I've heard some commenters equate short hair on a woman to effectively being 30 pounds heavier. At first glance, that strikes me as rather excessive---I mean that's often the difference between being nicely petite and occupying somewhere in the 70th-80th percentiles these days and being down in the 40th-50th percentile. Does it REALLY make that much difference? Is the pixie cut THAT cursed?
Then I recall my own history. You see, I provided myself with a nice unplanned experiment in revealed preference back in my early days during college. We're talking late 80s here, so keep in mind that only 20% or so of women back then were even overweight, much less obese.
For my first serious girlfriend in college, I actually had two choices, both of whom broadcast indications of interest loud enough that even the non-neurotypical friends of a non-neurotypical running a pretty primitive emulation could recognize them as such. The choice between the two of them also was very unclear. Neither one was clearly more attractive than the other. Both were very smart girls with abnormally even and stable temperments.
Both were, at that time, pretty representative of the 55th to 60th or so percentile of attractiveness---in layman's terms, exclude all of the women at the time their age that were overweight or obese, they're probably invisible to you mostly anyway, they're right in the center of what remains. Now, that gets you to the 75th or so percentile as a woman, because so much of your competition has taken itself out of the running, but back then a fairly average looking woman with around a 21 BMI wasn't very noteworthy.
But here's the catch, one of these girls, let's call her woman B, could have easily been 75th-80th percentile on the scale of her day. She had a nice athletic body and objectively nicer features than woman A. So why was she occupying such a low spot in the SMP/MMP that she had to compete with woman A for a man her social circle collectively evaluated at that time as being just marginally above average?
The reason was that she had a pixie cut. It really was that simple. Unless you're a woman with such ultra-feminine features that long, touchable hair is just gilding the lily, it will hammer your position in the SMP or MMP that much. Even in cases like that, you'll still take a pretty big hit. Don't expect your girlfriends or beta orbiters to be honest with you on that score. Effectively, woman B had marked herself down a lot, and, perhaps unfortunately, the younger Jehu didn't have either the lens of caritas to view her with or even a 'value investing' frame of reference with which to approach the decision. With either he'd have realized that she was a bargain and could easily be convinced to let her hair grow long. How do I know this? A few years afterwards when I saw her again, she HAD grown her hair fairly long, a bit below shoulder length, and that change gave pretty much precisely the boost to her attractiveness that we've been discussing.
So despite the fact that pixie cuts and the like seem to be going through a resurgence in fashion, I recommend strongly against them. They really are, as other commentators have pointed out, almost as bad as 30 extra pounds.
To change the culture V: metahistory
3 days ago