Subscribe
Notify of
guest
88 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Adam Wolstenholme
Adam Wolstenholme
4 months ago

As so often with feminist notions, this stuff about hotness is another doomed attempt to hack the inequalities of nature. Young people would do better to read some evolutionary psychology, look nature in the eye, then work on themselves, making the best of what they’ve got.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
4 months ago

I have been reading some evolutionary psychology and I find it does have great explanatory power, but I suspect it is far from the whole story.

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
4 months ago

Sex, according to Woody Allen, is the hole story.

2A Solution
2A Solution
4 months ago

Yes.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
4 months ago

Humans rarely follow the rules of evolutionary psychology. Part of being human is our built-in evolutionary override system. We have always hacked the inequalities of nature, which is why we’ve managed to drastically lower our infant & maternal mortality rates & increase our life expectancies. We can think & behave like chimps, but if we do, that’s our fault, not “Nature’s”.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Trying to reduce infant mortality isn’t going against nature: not having children would be a better example.

You however have a very simplistic notion of evolutionary adaptations. We can choose to directly go against some of these tendencies, few actually do. The vast majority of people in fact DO want to have children. What is the reason for that, when it is so costly and we don’t need them to support us in old age? Love? But how do you explain that?

Do you fancy more attractive people rather than obese ones with bad teeth?. You will note that most people largely agree on what these adjectives mean! Of course evolution has a huge role in human behaviour, not least the different sexualities (on average) of men and women, although for some reason to acknowledge this is anathema to many people. Read Pinker’s “Blank Slate” (clue – there isn’t one!) – there is just overwhelming evidence for it.

Last edited 4 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Michael K
Michael K
4 months ago

Well said. Unfortunately this isn’t something that can be effectively marketed & turned into profit.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
1 month ago

Amen.

Spencer Andrew
Spencer Andrew
4 months ago

Kat you laid out the conundrum in a clear and witty way, as usual.

It’s just so unfair how beauty is distributed, especially among women. Some of the most caring, intelligent and loyal women struggle to get a look in simply because they’re ugly to look at. But as my dad loved to say, “Nobody said it was fair”.

Another unsayable thing I’ve noticed: among all the girls and young women transitioning, identifying as this or that, or generally escaping themselves, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hot one among them. It’s a cruel world sometimes.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
4 months ago
Reply to  Spencer Andrew

It’s even more unfair than that. Some brainy, rich, successful and very nice women are also beautiful.

B Davis
B Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Excellent point!
How easily (and sadly) we fall into that stereotypical trap: the beautiful MUST be shallow & petty (just like Aesop’s grapes on that unreachable branch must be sour) …..and the plain & dowdy must be brilliant & saintly.
And thus the phenomenon of ‘Inverse Sexism’ (for lack of a better term). I’ve known many beautiful women who struggle for recognition for anything else other than their beauty. Equally I’ve met many harridans who’ve risen well beyond their meager abilities simply because they’re seen as ‘tough’ and ‘unyielding’.
We see what we want to see

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
4 months ago
Reply to  Spencer Andrew

Only humans can be cruel, not “the world”. Sadly, there are many “hot” girls who transition, including the grand daddy of trans men, Buck Angel. He was a gorgeous young woman prior to transitioning. Being a “hot” girl is not the advantage that the beauty industry would have you believe it is.

John Riordan
John Riordan
4 months ago
Reply to  Spencer Andrew

I do actually know a woman who transitioned, and she was one of the most beautiful girls I’ve known. Shocking waste in my opinion, but I’m only saying that because I’m a straight man, I suppose.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
4 months ago

Yet another example of the the crusade against meritocracy (unearned, or otherwise). I sincerely hope there are no readers of Unherd who would take the postmodern bait exhibited by the NYT, and it should (should!) be said that there are very few women who are, for fundamentally physical reasons, un-datable or incapable of being a potential mate for most men / people. I do not have a dog in the fight, so to speak, but the vast majority of women I see bemoaning their romantic circumstances would remedy them by losing 10-15lbs. So trite, but so true, and somewhat tragic. I think the situation with men, generally, is more complicated, but similarly it begins with taking care of oneself.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
4 months ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Hear hear. Being in demand / deemed hot for a couple of years when you’re an insecure kid is helpful, admittedly; but it’s a fleeting advantage. Once you’re in a relationship of any value, you forget about what the woman’s face looks like anyway. A plain smiling face is a million times better than a pretty grumpy face. As for the rest, eat healthily, keep the weight off, practice good hygiene and wear clothes that suit your body type. Whether the world at large judges you to be hot or not is irrelevant.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
4 months ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

This has always cut both ways. 80% of men are practically inviable to women and they know this.
In evolutionary terms the problem is that women select up which means far to many of them have expectations of pairing off with the top 20% of men which is unrealistic. Not a bad outcome for the men concerned but a bit deflating for the rest of the male population.
When I was at university I had a god friend who women would trample each other to get to. I would quite regularly have girls did no know come up to me and say “Ethici aren’t you a friend of XXXX” Strangely XXX never seemed to appreciate the challenges the rest of us had in this area.
Come to think of it, it was much the same at school

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
4 months ago

I shared a flat with a man a significant proportion of the female campus population desired. Women would try and befriend me to get close to him. He had plenty of casual connections but was in love with a woman who was in love with someone else.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
4 months ago

My friend never got married and as far as I know never had a long term relationship.
At university he was going out with this girl called Allison. It lasted about 9 months. His advice at the time was never go out with a psychology student. The last time I spoke to him he had just heard she had died. It seemed to really unsettle him.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
2 months ago

That’s how it goes. The patronising assumption is that attractive people, because they have a perennial gaggle of admirers, are perpetually happy because of all the choices they have. In reality, no matter how attractive someone is, they can fall madly in love with someone the same as anybody else; and, same as anybody else, the object of their affections may not give a rap about them., regardless of how hot they are. And when the then love of your life is cold towards you, consolation prizes are of little value (unless you’re a sociopath).  Hot people have their hearts broken same as anybody else.  

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
4 months ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Agreed re; losing weight – I’d say most need to lose 20-35 lbs…it is really shocking to see how fat the average 25-year-old female is nowadays. Yet, women’s magazines cheer them on by featuring covers with the blimpiest models and actress ever. It’s all about ‘Embracing Your Fat’. Lizzon anyone? We’re told black men LOVE big fat mamas. Really? They’re lucky they’re young as 78% of Covid deaths which occurred mostly in the elderly population were due to obesity – again, which disproportionately hit the black community. Though FAT does not discriminate; there’s lots of fatties out there of all colors. Didn’t they read that? For years, the government aired commercials warning people against ‘smoking’ but didn’t make a peep when it came to Covid & obesity no doubt because it wasn’t politically correct to do so. The historic weight gain, probably is due to the fact that it is no longer taboo for a woman to drink herself to death; years ago, it wasn’t appropriate of ‘a lady’ to get intoxicated, slobberingly drunk. Feminism changed all that. Too tempting are all those sugared-up lattes, margaritas and ‘skinny girl’ drinks not to mention saluting every get-together with ‘champers’. It’s really sad & even pathetic to see them waste their youth dominated by obesity because it doesn’t get any easier keeping the weight off as one gets older.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
2 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I agree with your comments; obesity is a problem among both women and men. Part of the problem is that you see it being celebrated among women. This is a very dangerous trend and women are being brainwashed into thinking it is OK. In addition, it is considered taboo to “fat shame” women. I doubt young women will wake up and control their weight; they will suffer the health consequences. One only has to look back to the 1970s to see how far we have fallen in terms of weight.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
4 months ago

If the image accompanying this article represents ‘hot’, then give me sensuality every time, or to paraphrase the words of Bananarama (and Fun Boy Three) “It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it”. I’ve met a few women, in my time, who could not be described as conventionally ‘beautiful’ or ‘sexy’ or ‘hot’, but never the less were deeply, deeply, attractive. I’ve also met ‘super’ models, who were anything but.
And yes, I could imagine, a not unattractive, but not especially so, young woman, eating spaghetti, being ‘hot’, and not because she’s just ‘shoving’ something in her mouth ?

Don Lightband
Don Lightband
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

The accompanying image is indeed gross beyond helief. If that is “hot” i want nothing whatsoever to do with it – ever

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
4 months ago
Reply to  Don Lightband

Look out : ) famed author Jordan Peterson got put in the dog house for expressing his honest preference for health as well!

Last edited 4 months ago by Cathy Carron
Michael Layman
Michael Layman
2 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Fortunately, I am not a famed author.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

how can they be both ” hot” and “cool”? .. probably both ” inclusive” and ” diverse” too?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

The long dress with a slit, the mystery, the finding out about each other – that’s what’s hot.

B Davis
B Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Exactly right.
And that is exactly the key to the so-called ‘hotness’ dilemma.
Megan Thee Stallion (I believe that’s the extraordinarily unattractive woman in the picture) is the opposite of hotness (as evidently the two of us might define hotness). But that’s OK; that’s more than OK.
When I was 14 I defined ‘sexy’ one way. A different way when I was 20. A different way again when I was 30, 40, et al. And what is ‘hot’ now is way different from what was ‘hot’ in the Way Back When. Thank goodness.
If everyone thought Megan was ‘the bee’s knees’ what a sad and empty place this would be. (And what a horribly long line in front of Megan’s front door, waiting for a glimpse!).
But, to your point, the world is not like that. Only the silly & superficial believe it to be so. And yes, ‘hotness’, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Give me Dorothy Malone’s bookstore clerk, in that legendary scene with Bogart in The Big Sleep ANYTIME!

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
4 months ago

In the 1980s I attended an excellent philosophy lecture given by Bernard Williams. At the end, a militant feminist lesbian stood up and started ranting at him, holding him responsible as a representative of all men (a member of what would now be called the patriarchy) for enslaving women by producing romantic novels, which women read and consequently become obsessed with pursuing a romantic delusion rather than a career. She interpreted the production and sales of romantic novels as a conspiracy by men to keep women down. Bernard Williams remained extremely calm and replied that he thought the real question was – Why do women read romantic novels? I was young then but his question fascinated me. I had never thought to question what underlay my choice of reading matter. I was a voracious reader and enjoyed romantic literature as well as other genres. My selection process wasn’t a standard selection process. I chose The Outsider by Camus because of its brevity. I had never heard of the author or book, I was supposed to be revising for my English A level and I wanted something to read on the bus home, about an hours journey; I knew once I started a book I would read until I finished it and knowing I should really be revising, I chose the shortest book on the shelf which happened to be The Outsider. I wasn’t aware at the time, but it had a profound effect on me as great literature does. A year later I was sitting in a lecture theatre listening to a lecture on Camus and The Outsider and immediately recognised it as the very short book I had read.
I was very interested in love, the nature of love. When I read Zola’s Nana, what really fascinated me was that the beautiful courtesan Nana ultimately did not care about her looks and sexual appeal at all. She exposed herself to smallpox nursing a friend, contracted the disfiguring disease and died. For me that was real love, a real love story, one that had nothing to do with sex. I may have misremembered, it is many, many years since I last read Nana, but the idea Zola really understood love persists. I never thought of being hot as something to be pursued, my physique was more athletic than curvy, but, then, I was considered sexy and received more sexual attention than I really wanted.
I used to play a lot of tennis including mixed doubles. What interested me was that the men obviously enjoyed the sight of women in their tennis outfits and flirting occurred but when it came to playing tennis they wanted the most competent partner, as did the women. Sex definitely sells but there are definitely limits.

Last edited 4 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
4 months ago

I vaguely remember a Jordan Peterson lecture in which he was discussing the top ranked male characters in female read fiction – characters like handsome billionaire, pirate etc. One of the female students in the front began to blush heavily and he asked her whether she recognised his descriptions, to which she replied, “yes”.
It was a light exchange that was humorous as well.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
4 months ago

For me the hook, in fantasy, was tall, dark and mysterious. In reality, I was attracted by personality, difference, men that interested me – maybe that was the mysterious. Helen Fielding chose a handsome, successful human rights lawyer so Bridget Jones could pretend she was attracted by a superior being, a god, rather than money, looks and status.

Last edited 4 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Alan Osband
Alan Osband
4 months ago

A God with a social conscience. I did wonder how a youngish lawyer could afford a huge house in Holland Park on the back of stopping people being deported

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
4 months ago

In my youth, I remember reading some bodice ripper where the dude was described as, “His legs astride her, his arms akimbo” – made me look up the word ‘akimbo’. LOL

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
4 months ago

That “militant feminist lesbian” was clearly wrong, although her accusation has by now become a standard one in ideological circles. Women not only like to read romantic novels, unlike men, but they like also to write romantic novels–and get well paid for doing so. The formula is simple: nerdy, lonely, diffident and poor young woman meets athletic, handsome, rich and “mysterious” or even “dangerous” man. A few hundred pages later, she marries him and ends up as a princess. Long before Harlequin Romances became a female-dominated industry, long before Barbara Cartland became the queen of romance novelists, Margaret Mitchell wrote the grandmother of all romance novels: Gone with the Wind (although the genre goes back much further within literary fiction and includes evert novel by Jane Austen). And soap operas, often written primarily by women and always for women, have long provided the same kind of fantasy.

Last edited 4 months ago by Paul Nathanson
Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
4 months ago

This selling of hotness, is really trying to sell confidence, because for many, confidence is attractive. Attractiveness is largely subjective, people are attracted to different things and whilst initial physical attraction has its place, it doesn’t guarantee a match in the long term. As a young single woman I was blown out by numerous guys because I wasn’t domineering, a personality trait that you either have or you don’t. That doesn’t mean I was going to be left on the shelf, I just had to find a man who appreciated someone as chill as me and I did!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
4 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay Snoman

In my commercial life I have found women to be in most skill sets, application, judgement, execution, modesty, lack of ego, and others, way superior to men… as they are from insect to mammal… and I am male…. As I have said before, one of northern European men’s biggest problems is that they dont actually want to spend time with, and in the company of women, and would rather be with their mates at rugby/ cricket/ golf/ track day……. and whilst they are there, I am more than happy to stand in and listen to their wives and girlfriends problems whilst I cook them something delicious to eat….

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
4 months ago

You are either single, not spent enough time with a load of women and their problems or both.

Random Values
Random Values
4 months ago

You are no different to the men at the rugby etc. They enjoy time spent doing something different to the listening/cooking you say you enjoy. But you get plenty of time doing other things in your single life, when those women are with their rugby-loving men. If you don’t have a committed, long term relationship, you too are choosing not to spend all your time with a woman.

Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
4 months ago

My husband is happy to spend time with me, however he would argue that it’s only because he weaned me off soap operas and introduced me to gaming.

Last edited 4 months ago by Lindsay Snoman
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
4 months ago

Warning! Virtue signaller alert!

David Batlle
David Batlle
4 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay Snoman

Confidence is something women are attracted to. For most men confidence in a woman is a non-factor. We aren’t attracted to the same things. That’s something the feminist will never understand.

Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
4 months ago
Reply to  David Batlle

In my experience, dominant vs dominant plays the biggest role in these disagreements. My Dad, a dominant man (ironically took after his dominant mother), considered his mother and sister in law to be bullies, hen pecking their husbands and in his view making them miserable because he would be if he was in their shoes. He cannot accept that they (brother and father) could be happy. His sister in law (I can’t speak for Grandma as she died when I was very little) is a feminist and sees my dad as a bully who dominated his wife and caused her untold misery and she couldn’t possibly have ever been happy with him. My mother would just say they both need their heads banging together.

Last edited 4 months ago by Lindsay Snoman
Jack B. Nimble
Jack B. Nimble
4 months ago
Reply to  David Batlle

Right on. Our natures set us up this way, I suppose. There are exceptions, but generally men are more interested, at least at first, in looks; women, in confidence and loyalty. I think the source of this double-standard–which is what it is–is nature, not social convention, even though it is reflected in our social conventions. Evolutionarily-speaking (if I may), in romance women in all past ages have had more at stake than have men, since they can get pregnant. Having more at stake means they had to become better judges of male character than men were of themselves–they had to see through that bravado and judge the likelihood of his sticking around. Contraception and day-after pills equalizes the playing field somewhat, but perhaps not entirely. “You can expel nature with a pitchfork . . .” As for men, they are not biologically set up to produce another life, so they look for something to spend their own life on; something to serve–a woman, oftentimes. So a woman needs strength from a man, and a man needs to be able to worship his woman. We idealize each other based on our fundamental needs.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
4 months ago

When it comes to physical beauty, age is the great equalizer. Being a beautiful young woman is like starting out as the president of the company and ending up as the janitor.
The only reason people deny the fact that physical beauty is rare is the billion dollar diet, cosmetic, and beauty industry tries to sell young women the lie that if they are physically beautiful, they will be loved & happy.
But does any sane young woman envy the life of Melania Trump?
No woman has ever been loved for her beauty.
Women are desired, exploited, envied,and harassed for their beauty, but never loved. We simply do not love people for their beauty any more than we love people for being rich: we want them to increase our status, but we don’t love them.
I am 60 years old and was always cute enough, but never gorgeous. Today, I don’t look any better or worse than my peers who were gorgeous as young women.
The main difference between us is that I am happily married, while most of the formally gorgeous have been discarded for younger models.
It’s devastating for the formerly young & gorgeous to find the rug pulled out from under them at middle age. These are the women who write ridiculous articles about turning invisible at 40 or 50, when most women are just beginning to feel seen and heard.
Hotness is a source of temporary status with a very short shelf life.
That’s the truly “empowering” message that the beauty industry is TERRIFIED young women will catch on to.
If you want to be loved, learn how to recognize loving people.
No one will every love you for your beauty, they’ll only use you up and toss you out when the beauty fades.

B Davis
B Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Yes…and no.
We fall in love with women for their beauty. We are ‘bewitched, bothered & bewildered’ by their beauty. But what we see as Beauty changes, evolves, expands, and transcends the little, piddling, minor thing commonly labeled as ‘beauty’ by media, industry, and uncounted adolescents.
Interesting that you saw yourself as “Cute enough”. It means, we might presume, that you were not — back then — a ‘classic’ beauty….not the Prom Queen….not the Homecoming Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Head Cheerleader (and every school had one or two of those). But you were close…or rather close enough to that ‘ideal’ to still attract the individuals you were interested in attracting….at least so we’d guess.
‘Cute enough’, in other words, more accurately means beautiful to those who recognize a fuller form of beauty….who see beauty as more than chiseled cheekbones and buxom curves in glossy two-dimensional foldouts.
So I would say you were indeed (and are!) loved for your beauty but that your beauty transcends what the mirrors simply reflect.

Jake Dee
Jake Dee
4 months ago

The “dating game”, or as I like to call it “the mating rituals of the human animal” is the rock upon which the ship of feminism is doomed to be wrecked. Feminism, socialism or any “ism” that thinks human equality is either possible or desirable is doomed. People are not fundamentally equal, no one wants to mate with all people equally and it’s mad to think that they should.The best summary of this I know of is the final speech of Danilov from “Enemy At The Gates” 2001. It’s hardly a chick flick but it does have an important romantic sub-plot. The idealistic Bolshevik Commissar Danilov just has lost out to his friend and comrade, the brave and handsome Vassily, who has won the heart of the beautiful Tania;

I’ve been such a fool, Vassili. Man will always be a man. There is no new man. We tried so hard to create a society that was equal, where there’d be nothing to envy your neighbour. But there’s always something to envy. A smile, a friendship, something you don’t have and want to appropriate. In this world, even a Soviet one, there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts, poor in gifts. Rich in love, poor in love.

There it is, the rock upon which the idealistic ship is wrecked is also the bedrock of all human societies, the mating rituals.

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
4 months ago

Hot is such a debased and degrading term: why are women obsessed with it? It seems to me that this is something that obsesses only a certain kind of woman or man. Others equate desirability with intelligence, dynamism, wit and so on. Only a dullard thinks attractiveness is all about looks, clothes and attitude.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
4 months ago

why are women obsessed with it?
You’re a 25 year old single woman looking for a (male) mate, when men become less obsessed with hotness then you will too.

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
4 months ago

You have met the wrong men. Most of my friends are not looking for a hot woman: they want a kind a companionable one. You need to change your dating app!

Alan B
Alan B
4 months ago

Once, in a Louisiana August, I said to a woman wearing a sweater that she “looked hot”. When I realized that she mistook this for a comment on her attractiveness I declined to correct her. After all, she was “hot” and clearly she knew it.

polidori redux
polidori redux
4 months ago

No matter how you dice it, hotness is a relative term: I am hot only because you are not.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
4 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Exactl;y; some of us have to be plain so that the others can be hot.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
4 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

…’hotness’ brings to mind “I’m hot” Paris Hilton – one of the tackiest, tawdriest chicks ever. The very antithesis of class. Who wants to be her? ‘Hotness’ is not only NOT a ‘virtue’ – is just so banal. The ick factor is huge.

polidori redux
polidori redux
4 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Sometimes…
No, actually I do agree.

Jim Davis
Jim Davis
4 months ago

Thank you for stating clearly what we already know, but don’t say out loud. Call me old fashioned, but in my (not so) humble opinion, Audrey Hepburn, in the little black dress, is the epitome of a beautiful, stunning, classy and desirable woman. Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo, and many other pop icons are none of the above.

Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Davis

I wouldn’t say it’s an old fashioned opinion, it is however, subjective. As the saying goes “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Some people are attracted to larger people (we used to call them chubby chasers back in the un PC era)and some, like yourself, are not. If we were all attracted to the same beauty standards the world would be a very lonely place.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
4 months ago

If the fat woman with the fake lashes, hair, and nails in the above photo represents the new “hotness”, then the ladies at the mah jongg table need to open OnlyFans accounts.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
4 months ago

If the main advantage of being considered “hot” is that it confers a status (in the eye of the beholder) that the person (male or female) possesses greater power of reproduction and/or nurturing than their peers, then the definition of hotness can indeed be extended beyond immediate physical attractiveness. The problem is, unless there’s an immediate physical attraction, the beholder may not bother to find out what the reproductive/nurturing advantages are! Those who meet a reproductive partner who mightn’t immediately be deemed “hot” but get to know them through circumstance (e.g. as work colleagues) usually end up with the better bargain. Immediate hotness can be a notoriously poor indicator of reproductive/nurturing prowess – especially after the makeup has been removed and in the cold light of morning (and that’s just the guys…)!!

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
4 months ago

Unfortunately ‘I think I’m wonderful, therefore I am’ is a belief firmly embedded in the brains of some very un-wonderful people. Wiser to say, ‘I am flawed and must decide what to do about it.’

David Batlle
David Batlle
4 months ago

So much feminist coping. This article is so hilariously OnPoint that it’s sad.

Not every woman is beautiful, and not every man is rich. Life is not fair, get over it.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
4 months ago

I really don’t care who thinks they’re hot. It’s when I am expected to agree and to date the self-certified hotties under the threat of being called sexist, fat-phobic, racist etc. that I object. There is an obvious connection with the self-certifying ‘women with penises’ who then demand that lesbians have sex with them.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
4 months ago

This article is heartening; being hot – one problem, at least, with which I have never had to deal.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
4 months ago

Well I managed it last Wednesday!

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
4 months ago

I thought this was going to be an article about the weather, but instead it was an article on hotness in It’s a Wonderful Life. At least it was snowing there.

Mashie Niblick
Mashie Niblick
4 months ago

Can blokes identify as hot?
Please advise.

Margaret Donaldson
Margaret Donaldson
4 months ago
Reply to  Mashie Niblick

Most definitely. In my day, any young man with a car was hot.

Margaret Donaldson
Margaret Donaldson
4 months ago

Now, I suppose, it would be the size of his pensi-on.

Lord Rochester
Lord Rochester
4 months ago
Reply to  Mashie Niblick

At the moment, only if they are unsustainably muscular. The recent age when the commonly held belief was that unattainable body image was the preserve of women under the heel of the patriarchy is now very much behind us.

Michael Richardson
Michael Richardson
4 months ago
Reply to  Mashie Niblick

With the temperatures in the UK this week, I am definitely hot.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
4 months ago
Reply to  Mashie Niblick

hi, Luke Warm here… mmmmm.. not sure….

Alan Groff
Alan Groff
4 months ago

I’m poor and don’t have friends because I’m not alluring and don’t work hard.

Still, inspired by Kat’s wit and sense, I might change.

2A Solution
2A Solution
4 months ago

Furthermre, everyone can’t be beautiful. It’s a differentiator. If everyone is beautiful nothing is.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
4 months ago
Reply to  2A Solution

But is it it possible to find something beautiful in everything?

Jack B. Nimble
Jack B. Nimble
4 months ago

Great article – and smart, too. Hits home, I think. Nature distributes beauty in an unfair way. Of course, nature never signed any contracts obliging itself to be fair, so “it is what it is.” I like the idea that we can “appreciate what is beautiful, while striving for what is fair.” I take this to mean we can strive for fairness without denying reality. Jealousy is a bad counselor.

Kat L
Kat L
3 months ago

Imo it’s not that men are that judgy, it’s that most young women overestimate their attractiveness and expect to snag men who are above their level thereby rejecting the regular guys who would actually see them as hot and treat them as such.

B Davis
B Davis
4 months ago

Ultimately, beneath it all — much to the dismay of the Progressive Feminist — there is reality. And reality is implacable.
“A central tenet of feminism is that a woman’s social value should be predicated on her humanity, not her beauty.”
We might as well say that a central tenet of “Alice in Wonderland” is the Cheshire Cat’s vanishing grin. The fact that some aspect of ‘feminist’ ideology asserts that a ‘woman’s social value’ (whatever that is) is a function of women’s humanity (whatever that means) is equally as significant as the pronouncements of the Mad Hatter.
Yes, in Wonderland there is a logical consistency to the down-the-rabbit-hole world we visit. And yes, in Feminism we can proclaim that a woman’s value must be disembodied. But in reality — that cold, hard place — NO ONE’s value, no one’s place in the world is or can be set or defined in the bodiless abstract.
Rather, we are inseparably one. Body — mind — soul, we are inextricably intertwined. As living creatures within a living universe, we perceive the Other always as ‘sensual’, fully dimensioned beings:  “See me, feel me, touch me, heal me … Gazing at you I get the heat…”
So yes, in that sensual place, beauty exists, is real, is regularly perceived, and almost always highly valued. This is as true for men as for women…for the young as well as the old. It’s also true for what we sensual creatures ourselves create & place within that world..
Hotness, in other words, is real (though its particular aspects in any given era or context change & regularly evolve).
Of course, it would be nice if it were otherwise.”??
Not really. It would be boring; it would be grey; it would be flat & unremarkable. The fact that the world (and ourselves as part of that world) exist within a multi-dimensioned perceptual spectrum ranging from ugly to stunning, boring to thrilling, amazing to forgettable, fascinating to repulsive, etc. is what makes the world go round. Everyone is not beautiful. We do have Greta Garbos and Tyrone Powers….Brad Pitts & Gal Gadots, Catherine Deneuves and George Clooneys…and when people like those walk into rooms, conversations stop.
Not so much when I do…or very probably you either…or most of us for that matter. But so what?
Just as we say and acknowledge beauty & its impact, so too must we equally assert that our TOTAL value as an embodied being stretches well beyond the shape our cheekbones, the symmetry of our glance, the sparkle in our grin. Thank goodness!
And that is a wondrously good and great thing isn’t it?
So let us rejoice and be glad! Yes there is Beauty; yes there is ‘Hotness’; yes there is Wisdom; Compassion; Grace; Elegance; Genius; Laughter; Excitement. The world is a very full and magical place. But it becomes emptier every time we begrudge with jealousy or bitterness those who are blessed with what we are not.

Michael K
Michael K
4 months ago

Kat,

I commend you for starting off with a bit of brutal truth, originally coming from a man no less. Not many women would dare such a thing. This is what the word “brave” truly means.

I also wanted to add that (modern) feminism is wholly misguided because there is a complete lack of input from men. You can’t try to become “equal to men” (i.e. the same as men) without even asking men what they are about.

For example, men could have told feminists that if you try too hard, it makes you look insecure. Just relax and do your thing. Learn to accept that some people will always dislike you. There is no secret to this – you just have to take the pain.

And then, they would have told women that hotness may give you attention, but attention is ultimately worthless and is entirely different from love. To a quality man, an average-looking, but healthy and friendly woman is a lot more attractive than some shallow Instagram floozie. Also, 98% of the male attention the Instagirl gets is from desperate guys anyway. This is why I find women unattractive the moment I find out they have a looks-based social media appearance. Disgusting crowd, guilt by association. I can’t help it, can’t unsee it. If you measure your self-value by counting likes given by lonely beta-males, that says more about you than the actual number of likes.

So just because you aren’t an Instagram model, doesn’t mean you’re ugly or “unmarriable”. I don’t know where the (young) women get this idea from. I can guarantee you, it doesn’t come from guys. I assume they get it from marketing for make-up and weight-loss crap.

Last edited 4 months ago by Michael K
2A Solution
2A Solution
4 months ago

Megan Thee Stallion is UGLY.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
4 months ago

I am reminded of witnessing both Guardsmen and stable lads, in my days of yore, having heavy bets on the winner of the ” Grimmy Run” aka who could pull she voted by rival betting competitors ” Grimment bird of the evening”… Not sure how todays inexorably woke pc anti fattist ” lard mountains” as the boys termed them, would react today to such sport? … and the special award for ‘Blomster of the night”?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
4 months ago

We had a small porcelain piggy bank – the pot pig award.

I went off the idea when it was very publicly awarded to one of the lads as he was coming downstairs at a party, having done the deed, with the poor girl right behind him.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
4 months ago

“Hot” and “beautiful” are not the same at all; in some ways they are polar opposite.

Beauty is something to be savored, to be sought after, to be protected. Beauty inspires the noblest and highest feelings in men. To paraphrase Camille Paglia (hardly a conservative): “Male libido is the most potent constructive force in the universe. Men will do almost anything for a pretty girl. And women have the responsibility to make them.”

Now let’s compare that to “hot” or “sexy”. Sexy is a commodity. It isn’t something to be protected and savored slowly; it’s something to be used and chugged quickly. And because men crave variety, is rapidly used up. We call it “hot” because sexy is as fleeting as a flame, and just as dangerous. It inspires the most ignoble qualities of man. No one “becomes a better man” for a sexy girl. You’ll may want to get under her skirt, but she’s not long-term material.

I don’t think any woman wants to be treated as something to be used, but so many behave as if they do. Ladies, make us become better for you; because we will, but only if you require it. Please bring back pretty, and please banish sexy. It’s not helpful for you. It’s not helpful for us men either.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
4 months ago

The feminine as the muse?

Last edited 4 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
J. Hale
J. Hale
3 months ago

“we’d rather believe that beauty is accessible to all.” Isn’t it pretty to think so?

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
2 months ago

Kat, I agree, a woman is not “hot” because they say they are. Social media has attempted to redefine much of our lives. We shall see what “sticks”. In my opinion, beauty(and hotness) is in the eye of the beholder. In this instance no woman(or man) is completely excluded. Nevertheless as you point out, some have a greater consensus than others.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
4 months ago

Why, what I’ve written, might seem contentious, I have no idea. Stupid, maybe, I’ll informed, quite possibly, but contentious ?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

My comments tend to disappear for a while before being posted. I think some people might find my comments contentious but I thought that was the point of Unherd, to be challenged.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
4 months ago

If ‘beauty is truth’ & ‘everything is beautiful’
it follows that everything is truthful !

Darwin K Godwin
Darwin K Godwin
4 months ago

Beauty is quite different than self-identifying as “hot” and expecting the proper response.

Last edited 4 months ago by Kerry Godwin