She’s Ugly > She’s CutePosted: January 10, 2011
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](http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/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](http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-mathematics-of-beauty/) from men interested in them. The results are surprising:
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.