I got into a discussion recently about the terms used to describe levels of attractiveness. For the record, it was a mixed group – women, men, and one teen-ager.
At issue was the term “rather attractive”. I understand taste/opinions differ, but If someone is described as “rather attractive” I envision the person as average looking, well-groomed, but no superior features. A rather attractive person usually will not turn heads.
When people are asked to describe a VERY attractive person, they will quickly say pretty, beautiful, or VERY attractive, or really handsome. There won’t be any hesitation. With “rather attractive” there might be a pause, and it’s like people are trying to be nice and cut some slack to the person they’re describing.
OTOH, there are people who are naturally attractive (they look okay when they get up in the morning), and with make-up and spiffy clothes, they become very attractive – pretty or handsome.
I also feel either a male or female can be “good looking”, but I usually apply the term to a male. I've rarely heard a male describe a female as good-looking.
The teen said the term “hot” refers to a female with a pretty face, nice hair and clothes, but especially a good body - (no surprise there).