Article Thumbnail

If You’re Grading Hotness With Decimal Points, You Have Brain Damage

The 10-point scale was bad enough. This is just lunacy.

The 10-point attractiveness scale has gotten a lot of use lately, thanks to a pattern of low-effort memes that spring from the reality of compromise in your dating life. Most iterations are one of two basic jokes. Either someone isn’t that hot but has a powerfully redeeming quality… 

Or they’re objectively stunning, but it’s impossible to overlook a defect of their personality.

Okay. I get it. Nobody’s perfect, and romance demands that you think about what most matters to you in a partner. As I’ve written in the past, however, this cultural default to the 1-to-10 rating is just plain wack. We’re not quantifying anything here, and it is, fundamentally, a middle-schooler mindset that would have us believe we are. In actual adult life, sex and lasting love are decided with a binary: yes or no. Genuine attraction is a subtle mystery you can’t put into numbers. Which is why it’s all the more galling to see people using decimal points, inserting another 1-to-10 scale between each whole integer, for what then becomes, essentially, a 100-point scale for grading people’s appearance. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

Yes, “Speed Read Dan” — a.k.a. Dan McKinley — is another lunatic man on the internet who has appointed himself an expert in physiognomy, a “biological supremacist” who has the same obsession with population decline that motivates racist violence in America. And yes, this deranged, never-ending Twitter thread escalates until he’s treating “8s” and “9s” like different species altogether and calling Frida Khalo a “sigma female,” which inspired plenty of people to make fun of him. (I’m now blocked, for one.) Yet I find myself haunted by the decimals as something that could be part of even an outwardly normal person’s worldview. Imagine asking your bro if the woman he went on a Tinder date with was hot and he says, “She’s like a 7.3.” Or a friend saying a guy is out of her league because he’s a “9.1.” Absolutely cursed shit.

No! No!! Stop this immediately. It has no basis in material fact. Bad enough we go around acting as if we can assign objective value to looks, now you want to get into fractions? Where does it end? I am begging you to decide whether someone makes you horny, or gives you butterflies, or however you want to describe it, and do with that information what you will. We didn’t goof off in math class for 12 years to start using those concepts now. You know what the hottest people alive don’t need to figure out who they’re going to hook up with? A calculator. Grow up, nerds.