Women, conversely, rarely bring up physical appearance as paramount in their ideal partner, at least not explicitly. It may be desirable for them, but certainly not very important. That being said, it is worthwhile to remark that female attractiveness does not only matter in the context of sexual selection, but it is also becoming increasingly important as a way to assert oneself in society at large. For instance, it has been established that both men and women consider good-looking people as smarter, friendly and competent, and are more likely to want to get to know them better than it is the case for less attractive people. Likewise, attractive people are automatically and unconsciously ascribed positive traits such as honesty, intelligence, kindness and talent. It might be politically correct to deny that attractiveness affects our decisions, but, whether we like it or not, there is evidence that the brain is programmed to respond to the physical appearance of others. This can also have positive sides since it is relatively easy to alter (that is, improve) some of the factors influencing our looks.
And this is precisely what millions of women are doing every day when they dress up, fix their hair, go on a diet, take aerobic or yoga classes, and so on. These rituals and habits reflect women’s motivation to do whatever is necessary to appear young, healthy, and fertile in order to attract men. As their reproductive value sharply declines over the years and given that they cannot falsify their age, they have evolved the mastery of all kinds of deceptive tactics and visual aids to manipulate their appearance. So if an older woman wants to stay in the mating game, she needs to keep herself looking attractive, in particular by re-creating the markers of a younger, childbearing miss. The possibilities to get there are manifold, and may involve the use of make-up (for example, mascara to make eyes look wider, lipstick to enlarge the lips, shades of red to imitate blood flow in the cheeks, face powder to even out the skin, etc.), hair care products (namely shampoos and conditioners to achieve lustrous hair, bleaching or dying to emulate higher oestrogen levels, etc.), plastic surgery (e.g., collagen injections to smooth and plump the skin, face lifting to eliminate lines and wrinkles, breast implants to enlarge their bosoms, liposuctions to recreate a curvaceous bust and hips, etc.), or clothing (for instance wearing dark colours or vertical stripes to appear thinner, padding to look more full-figured, high heels to fake tallness and leanness, etc.).,
The reason these strategies often turn out successful is that they work on the preferences engraved into male brains. It does not necessarily mean that ladies enjoy taking care of themselves in such ways, which, after all, costs a lot of time, money and effort and may inflict a fair deal of physical suffering. In fact, they do not really have any choice but to fight this battle against physical and aesthetic decline. Consciously or subconsciously, women understand what the opposite sex is looking for, and are aware that whoever fails to fulfil these qualities of youthfulness and healthfulness loses her competitive edge. Thus, when women claim that they do all these things “to feel better about themselves”, a lot of them actually mean that “they feel better about themselves because men are more attracted to them”, as they instinctively know that it increases the odds of getting what they want.
Related proverbs and citations:
ài jiāng shān gèng ài mĕi rén
Love nation, but love woman more.
Preferring beauty over power.
nyōbō to tatami wa atarashii hō ga yoi
Wives and tatami mats are better when new.
 Kramer / Dunaway (1990), p. 94
 Pease / Pease (2002), p. 197
 Pease / Pease (2009), pp. 92-93
 Townsend (1998), p. 117
 Buss (2003), pp. 110
 Pease / Pease (2009), pp. 95, 229