From Jezebel (and source of the quote used in class this week):
The Fallacy Of Your Romantic League
The concept of one's "league" — that is, a fixed category of people one is attractive enough to date — is firmly entrenched in pop culture and in many of our psyches. Here's why it's bullshit.
First, some background. Nerve.com illustrates the concept of the league this week with five stories of men and women sexing unprecedentedly hot partners. An instructive example, by Dane Samson:
She was bordering on the edge of short, with long blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, an amazing body, sexy Aussie accent, and an attitude of completely not giving a fuck. In other words, she was the definition of "out of my league."
Samson determined his league based on women he'd been with before: "I usually ended up with average-looking girls, and in relationships that seemed to be sexually average at best." Others use different metrics, such as their own perceived mediocrity — writes Brandon Stevens, "I [...] have a five head, and my abs are hidden behind incurable baby fat." Whatever the case, all five stories go something like this: I fucked someone who totally shouldn't have wanted to fuck me.
Coming at the league issue from a slightly different angle is a recent writer to The Hairpin's Ask A Lady column, who laments,
I'm ugly. That's right, on the classic 1-10 scale, I'm probably a 3. This isn't a self-esteem thing. I'm a fairly confident person. I have an easy time approaching women and striking up a conversation and asking if I can take them out sometime. I don't spend hours crying about my looks, or avoid walking by mirrors or anything like that. I'm fine with who I am. It just so happens that who I am is a balding 30-year-old with a gut that won't go away, and several other features that make me empirically unattractive, many of which I couldn't change without resorting to surgery. But that's not the problem. Despite being aesthetically challenged, I get plenty of dates. The problem is — and this is the part where I hope you don't write me off as a shallow jerk — the dates I get are with women who are also 3's.
Basically, this guy thinks he's dating within his league, and he's not happy about it. A Lady suggests that "maybe — MAYBE — your opinion of your looks has become a 'self-esteem thing,' making you hold back with women you think are out of your league or whatever." Or "maybe you are just a shallow jerk." What she doesn't really address, however, is that this guy is going about assessing hotness — his own and other people's –- in all the wrong ways.
Read the rest here.