The Curse of Being Cute

OkCupid's new study suggests being considered cute can actually hurt your chances with guys.
- Faye Brennan,

To us, "cute" is a good thing. We say without thinking, "That purse is cute. That sweater is cute. That guy is so cute." But, according to new research conducted by the online dating site, OKCupid, if we're cute, we've got a problem.

According to their new study, women who are considered cute by the majority of men receive less messages than those who are considered hot by some guys and not by others. In other words, "The more men disagree about a woman's looks, the more they like her."

How OKCupid came to this conclusion involves a lot of crunching numbers and in depth analysis (seriously), so we'll just sum it up. Basically, they compared women on OKCupid who had the same attractiveness rating (a system of 1-5 stars) with the number of messages they received from guys. They noticed a difference between women who were mostly given a rating of 4 (not perfect, but definitely attractive, aka "cute"), and women whose rankings were at the two extremes: either they got a lot of 1's for being "ugly" and 5's for being "hot."

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Strangely, the women whose rankings were all over the place-where the majority of guys couldn't decide if they were hot or not-they were the ones who got the most messages. The girls who everyone considered cute? They got the shaft. Say whaaat?

And, why?

OkCupid offers this possible explanation:

"Someone conventionally cute, but not totally hot, might appear to be more in-demand than she actually is. To the typical man considering her, she's obviously attractive enough to create the impression that other guys are into her, too."

Simpy put, this means that cute girls must get a lot of attention from plenty of guys, so competition - and the possibility of rejection - comes into play. Some guys may take their chances and message the cute girl anyway knowing their odds, or they may go for the girl who is not considered cute by everyone. They think they'll have a better shot with her because there's less competition. Message sent.

And that, my friends, is the curse of being cute.

But, when you think about it, perhaps it's not a curse after all. Maybe it's actually a blessing in disguise, because the guys who aren't messaging you because of the threat of competition aren't confident in themselves or what they bring to the table. If they were, they'd have no problem striking up a conversation over the Internet. Because, if you're not confident when sending a message to a basic stranger on the computer who you'll probably never run into in real life, then WHEN WILL YOU EVER BE CONFIDENT?

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This "cute girl" phenomenon weeds out the bad apples and leaves men who are confident in themselves, know what they want and are willing to stick their neck out to get it, which is probably the type of guy cute and non-cute women are looking for anyways. OkCupid suggests that cute girls "play up" their flaws in their profile in order to create a more diverse attractiveness rating (and therefore receive more messages), but we say… don't.

Cute and non-cute girls alike, leave your profile the way it is, provided that it's honest about who you are and what you look like. Who cares about how many messages you're getting? Your only concern should be about the quality of the people messaging you, and not whether or not you're missing out because you are, in fact, totally cute.

Tell us: what do you think about OkCupid's findings? Should "cute" girls try to play up their flaws now?

Faye Brennan is assistant editor at BettyConfidential.

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