The Goose and the Gander Answer An Age-Old Question: When it Comes to Attracting That Certain Someone, How Much Do Your Looks Matter?

By MacKenzie Brady and Dan Teano
Photo Editor and Lifestyle Editor

Mackenzie says…

Looks matter because they are the first thing that you notice about someone. However, the idea that “looks matter” doesn’t mean that you must be a “perfect” specimen who is the “perfect” height and has a “perfect” body.

Looks are not defined exclusively by your physique, but also your appearance based on how you dress, your hairstyle, what kind of makeup you wear, if you even wear makeup, etc. Think of your dating appearance like a job interview. While you don’t have to dress formally, you also don’t want to look messy or gross. It should seem like you put some effort into how you appear. Doing little things like fixing your hair, ironing your clothes, or making sure you smell good can all go a long way when it comes to your appearance. This doesn’t mean going out and buying a whole new wardrobe for a date, but it could mean picking up a new dress or a nice pair of khakis, if you want to. Stay true to your style while also making sure you look and feel good.

Looks are extremely subjective. No two people view someone else in exactly the same way. Your perception of how someone looks can alter drastically from when you first see them to after you’ve gotten to know them. It is possible that, in learning more about them, they have become more or less attractive to you because of how important of a role personality plays in attractiveness.

While your appearance is what people notice first, it is only the first step toward potentially developing a relationship.

Appearances matter, but they are certainly not the most important thing when it comes to a relationship. Having a good personality is just as, if not more, important that being attractive. The ability to connect with someone on an intellectual or mental level can be extremely attractive, and has absolutely nothing to do with looks.

To me, having a partner that can make me laugh and that I can have deep talks with is much more important than them being a total 10 that everybody is jealous of. Looks may get you noticed, but a good personality is what relationships are built on.

If you and the person you are talking to have similar personalities, or mesh well together, it’s possible that they may become more attractive to you. If a person’s personality is dry or superficial, they may become less attractive to you.

It’s always best to be yourself; making a little extra effort shouldn’t mean changing yourself, be it your physical appearance or your personality. For whatever reason, if someone doesn’t find you attractive, that’s their loss. Eventually someone else will, and you should never compromise who you are in order to make someone else like you.


Dan says…

“Kiss me, I’m good looking” doesn’t seem like such a great pick up line. I imagine someone trying that at O’Connor’s and getting slapped in the face (and rightfully so). But looks matter a lot when it comes to attracting someone, right? Probably, but not as much as we think.

We grow up believing looks are the number one factor in attraction. Either from the movies we watched or the tabloids we flipped through growing up, we only saw “good looking” men with “good looking” women; for instance, Justin Timberlake with Britney Spears, Marc Anthony with Jennifer Lopez, Jay-Z with Beyonce—wait—if looks are the primary force in attracting someone, then these couples wouldn’t have ever split up; or, in Jay-Z’s case, never have reason to be interested in someone else. Clearly, though, it takes more than a symmetrical face and curved body to keep someone around.

So do looks not matter? If they don’t, then does that mean we can stop taking so long to get ready in the morning? Can we finally replace our hopes for washboard abs for a beer belly?

Our looks are like our GPA: they don’t matter as much as we think, but they matter more than we would like them to. Thus, it’s silly to tell yourself you don’t deserve someone because you’re not “good looking” enough; in the same token, it’s just as silly to not care about how you look and let yourself go on an all-junk food diet.

Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that looks only matter for one person only: yourself. Looks cannot be measured on an objective scale. Although it’s tempting to compare your appearance with someone you envy in person or online, keep in mind that there’s not one facial shape that’s technically more attractive than another, just as there’s not one single body shape that is hands down sexier than another. At the end of the day, all we have is what we have—and you know what?—when we choose to love who we are, we begin to realize that we’re more than enough.

As Drake said in his newest single, the best way to look is to “look alive.” In a previous hit single, he reminded us to “take care” of ourselves. By now, most of us know what those two sound like, but what do they look like? Looking alive and taking care of yourself means eating healthy, showering regularly, and sleeping enough.

Ultimately, we only look good when we look like ourselves because looks are an honest projection of our inner state. If we don’t feel good, then we won’t look good, and that person we always wanted to attract won’t even take a second look at us.

In conclusion, your looks don’t matter as much as your look does. If you look like a person who is emotionally stable, vibrant, and easy-going, then you’re probably looking pretty damn good.

In our social media-ruled world, though, the importance of looks is becoming glorified. We see models looking flawless on Instagram, and even our friends look cuter than usual with Snapchat’s puppy filter. As a result, we obsess over how we look on and off screen: we scramble for the right lighting, adjust the tilt of our face for the perfect angle, and swipe to find a filter that brings out our eyes and hides our blemishes. In the process, we forget that someone isn’t really good looking if it takes so many artificial add-ons to look that way. Moreover, you’re never going to attract the person you truly want if you can’t even look like yourself. Instead of stressing over which filter to use, listen to some Drake, and “look alive.” Take care of yourself and you’ll become exponentially more attractive to the people who deserve to be in your life.

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