The looks/personality controversy is a long-running dispute in the love-shy forums and elsewhere over whether looks (physical attractiveness) or personality are more important when it comes to attraction. The controversy comprises fiercely entrenched members of both schools of thought, as well as those who are moderately tilted in one direction or another. Both schools are guilty of faulty reasoning and personal biases, as well as likely gaps in personal experience.
The looks angle
Lookists note that more attractive men, especially facially attractive men, tend to do better, and that this is even corroborated on the love-shy forum. They tend to point to evidence that a small subset of facial ratios are preferred, as well as certain facial characteristics. These include:
- A reasonably compact middle facial third, or midface.
- A reasonably compact (i.e. small) chin.
- The eyes posses positive canthal tilts, or their outer part is flared upward.
Lookists will tend to discount any argument that personality is more important, or that less physically attractive people date as well. They will tend to bring up examples of people they personally know who are less attractive and suffer from long periods of involuntary celibacy.
Lookists tend to be less physically attractive themselves, but this is not always the case.
The personality angle
Personalitists point out examples of rather physically unattractive men who have no problems dating. They will also point out examples of good-looking men they know who suffer from involuntary celibacy. Personalitists have a strong belief in social skills as the key to dating success.
- Bad boys or alpha males get tons of women, regardless of looks. In fact, some are downright repulsive looking, but still have women hanging off of them.
- That they themselves are not physically unattractive, and should be doing reasonably well.
What drives the controversy
Both sides suffer from extremism and sample bias, which provides ammunition that the opposite side can use. For instance, personalitists will occasionally say that very attractive men can be incel if they have poor social skills. Lookists will tend to come up with implausible ranking systems that are self-inconsistent, as well as rating average people as ugly. These behaviors undermine their efforts and make them look crazy.
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