Can ugly men look good

How men become misogynists out of self-hatred

It's late on a Friday and there are hundreds of men on the Lookism.net forum. A new member logs in and posts two photos showing the lower half of his face. “What surgeries or implants are needed to correct this?” He asks. "As you can see, I have an underdeveloped jaw, a receding chin."
The answers come promptly: “It's not just your chin. Your upper lip too. Orthognathic surgery (a chain of clinics, A. d.Red.)if you can afford it. Only a chin implant can help. You should also look into orthodontic implants, ”someone replies. "Start saving."
This is what a typical exchange in this forum reads. New posts pop up here all night long with men asking other men for physical assessment and advice.
"Rate my face." "I already know that I am ugly." "I paid 7 grand for a nose job." "The snapshot of my profile shows how inhuman I am." “I don't even go out of the house anymore. I don't want anyone to see me. " "No Tinder matches in the first 24 hours - is it all over now?"

From penis stretching to wrist enlargement

At one point someone compares the skull sizes of Justin Bieber and Zayn Malik and carefully checks which pop star has a more masculine head. For example, one of the latest posts on “Lookism.net” is this: “Am I beautiful enough for a blonde? Rate me. ”
Unhappy with their looks, thousands of young men log on to anonymous forums like “Lookism.net” to take apart their looks and share detailed tips on look-maxing, which is what they call improving their appearance. Penis stretching, eyebrow botox, wrist augmentation, “neck training”, nostril reduction, and 3-D printed cranial implants are among the popular uses and “coping strategies” discussed in detail on these pages.
“Lookism.net” describes itself as a forum for incels or men who consider themselves “unintentionally celibate”. It is believed that users consider themselves flawed and believe that they are “born into a prison from which there is no escape”. Many of the members are young men who claim they cannot sexually attract women because of their appearance. But it's not just about sex. Looksmax forums are echo chambers for shame, hatred and entitlement.
The users are fixated on the flaws that they perceive in themselves. And angry at the women who, after their words, deny them the sex they believe they are entitled to.

The fear for manhood

Lookism, or discrimination based on appearance, really does exist. Research shows that people who are considered unattractive earn less money and have poorer job opportunities. According to one study, defendants who are found to be handsome are less likely to be found guilty by a jury.
However, experts say that men and women who are discriminated against in matters of love or sex react very differently. While women take on the negative image of themselves when they are rejected and thus blame themselves, men are more inclined to distribute.
“When rejected, men quickly feel attacked in their masculinity or feel that their place, which in their opinion they occupy in the social hierarchy, is threatened. When rejected, women are more likely to be emotionally hurt and quickly suspect that a personal deficit on their part justifies the rejection, ”says Suzanne Degges-White, director of the counseling center at Northern Illinois University.
“Women are expected to 'get over it', while men often feel the need to 'retaliate.'” This need for “revenge” is widely discussed in Incel groups, with some radical members being open talk about repaying women and their chosen sexual partners by violence.

The belief that a man can only get sex with violence and money

These men often describe themselves as the "losers of the genetic lottery". Not all members seem to hate women, but the fanatical misogynists who have been flooding the Incel and Looksmax networks and spraying their poison there over the last few years have now driven out the less extreme men. A member of an incel forum thinks that non-incels deserve to be attacked with acid.
For radical incels, there are unbelievably many injustices when it comes to dating and sex that rob them of their masculinity. They believe that any woman - regardless of appearance - can find a sex partner, while an ugly man can only have sex with violence or money. They also believe that women are only interested in good-looking men. With this distorted image of women they feed their violent hostility. Incels.me, one of the more extreme incel forums, has had over a million posts in less than a year. The men here regularly write that violence against women is justified because women deny unattractive men their “right” to sex.

If I can't have you girls, I'll destroy you.

“Women and society have pushed us into loneliness and depression. With their fixation on externals, they arouse anger and lust for murder in many of us who do not meet their standards. These are not the result of mental illness, but a normal reaction to prejudicial behavior, ”wrote one member in April.
"What should motivate incels (ugly men) to stick to your social rules when everything we do, good or bad, is never rewarded anyway?" He asked. "Why not just kill this fraternity with all the girls who teased you?"
Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old self-proclaimed incel who killed himself and six other people in 2014, is revered as inspirational on incel forums. The day before his rampage in Isla Vista, California, he uploaded a video titled "Retribution" on YouTube. In the video he shares his plan in detail. "If I can't have you girls I'll destroy you", he says in the video. "Then you will finally realize that I am in truth the superior one, the true alpha male."

Terror announcements are quite normal

Posts by men saying they'd like to "do the ER" - a nod to Rodger's attack - are commonplace on the Incel and Looksmax forums. His murders were followed by similar attacks, including one in April this year in which a man rammed a delivery truck into a pedestrian crowd in Toronto, killing eight women and two men.
Alek Minassian, the 25-year-old suspect, wrote a post on Facebook shortly before the massacre, in which he announced that the “incel rebellion had already started” and swore that he would “kill all the Chads and Stacys” - one Incel allusion to handsome men and women. When an armed man kills a woman and a ten year old girl in Toronto last Sunday, the excitement is high on the incel forums. It is speculated that it could be the work of an incel comrade. The police are still looking for a possible motive for the crime.
Anders Breivik, a right-wing extremist Norwegian terrorist who killed 77 people in 2011 at the age of 32, also displays violent misogyny and shows a clear fixation on his looks. Before the attack, he is said to have undergone cosmetic surgery on his forehead, nose and chin.

Connection between beauty mania and mass murderers?

Other recent misogynist mass murderers hailed as “Heroes” in the incel communities include George Sodini, who killed three people and himself in an aerobics class for women in Pennsylvania in 2009, Seung-Hui Cho, the 2007 Virginia kills 32 people after reportedly stalking two women, and Marc Lépine, who separated students at an engineering school in Montreal in 1989, then opened fire and killed 14 women.
In comparison, not a single woman has committed a murderous rampage motivated by rejection. Reporter Lux Alptraum wrote on the Splinter website at the beginning of the year that women who consider themselves too unattractive for men did not organize murderous rampages. In the eyes of many Incels, women hold the key to sex and they are all naturally superficial.
For the man known online as Kyle Incel, every day seems like a struggle. Completely normal-looking, 23-year-old Kyle has uploaded dozens of videos over the past two years to his now-deleted YouTube channel. In these he talks about his loneliness and his paralyzing insecurity.
“I lose the only hair that really matters in a man, and it disappears very, very quickly. I don't have the right face shape for a bald man, ”says Kyle in an emotional video in a shaky voice.
He's been on Looksmax forums, he says, in the hope of finding a community of people who are like him and who “face prejudice because of their appearance”. However, he does not find friends in these groups. Instead, he now obsessively deals with the Looksmax criteria there. “I couldn't think of anything else,” he says. "I'll never get that out of my head." Though he's conventionally considered handsome, as many commentators note under his videos, Kyle repeatedly threatens to commit suicide if his barely noticeable hair loss continues. He declined an interview for this article.

When the chin has to be masculine

A member of Lookism.net recently published a long post on Reddit describing how toxic the forum has been on his life. “I can't even describe how empty and dead I feel inside,” he writes after eight hours on the website. "I managed to destroy the last bit of self-confidence that I still had."
The advice given by the men on “Lookism.net” for self-improvement is very specific. “Ideally, a man's chin should be broad and angular. A round chin is acceptable, if not particularly photogenic. A pointy chin is extremely feminine. And even if it may not necessarily mean the sexual death penalty or is suspicious, it would have to be balanced with other masculine traits ”, a recent post reads there.

"List of OPs I have planned for my ascent"

Among other things, he wants to perform a “chin or jaw implant or genioplasty”. ("Sometime in the next few months, my chin has too little down, I really hope that a Genio can correct that.")
- One "Chin / jaw filler" ("I'm going to get advice from a surgeon, let's see what he advises me, my chin has too little at the bottom.")
- One Nose surgery ("I have a bulbous nose, I doubt that this can be corrected with a rhinoplasty. Not sure yet, I need to do more research.")
- “Lefort” or something like that ("I have a poorly defined upper jaw, the lower half of my face overshadows the upper half. I think that's called a recessed upper jaw".)
- One Upper / lower lip and mouth surgery ("My mouth area sucks, in about two years or even sooner I'll probably have that done.")
- Cheekbones surgery ("I'll do that too, probably at the end.")
A post from a member on “Lookism.net” is entitled “List of OPs I have planned for my advancement”.
In general, American men seem to be becoming more and more obsessive about their appearance. Statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show a steep increase in cosmetic surgery on men over the past decade. According to an unofficial survey of members of the community on Incels.me, in which 292 men took part, over half have thought about going under the knife.

There are four patients for one patient

Douglas Steinbrech, who was named the “men's surgeon” by “Forbes” magazine, says that he has now seen ten times more male patients than four years ago. There are now even four patients for one patient.
His most popular products include his “model package for men”, which includes jaw augmentation, building up the chest and gluteal muscles, liposuction and building up arm and shoulder muscles. The measures are priced between 5,000 and 25,000 euros.
According to Steinbrech, social media has triggered a complete seismic change in our culture. In a world in which “everyone just swipes left or right”, he adds, the perception of masculinity and masculine perfection has changed a lot.
The men in the Incel and Looksmax forums feel discriminated against and see themselves as victims of a female lookism, which leads to them feeling permanently stressed by their reflection in the mirror. They say they despise women for their superficiality, but they constantly make fun of women and their weight and talk obsessively about dating and sex with beautiful women.

Never contradict me. Tells me I'm right (which is true)

Incel member describes his dream woman
The man who claims that women with their "fixation on appearances have caused anger and lust for murder in many of us who don't meet their standards" has compiled a checklist of the physical characteristics of his ideal girlfriend:
“Relatively full lips, large breasts, fat ass… not white, but light skin. Dark hair is fine, but it should turn it lighter in color. Pretty face because that's more important than anything. " Like so many others on this page, his account shows a photo of Rodger.
Other descriptions of dream women on Incels.me are as follows:
"Calm. Never contradict me. Listen to me when I vent and tell me I'm right (which is true). (...) Cooks. Clean up behind me. Not white, but fair skin. Dark hair is fine, but it should turn it lighter in color. Pretty face because that's more important than anything. "
“Only dresses properly outside. Treats men I don't like contemptuously, and also stays away from my friends so as not to be suspected of hypergamy, because she knows that I will beat her if I have the slightest suspicion that she is is a cheating whore. Also an occasional threesome with other women and she lets me cheat without saying anything because she knows that I need sex. "

Looking for a target other than yourself

“Incels have to find a target other than themselves. That means they don't want to take responsibility for their actions, ”said Sam Louie, a Washington psychotherapist who has worked with incel patients. "In these circles there is a fatalistic attitude that confirms itself again and again."
Louie says: “The more often you are rejected, the more convinced you are that you are not wanted ... But at the same time you think you have a certain right. You are entitled to sex. You have a right to be liked by women. And the sense of reality is very limited. "
Instead of camaraderie and support, many Incels seem to have found an isolating obsession in the Looksmax forums.
"Honestly, buddy, I haven't left the house for four years," writes a member of Lookism.net - one of nearly 7,000 messages he has posted since joining the forum in 2015. The man with the username Defeat says he is sticking to a “Looksmax plan” in order to get real revenge on a woman he was blown off years ago.
"I can't wait to upload my new selfies on Facebook and rub it under her nose ... I'm almost ready, very close to it, just need one last treatment," he writes. “She will beg for me. I can't wait to blow her off the way she did me. "
This text originally appeared at theHuffPost USand was translated from English by James Martin.