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The Math-y Way to Understand Why Hot Guys Are Mean and Dumb

Photo: Izabela Habur/Getty Images

Have you, someone who likes to think of herself as an observant person, noticed that sometimes super-gorgeous, bangin’ men can be vicious jerks? And so obnoxious! And really kind of dumb a lot of the time. Ugh, handsome men can just be the absolute worst. You could wonder why, but you don’t, because there isn’t a point to questioning the great mysteries of this fine universe.

Hold up though! Jordan Ellenberg at Slate has a math-y explanation for why handsome dudes are mean, and it’s good for cocktail-party conversation.

You can use this principle developed by medical statistician Joseph Berkson. Imagine a matrix that compares attractiveness and niceness (the Great Square of Men). There is a man on every point of it! A snowflake in every spot for your exact taste of hotness and meanness. But your taste is nice and hot. So you totally ignore the super-uglies (no matter how nice) and the super-meanies (no matter how hot), and this creates an acceptability triangle. Because this excludes ugly mean men, the only mean men left are like Paul Rudd in Wet Hot American Summer.

Ellenberg’s Hot Man Math can be expanded to the anecdotal Dumb, Gorgeous Man Theory. Because what’s the point of learning boy-math if you can’t solve new problems with it?

A Math-y Way to Understand Why Hot Guys Are Mean