Sunday, 29 December 2013

Not so beautiful dot con

“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the vainest of them all?  Is it my heart or ego that rules, or is the world of love only made for fools?”


There is a certain online dating website that goes by the name of beautiful.com.  It has caused some controversy on discrimination grounds due to the process it uses for subscribers to be accepted.  Basically, current members grade a new subscriber’s physical look, and they are either accepted onto or declined from the site accordingly.  If you ask me, I think it is, on paper, a fantastic concept as it saves time searching indefinitely for someone you find physically attractive.  But as my recent self-study will explain, it is far from this straight forward.

Absolutely Not             2%
No                             10%
Err, ok                        74%
Beautiful                     14%

The above options are how the opposite sex can vote from an international field.  The percentages shown are how I came out over a 48 hour judging period.  Unsurprisingly I got in, as someone only needs a majority from the last two options, but as you can see it isn’t exactly with flying colours.  I no longer have a professionally produced headshot photograph, and in truth I’ve always been someone who looks better in person than in photogenic form.  Nevertheless, a couple of my more endearing holiday images were put on for people to assess me.  Once my dampened ego had quickly turned round into a rise smile and suspected reasoning, a few more blanks were filled.


Now I know there are thousands of better looking men in the world than me, but I also know that I’d easily be in the top 1% of men who were seen as most physically attractive in any city in the UK.  Cocky, perhaps, but I go by third party comments and observational stares – within the UK and in other world cities - far more than my self-grade.  If women were forced to be honest every time, 74% would not only state “err, ok.”  With this in mind, my instinctive thoughts were that the benchmark must be so high on the site that maybe, in relativity, this indifferent comment is all I deserve.  Is it that British men are seen upon as ugly compared to other nation’s inhabitants?  The fact I’m a mixed-race guy with dark skin, who looks as British as a white man appears African, doesn’t back up this possibility.  

Once accepted onto the online dating site, my first exercise was to grade the newest 300 female users from all parts of the world.  As I couldn’t be bothered to move the cursor to “Absolutely Not”, this is how I scored them:

Absolutely Not              0 (0%)            Awful
No                               278 (93%)       Not shaggable / shaggable, but not date material
Err, ok                         19 (6%)           Cute   
Beautiful                       3 (1%)             Hot

I’ve shown how I would interpret the website options against how I viewed the women.  Let it be said, a fair number of the 93% were awful.  I make no apology in being a harsh assessor of female beauty, but even this surprised me.  This website was supposed to supply an array of the finest single ladies on planet Earth.  Ok, these were only potential subscribers, so maybe most other men were voting the same way?

Ages

Exercise number two was an analysis of the age spectrum of UK men who were current members.  I analyzed the “highest ranked” first 30 men that came up, and did likewise with 30 of the newest UK male members.  The average age was 27.4 and 29.4 respectively.  Using the same format for women, the average age came about at 26.8 and 27.1.   

Things were now starting to add up.  To the instinctive mind, the female average age of 26.8 for the “highest ranked” women is above the age you usually see women at their hottest.  I don’t think there can be much argument that, generally, women are at their most visually pleasing between 18 and 25.  However, it’s relative to the age of women on the site, so perhaps this age is misleading. 

With men, the “highest ranked” members were at an average age you would expect for men who look after themselves.  For men blessed with good genes and a sensible lifestyle, this pinnacle physical appearance age can go well into the 30s.  The fact that the newest subscribers were a couple of years older on average doesn’t really bear much relevance.  


Standard

The next task was related to my interest in how I’d compare (for the record, I rate myself humbly at 8.25/10 overall physical attractiveness) to the UK “highest ranked men”.  As you can’t see their score from other users, this was only my own view, but I like to think I grade men and women on objectivity and not self-agendas.  I chose to see how many views it would take to find 20 men who were clearly or marginally above me.  After finding 20 of the lucky sods, I counted up a total of 345.  Of the other 325, I’d roughly say 40% were similar to me and 60% were below.  There were a number of men who really couldn’t justify being on an “exclusive beauty” website, but when women are the voters you know it’s not purely based on sexual impulses.

Repeating a similar exercise from the newest male members, I counted up 10 men who would be more eye catching than me from 345 views.

Then it was time to see how many UK (hot) women it would take to see who were on at least the same level as my assessment of the top 20 men.  Well, my eyes, arm and head were all throbbing by the time I got there – at 859 views later! 

With the newest UK female members, all I can say is that I saw 4 hot women as a maximum before losing the will to carry on. 


What’s going on here?  Have I got things wrong?  From my observations in many social and working arenas, I see 3 to 4 times more hot women than top end physically attractive men.  Admittedly, the numbers on both sides are few and far between, but the ratios are on the female high side.  So how can it be that on a dating website of this kind – where the crème de la crème of eye candy women and men congregate – the ratio shows an opposite trend towards more hot men than women?  Even with the tiers below, my sharp eyes recollected a higher average male physical attractiveness grade by at least 1 level in comparison to the women. 

I more than accept my native country doesn’t exactly churn out a conveyor belt of hot women.  That is for sure.  When you go out on the busiest weekend of the year as I did during the weekend before Christmas in my local city, and you see only 4 hot women from all the numerous bars and clubs ventured in, this gives you some idea to the standard we have here.  But true to my claims, I didn’t see one man of equal hotness to the 4 women (apart from the mirror reflection, of course!), so despite a shortage of fine British women on our shore, there is still in excess of a 3-fold higher quantity of them than relative males.  


Conclusions 

All this just doesn’t tally up with the “real life” as I see it, does it?  To the innocent bystander, this may appear oddly matched with the real world, but it was no fall off your seat moment to me.  I confidently believe I have the answers to unravel this curious role reversal.  Some conclusions are as a side issue to my study, but they inter-link all the same:


  • Women rate good looking men harshly, but still high enough to not make them not look stupid and irrational.  A begrudging “yeah, he’s ok” is a perennial response about men who are better looking than them.  The exceptions are when a good looking man is famous.


  • Women rate lesser looking but decent looking men – those along the average scale – higher than the objective look, as the comfort of attainability subconsciously drives them towards this habit.


  • Men analyze women’s beauty much less harshly in overall terms than the inverse.  They will naturally score a hot/very cute woman accordingly, but they may overrate even a mere cute woman.  The “she’s got a vagina, so don’t be so fussy” mentality will come into this, along with most men’s fear of hurting a woman’s feelings, even if it means lying along the way.  Even average women, as many on the site were, would be leveraged slightly higher by the indifferent male minds.  This would clear up why many uninspiring women found their ways on.


  • Any findings of mine or a site of this kind could leave people to believe there are more men of high physical attractiveness than women, but this isn’t the case.  It would be misguiding to suggest this is what reflects the open sexual market.


  • Hot women are very rare, make no mistake about it.  Nevertheless, whether it be in any social or occupational environment, women in this compartment are 3 to 4 times more likely to be seen (or there are 3 to 4 times as many) than men of similar looks relativity.  This same ratio also applies to the dynamic of cute women and above average looking men.  The trend does start to diminish when the female age ascends from 35 years of age.   Walking down the high streets, observing people in bars/clubs and general observation would back this up.



  • The reason there is a higher ratio and number of extremely physically attractive men than women on dating websites is simply because men from this category are more “available” to subscribe to sites like this than women:

i) Far more good looking men are single than hot women.
ii) Most men look to “grade up” with a better looking woman, whilst most women date down in the looks department.  With this in mind, men will look far and wide to find a hotter woman.
iii) Women in general are more relationship orientated, even if perhaps unhappy or only content with their current partner.

  • Hot women, due to less emphasis on male looks than the inverse situation, have far more pursuits from men than good looking men have from all shapes and sizes of women.  Men’s hunger for sex, and their natural instincts to chase and supplicate, brings about this circumstance.  Consequently, although there are more hot women than hot men in the UK, only a small percentage of these women would ever need to enroll to find love someone. In stats terms, 10% of 4 is less than 80% of 1.  This is perhaps a critical reason why there are more than twice as many hot men on these sites than hot women. 


  • Cute women stand out more than above average looking men.  In reality, these two categories are the equivalent match to hot women against hot men.  But a cute woman, especially a very cute woman (7.75/10 in physical attractiveness), lasts far longer in a man’s memory than an above average looking man does likewise to a woman’s thoughts on visuals only.  Ultimately, cute women also have more options in the sexual marketplace than the hoards of average men.  This results in a low number of younger cute women having to necessitate to online dating.


  • Women’s trust, insecurity, confidence and egoism issues tend to sway them away from the highest of eye catching men.  On the other hand, men of all kinds are tuned towards women from this elite group.  This once more manifests to form a high number of single good looking men.


  • With minor exceptions, women are at their most beautiful in physical terms in their late teens to mid 20s.  This is, naturally, when they have the most options in the sexual market.  When options are abundant there is no need to subscribe to a dating website unless a feel good ego boost is the requirement.  This goes in line with the vast majority of women who are on any online dating service – they are in their late 20s, 30s and 40s.  During this timeframe, fewer men have started to notice their existence.  So in essence, it is more than possible some of these women in later life were indeed hot or very cute in their younger years. 


  • Flip the coin, and you will see the majority of men at their most eye catching in their late 20s.  This went in conjunction with the average age I calculated.  But the difference is men at this age – their physical peak – are not at their most socially active due to work commitments and male friends who have settled down.  A dating website, even at the age when most physically honoured, could be a necessity to meet a woman.


  • It is a misconception that men who hold the highest physical visual blessings will always find a suitable woman due to the abundant female followers.  These men will attain glances and attention that 99% of men could only dream about, but this rarely equates to bags in the sack or long term relationships.  Extremely good looking men who have little else to offer, but also some with other desirables, have a lot of trouble locating a girlfriend.  Many of these men will tell you they are sexual players, but let me tell you that most of them are lying.  If these men had choices to spare with the female society, why would they ever need to enroll on a dating website with the rolls of unattractive women to view?


  • Hot women have the biggest egos and most fragile prides.  They also have high opinions of their physical beauty, even if this isn’t born out of fundamental inner confidence.  This all manifests in causing them to perceive a dating website as the last straw before validation of desperation.  A hot or very cute woman – those with delicate thoughts to how others look upon them – would not take kindly to other people’s perceptions of her not feeling wanted.  She will most likely repel from subscribing.  Men, irrespective to their physical attractiveness level, are far less concerned about what people think of them.  Men see dating websites as an opportunity, and not a failure.   



All in all, online dating websites for good looking men who have the natural male inclination to “date up” are a complete waste of time.  It really is just as hard to find a hot woman scrolling up and down a computer screen as it is walking the streets for hours.  Lesser looking men, with reduced female physical beauty threshold, are in a better position.  They throw themselves in the same large slice of the cake segment as the average women on there.  There is even maybe an easier chance to grade up online than elsewhere, in particular for introverted men or those with little comprehension to women’s true choices in men. 


It’s important to remember that a woman’s rating of a man’s physical appearance can often be dictated and fluctuated by other factors.  If he shows a positive level of status, wealth, personality, charisma and mystique – things she gains from – a woman will likely elevate her grade of a man.  On the flip side, if her unknowledgeable perception draws from negative thoughts, she will de-leverage the objectivity of his physical attractiveness.  This de-scale is all the more pronounced when it is contemplation of a man who is better looking than her.  In contrast, a man will simply grade a woman’s beauty on what he sees at first glance.

This observational reality even runs parallel with online dating – the sexual market meeting place where you would think that visuals rule everything.  Again, a man will barely read a woman’s profile, and if he does it will most certainly be after more than a few looks at all the pictures of her face and body.  Women will naturally analyze the profile picture of a man first, but they will not disqualify a great number of men who aren’t too pleasing to their naked eye if his profile write-up convinces them he has much else to offer.

So here you have it in summary.  There are more than 3 times as many hot women than hot men in the UK (and in other countries), yet there are almost 3 times more men of high end physical attractiveness on the apparently exclusive “beautiful” dating website than stunning looking women.  Not every one of these men could have crap personalities, lower status and other below average desirable metrics in comparison to all the lesser looking men seen with hot and very cute women.  Are you now starting to cross some boxes?  Is the reality smacking you full on in the face?  It’s all there to see, folks.  It isn’t just a mere coincidence.




Acknowledgements

http://www.beautifulpeople.com/en-UK


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