I Asked People to Rate My Looks and This is What Happened

I Asked People to Rate My Looks and This is What Happened

Ask me to describe myself. One of the adjectives I'd use is "confident." Not confident in a blatant, outright prideful kind of way, but I feel as though I am proud of who I am, what I believe, the people I am blessed with in my life, and sometimes, my looks. It's taken me a long time with that last one. In fact, another word I'd use to describe myself is "insecure."

Sometimes, I look in the mirror and am fine with what I see. But that's only sometimes. Very often, more often than I'd like to admit, I look in the mirror and frown, pointing out every perceived flaw. Every little bit of fat that clings to me, every stretch mark, everything I don't like about myself, and I often forget the things I do like. It used to be crippling. What other's thought of me was an idea that consumed my thoughts.

Over the last few years, I've come to terms with my identity and my looks, and even come to be proud of who I am. I'm healthy, I exercise, I eat (somewhat) well, I'm young, I've had boys express interest in me, and most of all, I am uniquely me, beautifully and wonderfully made, unlike any other. Comparisons can crush you, but I have slowly been trying not to compare myself to what I see in magazines or even just on my beautiful friends. Sometimes, I even step outside and think "Man, I look fine." Not in a stuck up way, but in a confident "Hey I feel sexy" way. I think everyone, man or woman, deserves to feel like they are absolutely beautiful.

But those insecurities still haunt me all the time, every single day. Maybe it's what drove me to post a picture of myself online for complete strangers to rate. It was all rather impulsive if I'm being honest--a quick action spurred by unbridled curiosity. Asking internet strangers to rate me was something I always said I wouldn't do. But it was late at night, and I just really wanted to know what people saw when I walked down the street. Even with my head held high and my favorite outfit fitting me in all the right places, what if they didn't see what I wanted them to see? Or what if they love me? That would be a great ego boost. But what if I really am ugly, and do I really want to know that?

I guess I did.

I posted a picture of myself in which I thought I looked very beautiful. I was wearing an outfit that hugged me in all the right places and showed off my body. My hair was done nicely, I was modeling for the picture, and I had a sweet but not over the top smile. I felt really good about how the picture looked (which made me very nervous because if they hated that picture then I was in trouble!). I asked people to rate me numerically from 1-10, starting with a 1-2 category, then 3-4 and so on and so forth, with 10 standing alone.

I got some pretty interesting results:

I refreshed the poll constantly, and my first vote rocked my confidence quickly.

It was a "5-6"

I wasn't extremely nervous going into the poll. That first vote made my heart stop. Granted, a 5-6 is better than a 1-2, but 5-6 meant one thing:

I was average.

Average is fine. Average is great. But I wanted so badly for people to believe I was beautiful. What if everyone believed this way?

The votes kept coming in, and some were higher, others not so much. One of the first few votes that came in was a perfect 10, so that made me feel a little better. But as the votes streamed through, I observed a couple interesting facts (Off topic: being a psych minor I felt like I was back in my undergrad psych classes analyzing data points!):

Firstly, I noticed girls thought I was less attractive than men did. Men were most likely to rank me a 8 or a 9, while not a single woman rated me above a 6-7. The highest ratings I got were 10's, and fortunately, that got more votes than the lowest rank I got, which was a 3-4. Men were also more likely to vote and more likely to comment below on my appearance. Most of the comments said "She's really pretty" or "She's really cute." This was nice, but the comments also disappointed me. A big part of me wanted people to be giving grandiose compliments, like "Wow, gorgeous/beautiful/so sexy/11 out of 10/most amazing looking girl ever!" Most of them did not say that.

I didn't get many girl comments that were extremely positive. The positive ones said very generic "she's pretty" kind of things. One girl called me "below average," and I read that and froze. Was that true?

The final and most interesting observation in this little experiment of mine was that the results were SO scattered. I wasn't expecting that at all (but then again, I went into this with no idea what to expect in the first place). The consensus was that I am somewhere between a 6 and a 9, which helped me not at all, because a 6 seems so different than a 9. Everyone had a different opinion. One person would comment that I was sexy, and then the next would say I was "meh." People were very quick to take a single look at me, assign a number, and move on, but to me, that number was everything.

People were very quick to take a single look at me, assign a number, and move on, but to me, that number was everything.

As I looked over the results I felt my confidence begin to fail, and in just a minute all the confidence I had been working years to build started to melt away as I felt all my insecurities taunt me. I guess I really was just "average." My mom has been lying. My friends lie to me all the time apparently. I guess the boys that dated me were just pitying me or one in a million to think I'm hot. I am nothing special. I am just me. Plain old me. Ugly me. Because today, to be average is to be ugly.

But then I looked again at the results, gritted my teeth, and thought "Wait a second, these people are complete strangers. They don't know me. They don't know my life. They don't know the battles I've fought, the successes I've worked to achieve. They don't know the little quirks I have, or what I do that makes those around me smile. They don't know how I like my coffee, or where I live, or my love life, or even what my favorite color is. They don't even know my name."

And all that was true. I thought of my friends, and I thought of my family, and I thought of the boys that have liked me, and even the people I hardly knew, that had taken time out of their lives to tell me I'm beautiful, and I thought "Whose opinion was really more valuable? The people on the internet who decided to rate me after seeing one picture? Or the people that have known me my whole life, or at least have MET me, and have said otherwise?" The answer wasn't hard to come to.

Why are we so quick to assign a number to people based on one quick glance and a head to toe scan?

I have met some of the most beautiful people in the world (and I'm talking inside AND out here!). Most of them have been called "ugly" or "average" in their life, and I can hardly believe it. Everyone has beauty, and that's not me being overly optimistic or cliche. I believe it. Sunflowers are beautiful. So are Christmas lights. So is the new snow, and so is a sky filled with clouds. But their beauty is not the same, and neither is ours. I've never met a person I couldn't find something beautiful in.

Everyone has beauty. Sunflowers are beautiful. So are Christmas lights. So is the new snow, and so is a sky filled with clouds. But their beauty is not the same, and neither is ours.

Even if no one ever said I was beautiful, the opinion that counts most in this world is my own, and trust me, I've been a hard sell. There are days, all too often, that I don't believe in the beauty, both inner and outer, that is me. I don't think I can be anything more than "average" (and that's if I'm lucky). But then, I try to remember my unique individuality, focus on the things I like about myself, and remember that I am so loved. Does that always work? No. There are days when nothing can convince me I am worth anything simply because I think I'm not pretty. But that is false. There could never be a more beautiful me, and there could never be a more beautiful you.

If this experiment taught me anything, it is that I am NOT defined by my physical appearance. It is a part of me, yes, and sometimes, it's a part of me that I like. But it is not the only part of me. As Proverbs 31 says, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears God, she will be praised." That is the woman I want to be. Even if you are not religious or hold different beliefs, I think that verse can apply to anyone. In the end, external, youthful, ideal societal beauty does not last, and it is your actions that you will be remembered by. People may remember you as physically beautiful, but if that's all you are remembered as being, then it's not much. I want to be known as someone who is kind, compassionate, strong, joyful, driven, and brave. I believe that in being those things, I am beautiful. The human race is full of beautiful people. Be one of them.


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What Guys Said 34

  • Your results don't surprise me. Why? Because beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, and that's not a myth.

    I did the same thing. Unlike many others, I didn't post my photo due to a low self-esteem; I actually have a very high self-esteem. I did it out of pure experiment.

    Strangely enough, it depended on which website I posted my photo on. On www.youthink.com, I got BLASTED. Almost everyone gave me a rating between one, and three (out of ten), but on www.yahooanswers.com, I had the exact opposite experience: Most of everyone gave me a high rating. I did it on www.caloriecounter.com, and many of the women rated me mid-range (five or six).

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  • You sound like a narcissist to me, narcissists actually often tend to be very insecure if you look in the DSM V. So don't compare yourself to other women this is one of the easiest ways women become insecure about their looks being average is not a bad thing you seem like your so banked on looks. The rating were scattered cause men tend to have a wide set of preferences that's normal and of course women are gonna tend to rate you lower they are not sexually attracted to women only 1% are statistically speaking. Women are just competitive like you your not the only women who is and women who tend to be jealous will also give you a low rating and last but not least don't take everything people say on the internet seriously there are lots of trolls on here and I've seen most people start to give the asker low ratings cause they are often the ones who constantly ask a rate me question over and over and over again which starts to annoy the online community.

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  • Two things you should have learned from your experiment which I have been trying to teach on this website for ages and ages.
    1) Women don' judge attractiveness the way men do, and often don't know what men actually like.
    2) No matter what you look like, there will be guys out there for whom you are the perfect ten. And there will be guys who think you are fugly.

    Would you rather be a miserable worried hungry 140 lbs who knows her guy will leave her if she puts on 5lbs? Or a happy 155lbs or 170lbs and with a guy who thinks you are perfect that way?

    You don't seem to have learned the main lesson though. (Not that women are their own worst enemy, surely everyone knows that by now) The important part of self confidence is the word SELF. It has to come from within and not be derived from the superficial opinions of others, whether they are strangers or friends.

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    • I can assure you that women don't know how men evaluate women's attractiveness.

    • Very well said! It took a while for me to gain the confidence I have now. Every person has a preference---I may be a goddess to some, but a hobbit to others. It doesn't really matter, as long as I am happy and pleased with myself and my looks. If there is something about my appearance I don't like, I improve it to fit MY liking.

    • 2mo

      @Transigence so how do they? I'm curious

  • 3mo

    One thing that might be relevant.

    Every person I have met in my life. I start of with one opinion on their looks.
    It's just some idea that pops up. Probably my brain trying to look for mates.

    Anyway, as I get to know the person, How they look like Always changes. Always.
    The way they literally look like, changes.
    Personality really goes a long way. At least in my case

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  • 3mo

    "People were very quick to take a single look at me, assign a number, and move on, but to me, that number was everything."

    Exactly why I refuse to "rate" people.

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  • 3mo

    I think you're one of those people that call themselves ugly or not beautiful!

    However don't accept that other men have preferences!

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  • 3mo

    I hate seeing people wattling around because there to fat , It's not a glandular problem as they say it's an excuse of their own negligence. I'm 5' 6" 160 lbs 48" chest , 34 waist little belly their. BUT The girl that i see behind the mask , And the other girl that has not pretty enough across her chest. if i had the chance to jump them i wouldn't waste a moment. from what i see they both look fantastic , beautiful , gorgeous. !!!

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  • Good for you. I look in the mirror and I tend to get depressed for a week (my profile pic is low enough res to not show my flaws much). Why I quit having reflective surfaces in my apartment. As far as bible quotes I'm an atheist. I suppose that's better than thinking god is real because if I did he'd get the blame for making me like this in the first place instead of just shit happens and losing the genetic lotto.

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  • She's gone. Wut did she look like?

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  • You are a truly beautiful person

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  • lol nobody even calls other people ugly to their face

    if they rated you average, you're likely below average in real life

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    • 3mo

      What if someone is truly average? Lol, average people exist, if she got called average then she's probably average

  • Why so serious?

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  • I understand its a shitty feeling. One day you will feel beautiful because you won't be living under other people jurisdiction.
    Also, people are judging you based on a picture... some pictures are bad, some are good.
    This site is also very blunt/direct and way too the point. Also, when that person said below average, she could be jealous

    If you want a 100% honest opinion, send me picture and ill send you mine :)

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  • Oh boo hoo. I posted myself on here and got mostly 1's and 2's yet you don't hear me crying.

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    • Ikr? This pouty little brat actually has the NERVE to claim that the MAJORITY of men rated her a freaking 8-9, and then mope about feeling ugly? Truly pathetic.. She sounds like an over privileged little brat just because she didn't get her dream 11.
      So what if she scored under average among women? Unless she's a lesbian/bisexual, it shouldn't MATTER.

    • @Alaela she would have complained about getting a 10 or 11 too.

    • pfft at this rate, probably.
      "but it wasn't a 12"

  • I give this post a 5-6...

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  • Yet another common problem in today's society... we judge beauty but on what scale? Who decides what is beautiful and what is not? I at this point do not care. The things that are truly attractive are not on the outside , but come from within. These are the things people truly remember , and keep the attraction goin... looks fade but true beauty it is ageless and timeless... Let me see what is on the inside first then I will know you and decide... my father used to say two things about opinions. First.…and I quote "0pinions are like butholes everyone has one, and usually they are full of crap." Second most people want an opinion that fluffs or feeds their ego if not... then it is truly because they don't know. Anyway I wish people would know me before they judge my attractiveness... Hugz... I hope it helped in some way..…. be well , and love one another...🍀🐶🍀

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  • Wow that's just sad

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  • When you post online that you want someone to rate you, then you can't force them to go easy on you. You'll get what you asked for, honesty, and we shouldn't have to give anything less.

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    • There is such a thing as honesty with tact.

    • Show All
    • @Prof_Don I just say something like 3/10

    • Then that's perfectly fine, tactful honesty without being an asshole. Nice! 👌

  • Women are always just jealous.

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  • You clearly didn't learn anything. You literally asked to be rated like a piece of meat, and then got offended, not that people were so quick to rate you without knowing you, but because they weren't rating you as high as you wanted to be rated. That isn't female empowerment. That is a sign of a woman that didn't get the answers she wanted, so is trying to convince herself she is still as attractive as she thought she was, by trying to redefine attractiveness.

    The lesson you could have learned was that what is attractive to one person, won't be attractive to another person. There is no such thing as a woman that is a perfect 10 to everyone. If you had walked away knowing beauty was in the eye of the beholder, then you would understand what female empowerment really is. Instead you just walk away saying, they couldn't judge your beauty properly since they didn't know you, so it doesn't count. You just changed your standards of how you should be judged, so that you can still feel attractive to the masses, without accepting that it is impossible to be everyone's type.

    If you could have walked away knowing that some rated you a 5 or below and been okay, because all that matters is what you and your partner think, then you would be able to claim to have learned something. Instead you choose to try and redefine beauty as something everyone has. Not everyone is beautiful. If that were the case, the word beautiful would have no meaning. The only thing you could say is that everyone has their own standard for what beautiful is.

    I am not trying to insult you, or calling you ugly. For all I know physically you might be my personal ideal form of physical beauty, but you shouldn't need to redefine what beauty is, so that you can think you are more attractive to others. All you have done is shift your wanting to be judged on your looks, to something else in order to save your ego. You still don't get that no matter your personality is like, you still won't appeal to everyone. If we could look into your very soul, people would still judge you far differently than you want to be judged. There will always be people that just don't like you, because they are incompatible, and not because there is anything wrong with you, or them.

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What Girls Said 30

  • one of the reasons why i never post my pics... i am insecure af :/ :(

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  • Don't let people tell you that you're not beautiful, because you are. And most girls gave you a lower rate probally because they were jealous.

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  • Pffftt dont be shocked for real, women pick each other apart and notice flaws that men do not. Only if the woman is hands down gorgeous do we then back off of her looks, but wait we don't stop there. We will then proceed to rip her personality apart.

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    • 3mo

      These flaws you are talking about. Are not flaws.
      Most of it is so banal that it is equal to criticizing a building for being blue.

  • dont ask to rate ur looks any more

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  • I wish there was a love button for this post!

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  • Wow reading this made me smile. I'm one of those people who could rate everybody in the world as a 10. Like you say everybody is designed in their own unique ways and shouldn't be told how to look. Everybody is beautiful inside and outside and nobody should be shamed or put down for who they are. I've been called ugly and all sorts and it affected me when I was younger but I love myself now. Not in the vanity way but I really have learnt to love myself because I have a very good family and amazing friends and around them i feel amazing. I've learnt that I don't need to change the way I am for somebody because I'll fiind somebody who loves me for who I am. I just wish everybody could feel like this

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  • I am actually sickened by this myTake. Get off your ego, already. People have different perspectives of others. Some will say a person is beautiful, while others will look at that exact same person and call them ugly. What people say on the internet means NOTHING. What people say about you means NOTHING.

    You asked for opinions and got offended. Case closed.

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  • I don't mean to be arrogant or anything but like you I like what I see sometimes and sometimes I hate it. I get a lot of attention. But I got a lot of "ugly" comments from girls (and the occasional guy) and it hurt. So I was glad someone else spoke so eloquently and honestly about because although I knew I wasn't ugly I still felt terrible. Best take I've read on here period. Appreciate it. 🙂

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  • If there is a poll, I always pick the 1-2 category. It's not because I think they're ugly. Most of the pictures I've seen of girls on here are mostly beautiful. It's very rare that I see an ugly girl. That's the real reason for why I do it. Someone who truly feels ugly won't post a picture of themselves. The last thing a genuinely insecure person wants is for people to rate their looks. So I do it because I feel like they are just fishing for compliments. They know they're beautiful, and they won't take the below average comments or ratings seriously.

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  • As you can see from the results, you can be a 10 to someone and a 3 to someone else. Beauty is subjective. And not being someone's cup of tea, doesn't make you unattractive just like being someone else's cup of tea doesn't make you a supermodel.

    Like you said, it's more than that. What you bring to the table, who you are, what you do is paramount to looks.

    Also, YOU have to love your looks. It's your face, your body. If you have confidence in it, others will follow by your lead.

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  • You shouldn't have posted and asked for a rate because obviously not everyone is going to call you gorgeous/beautiful. That's how world works.. and guys try to be white knights... I've seen girls in here being more honest when it comes to how do I look questions.. not to girls.. but guys as well.

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  • Thank you for sharing this I just posted a question on here "Why can't I be pretty or beautiful like other women?" I have had low self-esteem about myself since I was young. I have always have a beautiful personality. I know many people say life isn't always about looks it's what counts on the inside some people can be pretty on the outside and be ugly on the inside. My friends and family etc post pics and get tons of likes and comments on how pretty or beautiful they are and I don't get that As much. As I look at them I cry inside why can't I be like them it's not fair why does it have to be this way... people say I shouldn't let amount of likes and comments define my who I am or my beauty. I get depressed and insecure that I feel like I'm not good enough. I read a article on why couldn't God make me pretty or beautiful. And the article talked about this- It is true of course, that some people are more attractive than others—when it comes to a body or a face. But our society puts way too much emphasis on the body and not enough on the inside. God doesn’t do that. Remember what God told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7…

    Don’t judge by a man’s face or height… I don’t make decisions the way you do! Men judge by outward appearance but I look at a man’s thoughts and intentions

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  • Well even if you were stunning not everyone is going to like you. Just how it is.
    Average is relative as well. An average white person is not the same as an average person from India. To each other both are exotic and far from average. So if you want to be seen as not average just move to another country. Also, not everyone can be stunning. If everyone were then that would defeat the purpose of having the word, the word would cease to have value and would not be used at all. Beauty itself, as we currently understand it and value it, is elitist by nature. That's due to reproduction and the whole "survival of the fittest" animal biology in humans.

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  • Your results reflect the same experiences I got when I asked for others' opinion about my looks. That's why I take everything as a game when I make a poll or ask a question about a picture of mine. I just amuse myself when people tell me all kind of things about my physical appearance.

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  • But... you literally asked them to rate you by numbers... and then you act all offended because they replied with numbers you didn't like? um..
    I don't see why it is needed to write a huge mytake about this. this is the internet, everyone is brutaly honest here. what did you expect? seriously you playing the victim here is just pathetic.

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  • You mean reducing yourself to a number and relying on other people to validate you didn't make you happy? How WEIRD.

    Seriously though I am going to link repeat HDIL posters to this take so maybe it can help them work on their issues too.

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  • I love this! I've asked how do I look questions on here a few times. I will find a picture I really love, post it, and make a poll. I never do numbers though because I think people consider numbers a lot differently - once I read a guy saying it takes a lot for him to see a girl as a 5 (on some other girl's post) and I was like damn lol. I just pick categories like ugly, below average, average, pretty, gorgeous. It's funny because even though my average usually ends up around pretty, it's not good enough because there are still people who pick "below average" or "ugly." The bad ratings sting way more than the good ratings feel good. It's just too bad how easy it is for our generation to destroy our own confidence even more. It's far too easy to post on social media and the internet and ask strangers for a rate. And it's sad because, chances are, those of us posting it, are posting it because at that moment in time, that number a stranger hiding behind their computer screen gives us means everything and defines our entire value and can make or break our self esteem for those minutes as we hit refresh over and over. It's so toxic.

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  • I think if you saw me, you would disagree with your everyone is beautiful message. I'm like, -10.

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  • What is the point of all this? wall of text. And not even post a pic, if you are going to spend that much time talking about what u look like then at least post the dam pic girl. What a waste of my time, do you like writing about yourself a lot or what?

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  • Preach 👏🏻👏🏻😭😭

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