How I Became an 8 out of 10

You’ve no doubt heard about, or engaged in, the human evaluation process of “rating” individuals on overall appeal. A purely subjective practice where a “10” is pretty much a god or goddess, and a “1” is Golem eating that fish in Lord of the Rings.

How one comes upon a rating for an individual can be a combination of factors. It might be based solely on physical qualities, but may also include considerations such as personality, style, intelligence, artistic ability, or even income.

As one might expect, females tend to (but not always) apply more non-physical factors in “rating” than men do. Consequently, there could be some truth to the adage: Men love the women they are attracted to, and women are attracted to the men they love.

Interestingly, humans behavior tends to be a bell curve. Self-ratings fit nicely into such. Ask most people to rate their own attractiveness on a one to ten scales, and you’ll get far more fives and sixes than ones and twos or even nines and tens.

That outcome may be just the social expectations of humility, but more likely a reflection that most of us are far more focused on our self-perceived flaws than on our gifts. (I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every woman who thinks she needs to lose ten pounds but doesn’t.)

In truth, there is no value to such a rating system. It’s subjective and meaningless. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; it’s also cultural and changes as we age.

That’s what I love about getting older. My son, who is half my age, and I were discussing that very topic. I told him the best thing about getting older is that the number of beautiful women in the world continues to increase.

But, as always, I digress.

As this is the story of how I became an 8 out of 10 on that very subjective scale. Or more accurately, how it is that I found the audacity (maybe denial) even to make such a claim, and to believe it!

If you walked into a room – or I did – and asked a hundred people to rate you on that scale, you’d find a range of numbers. While those ratings might cluster around a single number, certainly not all hundred judges would give you the same score because it’s subjective.

The likelihood of you receiving mostly scores of nine and ten is small. But on that, it is science. To rank those top two ratings, you need two things universally appealing to our species, and both are related to something called the Golden Ratio.

First, your face needs symmetry. That means the measurements of both sides are very, very close. A fascinating set of measures used to define “attractive”  can be found here, but don’t bother until you read the rest of the post.

The second is a factor that differs from men to women. For men, it is the golden ratio between the chest and waist. For women, it is the golden ratio between waist and hips.

It’s fascinating that the actual size is not essential, but merely the ratio between them. On average, for both sexes, that ratio is around 1.4 to 1.5.

So, a man’s chest needs to be 1.4 to 1.5 times that of his waist and a woman’s hips 1.4 to 1.5 times larger than her waist.

{ Chest circumference / waist circumference} – {Hip circumference / Waist circumference}

Okay, I’ll keep writing while we pretend you aren’t taking your measurements.

So, with my bold statement of I’m an 8 out of 10, did I kill it on those two measurements? Well, I nailed the chest to the waist, but my face apparently requires that my nose be about a half-inch longer.

And yet I persist with the 8 thing???

Here are the reasons why.

I read an article about Henry Cavill (Superman) and his preparation for the Netflix’s series The Witcher. Henry Cavill, who I think most women rate pretty high on attractiveness, discussed how he had to dehydrate himself to “pull off his shirtless scenes.” What?! The guy, who played Superman, and who is by any measurement in great shape, was concerned with his physical appearance?

I read another article in which Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson discussed having fat removed from his chest because he was so self-conscious about it.

And, of course, many have read articles about the lengths Tom Cruise goes to the appear taller than his 5’7” height.

The stories about beautiful female celebrities, who think they are not, are even more confusing.

If these folks, who serve as social models of attractiveness, suffer from self-esteem (and body dysmorphia) issues, what chance do the rest of us have?

And then I had another thought. All of those hundred fictional people rating me are far more concerned with their number than mine. You are far more concerned with your number than with mine.

And every one of us thinks we’d be more attractive if . . . (Insert whatever you lament about that no one else even notices).

I also realized that I don’t need a hundred, or a thousand, or a million people to rate me as an 8.

I just need one.

Attractiveness is subjective. If one person believes I’m an 8 that is every bit as valid as any other number of people thinking the same and just as correct as any other number of people giving me a different rating.

I’m not a fashion model or an actor, so I don’t need a beauty consensus.

One person – that’s all.

Well, I’m one person.

And if I want to be an 8, who can convince me that I’m not?

Who can convince you that you’re not?

And why would anyone’s opinion who tried to convince you even make a difference?

I mean, most people rank themselves as 5 or 6 — I”m an 8, so why would I listen to them?

Being an 8 isn’t about walking around with an inflated ego. We are so worried about that possibility when, in fact, most of us feel like imposters.

It’s not about becoming Narcissist and drowning in the lake. Most of us spend more time self-critiquing our physical flaws than seeing our gifts.

The truth is, I spent my life thinking I was a 6. A safe number to stave off criticism. Not really that safe, though. My first wife told me I was ugly, and, for a time, I accepted that evaluation.

Being a 6 was not a great experience. I didn’t feel good about myself, and I was not always as confident as I should have been.

As a 6, I absolutely had to shower, shave, hair, and properly dress when going out to the store (less I become a 4).

As an 8, I went to the grocery store last night without worrying about messy hair AND in athletic shorts and Crocs. Yeah, 8’s get to wear Crocs with zero self-confidence issues!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have always been fairly confident (externally), and I, at times, am a serial Flirt. Moving up from a 6 to an 8 isn’t about “getting women,” or making bold, new fashion statements.

Being an 8 is about how I feel about myself and how I engage with the world around me. It’s about defining my self-value and looking at confirmations, instead of negations, of that value.

It would be nice if we could avoid the trappings of considering how others evaluate us. I’ve seen that advice, and I don’t think it works. We are interested in what others think about us — we’re social creatures.

However, I see no, none, zero advantage in starting low and hoping someone brings me up. I prefer to start as an 8. If someone thinks my number is lower . . . Well, I can’t come up with any good reasons to care about that opinion.

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