Dating ugly

Dr Kerri Mc Pherson, a chartered health psychologist at Glasgow's Caledonian University, believes that simply identifying yourself in your own head as ugly can have a negative effect on your personality and experiences.

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After all, we all know that men - superficial creatures that they are - judge a woman on her looks.

But there's a commonly-held belief that women are infinitely less shallow.

Taking a deep breath, Stan Cattermole sidles into a crowded London wine bar.

Blinking nervously, he looks around to find himself in what should be every red-blooded man's idea of heaven.

'When I tried to make her laugh by joking that I had a job as a polevaulter, she stared at me with an expression that said: "Not only are you ugly, but you are also an absolute idiot." And when I joked that perhaps we hadn't got off to a good start because of the sexual tension between us, she pushed back her chair and marched out of the room.' But is Stan's lack of success really down to his looks, or is there something much deeper which makes women shy away from him?

Such as a poor sense of humour, and even more woeful social skills?

'It all began when I decided to turn my life around,' explains Stan.

'I wanted to lose weight, try to get fit and improve my body.

'People will report they cannot get a job or a partner because they are ugly.

But the reality is that no one is as ugly as they perceive themselves to be.

However, despite Stan's fears, they are not the be-all and end-all.

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