, you can say what you like. It was just a passing observation.


It was part of a post based on whether attractiveness affects Aspie traits and social success though, was it not? Did I misunderstand the OP?

You're right that I probably could have found a different approach to sharing my perspective. I'm not sure what that would have been, but I am sure that I am not subtle when speaking my mind


Don’t feel you shouldn’t do it, It’s just not really part of something I get, I like to try and learn about as many types of people as possible. You have the right to speak your mind here. I probably should just be quiet.


No, I appreciate your perspective. I reread my original post and I feel a bit embarrassed

As for the OP, I have wondered the same thing about how confidence and the way people treat you socially (based on physical traits) affects the way you develop and behave as an autistic person