Like most guys out there, I consider it my God-given duty as a man to bring some objectivity to the world of physical attraction and sex-appeal. If you ask the average male (i.e. me), he’ll tell you there are far too many emotional, inexact terms like “cute,” smokin,” “squirrely,” and “busty” floating around. These terms do nothing but confuse us. We can’t measure them, we can’t make comparisons. How do I compare a “clinically insane” girl with a “medically unstable” one? What does the term voluptuous mean? What is the distinction between a slammin hottie and a smokin one?
It is because of these ambiguities that men will do things like, for example, sit in a crowded cafeteria and ascribe numerical value to the relative attractiveness of passing females. It’s not because we’re shallow, it’s because we’re scientists. We need absolutes, we need facts, we need scales from 1-10. It means nothing to us for someone say that our girlfriend possesses an above average level of physical appeal. However, if we are told she is a 7.8 (possibly as high as an 8.3 in the summertime and on Sundays) our hearts swell with pride as we know once and for all that yes, she is hotter than Johnnie’s girlfriend.
We just want to know where everyone stands. In the pursuit of fairness, we subject ourselves to the same process of ranking and indexing. After all, what’s the point in dating a 7.8 (but occasional 8.3!) if you don’t know that you are at best a 7.5? Suddenly, a simple date becomes a conquest! Many females object to the unfairness of this system. They claim the male scale is a bit more…forgiving, but this is a simple misunderstanding. The fact is, the average guy possesses a level of physical attractiveness that is significantly above average (the same holds true with driving and athletic ability).
It is for this reason that I was not the least bit surprised when I received an unsolicited email from the good people at hotenough.org. They were writing to inform me that they had received my application for membership into their exclusive community and would be processing it over the next couple weeks. Naturally, I assumed a place with “Hot Enough” in their name would be right up my alley. When I discovered that, “Hot Enough is not so much about looks but about ‘A LOOK.’ Attractive, fit, and trendy are just a few of the descriptions Hot Enough elites have to offer and all to accommodate your personal flare and style” I knew I was home. I assumed my friends had noticed my astounding level of carnal allure and were now trying to connect me with a community of my equals. How thoughtful.
NotEnough’s screening process is fairly straightforward. You submit three photos (including one full body shot) with your application. These photos are carefully scrutinized by the club’s gorgeous members who draw from their wealth of experience as real-live hot people to determine whether you are Hot Enough or not. These arbitrators of attraction ascribe a numeric ranking to your pictures. You get twenty-five votes to obtain a ranking of 7.5 (the minimum level of hotness that any self-respecting hot person will associate with), at which point you will be admitted into the club. If a plurality of twenty-five voters places you anywhere below 7.5, you are unceremoniously booted back to the paunchy, pock-marked world of eHarmony and Match.com from whence you came.
Having placed myself at about an 8.5 (+/- .3 depending on the presence of direct lighting to my face), I considered the whole process a formality and was eagerly awaiting the objective validation of my physical appeal that I’d been searching for. My answer came two weeks later. After carefully reviewing my three pictures for fourteen days, 25 beautiful strangers had given me a hotness index rating of 5.62, nearly two points below the club minimum. They bid me a charitable goodbye and left me to piece my life back together.
I had created a monster. My wish for scientific objectivity had come true, and I wished only that I could take it back. The flattering illusions were stripped away. No longer could I rely on unsubstantiated comparisons and a healthy ego to speculate about my physical charm. I knew the truth. I was a 5.62, and that was all I would ever be. How would I face my ambiguously attractive friends? I was a misshapen fact floating through a world of undefined, yet potentially beautiful beings. Would they accept me? Would they see me for the phony I was? Could I find an enclave of other 5.62s who would take me in as one of their own?
Then, as I sat staring at those three ugly numbers on my screen, I had a paradigm-altering epiphany. I may not have been right for HotEnough.com, but I was comforted by the fact that I was right about one thing. I am above average. 5.62! Point 62 above average, baby! That may not get me into any exclusive clubs, but it gets me through the night. And for now, that’s good enough for me.
That is all.