A Measured Response to "Blackpill" Thinking

I take issue with several points in this YouTube video, and the original 4chan post by extension, but let me first say that the poor fellow narrating it suffers from a lack of imagination (or, to be more charitable to him, he's gotten a lot of shoddy advice on how actually to improve himself).

That is, there are a plenitude of other ways that even your mentally ill and seemingly genetically disadvantaged cishet male kissless virgin everyman can improve himself outside of merely going to the gym—improvements that would not merely make him more appealing to potential partners, but would serve to give him a genuine boost in his confidence and self-esteem alike.
(Also, for the sake of this discussion, I'll refrain from discussing the obvious perils and pitfalls of taking anonymous posts on modern 4chan to heart, heh.)

Before I get into any of that, however, I want to respond to what I believe are the more counterproductive perspectives that were set forth. These perspectives include:

  1. The narrator mentions how he knows some guys who have been working hard in the gym to better themselves and improve their health and physique for years (purportedly only so they can get a girlfriend); since they don't yet have a girlfriend, however, the narrator characterizes all of that time as being a "waste".
  2. The narrator comments on the manner of self-improvements he believes to be possible at the gym, making no real mention of anything outside of things like "revealing body / facial definition currently hidden by fat", with the implication that no other improvements or benefits are possible (whether due to genetics, them being pointless or a waste of time, or otherwise).
  3. The narrator rejects the oft-repeated idea that things get better as one gets older, on the grounds that very few if any people 30+ years old are "going out and partying and being social" and that many of the people in this age cohort speak of their "prime" or the "best time of their lives" as being in their late teens or early 20s, when they presumably were living that same "party" lifestyle.
  4. The narrator dismisses out of hand the idea that anyone, whether modern high schoolers or indeed any person in history, had to improve themselves or do any kind of planning or forethought in order to get into a romantic relationship successfully, claiming instead that it effectively "just happened" or otherwise came naturally to them, invariably.
  5. The original 4chan posts asserts rather strongly that the failure of a person to end up with a romantic partner and a job before their mid-20s (and with little to no effort, at that) is solely due to that person being a "genetically dead mentally ill freak", with the implication that any attempts by such persons to improve themselves is not merely a hopeless endeavor but actively "cringe". The narrator, other than quibbling on how difficult it can be to get a job, accepts the bulk of this assertion without question.

From what I'm seeing and hearing, the common thread throughout these points is one of doomed resignation:

"Because your genetics just aren't good enough, or you suffer from a mental illness, or you missed the proverbial boat when you were younger, there's simply no hope whatsoever of you ever having any sort of fulfilling long-term romance now, since there's no way for anyone ever to have one except for because of those reasons or at that specific period in your life. Don't even bother trying to improve yourself; it's just pathetic and cringeworthy."

Indeed, the original 4chan post might as well have included something like "These cringey genetically dead freaks should just kill themselves right now" at the end, considering how the rest of it is written.

Yet I ask, why?
Why is the subject being framed in this way, hurling shame and insults and abuse and discouragement on a group of people who are already hurting, already feeling alone and ashamed and hopeless? Mental illnesses are not some fixed and unchangeable thing (an entire field of science is dedicated to diagnosing and treating them!), and being born with imperfect genetics doesn't constitute a death sentence.

If I may be blunt, there are uncountably many people—some rather "cringey", some quite depressed or deranged, some very out of shape or ugly, and some who are all of the above (or more importantly, who were that way in the past, but who have since improved themselves and are no longer quite so)—who have been or are still in romantic and sexual relationships, many of which have lead to marriages and the like.

Why, then, are mental illnesses and imperfect genetics being described so harshly and bleakly, and in a way that leaves no room for argument? What will this accomplish outside of driving people further into despair? Indeed, that seems to have been the 4chan OP's intention, nearest I can tell.

Moreover, whence comes this notion that no one ever has to plan, put any deliberate thought into, or make any kind of significant adjustments or improvements to themselves in order to succeed romantically?
For some anonymous 4chan poster to claim that this is the case for effectively everyone who's in a relationship, and the narrator to accept it without question and then claim further that this is true for most everyone throughout human history, strikes me as completely ridiculous. I'd laugh at it, even, were it not such a poisonous and problematic perspective.

Consider the many cases of guys throughout time who've got into shape and then succeeded in finding partners—all conveniently omitted by the post and video, and all of which serve to disprove the 4chan OP's point that self-improvement is pointless, might I add. Does figuring out a personalized workout routine to this end not count as having to plan carefully to self-improve in order to get a partner? What about the meal-planning to lose weight, and learning how to cook to make that happen? Does that not count, either?

For that matter, have the 4chan OP and the narrator both somehow missed the overwhelming abundance of songs and stories and poems and paintings and any number of other such creations dedicated to love, many of which were made for the sole purpose of winning the affections of a potential partner—and often successfully? Do those creative efforts not count as a deliberate, focused self-improvement? What about all the practicing to be able to perform said pieces in addition to creating them, or to learn the art medium or instrument in the first place?

If none of these qualify as deliberate, calculated (and successful!) self-improvement efforts by "normal people" to find romance, then what possibly could? Just because the efforts involved are invisible to the 4chan OP and narrator and whomever else doesn't make them any less deliberate or any less a form of self-improvement. Quite the opposite, in fact: If they're working this hard and getting no other attention, reward, or recognition for it, what else could it be for but to win the heart of their crush?

Circling back around, as far as male self-improvement goes, going to the gym is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Think of it this way: What is it that leads to a romance being fulfilling and long-lasting? Is it just the other person having a nice face or figure that catches your eye, or is there more to it?

When you really like someone, to the extent that you'd want to stay with them long-term, you like more than just their face and body, yes? You're drawn more closely in by how fired up they get about their passions, or about how earnest and honest they are about who they are and how they feel, or by how kind and gentle and understanding they are of you, or about how hard they work and how dedicated they are to what they think is important, etc etc.

In other words, while physical attractiveness is undeniably a factor in the early stages, it's who you are as a person—your priorities, your passions and goals, how you express yourself, what you value, etc etc—that help the initial spark of attraction blaze up into a fire of romantic interest, so to speak.

In more concrete terms, if, for example, you work out and have a nice body, but your personality is underdeveloped beyond working your job, playing video games, reading 4chan, and wanting a girlfriend, you might get some surface-level interest and attention, yet have trouble finding a proper partner.

That's not to say, of course, that you should feel ashamed, berate yourself, or just give up if you're in such a state. Realistically speaking, a lot of it isn't rightly your fault: Modern American society especially doesn't exactly do a great job of helping to guide and nurture its young men through their adolescence and early adulthood, after all.

Also, let me be very clear:
Those who speak genuinely of high school and college as being the best years of their lives are not to be envied, but rather to be deeply pitied, particularly those who are in their 30s and beyond.

How shallow, dissatisfying, and truly bereft of meaning their lives must be if, some decades later, the best memories and brightest moments they can muster are of awkward teenage interactions and clumsy junior varsity football games. If that's all they're clinging to at their age, then they've consigned themselves to a long, hollow life of steady decline and regrets.

You don't want to be like them.
Indeed, be glad that you aren't, and that you have enough life left in you to be willing to strive for something more and something better than what you have now.

With all of that said, I'll (finally) list off some actionable areas for self-improvement outside of going to the gym. Not only will these help you have more to offer to a potential partner, but they'll help you to become a more well-rounded human being in general. Fringe benefits, you might say, heh.
I won't hear any excuses; I don't care how ignorant or inexperienced or incapable you think you are. You CAN do any or even all of these, provided you put the work in and have some patience:

Self-improvement in any form—whether simply going to the gym, pursuing any of the above avenues, or otherwise—can often be slow, frustrating, difficult, and very unrewarding without a considerable amount of focused and consistent effort over time up front. But it's NEVER, EVER pointless or "cringe" or a waste of time, no matter what some faceless cretin on 4chan might claim, nor is it doomed to failure in terms of helping you find a fulfilling romance down the road, even long after most people have already been in one or more relationships.

Again, it doesn't matter how ignorant or genetically disadvantaged or socially stunted you think you are:
Countless people throughout human history have started from FAR worse positions than you (physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, financially, you name it), and, through patient self-improvement and the smallest bit of faith in themselves and their future, eventually found not just found romantic fulfillment, but fulfillment in life writ large—and if they can do it, then you can do it, too.

So, please, don't let yourself succumb to this most poisonous and self-destructive line of thinking.
Please, don't give up.