She's Ugly > She's Cute

OKCupid consistently amazes me with the analysis they publish drawing from the mountains of data they collect through their online dating site. It provides a fascinating insight into our behavior and what makes us tick, like the Gay Sex vs. Straight Sex blog post that made the rounds a couple of months ago - which provided data that debunked one of the most commonly held stereotypes help by homophobics - that gays are sexually attracted to straight people and are seeking to convert them. Not that I suspect a bigot to read such a blog post or anything, but it was enlightening and fascinating nonetheless.

The most recent analysis seeks to find a statistical correlation of a woman's "attractiveness" measured by the number of messages they receive from men interested in them. The results are surprising:

Mathematics of Attractiveness

Applying the additive property of equality which states:

  If A = B, 
  then A + C = B + C

Allows us to conclude that if:


If "She's Beautiful" + "She's Ugly" >  "She's Beautiful" + "She's Cute", 
then "She's Ugly" > "She's Cute".

Which I suppose is not that surprising when you consider from an evolutionary point of view that the performance of a individual within a group is more often affected by their differentiated traits rather than the ones that tend towards them being lost in the crowd.

This is of course very validating for a nerd like myself - one who struggled to be popular, and who ultimately decided, "to hell with them, all I can do is be me." That moment when I decided to start celebrating what made me weird as opposed to trying to hide it is the day I started being happy in school.

There is a similar lesson in this for all of us though, echoed by OkCupid's advice:

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.

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