Tinder now has a feature called “smart photos” that uses an algorithm to determine which of your photos is most successful and then automatically shows that photo to potential matches. 2017 has been a rough year for me — I hit the wrong side of 25, I got dumped, and I lost my job. I didn’t think I’d be able to turn this year around, but then I realized something. Maybe I could get some of my confidence back if only I knew once and for all — am I more attractive than a plate of cold refried beans? It was so simple — and Tinder smart photos could help me answer this question.

To conduct this experiment, I needed a set of test data. Tinder smart photos will look through all your photos and chose the best one. You’ll know which one it’s chosen because that’ll be the first photo you see when you log in. All I wanted to know was that if I chose my five best photos, are all of those photos more successful than a plate of cold refried beans?

If I made just one Tinder account with five pictures of me and one plate of cold refried beans, the best one might be a picture of me followed by the cold plate of refried beans followed by four more pictures of me. If this happened, I’d only find out which picture was the best, not the full ranking of pictures. Therefore, to conclude definitively that I’m more attractive than a plate of cold refried beans, I needed to make five separate Tinder accounts. On each account, I’d upload two photos: one of me, and one of a plate of cold refried beans. Of course, for consistency, I used the same picture of a plate of cold refried beans every time. How’d I get this picture, you might ask? I fried beans. Then I fried them again. Then I left them out overnight. Because I’m a goddamn scientist.

My test pictures were the following:

  • Me from a very high angle to accentuate my best feature, namely my knowledge of which photo angle makes me look skinny.
  • Me doing stand-up comedy to demonstrate my wit and charm but actually just my wit.
  • Me and my sister to show how family-oriented I am and also to trick people into thinking I’m 21.
  • Me in a Safeway parking lot to demonstrate my love for the great outdoors.
  • Me in a bikini because as my mother used to say: “If you don’t have a bikini pic on Tinder, you’re probably less sexy than a plate of cold refried beans.”
  • A plate of cold refried beans.

I was now ready to begin Tinder-ing. I wanted to make sure the experiment had its time to collect adequate data, so I left each account open for a day, logged which picture won, deleted the Tinder account, and then made a new one. For keeping track of data of this magnitude, I’d recommend an SQL server, a Mongodb database, an excel spreadsheet, or also you could write the results in eyeliner on your inner thigh. I chose the eyeliner route because I wanted to be able to iterate quickly, but please offer feedback if you think I could improve upon the data collection portion of the experiment.

After the first four days of my experiment, the score was GINNY: 4, PLATE OF COLD REFRIED BEANS: 0. Things were looking good for this girl. I just had to get through one more photo — the dreaded bikini pic. I don’t have an especially great swimsuit bod, perhaps owing to my affinity for eating cold refried beans for dinner. I braced myself for a challenging day ahead as I made a new Tinder account that was just my body and the beans. Around 9pm, I was still too scared to look at the results. Could my self-esteem handle the knowledge that men would rather fuck a fart-inducing shit-like substance than my naked body? I was about to find out. At midnight, I was ready to get the final results. I held my breath as the app loaded. What would it be?! It stalled — damn my slow wifi. And then I saw it — IT WAS MY BIKINI PIC!! I AM MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN A PLATE OF COLD REFRIED BEANS!! WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!!

I’ve obviously been on Cloud 9 since the conclusion of this experiment. If I were to extend my analysis, I’d want to know if I were sexier than other plates of cold food, such as plates of cold spaghetti or plates of cold broccoli. I’d also want to see how I compared with stuff like grass and pavement. Perhaps one day I might even wonder if I’m more attractive to men now than I was when I was 11. But for now, I’m just happy knowing I’m more attractive than a plate of cold refried beans.