A personal view on attraction in beauty

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A personal view on attraction in beauty

At all ages and in all walks of life, attractive people are judged more favorably, treated better, and cut more slack.

Mothers give more affection to attractive babies. Teachers favor more attractive students and judge them as smarter. Attractive adults get paid more for their work and have better success in dating and mating.

And juries are less likely to find attractive people guilty and recommend lighter punishments when they do. Many factors can play into personal attractiveness — the way you dress, the way you act, the way you carry yourself, even things that are hard or impossible to change, like social status and wealth, race, and body size and shape.

But the first thing we notice when we meet someone is their face. There are faces that launch a thousand ships, and faces that only a mother could love, and we are supremely attuned to tell the difference.

The brain, among its many other functions, is a beauty detector. There is no doubt that beauty which here means both male and female attractiveness is to some extent in the eye of the beholder, but across individuals and across cultures there is nevertheless considerable agreement about what makes a pretty or handsome face, and the evidence strongly counters the conventional wisdom that attractiveness preferences are mainly acquired through life experience.

For one thing, the beauty bias is already present in infancy. Truth in Beauty The question is, is beauty really only skin deep, or does an attractive face actually reflect underlying good qualities?

Among the most important and consistent factors in facial attractiveness are structural qualities of the face that are highly sex-typical.

An attractive man, in the eyes of female experimental participants, is generally one with relatively prominent cheekbones and eyebrow ridges and a relatively long lower face. Our faces are sculpted by our hormones. These sex-typical facial features of adult men and women reflect the ratio of testosterone to estrogen or estrogen to testosterone, respectively, acting on the individual during development.

The reason hormones equate to health is somewhat counterintuitive. High levels of sex hormones during puberty actually suppress the immune system, raising vulnerability to disease and infection.

It sounds like a bad thing. In other words it signifies a more robust constitution. Countless small variables make faces somewhat asymmetrical — a slightly wider jaw on one side, one eye a fraction of an inch lower than the other, a cheekbone that sticks out just a wee bit more, a dimple on one cheek, etc.

In a beautiful face, we are really seeing the artistry of good genes.

A personal view on attraction in beauty

It may be that symmetry covaries with other desirable characteristics that reflect the same genetic endowment and overall health Penton-Voak et al. Less obvious is that a pretty or handsome face is also generally one that is, well, average. When presented with individual faces and a composite of those individual faces, participants will judge the composite as more attractive than the individual, more distinctive faces.

The most attractive faces appear to be those whose features are closest to the average in the population—that is, more prototypical.

Averageness, like symmetry, reflects a favorable genetic endowment. Those with average features are less likely to be carrying harmful mutations.

Additionally, averageness reflects greater heterozygosity — having both a dominant and a recessive allele for given traits, rather than two dominant or two recessive alleles an advantage that symmetry also reflects. Heterozygosity confers relatively greater resistance to pathogens, in many cases, and thus, along with all the other indicators of resilience, we may be programmed to seek it out through its subtle but telltale signs.

However, it has also been argued that there may be some much simpler cognitive reasons for the preference for averages.

Prototypes are more familiar-looking than less typical examples of a given class of objects, be it the face of a potential mate or the face of a timepiece, and they are easier to process.

Males may place greater importance on physical beauty when it comes to mate choice, while females also attend to characteristics like power and status. But a number of factors contribute to how much — and when — male face characteristics matter to women. Another is time of the month: But this preference wanes during other times of the month.This shopping feature will continue to load items.

In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. Attraction may refer to. Attractiveness. Interpersonal attraction, the attraction between people which leads to friendships and romantic relationships; Physical attractiveness, attraction on the basis of beauty; Sexual attraction, attraction on the basis of sexual desire; Tourist attraction, a place of interest where tourists visit.

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Physical attractiveness - Wikipedia

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