Do YOU Overestimate Your Looks Compared To Other People? Take This Test And Find Out!

How do you rate your attractiveness compared to others in your age range? Are you a 7? An 8? Or even a 10?

A fascinating article on about how we rank our own attractiveness suggests that most of us are pretty bad at rating our own looks.

“Everyone can find at least one good picture of themselves. And if everyone puts their very best picture on their online dating profile (and why wouldn’t they?), then anyone trying to estimate the distribution of attractiveness using dating profile pictures will almost certainly overestimate the average level of attractiveness for people of that gender who are searching on that market.”

The author compares the online dating market to an economic market and suggests that ranking our own attractiveness is akin to setting our price in the marketplace. She concludes that over-estimating our looks in the online marketplace may lead to poor results in online dating because if we overstate our own physical beauty, then we are very likely to over-shoot our expectations for a potential partner.

Read the article here and let me know what you think.

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  1. 31

    By definition most men are average. However the average women puts much more effort into her appearance. And thus the average women is more attractive than the average man.

  2. 32

    @ Sharon

    The average women “puts much more effort”? Can you please be more specific? I think men use the gym just as often as women. Men also play sports more often so in terms of physical fitness the two genders are probably even.

    If you’re talking about cosmetics then women do put more effort. But, what do you suppose men do? We don’t have much opportunities for make up.

    1. 32.1

      Men stay more physically fit, and wear this stuff that makes them smell good.  Women chop off their hair, wear ugly old lady glasses when they could choose cuter styles.  I see women past a certain age simply stop trying.  Then they hate those few women who keep on trying.

  3. 33

    @Derek ….That’s why on any given online dating site there’s more attractive women than attractive men even though there’s more quantity of men. Women not only put more time and energy into their appearance but into their online profile as well.

  4. 34

    M #4
    Ruby #9
    Maya #10
    My clients who believed they “deserved” the best seemed to be fairly equally distributed among men and women.  Age was not a factor.  They thought that if they paid me a fee for services (even though they were initially informed there was NO guarantee of a match), I should be able to come up with a 9 or 10 for them.
    One client in her mid 30’s was very heavy and had a child thru artificial insemination.  When I tried to explain to her that her weight might pose a problem, she became very defensive and said that her doctor told her she was healthy.   That was not the issue.  She came to me because she wanted another child and did not want to spend the $10,000 it cost her to have the first child.  Bottom line:  I could not find a match for her.
    She might have settled for a man with equal attractiveness (not) but none of the men were interested.
    A divorcee in her 70’s – looking her age and not very attractive – was lucky enough to attract a widower about her age.  Very nice man, good appearance, personable.  They were set to go out and he had to reschedule because of family issues.  She went ballistic but agreed to meet him at another time.  When they did meet, he did not behave in the manner she expected.  He was a perfect gentleman but did not HOLD HER HAND.  She was very nasty and sarcastic to him.  He called me and explained the situation, very upset.
    This woman did not realize how lucky she was to have a man of his caliber show any interest in her.
    I think Mr. Arrogant was popular because of -as stated by others – the bad boy/Marlboro Man Syndrome possibility.  His supposed self confidence may have been interpreted as virility.  After he divorced my friend “K”, they remained friends and she did many favors for him.  He had two young daughters from his first marriage and she used to take them for lunch, to movies, shopping, etc. while NEVER mentioning that she had been married to their father.
    Zaq #20
    Re “beauty in the eyes of the beholder”:  that works two ways.  My three most popular women were a 30ish blonde sitting at an event.  ALL of the interested men asked if she were in a wheelchair.  She was not!  This woman was cute, maybe a 6 or 7, and could have had many, many dates but hooked up with an old boyfriend.  BTW, this is NOT a criticism of the disabled!
    A set of twins in their late 30s (very, very thin) and IMO 6s  were very popular.  Went out with a few men but no serious connection ever made.
    There was one 8 or 9 blond nurse, good personality, filling out a bikini very nicely.  For some reason, very little interest there.  Another 8 or 9 charming Latin  beauty I would have picked for my son was not popular either.  Both women in early 30s.
    To summarize, in my Social Psych Class we were told about an experiment where infants up to 1 year old were shown pics of women to assess their responses.  Some of the women were in late 20s to early 30s, clear skin, regular features, large eyes – all girl next door type like Doris Day.  (Remember her?)
    Other photos were of older women, not very attractive, etc.  The babies cooed, smiled and reached out to touch the Doris Day type.
    This was about 25 years ago so there were only Caucasian women and babies in the experiment.  What the experimenters concluded was that there IS a norm of beauty with babies who have not been exposed to attitudes and values of society.
    Interesting to think about…..

    1. 34.1

      Terri, the experiment with the babies has been repeated and not just pictures of women were used, pictures of men also. But there is more. This was a much more comprehensive test. They used pictures of men and women but only compared men to men and women to women. I believe the men only voted on women and women only voted on men. They were shown to pictures and they would choose one over the other as more attractive. In effect this ranked the pictures after many votes were taken. Some interesting things came out of this. Mainly that while races might rate their own or another race higher than others, the voter’s race did not change, or drastically change the ranking within the subgroup being rated.

      Then came the babies. They had a person hold the babies on their lap while the pictures were shown. The way they babies voted was as you described. The pictures would pop up and the baby would look back and forth at both picture, and then settle in on the one that they preferred. Once this happened, the vote was recorded. It didn’t take long for them to choose a face…usually just a few seconds, but the choice was very noticeable. And, as it turned out, the babies made the same choices as the adults did. So yes, there seems to be a pre-programmed definition of beauty.

      In another experiment, they took some very young kids…don’t remember the grade level. Might have been 2nd grade. Anyway, they brought in two women, one very pretty in that girl next door way. Had very dark chestnut brown hair just past her shoulders. She read a story to the children. Then they brought in another woman. This woman was a practically a twin of the other woman. Same height, same hair color, same hair style, same dress, same color of eyes, same lipstick, etc…but she was overweight. The kids were asked various questions to determine who they preferred, and the answers were amazing. Some kids when asked why they didn’t like the second lady, the heavy one. Even though both had a very similar voice and talked sweetly, some kids actually said the heavier one was mean.

  5. 35

    Terri @34
    Yes,totally agree, beauty works both ways and is more objective than subjective.
    However there seems to be plenty of research showing that men set the bar reasonably low, and that the more attractive a women is, the more responses she will get. The less attractive will get some responses (as long as they are over the bar!)
    Women on the other hand are attracted to beauty, but also status, intelligence, confidence etc and I guess a composite of these things.
    They also seem to be quite good at assessing the other qualities, just by how the man looks.
    They tend to set the bar as high as they can.

    I’m interested, from your experience, what were the characteristics of the ones that were most successful? Was it the ones who were most attractive, or was it the ones prepared to lower the bar ?

  6. 36
    “Men agree a lot more about who they find attractive and unattractive than women agree about who they find attractive and unattractive,”
    Wood says the study results have implications for eating disorders and how expectations regarding attractiveness affect behavior.
    “The study helps explain why women experience stronger norms than men to obtain or maintain certain physical characteristics,” he says. “Women who are trying to impress men are likely to be found much more attractive if they meet certain physical standards, and much less if they don’t. Although men are rated as more attractive by women when they meet these physical appearance standards too, their overall judged attractiveness isn’t as tightly linked to their physical features.”

  7. 38


    Blond nurse and Latin beauty? Whoa… Sounds like guys would be all over them- what do you think happened there? I’m very curious…

  8. 39

    For me it’s about charisma not wealth. I’ve been smitten with enough broke musicians and starving artists for a life time. A deep voice and set of veiny muscular hands. The way someone moves. You can look like Brad Pitt but if you have a high pitched voice or other usual mannerisms it can be a complete turn off.

  9. 40

    No, I underestimate mine.  I’m always a bit stunned and surprised when people tell me I look beautiful and rather young for my age.
    Still can’t get my head round this.
    I find beauty to be a double-edged sword.  The women are jealous and the men wonder why the hell a beautiful woman is single.  There MUST be something wrong with her.
    Must there?

    1. 40.1

      Ditto- I must be a snob, or crazy. Never occurred to anyone I had family obligations, then chose to work on myself. (while dating intermittently) My experience is that if a woman is beautiful they expect her to be mean, maybe dumb, or have a million dates, not to be kind, intelligent, SHY, or not date much at all because men gawk but do not approach (& when she is assertive, they r shocked) In middle age, most of the “pretty” people r “taken”! That is the mantra!

      1. 40.1.1


        Many men gawk but don’t approach because as you said, they assume that she will be mean. But why do they think this? Because that is what experience has taught them. Men understand the economics side of things. Most beautiful women are or were bombarded by offers. Even on this site I have seen a few women speak of how they are way above average in looks, and then go on to talk about how their in boxes are constantly swamped on dating sites.

        So often times these women learn to ward off unwanted advances. There are many ways in which they do this. Not making eye contact of course is a big one. If a woman avoids looking at a man, he will likely assume that she has zero interest. Makes no sense to approach. It may also be that a woman is shy, but interested. If that is the case, she is the one who will have to modify her behavior. She must accept responsibility that the way she acts mimics the larger group of women, when they are not interested. So she must find the courage to actually make eye contact, and hold that eye contact for several seconds when he looks at her. Men recognize that as a sign to approach.

        Did you know that you can also see a visual sign that a cat wants attention from you? We typically understand that pulling the whiskers back against the cheeks is a sign of aggression…or not wanting interaction. Most people don’t know that pointing the whiskers down is a sign that they want interaction.

        If a woman is shy, she must learn to look at a man she is interested in, and focus on not looking away for at least 5 seconds. Best way to do this is to start counting when he looks at you. Focus on the counting not him looking.

        1. Jeannie

          TY 4 ur kind reply! I’ve tried the looking & smiling etc. & most of the time, the man gets nervous-it must be geographical + if I am out w/ a woman I do not want her to get jealous/upset that I am getting more attention. i think older men in general are beat down & only end up w/ very aggressive women.

        2. RustyLH

          I would not feel sorry for your friends. Male attention is good for you to have, and if you are the one drawing the men in, then they will have the chance to pick off his “wing men” in the future. Or, one might date you for a while, and either one or both of you decide it isn’t working, but he got to know your friend in the process and might find her more to his liking. Neither one of you are being served if no men are approaching.

          I also have to wonder why men aren’t approaching if you give the 5 minute stare. Maybe they have been crushed too many times and so they are gun shy? I don’t know…maybe. I would ask however if you continue to play this courtship game, or do you expect it to work on the first try and then stop if he doesn’t immediately approach?

          OK, I will try to think of this as a man. If I am a bit nervous, or if I really think a woman is incredible to look at, if I am nervous, I might question whether I am seeing things correctly. Oh, and I forgot to ask. It isn’t always enough to just do the 5 second stare. If he doesn’t respond after a few tries, you then add a smile. Then look back and if he is still looking, smile again.

          Unfortunately, we men really are human. Sometimes a man, even one who is normally very confident, can find himself having lost his nerve suddenly. So you may have to do the 5 second stare several times, and maybe even throw in some smiles as you do it.

          Then again, maybe you are just sooo sooo beautiful he is mesmerized into inaction. 😉 lol Or Medusa was one of your ancestors and a little of that has rubbed off on you. Instead of literally turning to stone, they just do it figuratively. haha

  10. 41

    The concept of “beauty inflation” is an intriguing one. From the article:

    There is a second possible effect: relationship dissatisfaction. If a man/woman who is currently in a relationship decides to take a look at an online dating site just to see what else is available on the market, this behavior will almost certainly lead to dissatisfaction with their current partner because it will encourage the searcher to lower their estimation of their current partner’s physical attractiveness; not because they are less attractive than previously perceived but because perfect profile pictures are shifting up the whole distribution.

    It seems to me one solution is to get out into the real world every once in a while, to see what same-age humans actually look like. I just went to a restaurant for lunch, there were 8 tables seated: 4 had 2 people per table, 4 had solo occupants. At 6 of the tables, even the ones with 2 people, every occupant was looking at a phone. It was like a sci-fi movie, one where aliens are manipulating the human race for their own evil intentions!

    In the obsession with curating our ideal lives for careful presentation on social media, people of all ages are getting out of touch with what real, messy, everyday life is like.

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