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.
3. tighter pants
4. entirely too many accessories
5. black painted nails
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.