Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hot and not


Back during our freshman year in college, my roommate Daniel and I spent many hours at Hot or Not. We derived endless pleasure from looking at peoples' pictures, sharing our best and worst finds. It was terribly shallow and wonderfully amusing. He was always annoyed that I kept it on the default setting of showing both women and men, but the way I see it, he missed out on half the fun. Besides, you can only look at so many profiles of near-identical women making kissy faces in a row; it helps to splice in guys who look like jerks leaning against the hood of their car.

But one thing that always struck me is how different my ratings tended to be from the consensus, and this is still the case today. I'm even worse at rating guys than I am at rating girls. I spent about twenty minutes tonight playing around on the site, and I found a few examples to share:

Hot or Not photo

Now there's a solid 10, and it's one of the rare circumstances where I agree with the consensus.

Hot or Not photo

Here's a person who's trying way too hard. The obvious cleavage shot gets a 9.9 from the masses, but she's really not that attractive.

Hot or Not photo

Note to men: holding a can of beer can make the ugliest guys attractive to women.

Hot or Not photo

I don't know why this girl got a 6.6. She seems like a good 9 to me.

Hot or Not photo

It's really hard for a guy to get a score lower than 6.0.

I've come up with some handy rules for rating people on Hot or Not:

The average rating for women is about 6.5, dipping down to 4.0 for the hideous. The average rating for men is about 8.0, rarely dipping below about 5.5. I'm not sure how to interpret this: either the guys are more shallow and mean, dishing out the "low" ratings, or women just aren't discriminating enough. (I'm assuming, quite safely I think, that the majority of people rating women are men and vice-versa.) It could also just mean that some people are more likely to just keep clicking "10" over and over to see the next picture.

White people get much higher scores than minorities of seemingly equal attractiveness. This is even more true for men than women.

People are easily tricked by blurry, dark, and excessively grainy photos. If you are ugly, try to ensure that your photo is at least one of those things.

In addition to women showing cleavage getting unnaturally high scores, men in suits and uniforms are rated far too high. Tomboyish girls get awful scores, though personally I usually think they're fairly attractive, all else equal.

Girls unwilling to show a little boob can at least slather on the whorepaint to significantly boost their scores.


Louise said...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

That is a site I would never post my picture on, because I know that I would be one of those women who gets a 4.

I think it is very true that the vast majority of men will judge a lot more on looks than women will. It's just a difference between the sexs. Men are more visual. Of course, now I am just stereotyping.

I'm stopping now before I put my foot further in my mouth.

Travis said...

(Trying to imagine if a foot in the mouth would make a picture sexier or less sexier)

Travis said...

Oh, and I believe that I got a 6.5 back in the day, putting me just slightly above the critically unhot.

Andy Misle said...

THIS is the most genius thing to come out of the Internet in years. HotOrNot has an API - what a world! If I ever have a site feature requiring a CAPTCHA, that is definitely what I will be using.

I mentioned this to several Beer School attendees on Monday night; let's see if they're reading your blog :) I've just been waiting for an excuse to post it.

Andy Misle said...

Oh, and my ratings would disagree with yours and I would never rate men. I guess I'm just more "conventional" than you...

Travis said...

That is amazingly clever.

Travis said...

Oh, and to the person who later deleted their comment... thanks. :)

Luke said...

This reminds me of when Henry, Ben W, and I each posted a photo of ourselves surrounded by a yellow aura which was surrounded by a background of binary data, and I won by a large margin, with a final score somewhere a bit above 8.0 Henry was also wearing a chicken hat.