The answer? Not too many people.
Before I go too far with this post, I do want to preface it with an explanation. This post is not a viral plea for people to flood social media to pump up my ego. I do not truly believe that I’m the most unattractive woman in Chicago but the idea for this post sprang from a conversation I was having with a close friend. I started to wonder if statistically I possessed the least attractive traits for a woman and, in turn, was one of the least attractive single females in the dating pool.
“Least attractive” may be a harsh way of characterizing the compilation of all of these traits. Maybe a better way to phrase it is that I have a collection of characteristics that a minority of men are attracted to. Therefore, based on that logic, I may be an individual who is only attractive to a small number of men. So perhaps, I’m an acquired taste? Or possible a niche female?
How did I arrive at this point? I started looking at each one of my characteristics and did research (i.e. Googled) on how attractive each characteristic was to the opposite sex. Since we’re not talking about advanced algorithms and merely relying on my Wikipedia-back PhD in dating, this may not be 100% accurate. But I do think I’ve adequately proven my thesis: As a 6’2” Black female attorney, I’m one of the least attractive females in the dating pool.
Race: If you’ve had a social media account over the past ten years, someone has inevitably shared an article or study explaining that black women are the “least desirable” group. If you’d like to read more: here’s an example (x) and another (x) and, oh look, another one (x). Buzzfeed (of course) also made this handy-dandy video:
I’d suspect that some portion of racial preferences in dating are fueled by standards of beauty perpetuated in the media (through movies, television, print ads, etc.) I’m not going to use this space to vehemently protest the findings of any of these studies for several reasons. One: that sounds boring. Second: As I mentioned I think people’s racial preferences are motivated by standards of beauty that have permeated Western culture for centuries and, personally, I think that’s lame. Further, some people are just more comfortable dating a certain race or they’re just more attracted to a certain race. And if you’re just not attracted to black women there’s nothing I’m going to say to change your mind and, additionally, I don’t want to change your mind. It’s cool. You’re not into it. I get it. We really would not get along any way and I’m sure you’re family would hate me. And I’d hate them too but I’d never tell you because you’ll always choose your mom over me. I can never win. She gave birth to you. I just thought…okay, this is going in a really weird direction. Let me move on.
Height: I’m 6’2″. Nearly a foot taller than the average female. (64.6 inches — which by the way, would not be nearly as clever of a blog name!) Men tend to be attracted to women shorter than themselves. In fact, men tend to view tall women as less attractive. (your loss dudes) Most women assume that tall men would be falling all over themselves to date me. Not so. Trust me. I really really really (let me add another really for emphasis) wish that was the case. I’d direct your attention to any basketball player in the NBA. Check out their wives. All of them are tiny. The preferred coupling is tall men and petite women. In sum, average height men are not attracted to tall women and neither are tall men. From an evolutionary standpoint, I’ve never understood why tall guys weren’t into me. We could create the next LeBron James. Who doesn’t want to sign up for that?
Age: I’m 33 years old. I’m so old that I’d have to pay the Tinder old person tax. Data suggests that men prefer younger women. This doesn’t sound like an ominous statistic; however, this statistic becomes downright deadly when compared to age of available men in the dating pool. Two-thirds of the dating pool is men between 22-30 who are seeking women younger than themselves. So any idea of wooing a younger man is out the window. Truth be told, I wouldn’t even know how to “woo” a younger man. “Come over to my place. I have beer and NFL Sunday Ticket.” *wink*
Hair: Men prefer women with long hair. I don’t have long hair. Thus, I’m screwed.
Education: I’m an attorney. This fact may also result in a problem in my dating life. I’ve had the sneaking suspicion for a while that educated men are not attracted equally educated women. Of course, I know lots of couples who are both intelligent and successful professionals. However, most of those couples met while they were in school. In hindsight, I really should have paid more attention to my law school classmates. Or, alternatively, I should have made a few trips over to the business school to look around. In an article in the Wire, financial reporter John Carney explained why “smart” men date “dumb women”: “successful men (like him, presumably) date less successful women not because they want “women to be dumb” but rather because they want “someone who prioritizes their life in a way that’s compatible with how you prioritize yours.” He further explained that a hedge fund manager works hellish hours and would rather date a woman with a less demanding job. The logic behind this reasoning makes sense to me; however, I’m not going to stop being an attorney so I guess I’m plum out of luck on this count as well.
So where does all of this information leave me? Single and hopeless. I’M KIDDING! (kinda)
I’ve done the research and I’ve seen the results. And, frankly, it only makes sense that someone possessing all of my characteristics would be an acquired taste. I’m foie gras and not pizza. And that’s totally fine. Because foie gras is delicious (sorry ducks). And, also, because there’s nothing I can do to change who I am and after three decades in this body I can honestly say there is no one else I’d rather be. Also, I rest easy knowing that attraction is unpredictable. We walk through life with an idea in our heads about who our perfect match is and then someone walks into our life who looks nothing like our last significant other or who doesn’t possess all the physical characteristics on our wish list and we’re into them. Just like that. It’s weird and tricky and it makes no sense. I am almost 100% certain I will look nothing like my next boyfriend’s last girlfriend. Mostly because less than 1% of the US population has the same characteristics as me. (That’s actually a really kick ass statistic, right?) I’m gonna surprise someone and it’s going to be awesome. Foie Gras > Pizza. All Day.
Pizza is really delicious though. I should have thought out this analogy a little bit more.