If one more of my friends asks me that about their new girlfriends, I may actually have to tell them the truth. I've had three friends ask me to tell them how attractive their girlfriends are in the last 10 days, not to mention the countless times it's happened over the years. They've shown me their pictures on their iPhones, blackberries, or some other device I don't own because they didn't give it away for free when I signed up for the service. I know I should just smile, lie, and enthusiastically say, "Yeah, dude, she's cu-u-u-ute! Good going," and then smack them on the back as the final seal of approval. Instead I look at the picture and say something like, "Yeah, um...she's cute," and then I try and change the subject with something like, "Did she go to school with us? She looks familiar." The bright ones get that I'm uncomfortable with the subject matter and drop it, but the more insecure friends need the validation. "But you think she's cute, right?," they'll persist, not recognizing when a person is trying desperately to spare their fragile egos.
Maybe they're just showing me bad pictures, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to lie when a friend thinks he's dating Alyssa Milano when the only thing Milano-esque about her is the fact that she's clearly been eating too many Pepperidge Farm cookies.
Women don't seem to need that type of validation. If they're into a guy, they're usually into him regardless of what their friends may think. The validation they seek is of their own value to the guys they're currently dating. The female equivalent of "You think she's cute, right?" is "Does my ass look fat in these jeans?" And I'm way more comfortable lying about the ass of a girl I'm dating than I am about the face of a friend's girlfriend.