“I will only date someone who is hot.” – Honest Man
Men are pigs.
Or at least I am. I hate to say it but the first thing I look for in a woman is whether she is hot or not. Before you fill the comments section with how awful a person I am, let us look at why I feel this way.
Society tells us beauty matters. Women have to be pretty, in-shape, and fit our socially constructed ideals. But women are not the only one getting this message. Men are told that the women we date also need to fit these beauty constructs. If I date an ugly or overweight woman then I am judged in society as being inferior in some way. And while you might like to think I would be judged as open minded or understanding-–after all isn’t it what is on the inside that matters?–the fact is that simply isn’t true when it comes to people’s thoughts.
The University of Harvard tested the average public’s implicit thoughts to find out our implicit preferences when it comes to people’s weight. It turns out 70% of people, including me, have an implicit preference for thin people compared to fat people.
Think about it this way: you go to your high school reunion and you see Johnny, the kid you had four classes with but never really got to know. You haven’t seen Johnny in ten years and he walks in with a Jessica Alba look-alike on his arm. What are you going to think Johnny has been up to over these last ten years?
We just added value to Johnny because of how his date looks. And I am not sure that this is wrong. After all, isn’t this sort of beauty mostly a construct? In some parts of Africa, being overweight is beautiful. In America, having freakishly large breasts is considered attractive. I am not really a fan of either of those things. I am also not a fan of the anorexic models walking up and down the fashion runway. I like fit women with a little bit of curves and a pretty face. Why? Not to get too Darwinian, but I shouldn’t have to explain why. We are attracted to people because we are supposed to reproduce with them. Something in my DNA is telling me to mate with a fit, pretty-faced woman.
You may think I am a pig for putting too much emphasis on the fact that my girl better be hot. But maybe I am just being honest.
And I am not the only one. Check out ABC News’ What Would You Do Episode here:
Ok this is outright hilarious. I may be a pig but clearly I am not the only one. In fact, according to Business Insider, attractive people get hired quicker, receive more promotions, and earn higher wages than less attractive people (Stranger, 2012). Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor from the University of Texas, estimates that attractive people make $230,000 more over a course of a lifetime than unattractive people. His research shows that even average looking people make $140,000 more than people deemed ugly (Shellenbarger, 2011).
It gets even crazier if you’re an overweight woman. According to a study done by the University of Florida, in the corporate world, women who weighed 25lbs less than the norm earned $16,000 more a year than the average woman, and women who weighed more than 25lbs above the norm earned $14,000 less than the average woman. That is $30,000 dollars for just being thin! Over a thirty year career that is $900,000 (CBS News, 2010). Ladies, what better motivation do you need to get in shape? Almost a million dollars and you can steal bicycles!
Now you can do two things: whine about the society in which we live and watch the beautiful get richer. Or you can be the Jane Eyre of 2013 and BE HOT!!! Sounds like a good New Year’s resolution to me.
Take the IAT Weight test and post your results in the comments section. Also, feel free to berate me if you must.
CBS News. (2010, October 8). Study: Fat men, skinny women make more money. CBSNews.com, Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500165_162-6938941.html
Shellenbarger, S. (2011, October 27). On the job, beauty is more than skin-deep. The Wall Street Journal, Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203687504576655331418204842.html
Stranger, M. (2012, October 10). Good reasons why beautiful people have higher salaries. Business Insider, Retrieved from http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/10/10/attractive-people-are-simply-more-successful/
University of Harvard. (n.d.). Implicit association test: weight. Retrieved from https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/
Photos by Amareta Kelly
I took the implicit test and it said “Your data suggest a strong automatic preference for Thin People compared to Fat People.” I kind of suspected that but when it got to the part in the test where you had to match thin people with bad words, I did it wrong every single time!
Oh and BTW–the part in the video where the wife tries to call the cops but the husband stops and helps–HYSTERICAL!
I’ve seen that show before, it is so great! It’s very interesting people’s perceptions and how they change by who the person is and what stereotype they fit.
That part of the test was HARD!!!
Yeah I have taken most of the IATs and the weight one is by far the most difficult. I knew I would have a strong implicit preference because I could physically feel the difficulty.
Liz Castro says
I don’t like it when someone tells me I’m “hot” over and over again. He only wants one thing and isn’t taking the time to look beyond the physical. I’d rather be overweight again and “hot” to someone for the right reasons.
Your data suggest a strong automatic preference for Thin People compared to Fat People.
I’ll admit, I am extremely grossed out by obese people, especially when they are riding in a scooter or not walking and not attempting to walk. I didn’t think it was a strong automatic preference, but there ya go!
This is a VERY interesting post and very honest. Thank you for sharing. =)
Oh that whole scooter thing instead of just walking….ANNOYS ME BEYOND WORDS! I’m not a mean person at all but sometimes I just want to say something!!! Agh! Totally agree Martha!
Martha, thanks for the feedback! I am glad you liked the post. And our implicit is impacted by everything around us — the media, the gym, our own struggles with body image. If you care about health, it is hard to imagine your implicit thoughts would not be impacted.
Liz, I think most men care about the physical first but they will not last with a girl if they do not like “rest”. And I do not believe the term “hot” is offensive. But perhaps I have the vernacular of a pig.
I think you have the vernacular of most men. And most men are pigs. 🙂
I actually agree in most ways. As women I think we are striving to feel “hot” and better about ourselves. We are constantly worrying about the way we look, and what we are eating.
This is probably why I have always gotten paid a lot, and am really good at stealing Bikes.
Reep, this is a great example of how important it is to be “hot.” Usually when I think about what it means to be hot, your name is the first one that comes to mind.