Put this way, it is a complaint one hears from women. However, with a slight variation, the same thing could be said about some women (admittedly, a much smaller proportion). What exactly is the complaint? Even if we consider ourselves good-looking and are proud of our appearance, we feel cheapened when other people overly focused on our external appearance instead of our inner worth.
Men will be men (up to a point)
The guy is having a really hard time hiding his interest in her appearance, and it feels that this is what he is really focusing on. If this is really happening, then the guy needs to get a grip. That is bad form.
On the other hand, physical attraction is an important component for both genders, but especially for men. Providing the guy is not behaving like an over-excited puppy, it is important to recognize that, taken as a whole, males are different from females and should be judged on their own terms.
If it really bothers you, it is possible to say something either directly or indirectly (probably depending on what stage in the dating process). If the whole thing turns you off, I guess this is not the man for you. But that is not the same as demonizing him as a creep. That may be going a bit too far.
If you are not creeped out, but you do not feel validated as a person, I suggest you place close attention to how he interacts with you during meaningful conversations on important life questions. If he is dismissive of such topics and seems disinterested in engaging with you on your own terms, then I am afraid that your concern is justified.
Does he show you respect?
If he is very interested in your appearance, but he is also deeply engaged in other ways, then take it as a compliment and move on. If, however, he seems only interested in your appearance, then, it is most understandable why you find that unacceptable and unappealing. Put another way, the real problem is not so much what he doing (making it a little too obvious), but what he is not doing (engaging with you as a whole person).
If you like him, you may wish to be patient and see if he takes the hint or calms down. However, if you find that he is dismissive of you in other ways, then you need to head for the door. For example, the guy is complimentary about your looks, but he is disparaging towards your ideas or goals, you are officially dating a Neanderthal. It is no wonder that you have concerns. No guy should be allowed to get away with being patronizing.
If he makes humiliating comments, regardless of how big a smile he is wearing at the time, this is a red flag. If you are “into him,” you may be motivated to make excuses for him. Do not. Here is a home-truth for you to chew on: people who do not show proper respect during dating will show even less respect in the marriage. If being treated respectfully is important to you, do not tolerate this attitude.
Maybe you think he is being a bit immature, and if the matter is brought to his attention he will “shape up.” Perhaps. So, try that. But give it some time. People are really poor at keeping up a pretense for long. If this attitude reappears, you have been warned about what this means. If you are willing to go along with it, just be prepared to live with this for the rest of your life.
To think about
You have a right to your complaint, but are you right about the complaint? That is a more objective question. While there may not be a straightforward right and wrong answer, it can still be considered logically.
I am not here to defend men, but it is reasonable to ask whether some people who have this complaint are not feeding right into it. Essentially, wanting it both ways. You have a right to want it both ways, and you can make that your precondition for your date. But that does not mean that what you are doing makes sense. Women who overdo the appearance side of things by really going over the top, or who dress immodestly or provocatively (by the standards of their own community), but then make the comment headlining this article are being hypocritical.