When a male friend recently admitted that he finds Angelina Jolie physically repulsive, I was floored.
“But she’s so hot!”
“She looks like a damn alien,” he countered.
Confusion! Surely a woman with luscious bee-stung lips, willowy limbs and a flawless bone structure is universally appealing? And if we can’t all agree on the inherent hotness of Brad Pitt’s genetically superior consort, what hope is there for the rest of us?
As it turns out, there is nothing to worry about. According to a recent study from online dating destination OKCupid, it seems that men consistently message women on the site who are not rated to be the most conventionally attractive.
In their blog “The Mathematics of Beauty”, OKCupid’s intrepid team of nerds conclude that men are more likely to put the virtual moves on a woman who men tend to disagree upon. A woman who consistently gets high marks in the looks department receives fewer messages on average than a woman who gets rated a perfect 10 by some men and a big ol’ goose egg by others.
Long story short? Fake ‘n bake poster girl Snooki or tattoo goddess Kat Von D would probably get messaged like mad on OKCupid and similar online dating sites, while conventional cuties like Taylor Swift or Kristen Bell are more likely to be ignored.
Similarly, in her book “I Don’t Care About Your Band,” (Gotham/Penguin, 2010), Julie Klausner explains why a multitude of guys in her social sphere crush out huge on dowdy Pam from NBC’s The Office.
“Pam is not intimidating, like one of those women who wears makeup and tailored clothes, and has a good job that she enjoys, and confidence, and an adult woman’s sexuality. There’s nothing scary about Pam, because there’s no mystery: she’s just like the boys who like her; mousy and shy. The ultimate emo-boy fantasy is to meet a nerdy, cute girl just like him, and nobody else will realize she’s pretty.”
Pam’s appeal seems to be based in the fact that she is not obviously appealing. And perhaps this is the reason why men on OKCupid hit on girls who not everyone finds beautiful; it’s less competitive. They are improving their chances in the mating game and lowering the odds of rejection by not aggressively competing for the most obviously desirable women.
This phenomenon translates into real life situations at bars when the hottest woman in the room is snubbed (“She would never go for me, dog!”) in favour of the less pretty, but more attainable woman.
There’s also the whole aspect of one’s personality trumping one’s looks, elevating them from average to extraordinary. For example, Wallis Simpson has been widely described as homely; photographer Cecil Beaton even went so far as to call her “attractively ugly.” Still, Simpson, with her broad forehead and large-ish nose, won the heart of the world’s most eligible bachelor. He even chose her over the throne of England. (Top that, Kim Kardashian!)
So what was it about Wallis? By all accounts, she was effortlessly witty and charismatic; personality traits that undoubtedly helped to make her the most attractive and desirable woman in the world to Prince Edward.
As the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Attraction is a uniquely personal experience with a staggering number of variables. So chances are, no matter who you are or what you look like, you are excruciatingly attractive to at least one special somebody out there.
Now go get ’em, Tiger.
Sexy Typewriter blogs about her dating failures – online and otherwise – at Sexytypewriter.com.