Sexy Women Make Men Feel Bad About Themselves

Brooklyn Decker

By “Bob”

Sexy models like Brooklyn Decker can make women to feel bad about themselves when women feel like they don’t measure up.

But men can feel bad about themselves when they look at Brooklyn, too.

Yep, that’s what research at the University of Missouri, Columbia says.

Why? Because these sexy women make men question their own lack of body tantalizingness. “Ahhh, she’d never go for me!”

Sexy women have a worse effect on men’s body image than seeing a handsome, fit man in an ad.

So it turns out that “sexy women” images negatively affect almost everyone.

I wonder if women can look at “hot” men without their own feeling of hotness being negatively affected? “I don’t think I’m hot enough to get him — and now I feel bad about myself.”

I’m guessing that women are less likely to respond negatively.

In fact, I’ll bet that women are more likely to feel inadequate compared to an image of a sexy woman than to a sexy man.

I’m wondering if other people think that is true? And if so, why?

This was posted in a comment by one of my readers — which I thought brought up a good question.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on June 4, 2018, in body image, men and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. It’s very simple why. Men want a hot woman. Women want a man with a fat wallet. Which is why men’s money is the moral equivalent of women’s sexuality. So why do men feel bad about seeing the hot woman they can’t have? Well partly simply because they think they can’t have her. But partly because they project their own thinking onto women: “Hot women are desirable therefore hot women desire hot men, which I am not”. Not understanding women enough they don’t realise they can’t have her because their wallet isn’t big enough. Then the woman feels bad because she isn’t as hot as that woman therefore the next man with a big wallet won’t pick her. As Elaine says in Seinfeld: “Elaine: “Well, the female body is a… work of art. The male … utilitarian, it’s for gettin’ around, like a jeep.”

    • I don’t understand the first part of your answer. Then why do hot women make men feel bad about themselves?… As you actually point out later. But a fat wallet won’t necessarily do the trick either. Plenty of women didn’t want to sleep with wealthy Harvey Weinstein or a number of other rich and famous men accused of sexual harassment, and I saw similar numbers years ago when asked about women’s interest in Donald Trump.

      • You see georgia, it shows sexy women or our societies view puts the pressure on other women, but men internalize, maybe also from homophobia. But is it no wonder men can feel not able to attract from their body as Fred just reiterated the feeling about how the male body compares….it’s utilitarian, it’s for getting around like a jeep, while female body is a work of art. And well as a man I do feel that way about a woman’s body. And while I know women don’t feel like that way about male body and don’t think the male body is like society describes like that. I may generally not feel that way, but something about seeing a sexy woman can make even me view myself as….a jeep in comparison and wonder what visual gratification a sexy woman would get that coule even remotely compare to what I get seeing hers. And I actually do like my body, I’ve been lucky to always have an athletic build, so I can feel good about it compared to men, but since it’s not perfect it’s hard to see what a sexy woman gets from seeing it in relation to me seeing her and I wonder and have a feeling that lesbian women probably or bi sexual women probably get more visual gratification looking at each other’s bodies, especialy sexy ones……

      • Yeah, I want to continue this concern in another post. Thanks for your thoughts in this comment and thanks for writing this post!

    • Fred, ye can’t label all men like that. Personally, when I see a sexy (hot) woman, I feel admiration for how she takes care of her body. It suggests to me that she is strong willed and comfortable in her skin. I do love strong women, especially if they have a high degree of intelligence and education, and refuse to be shoved into social pigeon holes. Looks aren’t all that important.

      I’ve noticed, however, that you tend to be right about the desires of some men. It appears that, to many, sexiness is paramount, if not the only thing, and I think a good bit of that is for show and bragging rights (arm candy).

  2. Maybe there’s a correlation between women who feel inadequate when viewing a model they perceive to be sexy and men who feel inadequate because “she’d never go for me”. The correlation being some women feel those insecurities because these same men compare them unfavorably to the women they deem to be out of their league.

    I would ask Bob and the others why they can’t feel comfortable in their own bodies and appreciate the natural beauty in the women that surround them in their everyday lives.

    I’d like to also add that there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your body image, but do it for yourself, not because you think that will get you what you think you want.

    • Interesting insight on the correlation you identify.

    • I appreciate everyday women, cute women, pretty women who aren’t the perfect ideal body/beauty, but quite attractive to men. For me it’s not that I don’t think I can’t attract hot women, though I’m more after a balanced woman. One who is attractive, pretty but doesn’t have to be hot, but witty, smart, caring, etc. And I think I can attract hot women though, not that I think there aren’t plenty of women who don’t find me attractive, because I know plenty of women don’t. But while I’m definitely not a model, I’ve been told to be good looking and feel so relatively and have a pretty cut build, slim, but stocky. My heterosexuality bias like comes to life when seeing an ad of a sexy woman and even though I think my body is decent compared to other men. I sometimes can get caught up in sexy women’s beauty and makes me wonder, though I’m attactive, like what I have with my body compared to women that makes women like excited to look at my body. I don’t think it’s rare for straight men to be glad women aren’t lesbians, but I’m sure most straight men have wondered when looking at women’s bodies then a man looking back as his hairy self in the mirror ha and then thinking….women prefer this?

      Over soft, smooth sensual skin, breasts, ass. And yes I know men can be attractive, but it feels like a man has to be muscled or toned to have something for women to look at for the torso or to be aesthetic. Women already have built-in features, so don’t have to be fit but just good metabolism and will have atleast boobs and some curves to look at generally. Like it seems lopsided and not equal with sex. Like we have a, as John Mayer sang “wonderland” we men have that visually/sexually when looking at a woman’s naked body. Sure women like our body, but it doesn’t seem to compare as far as what there is. I don’t want boobs lol, but just saying because men are muscle based lifting and toned is needed to have to look at. If women are 3D… are 2D. Seems like women are ripped off from the visual stand point as far as what they get to look at with men vs what men get to see with women’s bodies and the feeling men get in comparison. Some men might like feeling that desire and some might say it’s because women are less visual, but sometimes it feels like aesthetics and men have less drool worthy body parts, idl

      • I think that we eroticize the female body more than the male body. Ancient Greeks eroticized the male body more. I saw some study that Women actually prefer men with some facial hair. I kind of like an intellectual look and I like when the beard looks intellectual. But I like guys without a beard too. I think that Post Kim Kardashian the ideal has changed to be “Thicker” but given the old female ideal (which is still common, a la Kendall Jenner) men’s legs would be considered more attractive. And in fact xy males who are insensitive to testosterone are overrepresented among female models with their long slim legs.

        Today the only place you find the male body eroticized more is within gay culture. They’re pretty good at eroticizing the male body.

  3. just reading this and its title not exactly sure if I’ve questioned this in previous comments on posts but will happily ask it again but what defines “sexy”? I look at this and to me it implies it being visual in a sense but I guess when you can’t see there are other ways of defining “sexy” all be it in personality nature etc. it’s just my thoughts here.

    • In this context sexy means visually sexy (according to our culture’s ideals — ideals which are quite different in other societies). But you’re right, there are many ways to be sexy which don’t include visual.

  4. If the problem is rooted in the man’s self-esteem, then improving his body may not be sufficient to achieve the desired result anyway. Exercising regularly would be a step in the right direction, but doing it with the hope of getting a sexy woman could result in disappointment.

    If a man has “body-image problems”, then he may have other underlying problems that impact on his attitude.

    Some very attractive women don’t get asked out, because men think they do not have any chance with them. Often they might if they just tried asking.

    • All your points make sense to me.

    • True. What if a man actually likes how he looks and thinks he can attract women, but wonders like what women, sexy women get out of sex visually with not pefect men? It seems like they get or can get a lot out just because women are generally less visual and care less about that. That doesn’t really help things, it just means women get turned on despite the male body. I know the male body can be attractive, but that’s the problem also with sexualization of female body. It puts the female body on a pedestal, matched with heterosexual bias, I don’t think it’s rare for a straight man to wonder what women see or get excited about their less attractive body compared to sexy women. And then feeling and knowing you as a man have to be getting more seeing her body during sex than she is toward you, not just because you’re more visual, but can’t help feeling it’s aesthetics and body parts too.

  5. I suspect with it comes to sexuality, attitude trumps looks.

  6. I humbly disagree. Sexy women put a smile on my face and fill me with happy thoughts. At their core, all women are basically the same and have similar needs. The only thing that changes from one woman to the other are their priorities and their level of intelligence (intelligence is also very sexy). Sexiness transcends physical beauty and has more to do with the way a woman dresses, carries herself and her self-confidence. A woman doesn’t have to be physically attractive to be sexy. I’ll take a sexy, self confident woman with mediocre looks over a physically beautiful but insecure and unsexy woman any day.

    • That’s how I thought men felt– Sexy women put a smile on my face. And I appreciate your expanded notion of sexy.

      • Well, I used sexy in the sense of how hot is used. I find a sexy woman to be more than her body and looks, but her personality and wit and how caring she is. Sensuality adds to that too. I’m not upset like some guys might be upset with hot women because they feel they can’t attract them. Like 90% of the time pretty women do put a smile on my face, especially if she has a cute smile and personality with it. When I see a woman that catches my eye and she’s beautiful, idk what it is. But I can have this fawning feeling like “gawwwwddd,,, women are so pretty” lol. It’s like the femininity, the sensuality, just uniquely femine beauty to gush over. So that’s most of the time, but sometimes I can get so caught up and put that beauty on a pedestal, not in the sense that I don’t think I can attract pretty women, because I know I can.

        But when that happens it can for a moment make my mind turn inward, I’m very self reflective as you know. And then think of my body, then think of pretty women’s bodies and then mine and men’s bodies in general. And then like mind gets so wrapped up in the sensual beauty of female body, those sexy women. sensual sikly legs, breats, all these stand out features and then feel bad, because it’s nice feeling women to desire my body strongly and not just that, but my body being fun playground for her too. And then I just don’t see the male body made or can’t be like that for women. Not just because women are less visual and male body isn’t sexualized, but my male hetero bias just makes me feel the aesthetics don’t provide that and body parts don’t provide as much in comparison for women to what women’s provide for us men to look at, touch tactile wise and orally

      • Interesting. And quite well put, I might add.

    • Well I meant as in hot women. Sexy does mean more than looks too as personality plays a big role as well. And 90% of the time sexy women bring a smile to my face. But when men like you say it’s all happiness, I wonder if you guys are lower your standards and just happy having sex or the bare minimum and as long as you get off or get your dick in that’s enough for you with sex. You don’t care if a women drool over your body or not and such. That feels great and why this, though not often effect me. As while I know women find men attractive, my past girlfriends used to tell me I had a nice body, but sometimes I can get wrapped up in women;s beauty and sex appeal.

      I just think my body, the male body can’t provide or be as fun for women to play with as it is for us and not just because us men are more visual, but just looking at my body, the male body, women’s bodies are 3d beauty, the male body has to be fit and ripped to even have an aesthetic, the male body may be attractive, but’s 2d in comparison. We have so much more to look at and play with, visually, tactile wise and orally speaking because women have curves whereas to be honest the male body is like a hairy stick figure with a dick ha. While women are voluptuous beauty. Which sex has to more to look at and touch? I say women

  7. I kind of like an intellectual look and I like when the beard looks intellectual. But I like guys without a beard too. I think that Post Kim Kardashian the ideal has changed to be “Thicker” but given the old female ideal (which is still common, a la Kendall Jenner) men’s legs would be considered more attractive. And in fact xy males who are insensitive to testosterone are overrepresented among female models with their long slim legs.

    Today the only place you find the male body eroticized more is within gay culture. They’re pretty good at eroticizing the male body.”

    True that makes sense for female body being seen as sexier or more arousal toward female body. But it seems like just such aesthetic appreciation and women put on a pedestal with their beauty and body parts. It just makes it feel I think for some men, part homophobic, part just being straight? or bias, but also it’s easy to see why men would just see the female body as most attractive and appealing and their body or male body as lower level as far as aesthetic and sexual appeal based on body parts, just because of the male built and not seeing what there is for women to drool over.

    • Straight women definitely do find men attractive.

      By the way, I appreciate that you can find women attractive even when they don’t fit some narrow ideal (re another comment you wrote here).

      • Hmmmm..I must disagree.

        Most women find most men unattractive.

        The men whom women find the most sexually attractive are the ones whom they will engage in casual and no strings attached sex. These are the so-called “alpha” males. These are usually men who have very little if any desire to spend any amount of non-sexual time with a woman. Women know this about these men. They are strictly for mutual sexual satisfaction and not long term partners.

        The rest of men (I would venture to say about 60%-70% of men) must offer other things to a woman for sex. These other things make him more “attractive.” However, this is NOT sexual attraction. For example, he must have a good job, be perceived as a reliable partner, be perceived as a good father etc. The key thing here is the premium is on non-sexual companionship. Most of these men are not deemed sexually attractive by women. Only a few.

        Usually when it comes to long-term relationships or marriage, for women sex is not even in the top five reasons for marriage. However, for most men I would argue it is in the top three! or two!

      • Sounds like false info the incel movement puts out to make men hate women.

        Reality: pornography gives men the idea of that women are excited to sleep with everyone. And then men who find it difficult to get sex get mad at women.

        Reality: sexual women are shamed and punished: slut, ho, skank… (all of my students have witnessed women being slut-shamed in high school). So they repress their desire. Over time they lose desire, which explains why almost half of American women have low to no interest in sex. And even when women have interest it takes a lot more for women than men to want sex in a society that shames them, which also explains why women lose interest so quickly in long-term relationships.

        Incels complain that women won’t have sex. But women are punished — shamed and ostracized — when they do. So they usually don’t. And it takes a lot to interest them. Incels can’t slut shame then be mad when women won’t give them sex.

      • Thanks for your reply.

        The incel movement has zippy to do with my views on this matter. Frankly, I view incels as cowards.

        As for the pornography angle, do not consume pornography. But, if a man thinks that pornography is representative of women’s sexuality, then they are just plain dumb.

        The bottom line is women do NOT want to have sex with most men. Nor should they. I have discovered that women desire different things from different men. Another way of putting it: women do not want the same things from all men. Men need to grasp this simple fact. Just as men do not want the same things from all women. Women, just like men, want to have sex with men whom they find attractive. It really is that simple.

        You maintain that due to shaming and our culture of sexual repression that 50% of women have little to no desire for sex. While I am not sex expert, I totally disagree with your assessment. Nor do I agree with your reasoning on just why so many women lose interest in sex in long term relationships. I must mention that your views are at odds with the finding of many sex experts including Esther Perel.

        Today, it is estimated that nearly 50% of women cheat on their partners in marriage and/or long-term relationships. So, while they might not be interested in having sex with their long term partners, they clearly still have an interest in sex. They are having sex with other men (and/or women).

      • I never thought of you as in incel at all. Practically the opposite. But some of the things you say echo what they say which makes me think that you must have been exposed to them for some reason, maybe through friends.

        “You maintain that due to shaming and our culture of sexual repression that 50% of women have little to no desire for sex. While I am not sex expert, I totally disagree with your assessment.”

        Study after study has found somewhere between 41% and forty-four 44% of women have low to no interest in sex.

        And I know from personal experience that repressing had a huge effect on me. When I was much younger (prepubescent even) I was much more strongly interested in sexuality then I was by the end of my 20s. And I’m not the only one. Read these again:

        Repression: Not What You Think It Is
        Sex-Negative Societies & Non-Orgasmic Women
        Repression Shutting Down Sexuality
        Religion Shutting Down Sexuality
        Repression Shutting Down Teen Girl’s Sexuality

        Why Women Stop Being Porn Stars

        Women Are More Responsive To Repression

        I’ve also read Esther Perel and nothing she says disagrees with me. She simply doesn’t address the question of the root cause of the problem as to why Women lose interest in sex so much faster than men do in long-term relationships.

        This is true: “most women do NOT want to have sex with most men.”

        Excellent point:
        “I have discovered that women desire different things from different men. Another way of putting it: women do not want the same things from all men. Men need to grasp this simple fact. Just as men do not want the same things from all women. Women, just like men, want to have sex with men whom they find attractive. It really is that simple.”

  8. I think we’re missing a lot of data here before it’s possible to make strongs conclusions about why this happens. For one, there’s no corresponding study that shows what happens when women are shown pictures of attractive men. Your personal “guess” that women don’t feel self-invalidation the same way when exposed to images of attractive men has nothing backing it up and it comes off as though it’s natural to suppose women simply brush away the sort of doubts and anxieties that men must laboriously suffer though.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of a few reasons why men might become more body self-conscious after reading these magazines. The accompanying text to these kind of images often focuses on physical details, sometimes in an objectifying or occasionally even outright mocking or degrading way, which could prime anyone regardless of sex to nitpick at themselves. Exposure to high-glam images might move their sense of what’s “normal” preoccupation with appearance. They might feel jealous of the attention famous women get. However, there’s no real way to tell without more research, and even then, how much is a sample of undergraduate men at the university of Missouri a good representative of men everywhere, anyway?

    • You said there is no good data but Bob was asking for data and you didn’t give him any 😦

      How would you answer the question?

      Also, Bob is working off of other surveys I’ve done which actually help answer a question you posed: “I think we’re missing a lot of data here before it’s possible to make strongs conclusions about why this happens. For one, there’s no corresponding study that shows what happens when women are shown pictures of attractive men.”
      See these:
      Men, Women React to Male/Female Nudity
      Women & Male Nudity: Mixed Reactions

      And this, on how sexy women make women feel:
      Cindy Crawford Makes Me Feel Inadequate

      re “how much is a sample of undergraduate men at the university of Missouri a good representative of men everywhere, anyway?”
      Unfortunately, it is not possible to get a representative sample of anything. The best we ever get is 50% response. It’s usually much worse. So you tell people how you did the sample and they can come to their own conclusions. I was shocked that any man looked at attractive women and felt worse about themselves. I thought that looking at pretty women was simply an enjoyable experience for all men, so it was an eye-opener for me.

      If we didn’t value looks so much and have impossible ideals that women can’t achieve and men can’t achieve either (i.e., finding an “ideal” female partner) I suspect that sexy women wouldn’t be likely to make both men and women feel bad about themselves.

  9. For women, if the body is not erotic, Is the woman excited about the man’s masturbation?
    I know a woman who is excited about male masturbation.
    I want to know the psychological reason why women are excited about male masturbation.

    • I’ve never heard of women getting aroused by watching men masturbate. That doesn’t mean that all women don’t, And apparently at least some women do. But I don’t think it’s common. If it were, it would be a major category of porn that women would watch yet they don’t.

      Check this out: “Some of the most disturbing recent allegations of sexual assault involve men forcing women to watch them masturbate.”

      And women often get grossed out and offended by flashers masturbating.

      • Thank you for your answer.

        Aren’t women interested in men’s masturbation scenes in pornography or live webcam?
        In the article on the issue mentioned, in the case of the masturbation of young men, not older men,
        What about men with good looks who masturbate?
        I am deeply interested in this subject.
        ” least some women do” I’d like to know the psychological reason.
        Among a few women, I wonder if they are stimulated by male masturbation.

        A woman who does not feel very erotic to nude photographs of men.

        Should nude men’s pictures and masturbation scenes be said to be the same from a woman’s point of view?

      • Sorry to say that I can’t tell you why some women might enjoy watching a young attractive man masturbate. It’s curious that men seem to like to watch Young attractive women masturbate but women don’t seem to mirror this desire.

        “1 billion wicked thoughts” is a book that looks at Internet searches since they are more accurate than survey research. What do men and women search for? Here’s what they found:

        Men Watch Porn, Women Read Romance. Why?

        And here are a couple other related thoughts:
        Twilight vs. Porn
        What Women Want: Twilight

  10. Zhanara Baisalova

    In 21st century the “fat wallet” stereotype is fading and as a young woman I am very glad to notice it.The issue that you have put above links to the one of aspects of evolution, where mating was more successful for the ones who looked taller or tried to look bigger by spreading their tails or producing very loud noises etc.Luckily, we as a human race do not do that anymore and moreover, we do no need to. Instead, humans can exercise, eat better and may even consider few visits to psychologist to work on previous issues that were bottling up and become an upgraded version of themselves.But it is hard and time consuming.
    Having a beautiful body and maintaining it is a voluntary work which needs an investment here and there. In order to make an appearance valid and memorable sexy people do internal work as well, it is not just about the body image.In addition, it is a self discipline which a crucial thing and once a person (sexy woman or man) is able to adopt it then the rest such as even the day routine becomes more efficient.
    In my opinion, men feel bad by looking at sexy women because they are aware of the amount of a hard work that others actually put when they also had a choice between exercising or napping.That sends them an invisible message of sexy ones being stronger on some level which is not a female adjective at all.

  11. Yes, attractive women will inevitably make others feel bad about themselves. A feature of industrialized countries is that we constantly compare ourselves to others. It is rarely the fault of the women themselves…quite frankly I can’t remember a circumstance in recent memory where a social media influencer purposely made her followers feel bad about their external appearance, although influencers will upload highlight reels of their life in order to cultivate a particular public image for themselves. I was personally thinking about the whole incel movement where attractive women are labeled as “Stacy”. There’s a common belief that “Stacey’s” will almost always pursue an individual of similar attractiveness. This isn’t necessarily a lie, but I wouldn’t say it’s definitive in every context. I think that cisgender heterosexual men and women have similar sentiments about seeing very attractive women and men, respectively. Feelings of inadequacy can often arise when we find ourselves to be, albeit subjectively, worse-looking than specific members of another gender. I think a lot of people find validation in others, and a person considering the hypothetical likelihood of being in a relationship with someone attractive may provide a boost or decline in confidence, depending on how they assess the likelihood of such a relationship occurring. Should that be the case? Absolutely not. But I think the author of the original comment brings up an interesting topic about how sexuality and self-sexualization can be seen as gateway to self-validation.

  12. I think women are more likely to feel bad about themselves when looking at a “hot” woman compared to men, but simply due to the societal norm of women feeling the need to compete with one another in order to win over men. Men created the societal standards of “hot” as well as the need to be a seen as a prize to be competed for. Rather than”I’m not hot enough for him”, its “I’m not as hot as her”. But, that does not mean that women don’t have the simpler mindset of not being hot enough for a man overall. If anything, both of those feelings have the ability to create a lot of insecurities for women. I believe at the end of the day this has a lot to do with the amount of confidence men and women have in themselves. It’s really easy to put ourselves down and label ourselves as “not ___ enough” for someone, if we don’t have a lot of love for ourselves in the first place. Obviously society’s standards of beauty can create a large dent in a person’s self confidence, and I believe that can be a cause for the sense of feeling bad about your self in terms of looking at a picture at a hot man or woman.

  13. This was an interesting read, and so many comments indicate a variation of thoughts; some stating that sexy women really do make men feel bad about themselves, yet there are others in the list of bloggers that state women can also feel bad about themselves when they see images of sexy models or other sexy women; movie stars, commercial characters, women in general, co-workers, friends and associates.

    As a woman, I have to say that when I see a sexy woman on the cover of a magazine, I do admire the image and I do like what I see, however, I personally have never felt inadequate due to a picture of a beautiful model!

    After reading this, I have to believe and thank my mother because she raised me to recognize and appreciate beauty, not to be threatened by it. All women are beautiful both inside and out if they choose to be. It’s an attitude and confidence that exudes beauty and sexiness. Also, I do not believe that we really hold that much power over a man to make him feel inadequate. Men are sexy human beings, when a man is kind, considerate and exudes confidence in himself he will comes across as sexy. Physical appearances are nice and yes you can be drop dead gorgeous and incredibly sexy looking, however men and women that have personality, are honest, kind, caring and good are much sexier, all in the eyes of the beholder.

  14. I think this is simple. Men are not physically threatened by a woman who is physically attractive – it makes them feel insecure about themselves. They could be fantasizing about being in a relationship with beautiful women but at the same time criticize themselves and comparing how they won’t be their “type”. They bring themselves down.

    I’ve always wondered, “could it also be possible that they feel “bad” about themselves because they can’t have what they want?”.

    Why would an attractive woman affect a man negatively? To me this does not make any sense. Maybe it’s the insecurity feeling of can’t have what they see. Beauty is from the eye of the beholder. Sure, there are models and people in the entertaining industry that are physically and sexually attractive but one’s perspective can differ from another. Models get paid for their looks. How someone may look, should not affect how it makes someone feel negatively – to me, that’s just self-pity.

  15. This type of thinking stems from objectification — rather than acknowledge that the “attractive” woman you see is a human being, like everyone else, both women and men see attractive people as faraway objects that sets the standards higher for everyone else. As a result, many feel like they can’t compare to the attractive person, causing insecurities towards how they feel about themselves. In relation to how men feel when “sexy women” exist, they feel inadequate besides a woman who made the effort to maintain their appearance because they feel uglier, lesser. Women feel the same, too; but with men, it’s less because of jealousy and more because those who feel insecure want to fantasize about being in relationships with models like Brooklyn Decker, and the fantasy version of themselves are on par with the model’s level of attractiveness. When we abandon the normalized concept of assuming that celebrities are people who we have a “chance” at dating, these types of insecurities are bound to decrease.

  16. Isabel Hayes-Rundle

    I think that is is so interesting because a lot of men in society and society in general put a lot of pressure on women to be “sexy” and to look good, but then this makes you feel insecure? It just seems a bit contradictory, and slightly hypocritical. A lot of men, sexy or not, hold high standards for their women and if you do not meet these standards you aren’t good enough, and you aren’t THEIR type and then women get treated like garbage for this reason. I just find it ridiculous that women are held to such high standards, but then men complain that it makes THEM feel insecure? What about all of the women that feel insecure daily because they aren’t sexy enough? I think it should not be a big deal, and something that you are partially doing to yourself, and bringing yourself down.

    • You make a good point about the irony: Women pressured to be sexy, looked down on when they aren’t, but then sexy women make men feel bad about themselves. Pretty crazy, huh?

      • Well it’s more media. More men love women’s bodies in the variety they come in than people think and more forgiving than people think. Many men aren’t expecting to see or necessarily attracted to or solely attracted to the “perfect” victoria’s model like body.

      • True. But most women don’t realize this. And even if they feel like they might be “good enough” they often feel like they are falling short of ideals, ideals that they have some sort of obligation to embody.

  17. When you think of how men respond to models, actresses, and porn stars(typical”sexy women”) you would think that they are drooling and jumping at the chance to be with them but out of my personal experience with guy friends I’ve found that isn’t as true as one would expect. Whether it is because they are intimidated by a confident woman or because of their own low self image that makes them believe they “Aren’t good enough” It seems like those women that the media advertises like the newest fast food item are not as sought after as we thought. It’s funny to think of considering the Fat Husband, Hot wife trope that we see in so many television series now a days. From Homer and Marge, Al and Peggy, Peter and Lois, Fred and Wilma, and so many more we get this funny reoccurring trend out of nowhere.

    Now when it comes to Hot guy/Average woman I also see awkwardness and low self image. I used to date this guy who was 6foot and about 125. I am 5’5 and about 200lbs although my curves hide my weight. I have always had a low self image but being next to someone so thin and traditionally attractive made me miserable. I never felt worthy to be in pictures with him. Now this is my experience not women’s experience as a whole but I can see where the “Sexy man/Woman” intimidation can come from.

    • Well if your man was tall at 6 foot, 125lbs. Well most people won’t be that skinny and shouldn;t compare to that. But I don’t know how attractive that is. That’s like anorexic, under fed,skinny, scrawny build at that weight. That’s very light for a man but especially at 6ft. Because height adds weight. That’s not a slim or skinny man, that’s very skinny. I’m 5’8, and though slim I’m between 175-180 lbs. i’m not skinny like I used to be skinny. But even when I was skinny in highschool I was always around 150, like had abs toned and that’s 5’8. and at that height, not 6ft. If I was at 6ft even as skinny as I was in highschool I would have weighed more than 150 just by height adding a little more weight

  18. This is an interesting topic to think about. Men have always controlled what the beauty standard for women are. In this article, it challenges men in a way, to show the hypocrisy in their mind set. The irony is men get insecure by their own definition of beauty. Men want women to look like these supermodels, but are intimidated by them. Women have always felt the need to live up to beauty standards that are in turn, created by men themselves. It seems that though men have this standard of beauty that women drag themselves to live up to, and for those that do, men are intimidated and become insecure, saying comments like “she won’t go for me” or “I don’t have a chance.” It seems as though this can also be somewhat of a problem as it really only deepens the level of insecurity for women.

  19. Carina DeLorenzo

    I think it is important to note that while sexy women can make men and women feel worse about themselves, it functions on different axis. Take the movie industry. Often it can feel like average looking women simply don’t exist. Meanwhile, while men may feel inadequate for a beautiful women, stories actively craft themselves to create a fantasy where this isn’t true. Just look at all the movies where an average looking dude without much going for him gets with a beautiful woman a decade younger. Meanwhile, even “she took off her glasses and then she was beautiful” narratives that surround the fantasy of women being beautiful often use conventionally attractive actresses. And the actually subversive idea of “a woman’s value exists in this story completely independent of her looks” often are portrayed by women who are conventionally beautiful and therefore are unable to deliver on their intended message.

  20. I believe in attraction however not everyone views attractiveness the same. It is true that men may be more visual then women or actually care about women’s attractiveness at times more then their own as far as some rwlationally. Women do focus more on a holistic approach to attractiveness in some cases. More so then men do, thus the possibility of negativity in some parts of women and men due to the exterior.

    Women have been viewed more of a sexual object more so then a man since the 16th century. Men have looked upon as a leader, father, governor, however, thing have changed since 1980s-1990’s that men became sexualized more so. However with the me too movements and other movements, I hope that societies are moving forward on their view of women. ” We are not just our hair we are not just are skin we are our souls, the souls within”. I hope we are above the superificial, and do appreciate others instead of viewing people as objects would be a step forward. However they may look or not look, I learned never to judge a book by its cover. Relations are more then skin deep. The are about the personalities, interests, and other things as well.

    • Yeah, men are more visual and women are more holistic and our culture teaches men to be more visual and women to be more holistic. Not a lot of I candy aimed at women on a daily basis in our culture. The cut of men’s clothes versus the cut of women’s clothes, the billboards we see etc. And because we privilege men over women women can be more concerned about what type of job a man has, his general character, is he abusive? Things like that. (The more gender equal a society the less abusive men tend to be.

      • I’m starting to feel unique as a man when I don’t think I am that much, but I just must be putting my thoughts out that other guys don’t? I’m seeing men’s posts here and I understand it and that most likely is a lot of the reason. But it’s interesting that not a lot of guy’s aren’t thinking from this perspective too. I get that women being sex objects makes them think of their bodies and men think more based on their performance, whether their wealth, their dick size, number of girls they get, how good they are in bed, etc. And not so much about the aesthetics of their own body in relation to how women may see it. Like I get that view that many guys have and why they don’t self introspect on their body sex appeal, and aesthetics. It’s more what women may do, but I wonder if it’s just turned off or just not thought about because of condition or used to it. It seems that it would not be a woman or man thing, but a HUMAN thing to be self aware and curious about other’s perceptions of you and how you compare or relate to others, and that is in various facets including which could be one’s body. Like curioisity and thus wondering why women find the male body attractive, and do they find it exciting to look at and how can they find it fun or even close to as fun as I and men find women’s bodies?

        And like I said, not because of how visual men are, but how the female body is put on a pedestal. So you see what is seen as sexy and the most appealing body and body parts. Which said body ( women) is sensual, soft, smooth skin, curvy, you know what I mean that’s the epitome. So you observe your body when you see such beauty and then wonder…not that you think you’re unattractive. You might find yourself attractive build and proud of your muscles, but that’s as a MAN. But male body is a lower standard. You observe a woman’s sexy breasts and butts in ads, the legs, how sensual, sexy women’s nipples areolas are. And then you think of your male body or men’s bodies even if decent shape. And the hairy chest, fuzzy hairy ass dudes can have, legs and even if fit, it’s just symian compared to women. And you’re thinking first how most women aren’t lesbians, but then what can they get visually out of looking at this male body could even compared to what you get out of seeing hers because of aesthetic and fun body parts. We don’t have fun body parts that compare to women and a man has to have muscle to even have stuff for women to look at and touch.

      • Yeah, I haven’t heard a lot of men Worrying that they’re seen as less sexy/alluring but it definitely comes up from time to time. You aren’t the only one who has brought this up. But generally men are not taught to think about their bodies that way. While women feel under extreme pressure to be “sexy enough” and almost always feel like they fall short.

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