It stirikes me as noteworthy (to myself only) that there is a thread in which I agree with pretty much all views expressed, though the views represent different perspectives.
Taking a slightly different tack than I have seen expressed, it was not clear to me that the letter writer was referring to physical qualities in saying, with a honking wide paint brush, that women his age do not "take care of themselves".
The distinction I wonder about is whether he is referring to overall physical fitness, or grooming and styling choices. The reason I wonder is that I have also noticed women (and men) of most ages being more relaxed in preparations before being in public, though, in my case, for the most part I am glad.
While I would not go to the extreme of wearing pajama pants in public, I wear little make up unless I am going to be in certain settings (not the grocery or running errands), my wardrobe generally has a high proportion of informal, casual type items, even business meetings seldom involve formal suits, I still wear leggings and tights but can't remember the last time I wore "hose", i do often pull my hair into a pony tail or pin it up rather than "styling" it before i leave the house, and I love high heels, but wear them much less frequently than years before.
I just turned 51, the letter writer sounds about 5 or so years younger than me. I remember in the not too distant past when I would not have worn a skirt or dress without hose, absolutely put on makeup for any effort outside the house and likewise spent more time on hair styling, and would not have thought anything less formal than a suit appropriate for business. I refer to those times as the 80's and 90's.
While I am inclined to agree with others in this thread on their read of the letter, and also agree that we are all free to decide what attracts us to romantic partners, I did wonder if this guy's expectations of "taking care of themself" for women are... Outdated, for any of a number of possible reasons.