people who say "pie in the sky" phrases like "just be yourself ... look inside" are not being realistic. You can be the smartest nicest guy but if a guy or girl doesnt find you attractive from the start chances are he she wont date you, unless the other person finds you beautiful inside and wants to date you for all the right reasons (which only happens after they know you well, but how will they get to know you well if they arent willing to get within 2 feet from you?)
Looking at you, here's my take on it.
lose the glasses. they are not flattering for you facial features. Since you are ruling contacts out, or lasik surgery out, you have to change those frames. I'd still say that you should get other optometrists opinions to see if you could become a candidate in the near future. If you do lots of research as a phd student, your vision likely keeps changing every year and it may get a little worse, but usually doctors will operate on you if you're vision remains unchanged or little changed in 2-3 yrs. Until then, you should go shopping for new frames that are smaller and more hip. Take a good friend that you know will tell you you look ugly if you do and go shopping to a "trendy" frames place. You are very very pasty white, so getting glasses with no rim or silver rim might not work out. Try some dark glasses and make sure you get someone who knows about frames and face shape. Some frames look better with round faces/oval/ or linear facial features. Your face is a little rounded and those BIG round glasses you have are no good,. Look for some smaller rectangular thin glasses and try on a couple. Bring a friend or two with you that you know will be brutal honest. Last thing you want is to spend 200+ dollars on glasses that make you look stupid.
get a better haircut. I don't know nothing about how much uou pay or where you get it cut, but you're haircut looks like something you got done at quick super cuts for 12 bucks. Your hair is thinning and makes your forehead look big a little bit, so grow out your hair just a tiny bit and play with it. Get a professional who knows about hair so they can show you how to style it. Hair can make a HUGE difference on a person's sex appeal. Make sure it is well groomed and does not look greasy. In one pic you have curly hair, so don't let it grow out too much cuz it will look like unruly. But a good haircut with wavy hair can add volume to the appearance of thinnin hair at the top. Also you might want to consider getting highlights or going 2 shades lighter. it may work or not, but at least youll try it. either way, i think haircut is more important than color.
smile more.and i mean showing teeth. none of your pics show your smile except one that you can't see anyway. if you don't smile bbecause your teeth are crooked, consider invisalign. and whiten your teeth too with those 30 dollar kits at the drugstore.
start hitting the gym and eating more. you look way too skinny for most gays. read up on muscle building (do some research on how to change your body for a change from the science books) or get a personal trainer (a lot of PTs can be full of shit if you ask me, just read up on caloric intake and muscle building. sleep, food, and weights should be good friends if you want your body to change). don't increase your cal intake too high because you will get fat. if you are 6'0 160, my guess is you should be at least eating 2500 cals a day and after you start training it should go up incrementally to 3000 and 3250, 3500. read up on workouts for a begginner you should prolly stick to a 3-day split. day one chest/tri day 2 legs day 3 back/biceps day 4 abs or just rest and keep that up for at least 8-12 weeks before changing up the workout routine. 3 days gym 1 day rest. I think that 20 pounds of muscle (or 17lb muscle 3-5 lbs of well placed fat) would do wonders for your physique
please dont wear speedos, and dont show a potential bf a pic of you in speedos. at least until you are sure he likes you enough to overlook that
please dont wear superman shirts. It might be cute to ppl who know you and are firends/family or if you are in halloween or if you are a superbuff cocky guy with lots of confidence. since you don't fit that definition yet keep those shirts or any other mascot/comic theme clothes you have for use at home exclusively or for pajama wear (when you are sleeping alone only ....or if you are sleeping with ur bf who knows your quirky side)
forget about ppl saying dont wear yellow purple or whatever. i dont think colors matter that much. a skinny guy in a yellow shirt is just as good as a skinny guy in a gray shirt. besides it's ok to have some light colors. you are not 60 and your scloset should not be filled with white and black shirts only
find some crazy sane ppl to hang out with. you strike me as a really nice guy who is too shy and needs to loosed up. Im not saying you need to whore yourself up but ocassionally go out and have a blast with friends. there are way uglier ppl than you getting laid (well alcohol has a lot to do with that) that doesnt mean you should start drinking but def get out more.
dont talk to ppl about science or your latest research unless they truly want to know. keep things light. everyone is attracted to a smart brain but you have to dumb it down enough to keep a regular guy interested. learn something about sports or other stuff you would like that guys in a sports bar or other places might be more fam iliar with
try growing stubble if you have faical hair (just to see how it looks) and post pics
make sure your breath doesnt stink. that can drive ppl away even if you dont know it. and most ppl wont tell you you have it, they will just go away and talk behind your back
if you are in campus, joing the LGTB club or the local pflag group or some other place where decent ppl hang out. You seem like a softie so you're prolly looking for a softie guy who wants a relationship. if you go to a bar or bathhouses, you wont find ppl with a lot in common. but if you go to the local school LTGB gropu, you'll make gay friends who will start hunting and trying to match you with other ppl. Pflag group also might get you a good bf whose mom or dad or sister thinks you are just the right smart decent guy for his gay son/borther who is also decent and vanilla