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How do men feel about women who don't expend much effort on appearances

When I was about 5 years old I used to like eating tuna fish salad for lunch. I didn't know how to make tuna salad; my mom had always made it for me and I had always enjoyed it. One day, I had a babysitter looking after me. It was lunch time; she asked me what I wanted and I said, "tuna." It was a fair enough request, so she began gathering ingredients. She asked me what I wanted in my tuna salad and I told her that I liked it plain.

This is when things started to get weird.

"So no celery or anything?" She asked.
"No, just plain."
She was a little puzzled but went along. "So just the mayo and tuna?"

At this point, I didn't understand what she wasn't getting about my request; it seemed pretty simple to me. "No, literally just the tuna on a plate is fine," I told her. [probably didn't use the word "literally" at age five but just go with it]

Now she was really confused. "So, you want the tuna, straight out of the can... like a cat?"

At this point I just stared at her, blankly, for a moment. I had never owned a cat. I had no idea what they ate. I knew I certainly wasn't a cat. And what was this business about a can? I just wanted lunch. "Err, uhh, yeah... that sounds right."

She shook her head a little and then proceeded to dump a can of tuna fish on to a plate and placed it in front of me on the kitchen table. I looked down at my lunch. It looked disgusting. I looked up at her. She looked back at me with a mix of curiosity and bewilderment.

For better or worse, it was in this moment that my mom got home and walked into the kitchen. I won't take you through the dialogue that ensued because this introduction is getting ridiculous but my mom was really confused as to why the babysitter had basically given me cat food for lunch, I was confused as to what horrible things my babysitter had done to make the tuna so disgusting and unappealing, and the babysitter probably thought that my mom and I were pulling some bizarre, psychological prank on her. It was a disaster. I don't think my mom ever hired her again but years later we got to the bottom of what had happened when I randomly helped my mom make tuna salad one time.

The point is, I liked tuna salad a certain way, but I had absolutely no idea what kind of preparation was required to reach the outcome that I enjoyed. I couldn't see the individual ingredients and hadn't actually put much thought into how it was prepared so I just sort of assumed that the tuna I liked was the norm, the baseline, the unadulterated way that it came. You could dress it up more if you wanted but I didn't like dressing it up. I liked it "plain."

I think most guys think about about girls putting time into their appearance the same way my five-year-old self thought about the preparation of tuna fish salad. It's something that we, frankly, don't put much thought into and when we do, our understanding of what needs to be done to achieve the outcomes that we are most fond of is so profoundly lacking that it is basically useless for us to give our opinions on the level of preparation that we prefer.

But if you're still reading, this is the actual answer I wrote in response to this question before remembering the tuna fish incident. Enjoy.

Most guys don't spend much time thinking about a girl's clothes or makeup. If something about your appearance makes us think about either of those things, you're probably doing something wrong.

Scenario 1: If I see a girl and think, "she must put a lot of time into her appearance," it's probably because she's trying way too hard to pull off an outfit that just doesn't work and/or she caked on way too much makeup in an unskilled manner.

Scenario 2: I see a girl and think, "yikes, that girl should've put a little more effort in this morning." She might look okay; she might even look pretty good, all things considered, but if that was my first thought when I saw her, chances are she is not looking her personal best.

Scenario 3: I see a girl and think, "wow, she's hot." I can tell you one thing that I absolutely, positively have never, and will NEVER think as my next thought; "I'd really like to find out exactly how much effort this girl expends in order to achieve this appearance so I can compare it to the effort expended by comparably attractive women because that will be a factor in deciding whether or not I want to have anything to do with her." To reiterate, that has never crossed my mind. (Unfortunately, now after writing this answer, that is probably the first thing I will think after seeing an attractive woman from now on, but I digress...) (thanks a lot Quora)

The point is, if you look good, you look good. Guys generally don't know (even if they think they do) or care much about how much effort was expended to achieve the outcome, they just focus on the outcome. If the outcome makes a guy think about the preparation process, there is probably something that can be done to change the process such that it will improve the outcome.

And remember, a guy who says he likes girls who don't put too much effort into their appearance is like a five-year-old kid asking for plain tuna fish. Nod and smile, but whatever you do in response to this statement, do not stop wearing flattering clothing, using appropriate amounts of makeup (if that's your thing), etc., and please, please, please, DO NOT serve cat food to a five-year-old, no matter what he says. You will lose your babysitting job. I guarantee it.


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What are your thoughts on this subject?
27 Comments
Jean Fox
Works both ways. We hate scruffy & smelly guys who don't make an effort!
19
Jul 26, 2020 6:53PM
Don Markusic
I'm just talking as an old man . With three daughters and five granddaughters . You can make any improvement you want on your body your hair your teeth your weight But if you're 5 foot two you can't make your self 5 foot 10 . My point is the only thing that matters is your hight anything else you can correct .
11
Jul 25, 2020 5:06PM
Darlene Davidson
I can't imagine why a guy would ask himself how much time she spent on dressing and grooming herself. How can an effort be appreciated if it is unknown? Like the tuna salad.
8
Jul 26, 2020 5:04PM
Emma Alabaster
This doesn't explain why men who have been in a stable relationship for many years don't notice when his partner makes an effort to look great to go out.
7
Jul 26, 2020 1:17PM
Nancy Mueller
I wore makeup about 4 times from middle school through high school. At 5’10” tall I figured I didn’t need anything extra. Lots of guys liked me but best of all, I liked me.
5
Jul 30, 2020 11:27AM
Marguerite LaHaye
I think a lot of guys would go for a woman wearing ripped jeans who knows how to change a flat tire or fix a leaky tap.
0
Aug 11, 2021 4:18PM
cwisconsin
I am not sure how to post a thought on this, but I Have to. On one hand...Women are ALWAYS talking about dressing nice, looking good wherever they're at. That's a GREAT thing. (Who doesn't appreciate a good looking woman?) They also talk about honesty. WHAT is honest about putting on thing that do not show what you look like? IE: Padded bra's, Mascara, false eyelashes, dying your hair...etc.
0
Jul 8, 2021 1:24PM
cwisconsin
Emma Alabaster , Emma...if you think about it, you answered your question. The women dress up so that THEY feel good. Guys just don't notice. Very often. Women love to be complimented on their looks, some guys don't know that.
0
Jul 8, 2021 1:09PM
andrakflint
You can always make improvements no matter what, you don't need to be the ugly duckling.
2
Oct 2, 2020 4:56PM
deborahpmercer
Obviously (unless you're in a situation when you can't help it) such things as dirty clothes aren't okay - but I think we're way too appearance obsessed.
3
Sep 29, 2020 4:16AM
Cheryl McMeekin
Personality is more important, but dressing up is fine as long as you don't overdo it.
4
Aug 14, 2020 11:09AM
schaeffer
Linda Madison Leckey, chances are you will physically see the person first before getting the opportunity to interact with to know what kind of personality they have
0
Jul 28, 2020 5:11PM
Linda Madison Leckey
Look at the personality first and the looks second
4
Jul 28, 2020 8:40AM
Germaine Ferrao Lenn
Carol Moore, 😂🤣😂🤣 I wondered too!! And he asked fir plain tuna do he will get plain tuna??
0
Jul 26, 2020 11:24PM
Germaine Ferrao Lenn
Julie Domaille, I absolutely agree! He must be living in antiheroes plane??
0
Jul 26, 2020 11:21PM
macroburg
Interesting! I get pleasure in dressing and looking at what pleases me.
1
Jul 26, 2020 9:54PM
Chris Robinson
Darlene Davidson, a thinking, observant and considerate man should 😉😁. Just saying 😁
0
Jul 26, 2020 7:10PM
Julie Domaille
I think the author of this article is not a man I want to meet.His 5yr old self may think women conpare to tuna salad but his adult self should know 'it' s not the can, that can have the prettiest label and still contain #&%!
4
Jul 26, 2020 6:53PM

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