Dating Profiling: How Your “Look” Affects Your Luck

***Editors Note: Due to some technical difficulties, The Champ wasn’t able to post the topic he planned for today. Instead, here’s a blast from the past — with some updates — that’ll never not be relevant***

“I don’t understand it, Champ,” a friend said to me over a plate of undercooked Cajun wings. “Why does everyone assume I’m a vegetarian? It’s my hair, isn’t it?”

My reply – I explained that her aura (think Lisa Bonet in High Fidelity) suggests certain personality traits – sparked a discussion about the inherent unfairness (and importance) involved with stereotyping. While its probably not fair to make immediate judgments based on ones appearance, we do it to protect ourselves; synthesizing past experiences to have an idea of what to expect from certain types of people.

This is extremely prevalent in the dating game. Holleration is more parts science than art, and which women men choose to approach and how we choose to approach them is (usually) based on the same concept behind NYC’s “Stop and Frisk” policy. Basically, we “profile” the hell out of each other. There’s a reason many women claim they tend to get approached by “the same guy” over and over again.

Anyway, (by my estimation) there are two dozen or so different “types” of Black women, and here’s what a typical VSB usually assumes when he sees four of them.

(After reading a few of the comments, I think I need to make something clear. I’m not suggesting that the looks listed are the ONLY types of looks, lol. There are dozens of them. Dozens! I just happened to list four random examples, and the assumptions that go along with those four random examples.)

Probable interests: Music made by rappers named with an intentional misspelling of “young”. Red Lobster. Forever 21. Tyler Perry movies. Professional Sports. Clubbing. Fighting and/or f*cking in and/or after the club. Orange soda.

Best time to approach: At the club, during the second chorus of “Amen.” While behind her in line at Baby Foot Locker.

Best compliment you can give her: “Your daughter’s name is cute.”

Best pick-up line: “What chu drinkin?”


Probable interests: Organizing book clubs with other well-coiffed women, and spending the entire time at said book club discussing best ways to have sex without ruining weave. Being seen at Tyler Perry movie premieres. Vacations. Any vodka but Ciroc. The idea of Beyonce.

Best times to approach: During Kenny Latimore concert afterparty at Essence festival. After being seen driving a Maserati Quattroporte.

Best compliment you can give her: “That was the best pussy I’ve ever had.”

Best pick-up line: “Who’s your dentist?”

 

Probable interests: Sashimi. Founding wittily titled groups on Facebook. Ex-boyfriends who happen to be dating White women. Writing scathing letters to Tyler Perry. Thinking of genius ways to stretch unemployment compensation. Wishing Donald Glover was a bit taller and was able to clone himself like Agent Smith in The Matrix

Best time to approach: After she’s left a comment on your blog. While interviewing her for volunteer mentorship position

Best compliment you can give her: “You should teach an art class.”

Best pick up line: “Have you read “The Broke Diaries”?”


Probable Interests: Michelle Obama. HGTV. Orphaned dachshunds. Arguing in favor of the positive effect Tyler Perry has on Black businesses. Moving to cities with high suicide rates. Ann Taylor. Making more money than every man she’ll ever date and/or marry. Kickboxing.

Best time to approach: While she’s standing next to Charlie Rangel at Urban League happy hour. After hitting her Prius with your shopping cart in Trader Joe’s parking lot.

Best compliment you can give her: “You have the perfect handshake.”

Best pick up line: “Where can I find some efficient hiking gear?”

Anyway, people of VSB.com: Do you assign assumed characteristics to certain looks, and have you ever been a victim of dating profiling yourself?

Also, do you tend to find yourself drawn to the same peripheral “type”? If so, why? If not, stop lying.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Oh, And About Assholes And The Women Who Love Them…

It happens at least once a season. Someone on a few high profile blogs or websites will state their particular take about the whole “women are attracted to assholes” thing, and, as was seen last week at Jezebel, The National Review, Male Fide, and Chateau Heartiste, each of the (combined) thousands of responses these articles will generate will fit into one of eight categories.

1. Women using anecdotal evidence to deny that women are attracted to assholes. 

2. Women saying that it is true…for young women and stupid women. Mature women don’t  fall for the same tricks

3. Women saying “It’s not that we like assholes, it’s just that “nice” guys are usually assholes in disguise. So, why not just deal with the real thing?”

4. Women reluctantly agreeing with the theory that asshole men are generally more attractive to women, and cursing God for giving them such predictable vaginas

5. Women happily agreeing that it’s true that women are into jerks. 

6. Men using anecdotal evidence to state that assholes don’t win. (i.e. “I’m a nice guy, and I stay swimming in ass, yo.“)

7. Men stating that assholes do win, and also saying that any woman (or man) who doesn’t agree is being dishonest.

8. Men stating that assholes win, and using this info as proof that women are generally f*cked up people, and also using it as an excuse for why their lame ass hasn’t gotten any p*ssy since Big P*ssy was still alive on “The Sopranos”

Where do I stand in all of this? While I don’t think that women are inherently attracted to assholes per se, I do believe that many of the characteristics that turn women’s panties into Niagara Falls happen to be possessed in abundance by men who happen to be assholes.

I do not think this is a coincidence, though. Men (and women) who happen to be at the top of the food chain are given more asshole-leeway. A 10 can get away with more sh*t than a 7 can. Also, since they’re used to people treating them like they’re the sh*t, they possess less incentive not to be assholes.

It’s funny, though. A part of me wants to believe that not being as asshole is the way to go, but both anecdotal and observational evidence doesn’t agree with that. Even from my own personal experience, I’ve found that being me, but an aloof, distant, apathetic, and (somewhat) mysterious me does actually work better than being an open and, dare I say it, “nice” me.

Anyway, that’s enough from me today. People of VSB.com, how exactly do you feel about the theory that women are generally attracted to assholes? Also, which one of the eight are you?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

The Practicality of “Ugly Affirmative Action”

***The Hill Review — a literary magazine blending essays, excerpts, reviews, fiction, poetry, criticism, cartoons and more to capture all things African-American culture — is launching Monday, September 12th. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and, if interested in being a part of this, hit us up at submissions@thehillreview.com (But please read our submission guidelines first)***

Yeah, it's not looking good for his earning potential

I’m a pretty big fan of words. I enjoy typing them, reading them, researching them, and, on many occasions, inventing them. (What, you thought “cunnilingusness” was a real word?)

In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to type a sentence, be “eh” about a certain word, go to a thesaurus at dictionary.com or Merriam-Webster to find a more appropriate word, and lose myself there; spending 20 minutes clicking on and learning new definitions, tenses, and antonyms. Along with my latent nerd tendencies, I think this obsession with finding the perfect word comes from a fear of being misunderstood; a neurosis that manifests as me making certain there’s no wiggle room when trying to convey some points.

Anyway, I’m bringing this up because, despite this need to be perfectly clear, there’s one word I try my damnedest not to use even if it seems like the optimum fit; a word so pejorative and condemning that I’d rather create a euphemistic phrase for it instead of just typing or speaking it: Ugly

What separates ugly from other common non-vulgar pejorative adjectives (dumb, stupid, fat, etc) — and why I’m reluctant to use it — is that it’s rarely accurate (“ugly” suggests a universal aesthetic belligerence — a quality very few people possess) and, more importantly, ugly sticks.

You can laugh off and forget being called stupid or dumb or even “unattractive” (the ultimate kind euphemism for “ugly”), but ugly tends to dig a tad deeper and tends to sound a tad meaner. We’re aware that being ugly might be the ultimate human albatross, and even jokingly giving a person that distinction is basically saying “your life is always going to suck, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

And, if you think I’m being too harsh about the burden of ugliness, check this out.

From “Ugly? You May Have a Case”

BEING good-looking is useful in so many ways.

In addition to whatever personal pleasure it gives you, being attractive also helps you earn more money, find a higher-earning spouse (and one who looks better, too!) and get better deals on mortgages. Each of these facts has been demonstrated over the past 20 years by many economists and other researchers. The effects are not small: one study showed that an American worker who was among the bottom one-seventh in looks, as assessed by randomly chosen observers, earned 10 to 15 percent less per year than a similar worker whose looks were assessed in the top one-third — a lifetime difference, in a typical case, of about $230,000.

Beauty is as much an issue for men as for women. While extensive research shows that women’s looks have bigger impacts in the market for mates, another large group of studies demonstrates that men’s looks have bigger impacts on the job.

This excerpt was written by University of Texas economics professor Daniel E. Hamermesh, whose new book “Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People are More Successful” explores a “duh!” premise and finds some intriguing results, including the “fact” that there actually is a universal standard of beauty and ugliness.

You might argue that people can’t be classified by their looks — that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That aphorism is correct in one sense: if asked who is the most beautiful person in a group of beautiful people, you and I might well have different answers. But when it comes to differentiating classes of attractiveness, we all view beauty similarly: someone whom you consider good-looking will be viewed similarly by most others; someone you consider ugly will be viewed as ugly by most others. In one study, more than half of a group of people were assessed identically by each of two observers using a five-point scale; and very few assessments differed by more than one point.

Basically, we’ll debate exactly where people on the top ten and people on the bottom ten percent of the looks scale should rank (“Yeah, she’s good looking, but she’s an 8.7 instead of a 9“), but we’ll all come to the same consensus that they definitely belong in their “good-looking” or “not good-looking” categories.

So, is there any way to rectify the fact that, on average, ugly people will make almost a quarter-million dollars less over their lifetimes than attractive people? Well, Hamermesh has a somewhat contrived (but somewhat practical) remedy for that problem.

A more radical solution may be needed: why not offer legal protections to the ugly, as we do with racial, ethnic and religious minorities, women and handicapped individuals?

We actually already do offer such protections in a few places, including in some jurisdictions in California, and in the District of Columbia, where discriminatory treatment based on looks in hiring, promotions, housing and other areas is prohibited. Ugliness could be protected generally in the United States by small extensions of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Ugly people could be allowed to seek help from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other agencies in overcoming the effects of discrimination. We could even have affirmative-action programs for the ugly.

Now, I haven’t read his book yet (and this point might be addressed in it), but I question his methodology. While he suggests that employers discriminate against ugly people, it’s possible that people who’ve been called ugly their entire lives have developed a learned helplessness that affects their self-esteem and ultimately hinders their professional progress. The make less money because they’re worse workers and less ambitious, and they’re worse workers and less ambitious because they’re less confident.

Still, the idea of ugly affirmative action is an interesting one, and I’d be curious to see exactly how they’d construct the application process. (I imagine it would involve a ton of masks and funhouse mirrors.)

Anyway, people of VSB.com, I’m curious: Do you think that ugly is too powerful of a word to be used lightly? Also, do you incorporate it in your lexicon, or do you try to use kinder euphemisms like “unattractive?”

Also, if it is true that ugly people get discriminated against, ugly affirmative action isn’t really that crazy of an idea, right?

—The Champ

The Best Dating Advice For a Man? “Never, Ever Listen To Women.”

***The Hill Review — a literary magazine blending essays, excerpts, reviews, fiction, poetry, criticism, cartoons and more to capture all things African-American culture — is launching Monday, September 12th. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and, if interested in being a part of this, hit us up at submissions@thehillreview.com (But please read our submission guidelines first)***

Would definitely fare better with the ladies if he drove a Prius

(The following is an abridged version of a great conversation that The Champ may have never actually had last weekend with a young man who might not actually exist. )

Young Man (“Tommy”): “That doesn’t make any sense.”

Champ: “Why not?”

Tommy: “You’re supposed to be giving me advice about how to be more attractive to women, and your first piece of advice is to ignore everything women say about what they find attractive.”

Champ: “And?”

Tommy: “Well, doesn’t it make sense to get it from the source? I mean, who better to ask about women’s wants and desires than other women?”

Champ: “Hmm. What we have here is a failure to understand basic human behavior. If you don’t retain anything else I tell you, please just remember this one fact: Women are the absolute last people you should be getting advice from about what women find attractive. Why? Well, they have no f*cking idea themselves! Seriously, you have a better chance of hearing a hot 16 from Wiz Khalifa than you do of meeting a woman who knows exactly what they want in a man. And, if you happen to find the one chick in a billion who knows exactly what she wants, good luck in getting her to actually articulate it. It’s like asking a gazelle why they love getting eaten by cheetahs.”

Tommy: “So, just don’t listen to women, ever?”

Champ: “I wouldn’t take it that far. You should probably listen to your mom and when female baristas tell you that your hot chocolate is, in fact, hot. Also, once you’re actually in a relationship, listening to your girlfriend/wife every once in a while isn’t the worst idea in the world.

That aside, life has shown me that the single worst dating mistake young (and old) men make is crafting their behavior around the “cacophony of completely arbitrary noise” that’s better known as “women’s professed wants and desires.

And, just so I don’t come off as a raging misogynist, “women” could very easily be replaced with “humans.” None of us — men, women, West Virginians — know what we want about anything. Sh*t, I can’t even tell you what I want for dinner tonight, so how the hell do you expect me to know exactly what I’d want from something as complex as a romantic relationship?”

Tommy: “So, um, why am I even listening to you?”

Champ: “Because.”

Tommy: “Okie dokie. So, since I’m not supposed to listen to women, ever, what should I do?”

Champ: “Pay attention. That’s it. Pay attention to what they respond to. Pay attention to who they say they need to stay away from. Pay attention to who makes them nervous.

And, if you want to get specific, if you’re interested in a particular type of women, pay attention to the type of men that those women always seem to date. For heaven’s sake, don’t ever f*cking listen to a word any of them say about what type of men they find attractive, but watch closely, read, observe, assess, and act.”

Tommy: “Anything else?”

Champ: “I’ve noticed that smelling good seems to really help. Seriously, I know some women who’d f*ck a Michelin snow tire if it smelled like Escada Sentiment. What’s weird is that once they start to actually like you, “smelling good” means “any smell you produce aside from a fart.” They’ll eventually become hooked on your everyday scent, but you need some artificial assistance to lure them in. Basically, cologne is to women what lacefront is to men.

Also, I’d advise you to introduce an element of surprise in your life.”

Tommy: “So, hide in shadows and sneak up on b*tches?”

Champ: “Um, not exactly. I’m trying to teach you how to attract women, not homicide detectives. By “surprise” I mean that it tends to intrigue women if they learn something about you that they really didn’t expect.

For instance, if you look like Kimbo Slice, the women you meet probably aren’t going to be very impressed by your collection of Smack DVD’s or your tendency to chase down and stab motorists who’ve cut you off. But, if you generally look, dress, and act like Carlton Banks, revealing a side that’s a bit more “hood” and aggressive than they’d expect from you will make them think “Hmmm. That’s interesting.” And, as we all know, “Hmmm. That’s interesting” is internal womenspeak for “Hmmm. My thighs just got 8.5% more damp.

Tommy: “I guess that makes sense. I think women would be more impressed by a linebacker at spoken word than some Frankie Lymon looking-ass n*gga.”

Champ: “Right! This is actually what women’s (and men’s) magazines always get wrong when they’re advising men. Women aren’t impressed by men who are well-read or work out regularly or can educate them about our foreign policy as much as they’re impressed when these tasks are done by men who they wouldn’t immediately associate those attributes too.

I mean, if you’re a f*cking accountant, of course you should be able to wax poetic about the economy and the deficit, and you showing off this knowledge on a date aint going to impress anyone. But, if you’re an accountant who plays semi-pro rugby and the drums for a local hip-hop band? Instant Irene.

Tommy: “Irene?”

Champ: “Get it? Wetness? Moisture? Hurricane Irene?”

Tommy: “I see.”

—The Champ

Come and hang out with Panama Jackson this Saturday, September 3, 2011, as he throws the 2nd installment of Reminisce, a party dedicated to all 90′s everything. From 10-3pm, DJ Cuzzin B will be spinning nothing but the best of hip-hop, r&b, and dancehall from the 90′s. Best of all it’s FREE before 11pm ($10 after), there’s an OPEN BAR FROM 10-11PM and no dress code. It’s cheaper to party than it is to stay home. Oh, and no hurricane. So come party with VSB, Shine on Me, and Just Cause at Liv Nightclub, 2001 11th Street, NW, Washington, DC.

The 500 Billion Dollar Question

You don't believe you, you need more people.

In a week where we 1) saw approximately 126,000 different moderately famous men all decide to come out of the closet on the exact same day, 2) watched the Terminator get kicked out of the Kennedys for doing what Kennedys do, and 3) came thisclose to experiencing the first act of “Left Behind” (and by “thisclose” I mean “not f*cking close at all“), the reaction to Satoshi Kanazawa’s “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women” still remained the most interesting story.

Seriously, in the three years that VSB has been around, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a non-”important news” related meme catch fire and spread on the internet the way it did. Between Twitter, Facebook, news articles, blogs, and a particularly inspired (and particularly humorous) bout of scientific ownage, Kanazawa’s “study” was discussed, critiqued, examined, and denounced from every conceivable angle as we — content producers — practically tripped over ourselves in a mad dash to somehow get invited to this orgy of easy outrage and (easier) page views.

Although the tone of the preceding paragraph may have implied that I was disappointed with all the attention this story received, I actually was pleasantly surprised by the power and reach of our collective voice. I’m sure Kanazawa himself was surprised as well (although I’m assuming his surprise wasn’t as pleasant) when seeing that the reaction to his article might cost him his job at the London School of Economics — a direct effect of a few grassroots efforts to mobilize and protest.

While getting a quack scientist fired isn’t really that big of a deal, the insanely quick turnaround proves that we can get sh*t done if we put our creative resources together.

You know what would be even more impressive?

Find out exactly how this…

African-American women consistently rate themselves (collectively and individually) more attractive than any other culture of women on the planet. Every objective measure of self-image in comparison to non-black women reflects this.

…and this…

African-American women spend more per person on hair and beauty products — products where the main purpose of many of them is to make black women look “less black”¹ — than any other culture of women on the planet.

…can both be true.

¹”Less black” may have been a poor choice of words. Still, without turning it into a semantics argument, I think the point I’m trying to convey is pretty apparent.

—The Champ

No rapture means that God wants you to stay on Earth and purchase the paperback or the $9.99 Kindle version of “Your Degrees Wont Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime”

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