Thursday, August 5

Pretty, Hot, Attractive

As part of my ongoing duty to spell out stuff to the opposite sex (I believe women have a tendency to not use their senses and actually create their own unrealities), this is a post describing what a guy means when he calls a girl pretty. Or hot. Or attractive. You see, despite what you may think, these are not all the same things.

Before we begin, some preliminaries. Firstly, this is all only a discussion on what we can see. I'm not muddying the waters with irrelevancies like personality or character (no matter what people believe a person's appearance DOES NOT PHYSICALLY CHANGE after you get to know them); if it makes it easier for you imagine we're only discussing girls whose pictures we're looking at.

Secondly, we need to distinguish between what I describe as deep and shallow subjectivity. With regards to looks, shallow subjectivity is all about what a person likes, while deep subjectivity is about how much what they like matters. It's a bit confusing at first, but just bear with me for now (I have a post in the works elaborating on this difference which I'll publish at some point in the future).

So now, some definitions:

"Pretty" refers to a more vacuous kind of beauty. It usually refers to the face, but can also be determined by things like hands and feet, a smile and sometimes dress. It's the type of stuff most commonly associated with friendliness and niceties. This is a shallow subjective measure.

"Hot" refers to a more obvious kind of beauty. It usually refers to the body, but can also be determined by dress (or rather a lack of), an attitude or certain look. It's most commonly associated with sexiness (urgh, I never thought I'd ever use that word in this blog). This is also a shallow subjective measure.

"Attraction" is where it gets interesting. This is a more abstract measure and depends on the conscious and subconscious messages you're picking up from what you see; that whole je nais se quoi thing. There may or may not be reasoning behind it: for example, although a short skirt might be hot, it doesn't have to be attractive. For others, a hijab might have the opposite effect. For me, my upbringing has kind of conditioned me into finding well groomed eyebrows or nail varnish on a girl quite unattractive, even though I might otherwise consider them to be hot and pretty respectively - my friends have told me I like the "mousey" look, and that even if I don't consider a girl to be pretty. For others, smoking is very hot, but also quite the big turn off at the same time. This is a deep subjective measure.

There may be some correlations and dependencies between the three, but these aren't essential. A guy could find someone pretty but not hot (and vice versa). He might even be attracted to someone who is neither.

So for the sake of education let's have some examples. Remember these are all subjective measures and so you may disagree with the examples, if not the point.

Case 1: Rihanna. She isn't pretty, but boy is she hot. Overall though, she's not very attractive.

Case 2: Dawn French. She's quite pretty, but not really that hot. However she is rather attractive (and that's before she makes me laugh).

Case 3: Katie Holmes - Not that pretty, often not hot, but in all cases attractive.

Case 4: Deepika Padukone - Very pretty, very hot and very attractive.

Case 5: Kelly Brook - Quite pretty, more hot, but totally not attractive.

Since its the deepest subjective type, attractiveness is ultimately the most important measure for a sensible guy. He'll stick with someone whom he doesn't consider to be the prettiest or hottest and because he knows he's attracted to her those other measures don't matter much. In many ways, he could even be more secure about her looks than she is herself. Add personality and character to the mix and prettiness and hotness actually mean very little.

The point is that men are very objective and clinical when it comes to these things. Just because we think someone is pretty doesn't mean we want to look at them for days on end and just because we think they're hot doesn't mean we want to jump their bones. And just because I post who I find to be pretty and/or hot in this blog, doesn't mean I need someone to look like these women in order to find them attractive. In that sense accusations thrown at me of having high standards are both unfair and inaccurate.

There is an argument that this discussion essentially proves that men objectify women and see them, at first anyway, as physical objects. Whether this is true or not, or even acceptable or not (after all, a photo is nothing more than an object) is beyond the scope of the post.

So in conclusion ladies: don't be confused when a guy calls one of your not-so-pretty sistas as hot. Don't scratch your head when he tells you he's attracted to someone you know he finds neither hot nor pretty. It's our ability to be shallowly subjective about these things that allows us to be this way, and as such we can appreciate beauty without necessarily wanting it for ourselves.


  1. Deepika Padukone11:33

    Awww thanks

  2. I get cute all the time. I am not cute; teddy bears are cute. Seriously the next person to call me that will get a punch in the face. I'd rather be called ugly.

  3. No worries. Oh and also: marry me? I may not have as much wonga as Sid, but I'd certainly treat you better than he ever will. I'm talking walked-on-ground-worshipping here.

  4. Above comment was to Deepika, not Humaira.

    I get called cute a lot. I'm cute 'cos I drink milk, 'cos I drive a dinky Suzuki and 'cos I don't slap around women. On the other hand Mash, for example, is manly.

    And as everyone knows, for a guy cute == impotent.

  5. Such a coincidence me and Deepika should comment at the same instant.

    And you're right about the cute man bit. Thank God I'm a girl, being a teddy bear isn't that bad.

  6. I just read my comment again and 'cute man' is such an oxymoron.

  7. Yeh, thanks for stopping by. Really appreciated.

  8. i like this post!
    (and i find dawn french incredibly attractive.....i think her skit on french and saunders when she was impersonating the 'evil' singer of the band 'shakespeare's sister'and biting a pillow
    sealed the deal for me. utterly demented. how can you Not be attracted to her?*
    *in a nonlesbian way)

  9. Anonymous13:31

    By what reckoning do you find Dawn French prettier than Rihanna? Are you a closet chubby chaser?!

  10. Anonymous,

    Good question. Read this for the answer.

  11. Anonymous13:22

    You are weird. I swear!