(try saying that three times fast) transformed into an number. The Scale is a rating
from 0 to 10, given to a person based on the observer's perception of their attractiveness
. The Scale is not linear; it follows a Gaussian distribution
. Thus, most people should fall close to 5.5. The lower and higher ends of the scale are reserved for a small
portion of the population. There is no such thing as an "11" or a "negative on The Scale".
Using such phrases are reserved for jokes.
Although some people may find use of The Scale a disgusting practice, it does have its uses. As a subjective measurement, you can compare your ratings against other people's ratings to determine how desperate you are. It is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that you may have different tastes. However, assuming you consider your tastes are close to the mainstream perception of what is attractive, if your ratings consistently fall well below or well above the average ratings other give, it could be a sign that you need to get out more.
Another handy number is the To Date number. This is the minimum rating someone must have before you would consider dating them. To totally superficial people, this may be a high number, but to people who are actually interested in qualities besides that will have a lower number. It has a lower impact on your desperation factor because of that.
It should be noted that The Scale rating of a person may be modified by attributes other than their physical attractiveness. Humans, being subjective creatures, are easily warped by factors such as actually knowing the person's personality, not knowing the person at all, that person's associates, the person's material wealth, and things of that nature. A good rater will note this as objectively as possible, ie., "3 on The Scale plus 1.5 for personality," and "2 on The Scale plus 5 for being a rock star."
An interesting sociological effect accompanies group ratings. As noted before, someone whose ratings consistently fall below the average may seem desperate. They may want to correct this in the eyes of their peers, and start readjusting their ratings accordingly. Taken in a group context, if each member of the group continually modifies their ratings to match everyone else's ratings, chaos will ensue. A good rater must remember to be true to his or her gut instincts and feelings.