January 8, 2007

Vindication of my Euro-centric girl strategy

Razib's "hot sci-fi geek" thread is still getting comments, the most recent of which is from a European guy noting that a girl who American guys offered as an example of a good-looking chess geek (here) would not qualify as that good-looking in her continent of origin.

This is confirmation of my previous advice to look for a girlfriend among Europeans raised in Europe. They're better looking in most countries (Swedes for blonde-lovers, Greeks for callipygiophiles, etc.). Because the females have grown up surrounded by better looking people than in the US, a female who is objectively a 7 will subjectively view herself as less than 7, and so will be less discriminating in her tastes / standards than a 7 in the US. And since the Euro males have grown accustomed to a higher standard of female looks, an objective 7 female will get less attention there than if she were raised in the US. Thus, regardless of the guy's objective score, he'll find a more receptive audience among 7s in Europe than in the US. This feature of human psychology -- that we are programmed to adjust our preferences to accord with our percentile rank in the local population, rather than our absolute score -- is obviously adaptive, but it can be exploited in the modern age where global travel isn't difficult or prohibitively expensive.

The worst group to approach, strategy-wise, is those who are objectively high-scoring but who grew up surrounded by lots of unattractive people. For example, those in the right-tail of a distribution with a low mean (Queen of the Trailer Park / Band Geeks), and particularly those in the right-most cluster of a distribution that approaches a bi-modality of haves and have-nots as far as sexiness goes (see next paragraph). This makes the contrast stand out more, boosting their ego. The same is true of intellectual snobbery: kids who went to secondary school in a high-scoring, unimodal environment should think less of themselves than their intellectual counterparts in a public school magnet program, an oasis surrounded by a desert of mediocrity, as they would describe it.

For example, females from the better-looking ethinic groups who are reared in the US often have a special name: X-American Princess, for X = Jewish, Italian, Persian, Indian. Italian-American girls grow up recognizing that their mean attractiveness is beyond that of girls of other ethnic groups, such as English-Americans. They find this out not only through their own self-other comparisons, but through the amount of attention they get. Back in Italy, there's not so much hetereogeneity, so they wouldn't get as much attention from boys growing up. This creates a huge split between the attitudes of Italian-Italian and Italian-American girls, which anyone who's visited anywhere in Italy for more than a few days will have noticed. Admittedly, another component of the "princess" phenomenon is social status, but Persians and Italians are happy to boast as well about how good-looking their co-ethnics are.

South Asia, though, is heavily stratified by class, and thus by looks as well, as the higher-status males choose the better-looking females for their wives. (Over time, this cross-assortative mating results in there being a greater fraction of females who are both brainy and beautiful as well as a greater fraction who are unattractive and slow-witted.) So, the prediction is that there would be less of a chasm between Indian-Indians and Indian-Americans compared to the Italian case. This doesn't mean there would be no difference between Indians in India vs the US -- in my personal experience, those raised in South Asia have better manners and are more publicly agreeable (of course, I don't know how they behave or what they think in private). Now, these were international students I met during my undergraduate years, and so were drawn from the super-elite in South Asia, as no financial aid was given to international students, but South Asian-Americans who I run into also tend to be high-status. Attractive females in both locations are predicted to be highly conscious of how much better-looking they are compared to other females, just perhaps a little more so in the US. But since I've never actually been to India, the heterogeneity could be far greater than I imagine, and attractive Indians in India could have more inflated egos -- I welcome any clarification in this matter.

In any event, though it may sound like you're preying on the insecurities of another, my advice is not to create further insecurities or manipulate others -- it is simply to take advantage of auspicious circumstances. In this case, it means approaching girls who were raised in a population whose attractiveness distribution is more homogenous and higher in the mean than your own.


  1. OK, but why exactly are American women less attractive? In my experience, they are, but mostly out of general slovenliness and being overweight. There doesn't seem to be anything genetic about it. Women abroad seem to pay much more attention to their looks.

  2. Yes, even compared to Canadians, Americans are a lot fatter. Especially in the South.

  3. Hmm, I assumed that American whites (men & women) were better looking than Europeans because of the pan-Euro admixture. Euros look a little inbred to me (esp. the English).

  4. There doesn't seem to be anything genetic about it.

    Ah Dennis, as a fellow Hispanophile, I'm ashamed to hear you say there's no genetic component to the greater beauty of Spanish women! Weight is a big part of the difference, though, yes. But facial geometry, size or piercing quality of the eyes, and so on, aren't so affected by fat.

    Euros look a little inbred to me (esp. the English).

    Yeah, the English are among the ugliest on the planet (no offense intended; I'm happy to poo on weaknesses of my groups). Italian-Italians look better than Italian-Americans on average. I had more in mind the Mediterranean based on my own tastes, or Scandinavia for lovers of blondes and boobs. But there are places in between where the mean is higher -- definitely France, and from what I've seen (admittedly not having been there), Hungarians and Czechs are pretty good-looking too.

  5. I dunno, my superficial impression is that the average British Islander looks a little asymmetrical and has some odd reoccurring features (Timothy Spall, Ian McDiarmid, and Wallace and Grommit come to mind). Then again some of the top beauties in Hollywood, like Kate Winslet, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Keira Knightley, are from this region.

    The US, UK, and Australia all suffer from Anglo-Gigantism.

  6. Zeta-Jones is Welsh & Irish, and Knightley is Irish & Scottish on mom's side. The "Celts" appear different: physically, better-looking than Anglos (the two above are the tip of the "dark Celtic" iceberg); personality-wise, more rowdy; arts-wise, better at music. Since the English are among the ugliest, most polite, and least accomplished in music, this isn't saying a lot.

    Again, no offense to the English; I'm happy to admit that the people from whom my grandmammy is drawn (Japanese) have unattractive eyes, are also too meek, and show little accomplishment as attorneys.

  7. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/14/weekinreview/14roht.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

    Seems your Latin women want to be Nordic, or at least some of them.

  8. "I'm happy to admit that the people from whom my grandmammy is drawn (Japanese) have unattractive eyes"

    Teeth maybe but not eyes...

  9. Hmm, too much that this blogger says just doesn't make sense. He says it in language that does a good job of simulating that of a professor, but it does't take long to see it as just that.


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