There’s a lot of talk on the internet among men about the 10-point scale – Kane is the most recent to broach the topic. The scale is supposed to be objective, but it is accurate more in the sense of large-scale consensus than if you were to ask an individual person for rankings. Additionally, it uses one number to account for both face and body, which can lead to difficulties in precision of ranking if, say, a woman has a gorgeous face but wears a size 18. (It reminds me a little of the old figure skating point system, where the judges had to reduce the complexities of choreography, interpretation, performance, and technical ability into two marks, one for technical merit and the other for artistry. This sometimes led to controversy when a skater could jump like a god but could barely skate.)
For future reference (and for throwing in my $0.02), here’s how I would break it down:
1, 2, 3 – Really unfortunate-looking women. The bodies aren’t good…neither are the faces. Sometimes it can’t be helped (genetics, disease, other conditions); sometimes it can (diet/exercise/grooming say what?). A beautiful personality is the saving grace. Still, even these women can get husbands.
4 – Moving into the territory of “plain.” Not pretty, not cute, but not ugly. Weight may or may not be a factor. Includes RenFaire lovers; Comic-Con cosplayers; young, educated professional women who are impassioned about gender equality and gay rights and are prone to meticulous bean-counting of all pop culture transgressions in these areas.
5 – Average. Not likely to ever be called pretty or cute, but not ugly and can be appealing with good grooming. The good-looking version of a 4.
6 – Not pretty, but can pass for cute as long as they take care of themselves. A good personality is a HUGE boost to a 6.
7 – Cute (or cute-ish) girls who can look pretty or even hot under the right circumstances; also, girls with 8.5 bodies and 5.5 faces. Think actresses who usually play “the best friend” or “nerd girl whose glasses prevent her from being seen as hot.” Celebrity reference: Alyson Hannigan, Pauley Perrette, Melissa Joan Hart.
8 – Genuinely pretty girls. You want to keep looking at them. Hollywood leading lady-caliber begins here (unless they’re talented, in which case being a 7 will do). Celebrity reference: Anne Hathaway, Kate Middleton, Evangeline Lilly, Sandra Bullock, Carrie Underwood. Actually, now that I think about it, most contemporary Hollywood leading ladies are 8s – good-looking enough to be aspirational, not so good-looking or overly sexy to be off-putting.
9 – “One of the world’s most beautiful women” territory. This is where a woman is so dazzling that almost nothing else about her matters; even if she cured cancer and brought world peace, these would still be secondary to her beauty. “Sexy” is often used as a description. Celebrity reference: Sofia Vergara, Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian, Victoria’s Secret models.
10 – “World’s most beautiful woman” who tickles your particular fancy.
Note that for the majority of women, ranking is not static. A woman can improve her ranking by maintaining a weight that is close to ideal for her body type/frame, dressing well, and grooming herself in a flattering way. Of course, the opposite is all too true as well.