The geeks at OKTrends, the OKCupid blog, have put some numbers behind a suspicion that until now had had very little basis: the more men seem to disagree on whether a woman is hot, the more attention she gets from men.
Allow us to attempt to distill the geekery: Using data from the site OKCupid, they took a sample of 43,000 women from the same town, between 20 and 27 years of age, and all of a straight orientation and compared how users rated them on the site’s 1 to 5 scale versus how many messages each woman received on average.
The women with a pretty solid 4 score got less messages than women who had a score distributed between 5 and 1.
The woman on the right receives far more messages
despite having an overall lower score.
“Men who think you’re cute actually subtract from your message count,” writes OKTrends blogger Christian Rudder. “If someone doesn’t think you’re hot, the next best thing for them to think is that you’re ugly.”
He elaborates using a little game theory (insert our happy nerdgasms here):
Suppose you’re a man who’s really into someone. If you suspect other men are uninterested, it means less competition. You therefore have an added incentive to send a message. You might start thinking: maybe she’s lonely … maybe she’s just waiting to find a guy who appreciates her … at least I won’t get lost in the crowd … maybe these small thoughts, plus the fact that you really think she’s hot, prod you to action. You send her the perfectly crafted opening message: “sup”
On the other hand, a woman with a preponderance of ’4′ votes, someone conventionally cute, but not totally hot, might appear to be more in-demand than she actually is. To the typical man considering her, she’s obviously attractive enough to create the impression that other guys are into her, too. But maybe she’s hot enough for him to throw caution (and grammar) to the wind and send her a message. It’s the curse of being cute.
Their takeaway, however, is what’s really interesting.
“Take whatever you think some guys don’t like — and play it up,” Rudder writes. “As you’ve probably already noticed, women with tattoos and piercings seem to have an intuitive grasp of this principle. They show off what makes them different, and who cares if some people don’t like it. And they get lots of attention from men. But our advice can apply to anyone. Browsing OkCupid, I see so many photos that are clearly designed to minimize some supposedly unattractive trait — the close-cropped picture of a person who’s probably overweight is the classic example. We now have mathematical evidence that minimizing your ‘flaws’ is the opposite of what you should do. If you’re a little chubby, play it up. If you have a big nose, play it up. If you have a weird snaggletooth, play it up: statistically, the guys who don’t like it can only help you, and the ones who do like it will be all the more excited.”
A call to embrace your flaws. We’re down with that. In the meantime, you now have all the geekery you need to punch a hole through the next jerk that describes you as “cute.” Cute is for puppies and babies — and, as of now — for girls who get no play.
Via OKTrends blog.