Faces “how hot.io”

So I tried out this website that I’ve seen mentioned a few times on my news feed in different social media apps and websites. The app (or website as I have it in my title) is supposed to rate your attractiveness level based on white male norms (or, really, elf norms since it’s development team is composed of Swiss men). It starts at “Hmm…” and ends at “Godlike”, with “Ok”, “Nice”, “Hot”, and “Stunning” in between. You upload a picture of yourself and in a few seconds you receive a rating based on an algorithm (very objective…not, since the algorithm is, once more, developed by white men). Needless to say many posts criticising the website point out that it has trouble properly reading gender, age, and attractiveness of men and women of non-white races or ethnicities. When I tried it out I had my doubts, since I am, after all, Hispanic. I was pleasantly surprised with my first three tries of three different pictures from my Facebook profile album. I was rated “Stunning” (really?? yay!) twice and “Hot” (still flattered). Of course, I had to be honest with myself and admit that these pictures were specifically selected to be displayed to the general public after taking between 10-20 selfies and making a few alterations as far as brightness, color saturation, and contrast (I prefer this to just basic filtering). So I snapped a few pictures of myself as I am right now; very basic makeup (because a friend is coming over in a bit) and t-shirt. I don’t think I look completely off, but apparently the algorithm disagree; I was rated “Ok” and “Nice” this time around. Not wanting to continue the brutal self-inflicted punishment, I gave up after two tries. Clearly the site is built on unrealistic male expectations; make-up, perfect hair, and radiant and clear skin are basic requisites for a good rating (something I don’t always look like when I’m lazing about in my apartment). As far as age (it also is meant to detect this) it rated my 21 each time instead of 26, but the difference is not that much so I let it slide. Gender was detected correctly each time. Another reviewer said the algorithm detects gender based on clothes, but each of my pictures was taking with a neutral striped sweater on, so not sure about that. It might be based on the general shape of the face or, even, the use of make-up. Either way, I would say that the website DOES correctly judge a person’s attractiveness, if that person fits into the VERY narrow standards of white men. Therefore, it’s just a load of patriarchal crap.

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