During a recent trip to Dave and Buster’s, I received my first exposure to Deal or No Deal. Up until now I have been vaguely aware of it as “that really popular show that is financing Howie Mendel’s $5000 a day Purel habit.” Now I find it in all of its blinking and flashing glory, tempting me with promises of 1000 tickets. As I begin sifting through the bizarre rules, a little kid sits down to offer up his brilliant stratagem to assuring victory. “Always pick the prettiest girl.” A few minutes later I walked away with 6 tickets and the knowledge that I should not take the advice of 8 year olds. After a while, though, I decided that the unsupervised minor might not have been wrong. The fault might have been with my ability to rate the attractiveness of the models. As with all other aspects of my life, I have a complicated and idiotic hierarchy in regards to beauty. Want to hear it? Of course not, but here it is anyway.
When it comes to attractiveness in women, for me, there are three levels: Not Good Looking, Good Looking, and Fictional. We will get the Not Good Looking out of the way first, since it is the most straight forward rating. For the sake of the egos involved, I won’t be giving specific individuals as examples. To land in this, the least populated category, you need to have some serious problems. For example, if you are missing any particularly prominent parts of your face, that’s a good start. That lands you in the “Incomplete” category. If you have a truly abundant amount of face hair or a monumental Adam’s apple or, say, a testicle or two, then you get a position on the coveted “Manish” list. A controversial final section to the Not Good Looking level is “Braindead.” Yes, if a person is stupid enough, I will find them unattractive. I should make myself clear though. She needs to be REALLY stupid. Like, stupid enough that it effects her hygiene or renders herself a danger to be around. We are talking near clinical levels of stupidity.
The Good Looking Category has three roughly equal subsections. Cute, Beautiful, and Sexy. The gradation here is subtle. Cute, for instance, indicates a certain youthfulness and exuberance. A button nose or freckles are hallmarks of this category. Ponytails are common as well. Drew Barrymore and Zooey Deschanel are good examples here. Beautiful is cute plus maturity. If Cute was all dressed up for the Prom, it might slip over to Beautiful. People in the beautiful category are the sort of people of which paintings are made. They wear gowns. If you’ve got a few more years on you, you probably trend toward beautiful as well. Let’s say Julia Roberts, or, heck, the Venus de Milo (note that the lack of arms hasn’t landed her in the Incomplete column) are examples. Now, take Beautiful and add a heavy dose of Lust, and there’s Sexy. This generally happens in the region of the eyes and lips. Beautiful is someone you take home to mother. Sexy is someone you take to the back seat. Catherine Zeta Jones or Angelina Jolie belong here. Now, some women can sweep effortlessly from one category to another. Depending on the role, I’ve seen Nicole Kidman pull off all three. Angelina Jolie? Sorry, just Sexy. Don’t feel bad for her, though, it is a good place to be.
Finally, there is fictional. To land in this category, you are either Animated, Cosmetically Constructed, or Touched Up. These women belong in fantasy and only in fantasy, because they either don’t exist or shouldn’t. Rogue of the X-Men, much as you may have earned a place in my dreams, you are Animated. Pamela Anderson-Lee-Whatever has been augmented, de-augmented, re-augmented, and who knows what else. This is a woman with three or four serial numbers printed on various bits and pieces of her anatomy, and service stickers so she knows when to get her assets rotated. If you are mostly plastic and have very few moving parts, welcome to Cosmetically Constructed Land, Population: Strippers, Pornstars, and Hookers. Touched Up is basically anyone in a magazine. I’ve seen the processing that goes into making those pictures, and it is a work of genius, not genetics. There’s lighting and clamps and airbrushes and software involved. Being pretty shouldn’t require scaffolding and a group of teamsters.
But I started talking about ratings here, and therein lies the problem. There isn’t a logical progression to this stuff. Cute, Sexy, Beautiful. They all look GOOD. How the heck am I to compare one to the other decide who is better? They’re the SAME! I look at the models on Deal or No Deal and I think the following, “Well, they all seem to have all of the important parts, and a less than obnoxious percentage of their body is made of silicon. We’ve got 16 Good Looking women… borderline Fictional.” That’s as far as my rating goes. Deciding which one is good looking enough to be holding a million dollar case is a darn crap shoot. That’ll do it for this week, though. Right now I’m busy working up a terminology for describing the different levels of boredom. I’m stuck right now on the level of boredom where you start thinking up terminologies…