For days, maybe even weeks, you won’t check, but then you can’t help it: you log in and you see that, while your students may think you’re easy, you’re definitely not hot.

You’re not alone. Fewer than 25 percent of the college teachers listed at have been judged as “hot” by the anonymous assholes that post there.

Don’t despair, though. If you follow these tips, you’ll be earning the coveted chili pepper in no time.

1. Remember the quality
of the competition

Get out of your office and take a look at your colleagues. For example, that guy with Tuesday’s lunch trapped in his ear hair. Or her, with the mustache and sideburns. How about that one? The guy whose wardrobe hasn’t been updated since color television was invented. Even you can barely stand to look at him.

My point? Gisele Bündchen is walking fashion runways in her underwear with angel wings strapped to her back by night and rocking Tom Brady’s world by later at night, not breaking down the intricacies of quadratic equations on a dry-erase board.

Essentially, you just have to keep from being a total ogre whose students turn to stone if they look directly into your gaze and you have a shot at being judged hot … for a college professor. In fact, even if you are an ogre, you have a chance, as long as you’re of the cuddly Shrek variety.

As they say, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, and if Gisele Bündchen had only one eye—or even three eyes, one of which were located where her spectacular breasts are supposed to be—she’d still be way hotter than anyone working at your average institute of higher education.

2. Be young

A closer analysis of the chosen 25 percent reveals that 68 percent of them are either teaching assistants or in the first three years of their teaching careers. Fact is, young people are better-looking than old people.

Don’t believe me? Look at your students. They’re young and they’re hot. We know you’ve noticed this, their firm bodies, their unwrinkled flesh, that flush of possibility that radiates from their innocent faces. You remember when that freshman from your intro class came to your office hours late that one day, just as you were packing to go, and said she needed some “extra help,” because she was “like, totally going to fail and lose her scholarship and stuff,” and it was late in the spring semester, and the weather had turned warm, so she was wearing a halter top, and you couldn’t help but notice the piercing through her belly button—a cross, if you remember correctly—and an image formed, you and her under a shade tree, her head in your lap as you softly stroked her hair while reading Baudelaire out loud and … You get the idea.

3. Show off your best ass-et

Odds are you spend the majority of your time with your back turned to the students, either writing on the board, gesturing at your PowerPoint slides, or muttering to your imaginary friend in the corner who just won’t leave you alone. This means that the key to the chili-pepper kingdom isn’t in those colored contacts you’ve been considering but instead can be found in making sure that you have a sweet, sweet ass.

No. 1 pointer for guys: get that wallet out of the back pocket. The giant model with the Velcro enclosure and 12 years of receipts for your model-train paraphernalia in it looks like a tumor back there. Not hot.

The second thing either sex can do is squats, massive numbers of squats. Hit the gym, specifically the StairMaster. Train that gluteus to the maximus.

Thirdly, potato chips, don’t eat them.

The final pointer comes in the form of a question. How do I get my clothes to cling to my luscious behind so my students can appreciate its well-toned perfection?

The answer: spandex.


4. New clothes

Actually, no, this won’t help. If you put lipstick on a pig, it’s just a pig with lipstick on it, unless that pig is Miss Piggy, who is kind of hot, and would probably rate a chili pepper if she were a college teacher.

5. Take your “iron-y” supplement

These are actual reviews from two different entries where the subjects were judged chili-worthy:

Prof. name redacted is frightening to look at unless viewed through your peripheral vision. Do not let him sneak up on you unless you’re a fan of night terrors.

Until the last week of class, I thought Prof. name redacted was a dude. Turns out she’s a chick. Weird.

A full 7 percent of the chili peppers belong to teachers who are “if this were the Middle Ages, they’d be locked away as offenses to nature” ugly. If you can get hideous enough, some student, upon discovering the pleasures of the ironic statement, will be unable to resist demonstrating their newly developed cleverness and give you a chili pepper because you are actually the opposite of hot.

What can you do to hasten this process? Don’t worry about it. Just give yourself a few years and keep up all those research and work hours under the cold, cruel glow of institutional lighting. You’ll get there.