So the title is a bit, well, offensive. I debated using “the law of the jerk factor”, but it just didn’t work for me. Yes, I’m a bad person. But the truth is the truth and this is who I am. Don’t you judge me. Don’t you dare judge me. (Or judge me, but just don’t tell me about it).
Moving on. Last night, Sarah and I were watching Stomp the Yard. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I have one word for you…yum. It is a bunch of fine black men dancing with their shirts off. The romance part of it is classic. Cute boy from the wrong side of the tracks wants girl from the right side of them, but she already has a boyfriend who, incidentally, is both good looking and wealthy, and, as we discover slowly, a jerk.
So, we’re watching the movie, drooling over Columbus Short, and then I say, “You know, the other guy could be seriously hot if it weren’t for the ass factor.” And that is when a name was given to a phenomenon with which we are all familiar. Let me illustrate.
When you first see the guy in the movie, he’s easy on the eyes, but he’s a total pig throughout the entire movie. And so, by the end, you really come to loathe him…and think he’s really not good looking. The reverse ass factor is also true. You can have some perfectly average person become completely irresistible. I like to call this the reverse ass factor transformation.
Personality makes such a difference (at least to someone who isn’t completely and totally carnal) when it comes to looks. A guy once asked me what my type was…and I really could not answer the question. I just don’t have one. I have dated tall, short, skinny, fat, hairy, balding, blond, brunette, blue eyed, brown eyed. I don’t have any kind of standard. I never have. Sure, I can appreciate a “hot guy”, but that’s about where it ends if there isn’t something of substance. This is how I’ve always been.
Maybe guys and girls are different this way, but I know lots of girls who feel the same way I do. It’s amazing how a guy who really isn’t that cute (sorry to use that word in conjunction with guy, but if that bugs you, you really should get over it) can become seriously attractive because his personality is amazing. There’s seriously a transformation of perception. It’s not that you can suddenly overlook his average appearance, it’s that it really is no longer average.
By the same token, and this is where the ass factor comes in, you can be attracted to a guy initially and talk about how hot he is and then, suddenly, you just don’t understand what you, or anyone else, ever saw in him. He’s just not that cute.
One of the reasons I love the movie(s) Pride and Prejudice (both versions…sad, but true) is the reverse ass factor transformation. It’s fascinating how, at the beginning of the movie, Mr. Darcy just isn’t the same Mr. Darcy as he is when Elizabeth finally accepts his proposal. And he hasn’t changed, physically, in the least. But I would submit to you that the betrothed Mr. Darcy is one seriously fine specimen. And there’s also the regular ass factor transformation…poor Mr. Wickham.
I have been very attracted to some very average guys, I have slowly become less and less attracted to some very good looking ones, and I once became super attracted to the hottest guy I have ever dated because he was also so nice and funny, (and had these great tattoos on the back of his amazing calves…he had a few rebellious years). It’s really too bad that I went a little crazy because we would have made beautiful babies…another post for another day.
I’m sure this is not new information. I’m sure most of you realize that this is the case. I’m not trying to say that hot guys are jerks who thereby become less hot, nor am I trying to be an advocate for the average guy and state that they are all hotter than you can imagine. Some hot guys have absolutely incredible personalities and some average guys are complete douche bags. I’m just telling you that you must remember the ass factor…and never discuss this with someone who has become, in your opinion, the beneficiary of a reverse ass factor transformation. Having had my own existential experience with this, it doesn’t matter how complimentary you are trying to be when you say to someone, “I really didn’t think you were that pretty when we first met, but now that I know you, I think you are beautiful”, it’s just a bad idea. No matter what. At least in my world.
My point…for those of you who are single (including me), when some guy you are not physically attracted to asks you out, or when some girl, who is perhaps a bit homely, starts to show interest, until you get to know that person, don’t assume that you will never be attracted to him/her, because you never know until you try. And, as per how others perceive you, remember only good things can come from being a nice person. Even if you are hot enough that you don’t think you have to be nice, someone may think you hot to begin with, but someone can also always change her/his mind…because the law of the ass factor is eternal.