Hot or Not: Objectifying or Dating Dreamland?
Online Dating: The Modern Wedding March
The popularity of online dating can be attributed to the development of social media. Social media has allowed people from all around the globe to connect with one another like never before, and it has enabled online dating to become one of the most successful forms of courtship in our modern world.
However, controversy has grown alongside this development. One of the main concerns is that dating sites place excessive emphasis on physicality. While no one denies that physical beauty plays an important role in courtship, there is something to be said for the argument that online dating takes this inclination too far.
In many online chatrooms, the worth of each user is assessed according to the arbitrary beauty preferences of other people. Thus, a person who is simply un-photogenic could be repeatedly labeled as “ugly,” “fat,” or “unattractive.”
In the center of this controversy looms Hot or Not, an online community founded on the basis of a “hotness” rating system. While other dating sites may offer similar “rating” operations, Hot or Not was among the first to popularize such a method.
What Is Hot or Not?
The original Hot or Not game was founded over a decade ago. It described itself as a social platform “that lets you check people out, be checked out, and see the hottest people around.” It helps users find “the hottest people nearby, wherever you may be; at a music festival, on college campus, or hanging out in the city.” Nowadays, many users download the Hot or Not app, which enables them to browse profiles and build their popularity through their phone.
Hot or Not was not initially designed to be a platform for developing significant relationships. In fact, it was nothing other than a beauty contest, where users posted photos and rated one another’s “hotness.”
Throughout the years, however, the site turned into a thriving community, and people began to form genuine online relationships.
How to Apply to Hot or Not
Users can learn more about applying to Hot or Not by visiting Reddit Hot or Not or the Hot or Not Facebook page. After viewing the various social media sites and conducting thorough research, users can then decide if they are interested in joining Hot or Not as an official member. If so, they can sign up for membership at hotornot.com (take note: applying to hotornot.com gives the site permission to gather information from the user’s Facebook profile).
How to Chat on Hot or Not
Once participants are processed through the Hot or Not login, they can begin to gather “fans.” This procedure involves posting photos, rating the photos of others, and viewing their own “hotness” ratings. They are also given access to the Hot or Not chatroom.
This chatroom is not open to just anyone. Users specifically select who they would like to engage in conversation, thus allowing for the potential to ward off less than favorable personalities.
The chatroom also does what it can to initiate relationships. For instance, if two people have voted one another as “hot,” they will be connected by the site and given the opportunity to chat.
Hot or Not Review: Evaluations by Users and Scholars
The average user seems to be quite pleased with Hot or Not.com. Datingwise.com gives it a 4 out of 5 rating, claiming that it is an affordable way to participate in community and form relationships. Theiphoneappreview.com calls it “fun, strange, and controversial,” playfully stating that it is “not for the faint of heart” because it is concerned with one thing and one thing only: “your sex appeal!”
The mentality of Hot or Not—and sites similar to it—has even been defended by the scholarly realm. Catherine Hakim, a professor of sociology at the London School of Economics, proposed the idea of erotic capital. Erotic capital is the harmonious blending of the four qualities that are essential to success:
- Sex Appeal
- People Skills
These qualities are “an asset to be valued, developed, and deployed, just like money, intelligence, and social connections.” Online dating gives these qualities a practical outlet, “marketing” them (so to speak) as if they were special job skills.
Other experts have agreed that attractive people have more lucrative careers, and that the importance of beauty should not be downplayed. Instead, it should be used in order to make a person successful—just like any other talent.
Rate Hot or Not: Pros and Cons
The ethics of Hot or Not.com deserve thorough consideration. The immediate objections will be examined first, followed by possible counterarguments. That way, we will be able to examine the issue from every viewpoint.
Opponents could state that sites like Hot or Not are not as “fun” as they appear. Not only do they promote a vapid lifestyle by placing overt emphasis on appearance; they also give people the opportunity to say whatever they want with no foreseeable consequences.
There are many less-than-favorable individuals on the internet who tend to be braver onscreen than they would be in a face-to-face confrontation. This kind of unregulated behavior could cause serious emotional breakage, inflicting all sorts of unforeseen consequences on esteem and self-image.
Furthermore, the matter of cyberbullying must be seriously considered. While most of these cases have to do with teens, there is no reason at all to suppose that such things could not occur with adults—especially on a site that is so focused on evaluating physical beauty.
Perpetuates a Social Problem
Human nature has always lauded beauty, and there is no shame in admitting that we all like to gaze at what is attractive. However, what is potentially harmful about Hot or Not is not the fact that people are placed on the site to be admired. It is the fact that such a site feeds obsessively into an unhealthy societal pattern: namely, the desperate need that this generation seems to have for approval.
This fact gives birth to an interesting paradox. Many will denounce our society for its excessive emphasis on physicality, and yet people still continue to place themselves on the internet in order to win praise. We recognize the unhealthy ways of our own mindset, but like a parasite, this mindset does not seem to be something that we can function without.
Genuine Kindness of Users
However, there are just as many arguments for Hot or Not as there are against it. For instance, it is possible to claim those who oppose sites like Hot or Not take the most extreme examples and accuse them of being the norm. They will point out rare cases of serious cyberbullying and online disparagement, and triumphantly conclude that sites such as Hot or Not are solely responsible.
Yet is it fair to roundly condemn these sites (and everyone who uses them) because of a few extreme situations and the (albeit unfortunate) emotional scaring of a handful of users? Furthermore, these arguments rest on the assumption that users are inevitably going to be unpleasant to one another. This is a failure to give users the credit that they deserve.
Users will not automatically belittle those who are brave enough to expose themselves to the scrutiny of an online community. In fact, physical appearance is a very sensitive topic these days, and many people can actually be quite kind about giving evaluations on physicality.
Advocates also state that Hot or Not is simply a modern way of channelling the natural dating process. Even before the internet, people evaluated each other based on physical attractiveness, and this was not necessarily a shameful thing. It is simply how dating has always existed.
Furthermore, Hot or Not dating has benefited many lives. There are people who truly meet their significant other on this website, and who encounter friends that they would never have met otherwise.
Hot and Not: Final Analysis
Hot or Not is an enjoyable community where genuine relationships can grow and flourish. Like many other internet communities, however, it is best used in moderation. For instance, users should not place too much emphasis on the “hot or not rating” they receive from other viewers.
It would also be wise to practice discretion when posting photos. Users would do well to avoid displaying the body parts (breasts, rear end, etc.) that could expose them to ridicule and snide commentary. Such comments could have negative consequences, and it is best not to invite them in the first place.
Finally, it would be helpful if users always made an effort to abide by honesty while browsing Hot or Not. Whether they are looking for friendship or romance, genuineness is key– particularly on the internet, an anonymous realm that makes insincerity so easy to practice.
Other “Hot Vs Not” Sites
It is easy to the blame the original Hot or Not website for the many “hot or not pictures” that thrive on the internet. One can hardly get away from these pictures; they usually display scantily clad people who are divided into a number of categories, including “hot or not girls,” “naked hot or not,” “hot or not celebrities,” and so forth.
Whether or not these “rate me pictures” are offensive and objectifying must be momentarily passed over (although it is interesting to note that if these sites are going to be accused of objectification, it must be dryly conceded that it is equal objectification. There are just as many “hot or not guys” sections as there are “hot or not women”).
What is currently more important is the fact that these “hot or not rate” sites are not necessarily associated with the original Hot or Not. In fact, the majority of them are not. Many “rate me hot or not” web pages take on their own personality, such as the numerous “hot or not” quizzes that litter the internet.
Am I Hot or Not Quiz
For example, there are the questionnaire sites, designed to assess beauty based on the user’s physicality (or rather, how their physicality is viewed by themselves and others). These tests evaluate a person’s attractiveness by gathering information about certain qualities and facts. These “are you hot or not” quizzes are targeted toward men and women alike, and they include queries such as:
- What Is Your Hair Color?
- What Is Your Eye Color?
- How Many People Have A Crush On You Right Now?
- How Many Romantic Relationships Have You Had?
- Do Other People Find You Attractive?
The Only Opinion That Matters
If you employ the services of Hot or Not.com, you should always remember to approach the “ratings” and user commentary lightly. The beauty preferences of various internet phantoms account for little, and in the end there is only one opinion of you that ultimately matters: yours.