1-10 Scale: An Analysis

Last week I wrote about the Archetypical Modern Women. It was my most popular post ever by views and was also one of my most commented posts as well. Most manospherians liked the post, but there was one common criticism that seemed  virtually unanimous: I overrated the woman, she was not a 7. The consensus seemed to be she was a 5, although a couple commented she was a 3 or even lower.

I explained my reasoning in the comments: “she’s thin, young-ish with a moderately cute face. She’s not beautiful, but a youngish, plain sort of pretty with a slim build would fit my definition of a 7.”

I generally don’t use the scale in real life; in fact, I can not remember ever having using it in RL, but there’s a small possibility I have. In normal conversation, the scale is kind of silly; the descriptors of beautiful, cute, unattractive, etc. are usually more than good enough and are more humanizing. (That and a numerical scale sounds sort of spergy, and I have enough problems with that as it is).

On the other hand, I occasionally use it on the blog as it is a simple comparative method; more human descriptor cans be open to interpretation and can have different meanings. While a numerical scale at least gives the illusion of objectivity.

But after the criticism of my assigning the label 7 I wanted to figure this out, my inner data nerd was aroused, so I’m going to analyze this more. I’ll warn you now, this is going to get spergy and is going to be dehumanizingly analytical.

Oh, and before I begin, Truthmosis at RotK has a post up on the scale that I came across while writing this. Check it out.

I’d also like to point out that, to some degree, beauty is subjective, so a numerical scale is not the be-all-end-all of female beauty. There are certain objective metrics of beauty: a 0.7 hip-to-waist ratio, symmetry, and other such indicators of fertility and health, that (almost) all men are naturally drawn towards. These can be a basis for an “objective” 1-10 scale.

But outside of that, there are numerous subjective factors on which men disagree. For example, I really like fair-skinned, light-haired, innocent-looking women (ie. cute women) and detest tattoos and piercings. A tongue piercing disgusts me and is an automatic 3-point drop. So, if I were to rate a woman with a tongue piercing a 5, others who don’t find it disgusting, might rate that woman an 8. Another example: I’ve never figured out why the Captain likes Jennifer Aniston or many men like Angelina Jolie; never seen the appeal.

Anyway, with that caveat out of the way, here we go.


The first thing to do when creating a scale is decide the system the scale will use. The two major ones are the bell curve and the decile system. Men as a whole tend to use a bell curve system (on a 5-point scale), but I’ve tended to think in a decile system.

In a normal bell curve system (and looks would be normally distributed) a scale would be related to standard deviation. In standard deviation, 68% of all women would fall within one standard deviation from the mean, while 95% of all women would fall within two, and 99% would fall within three.

In a 1-10 scale 5 would be the mean. Most like we’d use 2 sigma (SD:2.5) above the mean to signify a 10 and 2 sigma below to signify a 0. 1 sigma would make far too many 10s, and 3 sigmas would mean only 2% of woman are above a 7+.

A 2 sigma scale would mean means that about 2% of woman would be 10s and 2% would be 0s. About 14% would be 7.5-9.5s and another 14% of woman would be 0.5-2.5s. The vast majority of woman (68%) would be 2.5s-7.5s.

We could also use a 2 sigma to signify 1s and 9s (SD:2). On this scale 2% of woman would be 9+ and another 2% would be below <1. 14% of woman would be 7-9 and another 14% of woman would be 1-3. The large majority of woman (68%) would be 3-7s.

If I were to use a bell curve, the latter is likely the one I would use because no one uses 0 on the 1-10 looks scale and many think (and I agree) that there are no 10s. Limits could easily be put at .1 and 9.9 without negatively effecting the rest of the scale. Not to mention the use of whole numbers rather than decminals greatly simplifies the scale.

So, if we’re scaling women’s looks on a 1-10 (Mean:5, SD:2) we can use a stanine scale to find the proportion of woman at each number.

On the other hand, if we use a decile system 10% of women would be 1s, 10% would be 10s, etc.

The former is more useful for statistical calculation, the latter is easier to use for everyday talk. It is a lot easier to calculate: she’s a 10 because she’s in the top 10% of people, she’s a nine because she’s in the 80-90% range, etc. than it is to calculate: she’s a 9 because she’s 2 SD above the mean and is in the top 4% of woman.

In more practical immediate effect, the former will result in a lot of 4-6s and few 1s and 9s, while the latter will result in an even distribution of all types of woman.


Knowing this, how can we systematize the calculation of where an individual woman falls on this scale. That”s likely impossible because beauty is to some degree subjective, but we can give it a shot. This analysis will focus on adult women of child-bearing age because menopausal women are no longer sexually attractive.

In the US 32% of women aged 20-39 are obese. If we used the decile system, that would mean the obese take up all of 1s through 3s. If we used the bell curve, the obese take up 1-3 and most of the 4s as well.

But obesity is not the only indicator of unattractiveness, some women just have the bad luck to be born with a deformity of an extremely unattractive face. If, for simplicities sake, we estimated that 8% of women are simply born deformedly ugly (not unattractive or plain, just ugly), that means that on both scales 1-4s are made up of the deformed and fat.

So, simply not being obese or deformed would immediately make a woman a 5 in either scale.

Back to weight, in addition to the the obese are the overweight. 64% of adult women are either obese (BMI >= 30) (36%) or overweight (BMI of 25-29.9) (28%), so we’ll assume the 28% overweight rate hold for women 20-39. So, we now have 60% of women aged 20-39 who are overweight or fat, but let’s remove 5 percentage points because the BMI does sometimes classify fit people with muscle as being overweight. So about 55% of child-bearing age woman are unattractive due to be overweight or obese.

I can not find any numbers on the percentage of woman that are unattractive due to face alone, so I’ll have to make up some assumptions. Let’s assume, for the sake of ease, that 10% of women who are not fat, have faces that are unattractive enough, that a moderately fat woman with a decent face would rate higher on a scale.

With that assumption we now come to 65% of women are either fat or as unattractive as a fat woman.

(Check out this BMI visualizer to understand what is meant by overweight and obese).

In a decile scale that means that a woman who is not fat or equally unattractive is automatically a 7; in a normal distribution scale a woman who is not fat or equally unattractive is automatically a 6.

This gives us a starting base.

I do not have the time or ability to start messing around with the ins and outs of symmetry, eye size, distance between the eyes and mouth, and all the other micro-variations that distinguish beauty. Suffice to say though that most men can tell objective beauty of these micro-variations fairly easily.

So, we can assume they’d mostly agree.


Based on this here’s a 1-10 scale we can use based on the decile system.

1-4: Obese and/or deformedly ugly
5: Fat or ugly
6: Chubby with a cute face or unattractive
7: Plain, not fat
8: Somewhat attractive
9: Slim and pretty
10: Curvy and beautiful

Here’s on based upon normal distribution:

1-4: Obese and/or deformedly ugly
5: Fat, chubby with an unattractive face, or ugly
6: Plain, not fat or chubby with a cute face
7: Slim and pretty
8: Curvy and beautiful
9: The best of the best (very rare)
10: Does not exist

The normal distribution lumps the middling and moderately attractive categories together but allows for the distinguishment of the really beautiful from the beautiful, while the decile scale allows for more distinguishment from the middling, but lumps all the beautiful together under 10.  The decile system leaves more distinguishment in those of middling beauty, but lumps the good looking into 2 categories.

From the impression I get from people write on the manosphere, they seem to use the normal distribution system. If we go back to Truthmosis’ discussion of the topic we can see that his scale more or less matches the normal distribution, as does his picture scale.

So, I guess I should start using the normal distribution scale to match up with others around here.


Anyway, back to the women who started this discussion:

As we can see, she’d probably be plain, not fat. So, my initial impression of her as a 7 on the decile system was correct. If we used a normal distribution she’d be a 6.

Someone ranking her a 5 is implying she’s ugly, which I do not think this picture supports. Whoever ranked her as a 3 is just dead wrong; she’s neither obese nor deformedly ugly.


A few last notes:

I knew the obesity crisis was bad, but I was surprised that 64% of adult women and 74% of adult men are overweight. That’s just plain nuts.

Also, only about 40% of women would be attractive enough to be worth even considering marrying (not even including other factors). So, if you’re looking to marry, make sure you’re in the top 40% of men or you’re going to end up with someone fat or unattractive.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my spergy little analysis.


18 responses to “1-10 Scale: An Analysis

  • d0jistar

    What is your justification for calibrating your scale to fit the actual distribution of modern American women, who are, frankly, anomalously fat by historic and global standards (not that we men aren’t, but we’re talking about women here)? You can’t readily transport your scale elsewhere in the world because suddenly a bunch of thin Europeans or East Asians or, well, just about anybody, would suddenly all be in the top half just because they aren’t fat. Or move your scale back in time, either. I guess if you never travel, you’re ok. Sadly, we can’t go back in time.

    I keep my scale objective. Obese is sub-1. Overweight sub-2. Need reasonable BMI to make it to 3-7 range. Above 7 are actually attractive people. I also like the bell curve. It’s not my fault almost everyone in North America is below 4. We’re just fat and ugly.

    Reg FD: In the interest of objectivity, although looks aren’t as important for men nor am I one to judge guy’s looks being a hetero guy myself, I’m giving myself a 3.5-4, at best, on an objective global scale of manlooks. I’m somewhat ripped, narrow-waisted, but short (5’10”), balding, and don’t dress very stylishly. I don’t think anyone would say there’s anything particularly wrong with me but don’t think any woman would be impressed. If I were 6′ or higher, I’d maybe make a 5 because I think height matters a lot to women.

  • The Lucky Lothario

    Ha, I like the statistical approach but I think you’ve missed a fundamental subtlety of the grading system. It isn’t normalised or even based on a statistical spread.

    There are two sets of data, one for doable girls and one for girls who don’t even register as a sexual being. Harsh I know but true. I think this is sometimes referred to as “the binary system”.

    The result of this is that 1-4 only exist for humour since girls that may fall into this category are not even considered for grading. Hence only cute or close to cute girls enter the system and the average is actually a 6. This girl being the girl you’d chat up at the bar and have a fun time with but probably wouldn’t quite be satisfied with long term.

    Although, personally I like Patrice O’Neils rating out of 30 system, with 1-10 for ugly chicks, 12-20 for ‘aight’ looking chicks and then 21-30 for your hot chicks. Angelina Jolie hitting a 20 as a top level ‘aight’ looking chick.

    But that’s enough nerdiness in numbers, I don’t think it was ever meant to meet a statistical breakdown, more just to be refined through natural calibration between your immediate friendship group. For me no 10s exist since that would mean no girl could be hotter than her, but other dudes freely use it to mean just outstandingly hot.

  • earl

    It’s only fair to be harsh on women these days with their ugly bodies and terrible attitudes. After all if you believe the statistics, they think 80% of men are invisible. Which I find is most likely a lie…they notice men in the room just as much as men notice women. Once I got over my approach anxiety and started talking with them…they always imply something to the fact they saw me in the room.

    80% of men probably find them invisible for the reasons I listed above…and that 20% that they do get a chance to interact with, reek insecurity.

    The gal in the picture under my personal scale is a 6. Largely due to the fact she has one chin, a good smile and decently lengthen hair. But she also has that “crazy eyes” vibe.

  • Deep Strength

    Like d0jistar said, overweight/obese girls get automatically adjusted into the 1-4 range. Basically undoable.

    This is what a curve on modern women looks like and it’s sadly pretty accurate:

    The unfortunate part is that the male curve looks EXACTLY like this as well, since tons of men now are being raised by single mothers and/or beta dads and/or being indoctrinated with feminist drivel.

    Your average male is probably around a 3-4 now as well, which is why with even a slight bit of game you can start to stand yourself out from the crowd since you move into significantly more rarified air.

  • Wilson

    I think you also need to account for age, the woman in the picture lost a 1 or 2 points in the preceding 10 years, and she didn’t start out as a 9… but that curve is steep and more affected by subjective judgment. I agree with the The Lucky Lothario that these rankings are of limited usefulness

  • Elspeth

    I liked this, and it was kind of cute the way you got all spergy.

    The subjective factor shouldn’t be ruled out though. If I had to rate myself, I would have easily said “5” all my life. Not fat, not ugly, but nothing extraordinary. I still would really, except that I married an extremely handsome man. You don’t even have to take just my word for that.

    Never have quite understood why he was so taken with me but I recognize how fortunate I am that he was and still is. He had other choices when it came to female companionship. Many other choices, and he’d been with women far prettier than I was. Beauty is fairly objective, but attraction is highly subjective. I noted a stark difference in the way people saw me simply because I was on his arm.

    All that to say that the scale is useful on the one hand and less that useful on the other. The average guy walking around out there would have been more than happy to have been the one and only of Ms. Archetypal Female as she looked pictured in that first photo you posted of her. Call it a 7, or a 5, or whatever you like.

    We have the luxury of sky high standards online. Reality calls for a little more in the way of concessions. The chances of a woman being perfectly perfect in all pertinent areas is basically nil.

  • M3

    After looking at her picture again..

    i see this.

    just sayin.

  • M3

    “I knew the obesity crisis was bad, but I was surprised that 64% of adult women and 74% of adult men are overweight. That’s just plain nuts.”

    Welcome the the reality of subsidized corn and it’s use in everything.

  • Mark

    Looks decline with age. Men are interested in women in the child bearing age range which would be about 15 to 45. So the midpoint of that would 30. I would say a five would be an average 30 year old female. An average 20 year old would be a six and an above average 20 year old a seven. Only about ten per cent of all women are as attractive as a pretty 20 year old. So I think of a seven as being in the top ten per cent. This is just how I rate women.

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  • laidnyc

    Age matters.

    I think most guys would choose a girl with 1.0-2.0 BMI higher if she was 10-15 years younger than Tracy.

    Crows feet and loose(r) skin counts.

    Tracy is probably an 8 if competing against just other 38 year olds, but a 5.5 across the board.

    After a woman hits 30, age is only marginally more tolerable than obesity.

  • Free Northerner

    @ doji: My justification is that I have about 3-4 times more ;people from America reading this blog than the rest of the world combined, and my next 3 highest countries are all English countries in similar situations to America.

    @ LL: We could make a separate HB curve, it wouldn’t be that difficult. Simply take the fives, make them the 1-2s, and so on and boom. It probably was not meant to be statistically broken down, but the data nerd in me just couldn’t resist.

    @ Earl: I don’t believe in being harsh, simply honest and accurate. If/when that is harsh, so be it. I’ve been told I can be relatively invisible in a room. It’s something I’m working on.

    @ DS: If you normalize the curve to a few decades ago, that’s probably what you’d get. It’s sad how much we’ve declined.

    @ Wilson: Age would complicated the matter some, but to simplify a woman age to 18-20 would probably be +1 and while age 26-30 would be a -1. As for women over 30, I’d simply refer to them by what they likely were when younger. From that pictures in my last post, she hit the wall hard; here recent picture was a hard fall over the one posted here.

    @ Elspeth: Glad someone likes my geekery, but sadly cute doesn’t win you the chicks. Subjective factors play a huge role, which is on reason why assortative mating is so great. As for me, I’d be content marrying a young, healthy 5 or 6 if she had the personality factors to make up for it (beauty fades and charm is fleeting and as long as the boner test is passed, children can be made). Based upon looks alone, the woman would have been acceptable; it’s her personality and actions that puts me and many of the men here off.

    @ M3: Hehe.

    @ Mark: I’d make 20-24 the norm, as that is the age range I’m focusing on for finding a wife, but to each there own.

    @ laidnyc: I think she’s only in her late-20s; she was 24 in 2008 according to one of the articles from the last post; the pic above comes from a few years ago, so she’s probably only about 25 or so in the pic.

  • Malcolm

    I don’t know whether my metric is linear or Gaussian (or some other distribution), but my numerical heuristic can be summed thusly:

    0 – Deceased
    1 – Repulsive
    2 – Ugly
    3 – Homely
    4 – Plain
    5 – Fair
    6 – Cute
    7 – Pretty
    8 – Beautiful
    9 – Gorgeous
    10 – Stunning

    For the record, I have seen three “stunning” women in my entire life of 40 years. Most (healthy) women fall in the middle. American women, sadly, are not generally healthy.

  • Mark

    FN, your age range might be 20-24 now but it will probably shift as you get older. Forty year old women looked bad to me when I was twenty but they look good to me now when I’m fifty. Is there a way to come up with a universal rating scale? I’m not sure. I think almost all men would agree they feel no sexual desire for female children or elderly women. The biological purpose of sex is reproduction and men are biologically designed to want women who are capable of that. Any universal scale would have to include mostly women who fall into that category because men instinctively are only looking at and rating those females.

  • Free Northerner

    I don’t think it will. I might come to see older woman as more sexually desirable as I age, but a woman older than her mid-20s is not what I while be looking for in a wife.

    If you want to make it universal, you could simply say she’s a 7, age adjusted for 45.

  • k8

    How curvy do you have to be to be a 9? I’ve always thought the perfect body was like a Victoria’s Secret model kind of body. What does curvy even mean?

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  • Opus

    I normally measure out of ten (we live in a decimal world) and thus most women will be in the centre that is to say a 5 or a 6. Few if any are 10s and likewise few if any are 0s; 7s and8s are better looking than average, 4s and 3s worse looking than average, 2s are ugly 9s beautiful.

    Clark-Fleury is neither fat nor yet too old and is not unpleasant to look at (in the above picture) and has nice smile – so she is probably a 6. It is always average girls often with some spirit who ended up in sluts-ville. Not good looking enough to bask in endless male attention, but not so ugly that even Betas will pass reject them for sex. All men do it, (as is proven by her endless conquests) and women are now equal to men. That is the reasoning of the Clark-Fleury’s of this world. Then one day they see a wall approaching.

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