Several months ago, I wrote a short piece asking whether or not men still “admire, respect, and value the women who don’t chase after or toy with them.”

The question spawned from various works of classic literature and movies such as Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, which finds the heroine’s quiet, non-attention-grabbing ways captivating the heart of a man who has scores of women fawning over him.

This morning, The Telegraph seems to have answered the aforementioned question with a decided “yes.”

The Telegraph describes a popular Reddit thread which asks, “What is something women think makes them more attractive to men while men think it makes them less attractive?” and then goes on to list some of the more surprising responses:

“Upper-lip piercings are deemed ‘trashy’. Tracksuits with the word ‘juicy’ emblazoned on the posterior are a no-no, as are hoop earrings, ‘old lady perfume’, ballerina shoes, long nails or bold lip colours (unless, you are one of those women who can ‘rock it’).

But all this helpful advice doesn’t just focus on a woman’s appearance. Oh no. 

Others queried female behaviour, questioning those ‘acting like they have many men interested in them’.

Yokohama11 elaborated: ‘That often works on women (women will chase/try to get the guy who has many women into him), but it generally turns men off.’

More traits universally loathed were ‘duck faces’ and ‘fat lips’ – presumably an attack on fillers, pouting and plumping – and women acting ‘too ditzy’.”

While The Telegraph’s treatment of the Reddit thread was amusing, the responses the men gave made me stop and think. If their answers could be boiled down to a few words, they would likely say that they are uninterested in women who act as self-absorbed attention seekers.

Unfortunately, many in today’s society – both men and women – have been trained to be just that. Parents have been told to center life around their child in order to promote their self-esteem. Students increasingly suffer from “emotional dependency,” a condition in which it’s difficult to function without continual affirmation and praise. Society has normalized the Culture of Narcissism, which leads toward “dependence on the vicarious warmth provided by others, … calculating seductiveness, … and deteriorating relations between men and women.” 

In the last several years, we’ve witnessed a rise in the average age of marriage and a decline in birth rates. Is it possible that this phenomena could partially be the result of the culture’s promotion of self-esteem and narcissism, which has turned many young men and women into unattractive partners?

Image Credit: Shari Alisha