So it's true: the beauty gap between the sexes IS widening

Published: July 28, 2009 at 5:03pm

Maltese men are lagging behind in the beauty stakes

Maltese men are lagging behind in the beauty stakes

Last Saturday, I found myself sitting down to lunch in north-eastern Italy with a group of people I had only just met. The conversation moved politely from the weather to Malta, until one of the men there couldn’t resist blurting out something that had been preying on his mind, clearly, since the talk began.

“I’ve been to Malta, and I was really struck by how the men are exceptionally ugly and the women are exceptionally good-looking. Maltese men and Maltese women look like they’re descended from two different races.”

Another man at the table said that he, too, had been to Malta and that he had noticed three things: that it is beginning to look like Miami, that the men are stronzi and that the women are very attractive.

What did I think, they wanted to know?

I said that they were right, and that this is something Maltese women notice and comment on in annoyance. We can’t understand why, given that we have the same genetic inheritance, Maltese men are so very unattractive and Maltese women among the most attractive in Europe.

Maltese men, I said, don’t notice, because like all Mediterranean men even the most stronzo thinks that he’s fabulous and that all the girls are after him.

Well, that raised a laugh. But it’s true.

I have to think really hard to come up with the names of 10 handsome and personable Maltese men. On the other hand, I run out of fingers and toes in no time at all when counting the gorgeous Maltese women of my acquaintance and those I know about only through the media.

I’ve noticed something else, too, as I run through this list. Maltese women tend to have really nice eyes – large, luminous and often sloe-shaped – so that even the slightest hint of eye make-up seems over-the-top because it results in that Cleopatra look. Our eyes are almost certainly one of the reasons why we’ve got ourselves this reputation for better-than-average looks. It is practically impossible for women with small eyes to be thought attractive.

Maltese men, on the other hand, usually have unremarkable eyes that are on the smallish side, and it doesn’t just look that way because they’re not wearing make-up. It really is that way. Think about some of the people you know.

In Italy, on the other hand, it always seems to me to be the other way round: the women are impossibly plain, usually with smaller-than-average eyes, while the men are far, far more personable and stylish than their women. An unfair proportion of Italian men seem to be drop-dead gorgeous, though this is rather ruined by their atavistic attitude towards women (all that charm is really just a way of patronising women and keeping them in their place).

But hey, look at this.

The Sunday Times (London)July 26, 2009
Women are getting more beautiful
Jonathan Leake, Science Editor

For the female half of the population, it may bring a satisfied smile. Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors.

The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern.

Over generations, the scientists argue, this has led to women becoming steadily more aesthetically pleasing, a “beauty race” that is still on. The findings have emerged from a series of studies of physical attractiveness and its links to reproductive success in humans.

In a study released last week, Markus Jokela, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, found beautiful women had up to 16% more children than their plainer counterparts. He used data gathered in America, in which 1,244 women and 997 men were followed through four decades of life. Their attractiveness was assessed from photographs taken during the study, which also collected data on the number of children they had.

This builds on previous work by Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, who found that good-looking parents were far more likely to conceive daughters. He suggested this was an evolutionary strategy subtly programmed into human DNA.

He cited two findings from the Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a US government-backed study that is monitoring more than 15,000 Americans. The measurements include objective assessments of physical attractiveness.

One finding was that women were generally regarded by both sexes as more aesthetically appealing than men. The other was that the most attractive parents were 26% less likely to have sons.

Kanazawa said: “Physical attractiveness is a highly heritable trait, which disproportionately increases the reproductive success of daughters much more than that of sons.

“If more attractive parents have more daughters and if physical attractiveness is heritable, it logically follows that women over many generations gradually become more physically attractive on average than men.”

In men, by contrast, good looks appear to count for little, with handsome men being no more successful than others in terms of numbers of children. This means there has been little pressure for men’s appearance to evolve.

The findings coincide with the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution first described the forces that shape all species.

Even he, however, might have been surprised by the subtlety of the effects now being detected by researchers looking into human mating.

The heritability of attractiveness is widely accepted. When Elizabeth Jagger became a model, her mother, the former model Jerry Hall, said: “It’s in her genes.”

Women may take consolation in the finding that men are subject to other types of evolutionary pressure.

Gayle Brewer, a psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “Men and women seek different things in their partners.

“For women, looks are much less important in a man than his ability to look after her when she is pregnant and nursing, periods when women are vulnerable to predators. Historically this has meant rich men tend to have more wives and many children. So the pressure is on men to be successful.”

136 Comments Comment

  1. Luca Bianchi says:

    Grazie mille per il complimento, Daph, hehe.

    Luca Bianchi.

    • Luca Bianchi says:

      And well, yeah, I agree. The majority of Maltese girls are rather drop-dead gorgeous – sometimes much prettier than their Italian counterparts. (I can actually make that comparison quite well).

  2. John Petrucci says:

    You’re having a laugh right?? Did you think an Italian guy was going to tell you that Maltese women are ugly?? It’s pretty ironical knowing your stance on all things Italian that you’re basing your argument/theory on what an Italian man told you (They don’t exactly have a reputation of being truthful in their conversations with women, the word bullshitters comes to mind).
    With all respect to all the women I know in Malta, if there ever was a method of measuring feminine beauty, Malta wouldn’t be winning any medals.

    We have here the cream of the crop

    Beauties from Slovakia (random example)

    Compare and come to your own conclusions

    [Daphne – They weren’t bullshitting. It was a genuine observation and the first man to make it actually excused himself for his ‘rudeness’ before saying it. After all, if you tell a woman that the men of her country are ‘stronzi’ it can easily be construed as offensive and insulting. Also, I knew he wasn’t lying because my girlfriends and I have been making the same observation consistently since we were around 16. The older we get, the more unattractive Maltese men seem to be while on the whole women hold on to their looks, give or take the bit of extra weight here and there. Miss Malta? Come on. The really beautiful Maltese girls don’t even begin to bother with that competition because it’s considered a ‘hamallagni’ nowadays. But suffice it to say that THREE of my schoolmates were Miss Malta way back when: Christina Apap Bologna, Graziella Attard Previ and Odette Balzan; all of them were and still are real crackers. To check out the good looks of a country’s women (or men), you have to walk around that country’s streets, not look at the contestants in formal beauty heats. Maltese girls are REALLY stunning, especially in that 18 to 28 age bracket when they all seem to look like Penelope Cruz or a junior version of Sophia Loren.]

    • Luca Bianchi says:

      With all due respect, Mr. Petrucci, but generalising tends to be counterproductive. As a matter of fact, not all Italian guys are “bullshitters” as you seem to think. That’s stereotyping. You certainly cannot deny the fact that not only Italian men tend to be rather nicer to women – many Maltese do so as well, (perhaps with some less charm, yet they still do.)

      • Jon says:

        Was your stating that the majority of Maltese women are rather drop-dead gorgeous based on fact then? Or was it a generalisation too?

      • Luca Bianchi says:

        It indeed was ;) (Mind you, I said Maltese girls, and not women. Since I get to be more with girls [18-25] than women.) But yeah, lots of women in Malta tend to be rather pretty. Naturally, it all depends on how much the lady cares about her image, attire and all that.

  3. Andrew Borg-Cardona says:

    huff and sulk…..

  4. john xuereb says:

    How insulting for us men………..when was it that we had our own Miss World or Miss Universe?

    [Daphne – You do. ]

  5. noel buttigieg-scicluna says:

    Daphne! I take it you are on holiday? When you have time let us walk down Republic Street and compare and contrast and check the truthfulness of your observation! ha ha….. Average Maltese women and men are passabbli with some pleasant exceptions here and there!

    [Daphne – No, I’m glued to my desk producing pages for Taste. Ma’ tantx narhom passabbli l-irgiel Maltin, forsi minhabba il-null points ghall-grooming u null points ghall-dress sense. U imbaghad hemm il-null points ghall-conversational skills.]

  6. David Buttigieg says:

    Well, I think a major factor is that Maltese men just couldn’t give a toss about their appearance and assume that women will like them anyway; basically we don’t groom ourselves with any pride if at all and when we do we just don’t have a clue as to what’s what.

  7. matt says:

    Maybe true, but at least we’re way better looking then British guys.

    [Daphne – You’re better looking than British women, too. Doesn’t say much. And don’t get me started on those Germans or Canadians. Great height, shame about the rest of it.]

    • matt says:


      I have to admit that the average Italian guy is better looking than the average Maltese man. But they just can’t stop complaining at life with their annoying nasal sounds!

    • Andrea says:

      Ouch! Thanks to my Mediterranean genes I am well off. I hope.

    • Marc Antony says:

      I’ve been to Malta. I wouldn’t bet too much on that. And Daphne, that sounds like that man was chatting you up. It’s certainly something I’ll use in the future!

  8. Matthew says:

    Nil or null?

    [Daphne – Boqq. I can never understand those Eurovision accents.]

  9. tanya sciberras camilleri says:

    So, so true. The faces are bad enough, but the physique? Let’s not go there. Just come to the pjazza at Zebbug to see some ezemplari.

    And what about wearing undies under their swimming trunks with the words “Uomo” on the waistband showing? And horrible sandals with dirty toenails? So uncool

    • Mandy Mallia says:

      At least they’ve long gone past the stage of wearing cut-off denim jeans as long “shorts” (with their non-“Uomo” underpants jutting out) and parading on beaches with ghetto-blasters on their shoulders.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Then go ahead and put your money where your mouth is, if you really mean what you’re saying. No, this is not a pun.

  10. John Schembri says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is like discussing colours and taste. I think that the young generation is taller and more ‘good looking’ just watch them in front of the exam halls. Needless to say that this is just an subjective opinion.

  11. Leonard says:

    Well, my Al-Qaeda looks have stood me well on more than one occasion.

  12. Ian says:

    Interesting…let’s now apply the same rationale to gay men and lesbians.

  13. john xuereb says:

    Just to add something about Italian men: their sense of dress is just amazing…….even if they dress up in a xkora tal-patata, they look cool.

    • Rebecca Falzon says:

      So not true! Their trousers are usually tighter than a woman’s, and some of them have a problem with clashing colours. However, they are usually more groomed than Maltese men… It all depends on what you’re into!

  14. Meerkat:) says:

    Daphne, this post reminded me of an article you once wrote about this subject where you described our men’s penchant for wearing polyster ties, pullovers…I think it was the article that made me hooked on your writing. Please, please reproduce it here!

    [Daphne – I have no way of finding it.]

  15. Meerkat:) says:

    On another note, post this link on your website…you never know Astrid might apply…

    Calling all witches…Cave needs a new hag

  16. Anna says:

    I think the young generation of men are now very good looking, well-groomed and very tall too. In fact I can’t help exclaiming over and over again ‘O Mulej, kemm gibtni kmieni’. The short, plain and scruffy ones are mostly well over 30 years old. And then over 40 years old – let’s not go there shall we?

  17. david s says:

    Daphne- perhaps you hang around the “pepe” crowd: the guys and gals just lose it after marriage and kids, especially body weight. Perhaps you should have a look around some guys from the south. passabli in dress sense, but they outdo the gals when groomed.

  18. Fanny says:;jsessionid=8F47097BFB0BE983041BC3B8A687092F

    Daphné, it’s not only Maltese men who let themselves go a little. Just take a look at this heffalump! OK, he was never in the George Clooney/Brad Pitt dept, but even so…

    So Maltese girls are getting prettier all the time, you say, but what about the grey matter? Is that getting better too?
    You criticised quite severely ladies of my age (slightly over 60) and education (Sacred Heart Convent) so I’m beginning to feel quite low.. but I promise I was never a ‘teeny bitch’. I fled the rock when I was 20, which might explain the fact that I am ‘légérement différente.’

    [Daphne – Grey matter zero, hanini. Most time I go out to ‘socialise’ I end up wanting to top myself.]

  19. Giga says:

    Though you’re horribly right about it all, as with everything else, there are exceptions.

    Then again, maybe I’m biased because the men in our family (including the younger generation) do not fall within the same category as those you mention, though their above-average height (by Maltese standards) may be something to do with it; their non-typical-Mediterranean complexion maybe be another factor.

    As for men being descended from apes … the average Maltese man gives you a pretty good idea about that!

  20. God' Gift to W says:

    U le, Def, hi – Ghandek zball. Dawn mhux helwin, ghid?

    L-aqwa dak tax-xellug. (u l-qmis li ghandu – Ma, xi kruha!)

    [Daphne – Qatta stronzi.]

  21. tony pace says:

    Insomma Def, no-one can accuse you of Astrid bashing anymore. We, meaning Maltese men, have come into your line of sight u madoffi I just looked into the mirror, and I can tell you, it was not a pleasant sight. Boy did I come down with a bang. X’se naghmel, nobody loves me anymore…………

    • Andrea says:

      As long as you don’t badly need a bikini top like Jack Nicholson, you should be fine.

      • Giga says:

        Maybe he could sell them off as “chicken fillets” to some woman. They seem to be very popular these days …

  22. Albert Farrugia says:

    I don’t like to be sexist. But go to any average place of work, except of course those where the girls are not selected simply for their beauty, and you’ll see how most of the women are what we Maltese men call, “torti”: either too short, or unproportionate, or too big breasts in too short a body, or too fat a face….hallina ghidlu t-Taljan. I am sorry about this level of writing, but provocation has its limits.

    [Daphne – And the men are….what? Tall, glamorous and with handsome faces? ‘Torti’, what a nerve.]

  23. Mark Ellul says:

    Wara dal-paroli kollu, x’kien ma gabarkhomx xi wiehed Taljan flok spicca tqanna bikhom “stronz” Malti :-)

  24. lamp says:

    I am flattered. If we are ugly and manage to attract the gorgeous Maltese girls…what would we do if we were stunning. Just confirms the capabilities of the Maltese male species :)

  25. J.L.B.Matekoni says:

    Still on the subject but a bit off tangent. I have always been amazed at how ugly women in mainland Portugal are. Been there twice and this fact always struck me. If you see a fairly decent woman over there she is invariably mixed race or black. The whites are a total loss. The men are not much better looking either. Must be something in their genetics. Any thoughts?

  26. Mario De Bono says:

    I’m no Adonis. Far from it. Typical Malta male by the looks of what people have been posting here. My son will be taller than me, because my wife comes from a tall family (her dad is one inch shy of 7 feet). She is taller than I am. So I’ve done my bit for the improvement of the Maltese male. Just to say a word about us being the butt of Daphne’s article here, I have to say that in general we are more enterprising and use our grey matter much better than most Eyeties……

    I’d have to say, however, that the “new” Maltese man is much more aware of his dress sense than before. The fact that men’s cosmetics sales have literally exploded recently attests to this (qed tisma, David S?).

    If there is one thing that ruins men nowadays, it’s those horrible meaningless polymorphic tattoos with designs that even a Buddhist temple-carver would find difficult to fathom. Oh, and those strange objects hanging from their earlobes. Then again, most gays are dressed impeccably. Maybe it’s something we heterosexuals should emulate.

  27. may says:


    Don’t generalize; my brother is 48 and he looks like a demi-god; tall, lean, great eyes, chiselled jaw, you get the picture.

  28. Malcolm says:


    In ‘Porn the Musical’ you’ll see at least one outstanding example of the Maltese male – and he is also a member of the 40+ generation (although there’s no way you’d know by looking at him).

    Admittedly the rest of the guys – myself included – are relatively ho-hum, but we do make up for it with zeal and enthusiasm.

    ‘Porn the Musical’ was written in Malta, and it is showing every evening at 9pm at Argotti Gardens until Sunday 2nd August before the cast buggers off for a month of shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

    • B says:

      Where can I get two tickets, please?

      • Malcolm says:

        From but you’re almost certain to find at the door as well. Here’s a sneak preview:

        If Daphne can be somehow lured to a local play, it would be our pleasure to leave her a set of tickets at the door if she lets us know when she’d like to come. It’s the least I can do after the constant titillation that this blog provides.

        [Daphne – I’ll email you.]

  29. Francis V says:

    Is this what ugly men resort to when they cannot handle themselves when faced with so much beauty?

    • Pat says:

      It’s not exactly news that sex starved men have a bitter need to exhault their dominance over the opposite sex, as well as over children.


  30. NGT says:

    Take it all back ma’am…

    found him on the Yellow Pages while I was looking for a tiler.

  31. Jack says:

    Well that’s great news innit? I’m glad it’s not the other way round.

    Since generalisations seem to be the norm of the day, I am sure that Maltese men will also agree, that apart from being very attractive, Maltese women are becoming increasingly promiscuous, despite the insular, Catholic mentality.

    Don’t we all love MTV?

    Back to generalisations, as to Italian character traits… seeing Berlusconi in power pretty much sums that up – I rest my case.

  32. Keith Micallef says:

    The only observation I make when I compare the Maltese people with the rest of the world is that we are easily recognizable by our ever increasing obese population.

  33. Loredana Gatt says:

    hahahha … See that’s why I moved to Italy and live with two ITALIAN men … (husband and son).

    [Daphne – Loredana! So that’s where you are, ja wicc tost. How nice to hear from you. Daqs kemm kien hemm ecitament is-sixth form. Tiftakar?]

    • Loredana says:

      Hi Daph,

      Yep, that’s where I am…. in Fano on the Adriatic coast (near Rimini)…. have been here for the last eight years. I hope none of the “Renu” Adonises from 1980 read your blog……. they felt so handsome in their Red Devil jackets and Speedo bags.

  34. Twanny says:

    I suppose any topic will do as long as it diverts attention from the Baħrija/Piano open sores…..


    [Daphne – Quoting Noel Gallagher on rock bands who insist on hectoring us about poverty: “OK, now can we just have a nice evening?’ People are more interested in these sorts of things than they are in Bahrija – sad for the earnest socialists among us, but true.]

  35. Steve says:

    The grass is always greener on the other side. A lot of Maltese men think Swedish women are demi-gods whilst I have heard from quite a few Swedish men that they are so jealous of us Maltese men because they just love Maltese women. I’ve also heard German girls say they just love Maltese men etc etc

    I personally never found Maltese girls attractive. Ok, that’s generalising. There are pretty Maltese girls, but they usually know it too, and that tends to make them assholes.

    You always want what you can’t get. Oh, and those Italian men were trying to chat you up Daphne. They are so slick!

    [Daphne – Listen, by now I think I can tell the chat-up lines from the non-chat-up lines. It’s not like I just crawled out of the bushes yesterday.]

  36. Or else, that women are becoming more demanding :)

  37. To Pierre Farrugia says:

    Pierre, your comment was deleted in error. Would you post it again, please? Thanks.

    • Pierre Farrugia says:

      That is a really sad story in “The Times”. Some people (in this case a man) simply have no self respect and dignity and have no idea of the effects that their actions can have on those around them, particularly the young ones.

      As to the choice of a man or woman as a reliable life partner,both men and women nowadays are equally independent. I do not believe that a man should be solely responsible for putting food on the table.

      The point that I was trying to put through in my earlier post is that one cannot deny the fact that some woman chose their man on the basis of his income because they think that money can make them happy (well it does help of course), you know the usual stuff, nice cars, boats, sexy apartments, thriving businesses. These are the type of women who I would call gold diggers, never happy until they make sure that their man spends every penny (mind you, I do know of men who are gold diggers as well). I do believe that these type of men and women do not have a very high self esteem, but they are usually handsome or beautiful.

      Some peole posted on the net photos of a night out at a local club, loads of pictures, over 200 I think. Most of the women in the pictures look lovely (of course they are all made up), but it is indeed hard to count more than 5 to 6 aesthatically appealing boys in the pics. The use of the term boys as opposed to men is intentional.

      The Maltese genetic pool is getting all messed up it seems.

      [Daphne – Pierre, the comment on which you are basing this has been swallowed up somehow. There was a blip in the connection when I was uploading it. I can’t work out how you are reading it because it doesn’t appear to be online at this end. Please would you copy it and post it again so that I can fix the situation? Thanks.]

      • Pierre Farrugia says:

        J**sus Daphne, this article made my day.

        It is very true. Indeed most Maltese woman are beautiful, and unlike most men, they do take good care of themselves.

        Nevertheless, just a quick look around and it is very common to see beautiful women acoompanied by men who are not so aethatically appealing – men trying to deal with the onset of baldness, over weight and so on. Do these women chose their man on the basis of his looks, character or the money in his pockets.

        [Daphne – Women tend to have their priorities right. You will never, for example, find an otherwise decent and nice woman making sexual gestures to her boyfriend in a car while her child sits on the back seat. ]

  38. Anna F says:

    I have been greatly blessed with an intelligent handsome Maltese husband.

  39. Kurt Mifsud Bonnici says:

    Hello Daphne

    I usually follow your blog with great interest due to the fact that you generally base your arguments and opinions on fact and not on gossip or whatever the buzz is at the time.

    However, I must admit that I found this article a little insulting. What’s worse is that I found it surprising that you took such a sexist view on it and accepted what an Italian told you as fact.

    Everybody has the Mediaset channels at home. When I look at the news and see normal people being interviewed I find nothing remarkable enough in Italian men (in general) to say that they are superior to Maltese men. The finest examples of the unremarkable Italian man can easily be seen on footage of football fans taken during a match.

    I am no film star but I’ve received some compliments that give me the idea that I’m not exactly ugly either. I’d like to think that I have good dress sense and I’ve got green eyes. I’m also Maltese.
    When I had the opportunity to do some modeling work (no competitions), I saw enough gorgeous Maltese women to agree with your statement about them. However, there also appeared to be no shortage of male models either.

    At the end of the day, I can’t even see what the point of the article was. Other than the fact that you appear to enjoy passing degrading comments and opinions about Maltese men, there was little to draw from it at all.

    It does your ability as a journalist (which I respect) little credit if none at all.

    [Daphne – There you go. You just can’t win, can you? When you do find one who (thinks he) is good-looking, he turns out to be humourless.]

    • Kurt Mifsud Bonnici says:


      As I said .. I make no illusion that I am God’s gift to women or anything of the sort. “Acceptable looks” is a term that would best describe it.

      As regards to me being humourless .. I don’t think that is a fair opinion. I commented on your article only because I thought it wasn’t at all correct or fair. Did I have to put a smile on your face to make a good point?

      Personally, I don’t find much humour when I read an article saying that Maltese men (which includes me) are grossly unattractive and “stronzi”. I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t appreciate an article written by anyone which made fun of Maltese women either.

      • Pierre Farrugia says:

        Come on dude, Daphne is right.

        I chose not to have mirrors at my place. What is the point of looking at an ugly reflection!

  40. another Kev says:

    If this is an evolutionary trend, then breeding selection for men must depend on what is perceived as beauty, but I wonder what are the constituent factors that influence the selection by women …perhaps economic stability, prosperity, in which appearance and good looks take on a secondary role?

    [Daphne – Yes, definitely. A good-looking man without a brain is useless to women, but lots of men actively seek out good-looking women without a brain because they think they’re less trouble – and then they despair because their offspring (surprise!) are born with a low IQ like their mother.]

  41. Sarah says:

    Love the article. That’s exactly what my friends and i have been saying for years! My male cousins who have lived abroad all their lives could never understand how, year in year out, they would see beautiful women running after (let’s be nice and say) “uninspiring” Maltese men who would not even consider them…that’s Maltese society for you…

  42. Drew says:

    If Maltese women were so attractive, we young men wouldn’t, year after year, look forward to the gorgeous foreign students that visit us in summer. Tall, slender, and effortlessly exuding sexuality, as opposed to short, fat, and exuding hamallagni.

    Paceville jiehu r-ruh. Just last week I went to Paceville for the first time in quite a while and I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful all the women were. It didn’t take me too long to realise that 95% of them were foreigners.

    Maltese women unfortunately tend to believe that being fat and being curvy is the same thing, and they shamelessly expose their 32-inch midriffs, tree-trunk thighs, and cottage-cheese fat bottom, to the detriment of everybody in their vicinity.

    That is not to say that Maltese men are any fitter/more attractive. Overall, I would say Maltese men and women are in the same league, as in any other country.

  43. Harry Purdie says:

    Hey Daphne! Super amusing, stir the pot, thread. So true. However, just got back from Thailand-talk about an attractiveness descrepancy-gorgeous women, very, very ugly men. Still consider Maltese women as the cream of the crop. However, did not appreciate the Tall Canadian shot! Curled up in a foetal position, wimpering, at the moment.

    [Daphne – I didn’t mean you!]

  44. Ray de Bono says:

    Maybe you are right, as I only look at the ladies, coming to think of it…but as we say in Maltese – ghajnejja f’wicci qedin

    BUT…I always believe I am, erm…not a caveman looking, ‘stronzo’, cara…

    : P

    Best Wishes,

  45. Nick says:

    Obviously I am an exception to your theory however I notice the same phenomenom whenever I travel to Lebanon. Gorgeous large-eyed women and a bunch of overweight (but very cheerful at least) men.

  46. Ray de Bono says:

    place ‘www’ before URL, thanks

    I’m a fan of yrs…

    : )

  47. another Kev says:

    I guess subconsciously, women, being offspring bearers, need to be assured that their needs will be attended to by their partners. In this scenario, looks become secondary. In ignoring IQ, men avoid being challenged on an intellectual level, having a good-looking partner is a price in itself for his peers to admire. Following this reasoning however, my guess would be that despite this, the qualities of the offspring depends largely on the female, since it is she who ultimately accepts to have a relationship with the male and eventually to accept the burden and sacrifices of bearing children. Another interesting issue would be the criteria used by women for their affairs.

  48. jomar says:

    Come on Daphne. Are we men supposed to look like women to be rated as ‘gorgeous’? Could it be that you and your Italian friends had been sharing a Chianti magnum and were working on the last few drops when such comments were exchanged?

    [Daphne – No. We hadn’t started eating yet.]

  49. Martin C Galea says:

    Hi there. I realise I haven’t commented in a long time, but I usually stick to the maxim that “when there is nothing useful to contribute, shut up”. I’ll go off topic straight away, to say thanks for the comment about Sue Arnett, on today. You have no idea, after all the heartache she goes through, as you said caring for sick animals to then have somebody like Jackie Laferla walk in and make a snap judgement, without even asking.

    Do you know what the result was? That Sue has lost all hope, and has now called the AAA to take the rest of the dogs. Sue had dispensed with Jackie Laferla’s help at the horse shelter for a variety of reasons. My comment wasn’t published on, because I mentioned named Jackie Laferla by name. Who am I in this saga? Her partner, who supports Sue in her endeavours and who holds her when she is crying because what she gets instead of help is lies and personal attacks like these. Once again, thanks for the sweet comments.

    [Daphne – That’s no problem. I ran out of word-count, but I’d have liked to add that I’ve known Sue since we were at St Dorothy’s and that like her very correct parents she can always be relied on to do the decent thing. ]

    • Martin C Galea says:

      I know the feeling of running out of wordcount. I have just submiited a heavily edited comment (again), leaving out the names of people involved. Regarding the reporter, I am amazed that he said “mysteriously” with regards to only 5 dogs taken. He knew exactly what happened, because he was there the whole time. Not only that, but he jolly well knew that the animal welfare people weren’t going to take ANY dogs at all, but Sue got fed up, and told them to take the dogs, because she couldn’t take it any more. Here’s an interesting one for you: Find out what happened to the dogs that were taken: two Rottweiler puppies with sandfly from day 1, a Rottweiler bitch, eight years old, and two others including Spike, the puppy in the picture). Honestly, I couldn’t believe it when Sue told me.

  50. Martin C Galea says:

    On a more humourous note, I fit the stereotype, unfortunately, in every way but two. I am just over six feet tall, but the rest is VERY Maltese, i.e. bald, and with a belly which I am valiantly trying (and hopefully managing) to lose, so that I can complement Sue’s looks as much as possible.

    I will never be able to figure out why she chose me, because my character is crap, and it is only now, after 13 years, that I have a good job, and am earning some decent money to be able to spend on her.

  51. d sullivan says:

    Are good looks really that important…. in the long run?

  52. KS says:

    Forget what the Italian guy said…I am quoting what Maltese women tell me:

    “All the handsome guys who are also intelligent, funny and excellent company are either happily married or gay.”

    …and I agree 100%!

    [Daphne – Why ‘happily’ married as opposed to just married? I suppose that means they tried to pull them and…..failed.]

  53. Holland says:

    And our politicians are the worst culprits! It seems that beauty automatically disqualifies any man from running for political office. The Maltese do not take good-looking people over 30 (especially men) seriously – so they subconsciously conform of what is expected of them.

    [Daphne – You’re wrong there. Whichever of the MLP and the PN can come up first with a (male) leader who is well over six feet tall and ‘cleanly’ handsome is onto such a winning-track that it needn’t bother with policy for a long time. Think Tony Blair and David Cameron.]

    Beauty follows the 80/20 rule in my opinion, i.e., is 80% grooming and 20% gift from God. Women, on the other hand are brainwashed from childhood to take care of their appearance with “the shelf”, rather than the proverbial sword, hanging over their heads.

    [Daphne – I disagree again. Exceptionally good-looking women run the risk of being left on the shelf – if you want to put it that way – alongside the exceptionally ugly ones. It’s the ones in the middling bracket who get snapped up first. Exceptional beauty is as daunting as exceptional ugliness.]

    • It always amazes me how our political leaders appear in group photos with other dignitaries. Are we a nation with a history of below average height leaders? No wonder we always look up at leaders of other nations.

      • Pierre: ISSA DAQSHEKK! And guess what? The Italians elect an 80/20 “stronzo” as their ‘presidente’. Piu di cosi? I worked in Italy for brief periods in Milan and Ferrara and find no difference with looks. The trend in Italy is that young girls are having their noses and/or breasts ‘fixed’ . The plastic surgery is paid by their parents on their graduation.

  54. Chris Ripard says:

    I must agree that, overall, the Maltese are not a pretty race (do we include those of French extraction?). I can’t really say if the women are prettier than the men though, as I don’t look at blokes that much. Italian dandies don’t really count as men, incidentally.

    And, let’s not kid ourselves – there are plenty of ‘torti’ about. Contrary to what Daphne says, most women over 40, especially the married ones, pretty much lose it (if they ever had it). You know the story – everything goes south, figure never the same after the 3rd child, moles/wrinkles everywhere, botox can’t keep up . . . Those that do look good have usually had lipo, boob job, spend a small fortune on hair and makeup, have time for the gym thrice weekly (hubby’s paying, after all).

    However, I hate generalising, though DCG absolutely loves it – especially if it’s to call menfolk thick, ugly, one-track minded Lotharios etc. A mirror-image misogynist!

    [Daphne – It’s got nothing to do with marriage and even less to do with children, Chris. I was a size 8 for 16 years after having my third child, for example. And I know many women over 40 who look much better now than they did at 20 – and not because of botox, either, but because some people (men AND women) seem to need time to grow into their skin. On the whole, we women over 40 hold our looks much better than men do. At least we keep our hair – and when we dye it (I don’t, fortunately), we don’t look sad like a couple of men who spring to mind. I could point out, too, that we all reach a stage in life where the harder we try to look good, the less attractive it becomes, especially in men of around 50 with ‘toned’ bodies – that peculiarly repulsive mixture of no body fat, the kind of muscles that only come from working out in the gym and not from activity in real life, and – brrrrr – loose skin, all perched on top of legs rendered skinny by age. Most women would much rather have a man with a belly than that. And just in case you think I’m picking on men in this, too, I’ll tell you that it’s even worse among Maltese women, many of whom are now absolute and insufferable neurotics who won’t eat, won’t drink, exercise relentlessly and then go to prayer groups to make it all slightly more bearable. They are a size 6 at 40+ when they were never even a size 10 at 20. They won’t touch carbohydrates – as though this is somehow sustainable as a permanent diet, they faint, they get dizzy spells, and above all, they are deeply boring. They fear that their men will leave them if they put on weight, and end up with men who leave them for a woman of lesser appearance because they will neither eat nor drink and their neurosis has taken over their lives. It’s what I call the Diana/Camilla phenomenon. If there is one thing that neither a normal man nor a normal woman can stand, it’s obsessive behaviour, and especially obsessive behaviour to do with weight and physical appearance. It is just so very, very off-putting. Imagine taking a woman out to dinner and watching her push her food around on her plate for an hour before finally ‘covering’ it with her knife and fork.]

    • Andrea says:

      To paraphrase Kathleen Turner: ‘If you’re a woman over the age of 35, you have to decide which is the lesser of two beauty evils: a fat ass or a gaunt face. In other words, if you want a trim tushy, your face is going to pay the price by looking drawn and haggard. If you don’t want to see a cadaver stare back at you from the mirror, you’re not going to be able to plump up your face without having your bum balloon to undreamed of proportions.’

      I better quit my tofu and bean sprouts diet…

  55. d sullivan says:

    Has anyone noticed that young men are looking very feminine? Plucked eyebrows, hair in place, waxed bodies… yuk!

  56. Valerie Solanas says:

    Come on boys, don’t take Daph’s observations too badly…As long as things remain confined to the usual micro-analysis of the hairy, useless apes on the island (and as long as you’ve got a ready supply of Nordic and Russian knock-outs visiting the place) you can rest assured that your Southern Mediterranean coc*s (and self respect) are still relatively safe…

    Things only get really damn scary for you losers when the rant is taken to the next level. Such a pity your ballsy columnist wasn’t born in the US of A!

    “Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.

    It is now technically feasible to reproduce without the aid of males (or, for that matter, females) and to produce only females. We must begin immediately to do so. Retaining the male has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples…”


    Valerie S

    • NGT says:

      Spoken like a true schizo. Nice name you chose to talk about diseases and emotional cripples ;)

      “Such a pity your ballsy columnist wasn’t born in the US of A!” – I beg to differ. Thank goodness she wasn’t. She might have ended up sounding like you… a sad cliche.

    • Andrea says:

      Alien resurrection!
      And I thought Valerie Solanas died in the eighties.

    • Marc Ellul says:

      Hi Valerie, are you a male transexual by any chance ?

      Well, with all your talk, I hope we’ll see you on the front line when the next war is on or perhaps be the 36th. women (compared to 754 men) to carry the Nobel prize for such repugnant wisdom.

      [Daphne – Valerie Solanas is a man. Now there’s a surprise.]

      • Marc Ellul says:

        A biological accident then, according to him. What can I say – you are what you believe. Period.

  57. Drew says:

    “men of around 50 with ‘toned’ bodies – that peculiarly repulsive mixture of no body fat, the kind of muscles that only come from working out in the gym and not from activity in real life, and – brrrrr – loose skin, all perched on top of legs rendered skinny by age. Most women would much rather have a man with a belly than that.”

    Yeah I’m sure most women would prefer a pot belly over the repulsive toned bodies of Marcus Schenkenberg, Will Smith, Eric Bana, Vin Diesel and Gerard Butler etc.

    [Daphne – They don’t exactly fit the description, do they. Shall I let you into a little secret? Women don’t like competition or partners who pull attention away from them. And that’s one of the reasons you will almost never see a woman with a man who is better-looking than she is. Perhaps we should tell the researchers.]

  58. Giga says:

    And I hear that Daphne has three intelligent, handsome sons.

  59. Chris Ripard says:

    Yeah, right, Daphne – all women are tall and slim like you and stayed that way post partum. And ‘x’ is for banana! (as my friend Mark Feller used to say).

    I think you’re getting close when you say that a lot of people of both sexes seem to grow into their skin. It’s probably because they mature as persons and are comfortable with themselves as is. And I think that that is a very real kind of beauty – the ability to be yourself.

    For example, I’d much rather be with a woman like my wife or, well – you, than say, Madonna, who is so muscly it can’t be and isn’t natural – at 50 and all.

    [Daphne – I’m no longer terribly slim; just slim-ish. And if I could be fagged to stop good-timing I could do with shedding another five kilos or so – except that I’ve never been the sort to go in for self-flagellation, so there’s an end to it. Coincidentally, I was about to tell you that you did rather well there with your Alison….another classmate of mine. Do I see a pattern here? Well, it was a big class.]

    As for Solanas’ comment – ha ha ha, is all I can say. The truth is that men are complete, because they have XY chromosomes, while girls have XX – hence boys are balanced but girls . . . well, I’m sure you know all about the hormonal swings you call ‘moods’. It can’t be helped. So there’s no need to excuse yourself.

    [Daphne – Actually, Chris, talking of moods: when I had four men at home I was the one leaving the house for a bit of peace most Saturdays and Sundays – all that shouting and fighting and arguing about bathrooms and T-shirts and who f**ked up the electric shaver. It gave me some idea of what things must have been like for my father, with five women in the house. His one consolation might be that, according to this article here this means that he and my mother were a good-looking couple, what with that sea of daughters (which they were, incidentally).]

  60. Gianni Xuereb says:

    One observation: Malta is getting to look more like Bagdhad rather than Miami. Just look at the roads damn. What glasses were you wearing ?

  61. Karl Flores says:

    Dear Daphne, it’s a pity that you don’t publish such articles more frequently, you have so much to contribute, I had a very good laugh and as someone else said, it’s becoming so boring having to listen day in day out about the Piano/Bahrija saga. Whether what you said was a 100 0/0 real or not I am not sure.

    Though to tell you the truth I did have an extra closer look at the mirror asking myself, am I/am I not, and I suppose that many others did, both good-looking and less good-looking. But don’t give up. For those of us still wanting to conquer the fairer sex there is a lot of helpful literature.

  62. Chris Ripard says:

    We really are opposites . . . we are six brothers (no sisters) and I have two daughters (so I’m the only fella now) . . . don’t even mention bathrooms! Which reminds me – why do women never leave towels in the bathroom? I take a shower, dry off and hang the towel on its rack – what’s so difficult? Why can’t they?

    [Daphne – You’re supposed to put it in the laundry-basket. None of those girls are going to want to use it after you do. Maybe that’s why there are no towels in the bathroom. They chuck theirs where they belong…..]

    Thanks for the bon mot re Alison. I like to think there’s a bit of mutuality there.

    As a parting shot – I think I’m done here – I will say once again, hand on heart, that inner beauty really is more important. I mean, I’m glad we have two good-looking girls but I’m truly proud that they’re good girls, true to their friends, well-mannered and glad to help anyone if they can.

  63. Marielle B. says:

    Not to mention that a good-looking woman has to work twice as hard as a man to be thought of as half as good at her profession!

  64. Steve says:

    I don’t like to generalize, but Daphne, tell your Italian friends if they think Maltese women are pretty, they should go to downtown Budapest, find a free bench on the Váci Utca, and wait for five o clock, for all the Hungarian girls to finish work.

    Then come back and tell me about Maltese girls!

  65. Joe Borg says:

    When my son was born, my dad was very pleased. Then my/our daughter was born and the first phrase my dad said was, ghandkom sold u nofs kollox!!

  66. Sandro Pacve says:

    Maltese men are more interested what foreign women has to say about them, rather then what Italian men do. And apparently some ‘average’ guys seem to manage to attract real Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic/Nordic beauty. Excluding eastern women to give the benefit of the financial doubt.

    [Daphne – You’re confusing a shag with a choice. What struck me most when on holiday in Djerba was the number of Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic women – the slags of the holiday world, to generalise once more – making out in the dunes with the horse-boys, the beggars and the peddlers of sea-shells. I had wondered why there were so very many horses left unattended. I remember remarking to my husband that you really have to be an English or German ‘ho’ to pick up a seashell vendor for q quick one behind a bush, then pull your bikini back on and go back to your sunbed. To all English and German ladies here: you know the type I mean, so please, don’t get upset.]

    Gentlemen prefer blondes anyhow (a very safe natural generalisation).

    [Daphne – Not if it’s what they’ve been seeing every day since birth. Mediterranean women in northern Europe have to fight the men off.]

    Perhaps the most ‘learned’ comment on Maltese women could have been said by the great Roger Moore, some two generations ago. If it is as I heard, I dont think things changed much. OK, there are some headturners, but…

    • Andrea says:

      But Daphne, can you blame those poor, desperate German girls? EVERYTHING is better than a German man. Grown up, unshaped men in beige shorts, white socks and sandals aren’t a myth, I can tell you…I had to use public transport here in Germany today and was forced to see things I just didn’t want to see. They are giant babies.

      • Leo Said says:

        Daphne, your perception in Djerba might be a reflection of the sexual libertine freedom introduced to German society by Oswald Kolle, Chrissi Malberg a.k.a.Uschi Obermaier and Rainer Langhans.

        Andrea, as a professional in media productions, you will surely know about Obermaier and Langhans. Furthermore, you will also know that the yellow press and satirical programmes in Germany often make fun of the teutonic homo sapiens. One is not obliged to use public transport to observe funny things.

    • Sophia Snegeriova says:

      Sandro: I take offence regarding your comment on Eastern women and money. What a crude generalisation.

  67. kev says:

    Here, bathe yourselves in this theory and fantasize that it’s already taking place:

    “Human race will ‘split into two different species'”

  68. Pierre Farrugia says:

    No details of the neighbour are given in this article, but for the neighbour’s sake, I hope he wasn’t male.

  69. Lawrence says:

    So why are Maltese women still using their make up if they are so stunningly gorgeous? Maybe this is the reason why men around the globe are being offered their own make up.

    I think you generalised a little bit too much…..if you just watch Italian TV you will notice that the most beautiful men according to Italians are the muscular ones and the most beautiful women according to Italians are the XXL busty women. If I had to choose a woman I would go for other things other than her bust..and hopefully women do the same too. I don’t want to be all body but no brains. I prefer to have the brains.

  70. tony pace says:

    109 comments to this post and counting. Doesn’t this tell us something, guys?

  71. Simon says:

    This article seems to give the weight of scientific evidence to something which people have suspected for a long time, and that’s why it’s captured our imagination here.

    The beauty gap was a recurring theme in paintings of the Dutch Golden Age.

  72. Leonard says:

    One thing that does not seem to have been mentioned is that a beautiful woman (I’ll leave it up to the ladies to comment on men) does not necessarily make a sexy woman. And for a woman to be sexy, she needs to have intelligence and class – other attributes that do not automatically come with beauty. One comes across women who, although by no means ugly, would never have made it to the front cover of a magazine or won any beauty contests. But a combination of looks, figure and class could net them any man they wanted, even one who’s half their age.

  73. Tim Ripard says:

    I don’t think I’d complain if I were in Malta – the more beautiful crumpet there is around to rest one’s eyes on, the better. Better still if men are getting uglier to boot. Women have a rough deal, it seems, looking better and better and competing harder and harder for more and more ugliness.

  74. Fabio Giangolini says:

    Hai perfettamente ragione: ecco perche’ ho sposato una bellissima Maltese!

  75. C Vidal says:

    The article by science editor makes sense even from an evolutionary point of view. Well it is quite known that biologically man are almost useless and also weak when compared to females. This is one of the reasons why in most populations one finds more females than males.
    As for the Maltese population, I think that it is very difficult to draw any conclusions. Maybe it is true that on the whole the female population is nicer and more appealing than the male. When compared to Italians it is obvious that we lack far behind but maybe this is due to how males keep themselves and dress code. Then Maltese people do not like to exercise themselves and keep fit.
    On the other hand, if you look around you (and also proved by statistics) most Maltese people are either overweight or obese. You see males with pot-bellies but you also see overweight and obese women (including very young females) that have a disgusting figure. To make it worse some of them try to wear cloths that are not good for that kind of figure….and even expose parts that are better to be kept covered in such conditions. This also applies for males because I saw cases where I was amazed how they manage to go out on the road without a t-shirt in such a condition. I questioned whether they even have a mirror at home….or maybe they broke them all.
    A comment regarding the genetic origin of Maltese males and females. Probably it is true that Maltese males and females are descended from different genetic roots, but as such we do not have any scientific data supporting that.

  76. Sophia Snegeriova says:

    You’ve got to be kidding. I have never before heard any foreigners (Italian or otherwise) say that Maltese women (or girls) are particularly beautiful. Okay, perhaps I’m being a litle elitist, being Russian, us having a reputation for beauty and all.

    Okay, some girls in Malta do have pretty faces – but then, look at the figures of most of them! Those pastizzi u pizzez definitely have some effect! There are FEW Maltese girls who have the whole package – face, AND figure.

    But then, look at the height! most Maltese tend to be very short! They just have very short legs! Men AND women! Okay, perhaps right now I’m just taking my revenge on people in Malta making me feel like a freak for being 1.79, but that’s not the point.

    • Mark Ellul says:

      It depends what you mean by figure. Most of the Russians I see walking around are as thin as a rake with barely any female features from the neck down. If you have to ask me, I don’t see any beauty in that although it does make it easier to lift on a wedding night :-)

      Give me the classic female figure any time (and no, I’m not fat). After all, I don’t intend to run the catwalk with her.

  77. S Keys says:

    When this subject comes up from time to time I reply that i have lots of Maltese female friends who have NEVER dated Maltese guys. I think with the girls my age part of it is that Maltese guys often seem very close to their mothers, live with their parents (so not having their own place) and more often than not prefer to ‘hunt’ girls in packs rather than just go up to a girl and talk to them like many of my foreign friends do. Also by default many foreign guys will have had much more life experience and travelled a lot more compared to your average Maltese guy. Sorry it’s slightly off point but I think it’s valid.

  78. Silvio Farrugia says:

    I find that the ugliest people are the British (I make an exception for my ex-wife, who is attractive). Look at the men, especially when they get older, and the women look as if they are ready to sneeze. What about their terrible dress sense? Maybe we have their influence as we have in food.

  79. Ponto says:

    It is all rather cultural. I have spent most of my life in Australia and I find the majority of people are definitely unattractive, male or female. Humans should attend to their breeding like they do for animals; humans are just plain old mongrels, worse than the worst cur.

    Without any humility and being Maltese of ethnicity, birth etc I would say I am an exception. I am very attractive. I certainly don’t agree about Maltese women. Maltese women are just ordinary Mediterranean women of no particular good looks. I find them ugly in fact. The sound of their voices would melt paint. I have never and would never entertain having a sexual relationship with a Maltese women. I just don’t find Mediterranean women attractive. It is not the colouring but the stature, facial and body shapes. They are either petite and tiny in height or built like a butch dyke. Sorry Maltese folks, attractive you are not. Your Arab blood is to blame perhaps? Of course I have none!

  80. andrew says:

    you are a non sense person , with a non sense article. i think it’s better if you hava a look around you and then have a look at yourself. before you judje.

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