Photo Essay: Pictures on Hot or Not

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

At some time or another, you’ve probably been to (more intrepid readers will have actually posted their own picture). Here’s a quick rundown, in case you don’t know how it works: You are shown photos of various people and asked to vote how hot you think they are on a scale of one to ten. It’s usually pretty easy to predict what score someone will have, and being the kind of ass I am, I tend to “punish” people who I believe have high scores they don’t deserve. From time to time, I score people with ones and tens =exclusively=; after all, the question =is= hot or not?

So from time to time, when I have nothing but time and am looking to kill some of it, I visit Hot or Not and have at it. Here’s what I’ve noticed.

There tend to be trends among the types of photos uploaded to the site. There are =a ton= of different categories out there, and I’m going to take you through a lot of them. I’m sure that, while this list is long, it isn’t exhaustive. If you find other great examples, let me know, and perhaps I’ll update the list. Before I begin, I should point out that I only look at women in the 18-25 age range (at the time of this writing), therefore this will only pertain to images found in that search.

Where to begin? How about with overall bad pictures? One type of photo you see a lot of are those ones where the person in question has blocked out other peoples’ faces. Some cover-ups are more elegant that others, but I’m partial to the ones where the person has made it overly obvious which person in the picture they are. In fact, taking your photo into an image processing program before putting it online seems to be quite popular, usually with bad results. From time to time you’ll see someone who has created a photo-collage. Too bad those collages rarely give me a good idea of what the person looks like. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to use Photoshop. And while they’re in Photoshop, you’d think they could turn their photo the right way, or crop out all the extra white space, or fix the proportions of the photo.

While I don’t expect people to know how to operate Photoshop, I’m troubled by the number of people who don’t know how to operate their camera. How hard is it to get a good photo of yourself? Do people not realise that it’s easy to get a photo of yourself without getting the camera in the shot? And what about the photos that are out of focus? Or where there isn’t enough light? I know not everyone can’t be expected to understand things like colour depth, resolution, and image compression, but surely when a photo is too damn small, any idiot will know because YOU CAN’T SEE IT!

It’s not as though the technology behind photos is terribly difficult to master. Scanners have gotten to be pretty forgiving, yet I continue to see really crappy scans. Here are a couple of other things to remember: Your webcam is not a viable option (however, if you insist on using it, make sure you actually look at the camera when you take the picture). The time/date stamp can always be turned off. And finally, if your camera has a flash, it probably also has a red-eye reducer (and if it doesn’t, there’s software that does).

Another typical trick is to look sexy. Sometimes it works (YOWZA!), but it often doesn’t (BAD YOWZA!). Wearing a bikini is a standard trick that frequently garners a high score. So does showing cleavage. There is such a thing as too much cleavage bad cleavage, however. People also seem to like to show off their asses. I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever seen a really nice ass on Hot or Not, and I’m pretty sure I never have. Other attempts to look hot include putting on make-up. It’s usually a good idea to make sure that your make-up matches the colour of your skin.

If you spend enough time on the site (like, five minutes), eventually you’ll see one of the lesbian-themed photos. These are likely an attempt to turn on horny guys without having to post a photo of yourself in a bikini. Since lesbians often times are stereotyped as being manly women, what better transition could I have into the ambiguously sexed category? Are they women in comfortable shoes or are they actually men? Speaking of men, why do girls include guys in the shot? I want to look at hot women, not hot women being groped by their boyfriends.

As we’ve seen, some people take their clothes off in an attempt to lure the votes. Some people would be better off wearing more clothes, and that’s just what some people do. Just as with the ugly bikini girls, costumes don’t always work. Trying to prove that you’re a hip, party girl is also quite common. There are tons of images of girls holding some type of alcoholic beverage, but beer seems to be the most popular.

I’m also not entirely sure that everyone understands the point of Hot or Not. I can’t count on two hands and all my toes how many pictures I’ve seen where you can’t see the face of the person in question. Or where they’re not smiling. Or where something embarrassing is happening to them. Perhaps the most embarrassing type of picture is the, “hotter friend” photo, where one of the person’s friends is hotter than they are. I really don’t understand why some people upload the photos that they do, but then again, I think that sometimes they don’t. For example, if you really wanted to be on Hot or Not, would be flipping off the camera? Or making some kind of crazy face? Speaking of crazy, what the hell is with this picture? And this one? Yikes. Speaking of yikes (more bad yowzas, proceed with caution), we come to the penultimate category: FUGLY. You knew it was coming; it’s the reason you’ve been reading this whole time. You want to see the fugly users of Hot or Not.

The last category is senior portraits. Since these are (usually) taken by a professional, they tend to be the best images overall; so if you’re going to upload your photo, you might want to dig one out that’s been taken by a pro.

Now what I’d love to see is a Hot or Not photo that combines half a dozen or more of the above themes. Contact me if you find one.

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  1. hon_025.jpg = Not too much cleavage. Do you have another example? 😉

    hon_042.jpg = Kill Bill costume?

    I’ve been wanting to post my own picture on HoN, since K tells me I’m not so attractive, while most of my other friends disagree with her (at least, since I lost my weight and started going to the gym). I feel the need for numerical proof, but fear it could go either way…

  2. hon_025.jpg = Personal preference? I don’t have a better picture, but I’ve been looking for one.

    hon_042.jpg = I’m sure, but doesn’t she look freaky? Why the hell would you put that on Hot or Not?

  3. Okay, I updated hon_024.jpg, hon_025.jpg, hon_034.jpg, and hon_047.jpg.

  4. And it seems that, no matter how many times one has been told they’re attractive, not utilizing one or more of the above shortcuts to “popularity” means you’re doomed for a sad, low rating. So I’ve heard. 😛

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