Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Peacocking

Last night was Episode #2 of my new favorite show, VH1's The Pick-Up Artist. (Yesterday's post covers the basic concept behind the show and provides links, if you are playing catch-up.)

For this episode, all the guys were first challenged to get make-overs. They were instructed to try and "peacock", meaning they had to try and dress outlandishly. According to the PUA method, this is important for attracting women's attention. In theory, the crazier you look, the more attention you will receive. Your goal is to stand out from the crowd. Which is funny, because there were recurring themes in this effort to be unique. Here's what I observed:

1. Lots of hair-dying and trendy haircuts.
2. piercings
3. tighter pants
4. entirely too many accessories
5. black painted nails
6. hats
7. funky jackets

What was funny to me was that for the most part, the guys all came out in outfits similar to Mystery's and the other judges' outfits. So....how is that standing out? They basically still all looked the same. Only now they just looked like PUAs. Any girl who watches the show will be able to spot imitators instantly -- they are the ones with the tight pants and fur-lined coat on.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying all guys are great dressers who never need makeovers. Lord knows I am SO SICK AND TIRED of seeing the Southern Guy "uniform"* I'm about to scream. So the occasional fedora or green shoes is refreshing, I have to say. And I'm all for bringing tighter pants back! WOOT!

I personally wish guys would wear tuxedos when they go out, but that's just me...

Most girls like a guy who is fashionably aware. Most girls are not totally against a guy dyeing his hair or putting gauges in his ears. Some girls are probably not against a guy wearing goggles. But some girls are. (Remember, every girl is different!) So I fail to see how this will be a fail-proof method of attracting women. Mystery, according to his interview with Conan O'Brien (see last post), claims that if a girl tells him she doesn't like what he's wearing, he will zip back at her, "Oh yes you do! Otherwise you wouldn't have said that." -- I beg to differ. If you are wearing a crazy outfit, and a girl is telling you she doesn't like it, she means just that. It was probably code for, "Ew. Go away. You're weird."

If all guys start dressing like Mystery, then every guy will eventually look the same. They'll all look like Mystery.

I like a little variety, is all I'm saying. So guys, my advice to you would be this: If you have been wearing the same clothing style since high school, wear the SAME outfit every day or if you dress EXACTLY like all of your friends, it might be time to make some small changes. Do what girls do: hit the mall, see what's new. Talk to a trusted female pal or your sister to see what she thinks. Look at a couple of current fashion magazines. Try a slightly different hairdo. Guys have so many facial hair options these days. Live a little! Don't be afraid of hats or shoes. Buy the stuff you can see yourself wearing. If you feel weird wearing it, that will come across when you're trying to talk to a girl in a bar. Feeling comfortable (ie, like yourself) in your outfit is obviously #1. But there is something to be said for the confidence you can acquire from knowing you look fashionable. So I would encourage guys to try small changes. Girls do notice a guy who looks nice. And we REALLY notice it when your pants show off your cute little butt. ;)

But don't overdo it. Looking like a caricature or a rock star will make you seem like you're trying too hard to be cool. Piling on the jewelry and scarves (yes, I said scarves) and sporting a spiky hairdo which makes you look more like Sonic the Hedgehog than Ryan Cabrera can be overkill. Actually, on second thought, Ryan Cabrera looks like an idiot with his hair like that. But you know what I'm saying. Again, I say to you, look at fashion mags and talk to gal pals. That's why they exist.

I didn't like that the show assumed all of the contestants needed makeovers. Most of the guys were actually good dressers already: they were unique, not afraid of color, fairly contemporary and wearing things which looked good on them. Really, there were only 2 or 3 I thought needed help in the wardrobe department. So why were they all forced to dress so theatrically? I mean, let's be honest, here. These guys don't live in Manhattan or LA. They are from Portland, Oregon or Fort Wayne, Indiana. Dressing like Mystery in these small, American cities will make them look like total freaks! How will being a one-man freak show boost their confidence and self-esteem? I think the judges should keep in mind what sorts of people and places their contestants are dealing with in real life. Girls in these towns are not going to find a guy with a green mohawk or a fur coat to be desirable or fashionable. It's just not going to happen. Unless she's 16 and wants to get back at her parents by freaking them out. It's better for the guy to stick to what's being sold currently in Banana Republic or Gap, to be honest.

Although it's nice to talk to a guy who knows how to dress, I can assure you it's FAR FAR more important to a woman that you come off as interesting, confident and funny. What comes out of your mouth outweighs anything you can wear. As long as you don't look like Urkel or wear something super sloppy or dirty, you're probably ok. And of course, the reverse is also true: if you are the best dressed guy in the room, but you come off as a cocky asshole, a total idiot or totally insecure, you're in the same boat. Good dressing can get you some bonus points, but really, it's a much more minor deal to women. We know you'll let us dress you later on, anyway. It's kind of moot to us.

Hmmm...here's a theory. Is it safe to say that if you want a girl who is a trendy dresser, you should, in turn, dress in more current styles? I'm sure there are guys who don't give a rat's ass what a girl wears--they just want to know when the clothes are coming off. So is it necessary for them to try and be fashionable men? Hmmm. I have to chew on that for a while. What do you think? Does dressing fashionably only apply to guys who want to attract fashionable women? Do guys even notice if a girl is "fashionable"? Or do they only notice if she is half naked or dresses like their mom? Do guys care if a girl dresses in a unique way? Or is it enough to just look like other girls? To be honest, I don't even know if men are aware of women's fashions at all. I need feedback from my male readers on this one. I hadn't really thought about it. I guess girls tend to dress for other girls....and I always assumed that the only "fashion" guys cared about was how much flesh I was exposing or how tight the jeans are. Am I wrong?

The only reason I say all this is because there's this one guy on the show who is just......oh, GAWD he is a total geek!! Seriously, I think this guy is a lost cause. And he did the whole makeover, complete with blue hair streak (which, I personally thought was both totally out-of-style and stupid looking). But he still reeked of geekiness. And all I could think was, "You can take the guy out of the geek, but you can't take the geek out of the guy!" Because he was JUST as nerdy as he was pre-makeover. He even referred to himself as "Scott 2.0" or something. I groaned. Did he need a makeover? Well, to be honest, hell yeah he did! He looked like Poindexter. Did it work? Not one bit.

You see, the thing about the makeover is this: it's not just making over the outside. To be successful, it has to boost confidence and make the guy feel like a more improved version of himself. Someone who feels worthy of a better life than what he had before, because he's not that "old self" anymore. For most of the guys on the show, you could see a difference in their confidence and attitudes after their makeovers. As for the rest of the guys...you could see they felt uncomfortable. I don't know if it was too much change all at once or if they were just too set in their ways. But their makeovers just didn't....click. They behaved the same way and looked at themselves in the same way. Only, in addition, they looked uncomfortable.

Which led me to think, "This hasn't improved his chances ONE BIT." And if so, then the very pretty coeds in the bars were STILL going to shoot him down. He's just a geek in a cuter outfit. So is he trying to date out of his league? Or the bar scene just an extremely unnatural setting for a supergeek? Perhaps he should be using the PUA method in a comic book store or a Renaissance festival??? (No offense to my comic book or medieval festival readers -- I think having a little geek in you is both desirable and normal.) Is the show just creating unnatural situations, setting up the supergeeks to fail miserably for entertainments' sake? Is the problem in the guy or the situation? Is this show giving the supergeek skills he will actually use when he goes home? Or is their point that any guy can learn how to pick up a gorgeous 21 year old in a downtown bar?

Because the last time I went to a bar, I didn't see any supergeeks. Maybe they were disguised as PUAs.....

* Southern Guy uniform: horizontally-striped polo, khakis or cargo shorts, flip flops, croakies, usually a baseball hat. Sometimes a pastel tie, sometimes seersucker. Usually boring. I am not exaggerating when I say that 98% of guys wear this outfit when they go out here. *yawn* I mean, it's fine, it's just...overdone. They can check "Preppy J. Crew" off their lists already. Sheesh.

27 comments:

Stuck said...

WTF is up with your posts that are as long as the Bible?

First, let me just say that you're wrong on several points.

1) Your description of The Southern Guy uniform only applies to FRAT GUYS. Other Southern Men make fun of these outfits.

2) The peacocking theory only requires ONE item of conversation, which need not be outlandish, and it does work. (Mine is my earring and bald head, and it starts more conversations than you'd imagine.) The show is exaggerating the method because it's a fucking television show. Repeat after me: There is NOTHING real about Reality Shows. As soon as the world realizes this, I might buy a television.

The green mohawk in Fort Wayne, Indiana would be a smash hit. You're probably just too judgmental about appearances to realize it. (I mean, really, did you just ADVOCATE going to the Gap or Banana Republic? Brainwashed consumer.) The point is to make a girl notice to you, instead of the other way around. Once you get the conversation started, even if starts with "your hair looks awful," you've opened the girl.

3) Gal pals are the worst source of information on how to pick up women. THE WORST. Women delude themselves, and love to preach on as if those delusions were fact. :)

4) Women assume what they wear is what attracts us to them. (See above point about delusions) The truth is that women dress up for other women. I'm not saying a girl dressed like a total slut won't get a second glance, but the Liberty Girl is dressing up because other women are going to be there, and Heaven forbid they think she's a Flying Saucer Girl. You're a Liberty Girl yourself, in case you're wondering. :)

5) There is no such thing as "leagues" when ti comes to picking up women. The phrase "out of my league" is forbidden. Because to say that is to admit you're not God's Gift to women. And we all know that we are just that, so why would we need to delude ourselves into thinking that we might not be?

Their point is, exactly, that any guy can learn how to pick up a gorgeous 21 year old in a downtown bar.

:)

mysterygirl! said...

Stuck seems to be getting a little excited over there.

You knew I'd be back to comment on this show :). I enjoyed last night's episode. I think that it would have been nice of the PUAs to do a bit of image consulting with the guys before sending them out for their makeovers, though. The guys were all about imitating the PUAs (as you noted), probably because they had no idea what else to do, but the PUAs seemed to be more open, like when they recommended that some of them wear suits, and some of them wear fewer accessories.

And Scott 2.0 was still deeply dorky, but he seemed to feel more confident, so I was happy for him. And I cheered when the guys were successful, especially when Joe won over that "six set." haha!

kimmykins13 said...

Gawd, you described the way CN dresses to a tee in your *Southern Guy Uniform* definition (except the croakies and seersucker). I don't mind it so much. I would much rather see a guy wearing yuppie clothes then see him with shorts down to his knees with his boxers hanging out and nothing but a wife beater on for a shirt - hehe.

LowTide said...

WOW, you precisely described what I am wearing today. Have you been watching me???? I need to obtain a restraining order to keep you from looking through my bedroom windows. You missed on my shoes though. Overall, excellent description of the Southern Uniform. Horizontally-striped Polo and khakis. That is my uniform of choice. Yesterday, I wore a seersucker shirt just to mix it up a little. I was also in a fraternity back in college. You really beat me up in this post. I feel so ashamed and fashionably inadequate now. See if I ever stand up when you walk into a room. Take that VB!!! Just for this, I hope your next date shows up in Jorts and a tank-top.

Matilda Jane said...

In the Southern-Guy uniform... you forgot that stupid shaggy/messy/unkempt/bowly haircut (or lack of haircut) that they all have.

Virginia Belle said...

Stuck -- WTF is up with your cranky comments? did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today? a tad bit cynical, aren't we??? :)

1. ok, aside from the occasional alterna-artsy guy, EVERY other guy in this town dresses like i have described. you are going to have to provide me with examples in order to convince me otherwise. What do YOU wear, Mr. Non-Fratty??

2. Ok, fine. I'll give you one or two conversation pieces. I can see how that might work. But I don't think the judges were exaggerating their looks. i think they really dress like that. And the bar scenes were filmed with hidden cameras. I know a lot of things are staged in reality TV, Stuck. But i don't think they were staging this part of the show.

And yes, the green mohawk might open it with me. hell yeah, it's a conversation starter! but is he getting my number? i don't think so. and isn't that the end goal??? what does it matter if you can entertain a room full of people who aren't interested in dating you? i thought this stuff was to get dates, not attention.

3. FINE. then why are you reading this? ;) i am being very honest here! the vast majority of men who approach me in bars are either geeky, drunk, rednecks or lack confidence. and yes, i'm probably pretty rude to them. is that what you want me to say? i think that's pretty honest! LOL i think i need more explanation for this one....sounds like you're in an anti-women phase. rough weekend?? well guess what. i'm NOT hugging you. i wouldn't want to DELUDE you into thinking i care.

tee hee. this is fun. i like messing with you when you're pissy.

4. i know i'm a liberty girl, thankyouverymuch. and i just said that women tend to dress for other women. if i want to dress for a guy, i just wear a skimpy black dress. duh. i was just wondering if guys noticed ANYTHING trendy or if they were only concerned with how sexy something is. i am not familiar with the Flying Saucer look. the only girls i usually see there are the waitresses. so if you're saying i don't dress like a Catholic School Girl, then you're right. :p

5. well, you've pretty much just summed up why most guys try to pick up girls and fail miserably. :D

mystery girl -- i know! i think he must just be grumpy today. he's not being his usual teddybear self. again, we are in 100% agreement in our views of the episode. i just could not get over Scott's stupid blue hair or the fact that he slouches. both bugged me. i was SUPER proud of Joe. he totally shined. he just seemed fun and glad to be who/where he was. THAT is attractive. contrast him to purdeep (sp?) who comes off as too serious and negative. he needs to lighten up!

kimmykins -- i totally agree!! i'm not knocking it at all! i like that look! i'm just sick of it, because pretty much EVERY guy down here dresses like that. i've never lived anywhere like this. i'm sure you have a wider variety of people where you are, so you are not subjected to cookie-cutter male fashion like i am here in South Cackalackie. most guys look great, it's just......*yawn* and boxers hanging out? wife beaters? *shudders* not unless i want to date k-fed!!! *vomits*

lowtide -- you are taking this personally. stoppit. i LIKE the male Southern fashion. i just wish guys would take a break from it from time to time. it's getting old. i'm sure you look nice! and besides, you're married, so this doesn't really apply to you anyway. you're out of the running. besides, i know you'll still stand up anyway. your mom raised you right.

and you forget -- there won't be a "next" date for me. I'm Almost Girl. i will be 45 and still living alone. then I will be out of the running, too. and i will not give a shit what men wear. :P

Virginia Belle said...

MJ-- GOD i am so sick of that haircut. it looks good on NO ONE. if you are a guy and you have that shaggy haircut and you're reading this, GO CUT YOUR HAIR!!!!!

LowTide said...

Well, I don't have the shaggy haircut. I am at least safe from your wrath on that!!! And I am soon to be unmarried Lowtide, but I really don't want to go on some rant about women and marriage. Let's just say I am never getting involved with women again. NEVER. Just call me Never Again Guy.

Stuck said...

If I sound cranky, it's because women will vehemently deny that these tactics work, mock them openly, and then fall for them over and over. Mystery didn't get popular by failing at what he does. He actually helped contribute to the "Ass" part of "Nice Ass." (I'm more of a fan of Style, but Mystery taught Style, so it works out indirectly.)

I'm not cranky, though. You know I still want to have your babies.
And you already know what I wear. Jeans and a plain black tee shirt. Although last night I wore a black tee shirt that said "Maybe if this shirt is witty enough, someone will love me." I love that shirt.

LK said...

The Southern-Guy uniform is the same as it was in 1992 - a sad state of affairs. At least the bowl haircut has evolved into the bowl haircut with flippy things.

Virginia Belle said...

lowtide -- yes, you are safe. for now. :) sorry to hear the news, btw. i totally understand. i'm never getting involved with women either.

stuck-- you goofball. i'm NOT denying that they work!! quite the opposite, actually. i think i'd be putty in Mystery's hands. he's one of those guys who at first you'd be like, "ew." but then you'd find yourself sucking face with him in a bar corner. i think this method is genius, quite frankly. i can TOTALLY see how it would work. sheesh, your reading comprehension skills really leave something to be desired, stuck. ;) and if it's any consolation, i probably should have your babies. if only because you own that tshirt. brilliant.

LK-- OMG, i think i just figured out why i hate that haircut so much!!

RWA said...

Well, FINALLY something in my favor with all of these posts. I can honestly say I do NOT wear the "Southern Guy Uniform" - EVER.

coffeesnob said...

the green shoes are a step too far.

KingBob said...

I was over in Europe last year and guys definitely wear tighter pants and jeans. Since trends often begin there and work their way over here, you can expect to see tighter pants in the future. This means snug above the knee and a small flare/true boot cut below the knee. I would think that should make more women happy. KINGBOB

Matilda Jane said...

@ kingbob~
um.... I'm gonna have to say that I was in Europe five years ago... same deal, and the fashion still hasn't made its way over here. Then again, the guys in Spain also wore fur trimmed jackets and tight shirts....... I just thought they were all gay.

Phantom Hater said...

It's true about the Southern guy uniform. The reason they do it is because they have no real clue about fashion, but know what works, and that "uniform" is a safe bet. Also, 99% of the girls have no problem with it, so why would they change it? That being said, lose the fucking baseball cap, especially when you're somewhere nice.

My problem with dressing fashionably is that when it's done too well, people assume you're gay. At least that's what I get.

One thing I look for in a girl is one who can be part of a dynamic couple, the one that everyone checks out when they walk in somewhere together. I wouldn't want someone sloppily dressed all the time, and I don't know why a girl would want that in a guy. It's one thing to be comfortable sometimes in jeans and t-shirt, but when you need to get dressed up, do it with some class. I've dated a couple "just one of the guys" girls, but it gets old because they just don't understand the sex appeal of occasionally being a girly-girl.

~stuck - of course there is such a thing as "out of one's league". You just have to find the ones that should be out of your league, but have low self-esteem. :)

I need to start watching this show. I'm a little rusty on the pick-up game, but I need to jump back in it now that I'm single again. I wonder if Mystery will be my wing-man.

Virginia Belle said...

rwa-- thank goodness! i really am getting tired of it. at this point, anything would be better. please spread the word. you can single-handedly start a regional fashion trend for guys, right???

coffeesnob -- it was just an example. but yeah, green shoes would have to be worn with the right outfit...

kingbob -- music to my ears! WOO HOO!!!

MJ-- nooooooo!!! don't tell me that. can we call the Spanish embassy and tell them our country is in dire need of tighter pants?

PH-- WHO CALLED IT????? SAY IT!!!! ME!!!! ha ha!!!

what did you learn, PH? answer: it's called a breakup because it's BROKEN. remember that the next time you're tempted to try round....what is it? four?

ok, sorry. i am a sick person for typing that just now. i'm sorry you two broke up. again.

i KNEW i should have put some money on that......DANG!

please continue to dress up. the older i get, the more i like it and the less inclined i am to think "oh, he looks nice. he must be gay." and yes, the Southern Uniform is fine. *yawn* i'm just ready for some new looks....

what you said to stuck cracks me up. it's kinda true....it's sort of like looking for the hottie who doesn't know they are a hottie. always a good idea.

Phantom Hater said...

Yeah, yeah, you guys are such know-it-alls.

playtpus said...

hey, i'm glad you stumbled onto my blog. i haven't had a chance to read through all of your postings yet, as we have been insanely busy. As to your music question...I'm all over the place with what i like, but mostly avant garde/experimental stuff. i'll email you a site with my top 100 or so albums listed if you like.

KingBob said...

OMG, I typed a long entry and then deleted it before I could enter it. Guess I'll try again.

Your question: Do guys even notice if a girl is "fashionable"?

First of all, I do. But based on my friends, only a very small percentage sees anything beyond whether you're nice looking and whether you have a nice bod.

I am in the minority. Certainly I notice whether a girl is nice looking too, but where my friends seem to focus on that and that alone, I seem to zero-in on the clothes and style. Out at the club I hang out on Saturday nights, these girls still stand out in my mind a week later: the girl with the wide-leg blue jeans and platforms (stunning); the girl with the skinny jeans tucked into black flat slouchy boots (very hip look); the girl with the stud in one nostril (not new but still edgy); the girl with multi-colored chunky highlights (cool). Those are the things that draw my attention before the rest of the looks.

So please keep dressing up for me, VB. There's a few of us out there! KINGBOB

Kraig said...

I picked up Neil Strauss' book on Tuesday, and I'm almost done it. Its a pretty good read, and you'll never look at male/female interaction the same. Theres a few things that keep coming out.

For a lot of guys, becoming a pick up artist isn't learning how to be more confident to pick up woman. Its mimicking those that already can. In the end, you have a bunch of people that are all the same, same lines, same body language, same tricks.

Another is that after a while, none of these guys are happy. Mystery has/had repeated breakdowns and emotional stability problems. Style wasn't happy with the scene and the way it works, and neither found fulfillment by being a PUA. The top 2 PUA's weren't happy.

The lifestyle is addictive though. Constantly having new people validate you by going home with you can easily become a dependency.

I notice that the book alludes to, but never speaks about the type of woman you pick up. Being a PUA doesn't mean you can pick up any woman you want. They automatically separate those who will respond to it, and those who wont, then hit on the girls who would fall for the routine. Another thing to point out is that a lot of the girls they date are strippers/celebrities/Hollywood/LA type girls who aren't really known for their resistance.

I'm not saying the PUA this isn't real. It is, but guys like Style and Mystery came up with lines, approaches, routines. They figured it out and made it their own. A lot of other guys just copy them, which means there is going to be a group of clones running around trying to look, sound, and act exactly like those 2.

Virginia Belle said...

PH-- it's ok. i just like saying "told you so." do you need a hug now? i'll stop, i promise.

platypus -- yes, you should go ahead and do that. i am always interested in talking about music.

kingbob-- wow. that's very interesting to learn that. and i'm impressed with your knowledge of hip womens' fashions. i do think you're correct in saying that most guys just want to know if you're pretty and have a nice bod. good to know i am dressing up for a FEW guys.

kraig -- i, too, am reading it, and so far, it's interesting. i'm surprised to hear how the top two PUAs are not happy in the end. but i still think these may be useful skills for most guys to have, if only for confidence boosting purposes. i think they need to be used in moderation and for good purposes. i can totally see how this could end up being an addiction for some guys who need lots of validation. and while i admit that, yes, these tactics would probably work on me, i'm not saying i'd go for it 100% of the time, nor would i run home and sleep with any guy who did this. but would guys get my number? probably. as long as i'm single, in a good mood, not feeling fat that day, interested in him....(see my point? a few stars have to align in order for this to work.)

also, i don't see how it would be a no-fail way to get the girl you have a crush on to go out with you. like you said, not every girl will go for it, so unless she's like that, you're still at square one. this tactic seems to work better on non-crushes.

Dixie said...

Around here the southern boy uniform is camo pants paired with work boots. Sexy! (insert eye rolling)

I watched this last night. I can't believe I just admitted that. The tactics work. Well, they would on me. Well, as long as the guy wasn't dressed like "Mystery" they would.

If "Mystery" would tone that shit down some, he'd be hot!

Kraig said...

vb - I don't doubt the methods work. I've seen them work many times, and after reading it I noticed I've used a lot of their 'methods', but without it being conscious or analyzed. It was just me being me.

There is still a lot of good things to learn. How to be confident. Hold a conversation, tell if girls are interested in you (IOI's), how to tell when you should kiss the girl. Basically its how not to be the looser who is to scared to approach girls, and who has nothing to say to them.

I'll probably finish the book tonight. I don't remember hitting a point where Style came out and said "I wasn't happy", but he never seems to feel happy with a lot of the community and things that happened.

Matilda Jane said...

Oh NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Phantom Hater said...

~mj -
I don't think I've ever seen a group of bigger d-bags, especially the dude on the far left. I couldn't pull that kind of fashion. The layered polo look would be hot as hell here in Florida. I'll leave that goofy shit to the much more fashion-conscious New Yawkers. There is such a thing as a peacock with too many feathers.

FRIGGA said...

I think this show is failing miserably at teaching these "geeks" how to talk to women. But then, I'm just going based on your post.