Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Am I really a 9?

Just for the heck of it, I decided to post a photo of myself on the Internet's favorite haunt of raging narcicists -- Hot or Not.

I always though Hot or Not (which now bills itself as an online dating site!) was the ultimate in superficial. Who wants to be rated like movies, or wines or for that matter, livestock?

But spending time there with a friend, flipping around the men (a motley collection that included a few she-hes) and women (ranging from downright scary looking to more gorgeous than many celebrities) we found that Hot or Not is a lesson in what we've been programmed to believe or accept, universally, as beautiful. It's amazing to see that almost consistently your rating matches, almost exactly, the rating that others gave that person's photograph.

We noticed that men in suits consistently score higher marks.

But criminal-looking guys with tattoos and the Harley look also often score above an 8 too.

A heavily made up Transexual or man in drag scores way higher than a real woman in plain clothes.

Affluent looking, well dressed men consistently score higher than goodlooking grease monkeys.

A thin woman with an ugly face will always score higher than a beautiful chubby one.

Heavy makeup and fake boobs score high marks. The more you look like a Hooters waitress or a porn star, the higher your score!

And skin sells, baby.

So I posted three photos: on was a very natural picture in a bikini top and a sarong, without makeup. That one scored a very surprisingly respectable 8.2.

A photograph in makeup with styled hair, miniskirt and a skimpy top scored higher, 9.

And I got an amazing 9.7 (and three nominations for the HOT OR NOT hall of fame) when I posted a photograph in a Halloween costume with a bare midriff, silver false eyelashes, a blue waist length wig and very heavy makeup.

I have to say, this was the best boost to my self esteem I've had in years. There's nothing like having 250 people rate you above average to make your day.

So is "beauty" more than skin deep -- or is it just about showing flesh and wearing heavy makeup? At least on Hot or Not it is.

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