The Numbers Game: Are You Desirable? (SPOILER ALERT: I AM)

On the latest installment of The Numbers Game, Samurai of Stats Jake Porway takes a look at what makes people attractive to others.  Despite the promise that there’s tricks you can do to make yourself more appealing, so much of this boils down to how naturally attractive you are.  Sorry, gang.  But hope isn’t lost: there are some simple things you can do to increase your desirability.  We’ll cover that later.  First, I want to talk ratios.  GOLDEN RATIOS.

If you didn’t watch the episode but are reading this for some reason, the Golden Ratio is 1.6 and it can be seen in classical art and architecture, natural phenomena, and the movie π.  The bottom line is that Golden Ratios are sexy and can be found on sexy faces.

Guest star Clarissa — by all measures an aesthetically pleasing person — is shown to be good at two things: getting random people to give her the shirts off their backs and having good genes.  Those skills come into play when she and Jake compete to see who can literally collect the most shirts from people.  FOREGONE CONCLUSION ALERT.

Jake, a man, and Clarissa discuss the fate of that red shirt
Jake, a man who might be Robert Patrick, and Clarissa discuss the fate of that red shirt

It may come as no surprise that Clarissa cleans up in this competition.  But why?  Well, attractive people get what they want and her face is covered in golden ratios.  Face length to width?  Check.  Distance between the eyes to eye size?  Check.  Something about her teeth?  Check.

Is my face a Golden Ratio?  Time to measure!

I’d say we’re equally attractive…

Using science (ie Microsoft Paint), I found that my face ratio is 1.6 to 1.  Holy crap!  I’m beautiful!  Where was this information when I was single?  Okay, let’s do my eye size to distance between eyes.  Obviously after such a strong start, I have nowhere to go but UP TO PROVE HOW DESIRABLE I AM.  Anyway, 1.2 to 1…

My eyes are comically close together!  I’m hideous!  This game sucks.  What can I do to fix it?

Oh right, Jake covers this.  (Fun fact: Jake’s neck to head ratio: 1 to 1.7… not bad, guy!)  If you didn’t win the genetic lottery, here’s what TNG suggests for men to make themselves more desirable to women:

1) Wear red

2) Carry a guitar

3) Bring your dog

So I guess dress like you work at Target and attend a liberal arts college forever?  Sounds like a winning combination to me!

Alas, my eye ratio really is 1.2, so now I’m crazy insecure about that.  TNG suggests that I can put some glasses on to appear more intelligent/desirable, which the numbers say can earn you an extra $230K over a lifetime.  I took my glasses off for the above photo.  Here’s what I normally look like:

Catching raindrops in my hands

Speaking of income and much to my deep chagrin, a man should shave before a job interview for maximum professional desirability.  But if his face ratios aren’t golden, wouldn’t a beard obscure that?  I know I’m not supposed to fight the numbers, but I feel like there’s some nuance that we’re willingly overlooking here.  A strategic beard for hiding the ugly and stupid?  That sounds like a good play in my book.  Clarissa up there might not need it, but I demand more research into this beard thing.  I am officially requesting TNG to look into the power of the beards.  Between playoff hockey teams and the 2013 Boston Red Sox, there’s copious data.  Then we can revisit this whole “less desirable” with a beard thing…

At the end of the day, when it comes to desirability, the genes help… but you can help yourself.  The Numbers Game wraps up this week by proving that the average is more appealing to most people.  So hang out in a large group of average looking people.  Increase your odds by throwing on your red polo shirt, learning to play Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” on guitar, and taking your dog for a walk.  You’ll get the average girl with the average waist to hip ratio and make average money at your job.  More if you wear glasses.

For more mind-bending stats, experiments, and interactive game play, don’t miss all-new episodes of The Numbers Game. Next time on The Numbers Game: Are You a Jerk?, we’ll examine why being a jerk could earn you nearly $10,000 more at work. This episode will show you how to tap into the benefits of being a jerk without making a long list of enemies and reveal exactly when to be rude, and when not to be, to reap the best rewards in your life.


  1. Phaea Crede
    United States
    April 10, 2014, 12:21 pm

    You DO have weirdly close together eyes.