Thursday, March 22, 2007

Are you hot enough?


There is apparently a dating website that only allows you to join if you are rated as an '8' or higher by existing members based solely on three photographs of yourself, including a full body shot.

Interesting concept. I know I'd never make it on there. I'd probably be rated closer to a 3 or a 4, though really, I have no idea exactly where I'd rate. In fact, it might be interesting to apply just to see what that number is for me. I'd be willing to bet that probably the most interesting thing is not the number one would generate, but whether that number corresponds to one's own percieved "number" and if not, whether it is higher or lower. I guess that could be one measure of self-esteem. It is probably important to have some idea how attractive one is, just for informational purposes.

For instance, studies have shown that how attractive one is, male or female, is a strong determining factor on whether one gets a job or a promotion and on how one's performance is rated. Hiring managers deny this when confronted with it, but then they'd have to for fear of being sued.

Part of the justification for the site, probably accurate, is that people tend to date only people of their own attractiveness level, whatever that means. I wonder if someone would take that further and have a site that allows everyone, but then only allows you to interact on the site with people within two points of your rating. That would be an interesting social experiment in itself. It would probably also help foil on-line scammers who often post on dating sites with fake photos of "hot" men and women in an effort to lure a lonely, probably not as attractive person to send money.

Ah, the "joys" of dating. I'm glad I opted out of that game.

UPDATE: I was thinking about this as I was walking down the hall, trying to exercise my legs after sitting in a chair reading yet another trial transcript, and I wondered if there was some bias in giving someone an '8' rating, even if you thought they were slightly less than that, in the hopes of getting them onto the site so you can then have the opportunity to date them. Because there is that cut-off, I wonder if people who would otherwise be rated 6.5 to 7.9, say, will get rated an '8' just so they can participate. This wouldn't mean much if only one or two people were interested - in other words, if they were really a '4' or '5' and one of the '8' through '10's on the site wanted them on, well, since that is just one vote, they'd probably still be out, but if they were close to an '8', well, maybe that creates a critical mass of people just giving them an '8' to get them in. So on a site with that cut-off, you will get a distortion in your data right around the '8' mark.

This not to imply there is any such thing as an actual '8', but it is probably pretty informative to see what a large group of people rates an individual.

My idea of a site that allows '1' through '10' would get rid of this bias, because though you would be limited to someone within '2', say, of your number, odds are anyone you would want to select for would have naturally been within '2' of your number anyway. Though now I wonder if there would be a downward selection bias - i.e. if someone who would be a '2' on the site decides that they want a chance at a '6' so they rate them a '4'. Hmmm... maybe I just think about this nonsense far too much. I guess I take the anthropological approach. Doing actual dating is a pain in the ass.


jamon said...

Beauty is such an odd thing isn't it. So many people look stunning, until they open their mouths ;)

Perhaps you could dip your toe into Hot or Not to find out your skin deep rating.

DBB said...

Yes, tastes do vary, but there are some constants as well. It would be interesting to find out what one's number is.

It would also be interesting to find out the variation in range of how one would be rated, and what the reason would be for that variation.

Anonymous said...

My girlfriends usually call me ugly, and are usually young and hot. It's possible for men to learn skills to make up for deficits of looks. There are schools for Pick Up Artists to learn the arts of seduction, and there are also many arts to maintaining the interest of a woman.

I'm 41 and my 24 year old girlfriend loves me like crazy. And I have very little money and am well below average in looks. Thank goodness I have to try harder than most.

DBB said...

I'm sure there are always exceptions, but statistically, it seems people end up with someone about the same level of attractiveness.

And picking someone up is very different from having a long-term relationship.

The cynical could also point out that someone with money or other such material attributes also might get someone more attractive than themselves.

But then to really discuss this empirically, one would need some empirical data. There's a great PhD thesis...