Conversation in a bar tonight among one man and two women: Do women know how attractive they are? The man argued no, both women (one of them being me, natch) said yes, they absolutely do, but are conditioned to pretend they don't. I've mentioned before how taken aback I was when my friend Jessica identified herself publicly as "beautiful." It wasn't that I was surprised she knew it, just that she was willing to say it. (I suppose the game of pretending not to know is applicable to both genders. Actors, in interviews, always pretend they don't know they're gorgeous.)
Eventually I conceded that no one really knows how attractive they are objectively. I'd define "objectively" "thusly": Ask a large number of people to rank a head-on face shot on a scale of 1 to 10, then take the average. (I know relevant studies use similar methodology.) But what's more important is knowing how attractive you are in context, in the contexts that matter. For example, I don't think I'm particularly attractive to douchebags, but I do pretty well with the type of men I'd tend be interested in, and occasionally well with the type of men I'm only interested in physically. Basically, I feel confident in contexts where I know I can be myself, and everyone knows confidence is attractive, especially if you're in the 70% percentile anyway.
Other topics included: If you could be more rational or more emotional, which would you choose? I chose more rational, even though some people probably think I'm already too rational (is that possible?), but only on the condition that it's not zero-sum, i.e., I don't have to get less emotional to do so.
Incidentally, while searching for links for this post, I got all wistful re-reading this one; I haven't had a day that eventful in some time.