“Why are their no beautiful girls in England? Because the Vikings came and took them all away….”
The inside of a pub toilet door 2005
Since moving to Norway 6 months ago, I’ve noticed a number of puzzling phenomena that
perplex. For example, in spite of having generally quite reasonable fashion sense Norwegians seem to have a blind spot with regard to lycra. Instead of restricting the body hugging fabric to the gym and sports it seems lycra is acceptable casualwear for almost any social occasion. This translates into a reality when at any given moment a large percentage of Norwegians in a restaurant or cinema, will look ready for slalom from the waist down. Meanwhile, knekkebroed, a type of cardboard masquerading as a cracker that Norwegians eat for breakfast, lunch
and Kveldsmatt (supper), has mass popularity that cannot be explained by any logic grounded in the human senses.
But these are small potatoes, there is one phenomenon that is of particular interest, not least because it involves me directly. That is, the native English speaking male (or NESM) surplus that I perceive to be present in Norway. I say I perceive because I base this on absolutely no official statistic but rather my own extremely limited experience that there seems to be a significant number of men who moved to Norway to be with their Norwegian girlfriend, but hardly any Native English Speaker Females (NESF) who moved here to be with their Norwegian boyfriend. I have met exactly none, and a quick poll of my Norwegian friends revealed the same. This apparent imbalance is especially concerning to me because of those English speaking friends, all are now single. Upon explaining to them why I came to Norway (for study and for my Norwegian GF) they all gave the same rueful, patronising “just you wait, you are fresh off the boat” smirk that suggests to me that NESMS surplus has a sad subplot, namely that the relationships that bring NESM here never work out. This article seeks to offer a hypothesis on why so many men and not women move to Norway for their Kjaereste.
After putting the question to my friends, colleagues and classmates a number of possible explanations were proffered (all agreed that there was an NESM surplus) . NESM’s themselves generally suggested that it was because “Scandinavian women love British men and Scandinavian women are hot” meanwhile Norwegian men suggested it was because British women were “fucking disgusting”. I couldn’t find a NESF to ask (you see!) but a few Norwegian females suggested that Norwegian men “Just like to fuck around”. While obviously these views were biased, based on lazy stereotyping and in the case of British women downright offensive that did not necessarily mean that they were wrong. In fact while each different, these explanations could be mutually complimentary.
After a little bit of research (5minutes on Google ) I came across an article in the Guardian about beautifulpeople.com; a dating website for the beautiful dickheads in the world who are sick of having to filter through ugly people on regular dating websites. Beautifulpeople.com only allow you on the site if you are judged attractive enough by the existing members, based on photographs potential members submit to the site. The results were revealing, 76% of Norwegian females were accepted, the highest in the world, while just 15% of British females were deemed suitably beautiful. If anywhere close to correct then this could be potentially enlightening regarding the NESM surplus in Norway. Graphically it might look something like below
I would like to say these graphs were hastily mocked up in a mattter of minutes like they appear to be but the sad truth is these crappy graphs took me bloody ages
Actually this graph is wrong, it should say 85% “less so”
Were this correct, what would be the possible effects? First, a scarcity of beautiful women in a given country would likely cause fierce competition among men for their love, time and vaginas, forcing them to develop extra skills or talents used to win and woo the domestic girls’ hearts.
These skills, in Australia for example, might take the form of big muscles to show that you can hunt, gather and defend said women, or in more developed countries; social skills like charm and wit to entertain her. Consequently if a man is fortunate enough to win the heart of an attractive girl in the UK he is likely to be delighted and try to hang on to her for as long as possible, for the opportunity cost of losing her is high – he will likely have to wait a long time or possibly eternity until he gains a similarly hot girl.
The inverse is true in Norway. The Norwegian man has an abundance of beautiful women to choose from; apparently more than any other country. As a consequence the Norwegian male is complacent and lazy, he has no need to develop courtship skills nor to worry much about suffering a hot woman drought between relationships. He knows that if he dumps or is dumped by one aesthetically excellent female, the opportunity cost is negligible as another will (quite literally) be waiting around the corner.
On the other side of the coin, because they are so rare and sought after, the few beautiful British women gets fussy and big headed, they expect more and more from their male suitors and take for advantage of their privileged position. These girls are generally high maintenance, annoying and frankly too much effort to bother dating, let alone invite back home for the Norwegian male.
Meanwhile, back in Norway the beautiful Norwegian woman, ignorant of her beauty and used to being messed around by complacent Norwegian men, is particularly susceptible to the charms of NESPs and their willingness to commit to serious relationships and even emigrate to be with them. This willingness to emigrate is one of the solutions available to the British man tired of their country’s attractiveness deficit, the other of course is to significantly lower their standards.
This hypothesis explains the NESM Surplus as a function of the relative aesthetics of Norwegian and British women and its subsequent effect upon male and female behaviour, tastes and skillsets. This pattern I think is increased by other factors, namely ease of communication (norwegian’s speak excellent English so its natural that they’d look to English speakers first) and proximity; the UK after all is just one 20euro Ryanair “flight” away. I’m not saying that my hypothesis is correct or even close to the truth, its merely speculation that on the surface at least seems potentially compelling.I would like to say at this point that I am open to a number of critiques, most obviously that of statistical rigour; study based on statistics taken from beautifulpeople.com and with observations on a sample the size of your exended friendship group is unlikely to win any awards for reliability. However, there is one obvious criticism I would like to pre-empt and refute now , the accusation of misogyny:WHAT ABOUT MALE ATTRACTIVENESS!!
The women shout. Surely that matters right? Well ladies I have deliberately neglected male physical appearance due to the 3million times per minute variations on the following theme is claimed by womankind around the world: Looks aren’t important for me – its personality that counts
Given that only 12% of men from the UK made the beautifulpeople.com cut and their inflated presence in Norway, I guess that in the case of the Norwegian woman, it may well be true.