We all think we know instinctively what we find attractive in other people. But how do we define physical appeal and attraction? What, precisely, makes an attractive woman or man?
The idea of applying scientific analytical methods to such questions may seem about as appropriate as analysing Shakespeare’s love sonnets through the mathematics of rhythm and the structure of language and vocabulary to better understand their seductive effects. Nevertheless, breaking down the aspects of attractiveness into their component parts and then subjecting them to rigorous scientific testing has provided answers to many of the basic questions about the judgements we make in the first few moments of meeting a potential partner.
The psychological mechanisms underlying these judgements of attractiveness in humans have evolved with the primary purpose of finding a high quality mate. In a BBC internet survey of the top three most desirable traits in a potential partner, after breaking down the results according to gender, men ranked good looks and facial attractiveness higher than women, while women preferred honesty, humour, kindness and dependability in their men. Women were also much more choosy about the type of man they were attracted to, while men were far less discriminating. This is in line with the Darwinian theory of mate selection, with choosy females and competitive males. It seems that people are closer to animals than they might care to admit, and they are also intrinsically unaware of what they actually find attractive in a
Here are seven traits that scientists have found that men find attractive about women:
A pretty face
What makes a pretty face? Studies have found that symmetrical, feminine faces are attractive and it is thought they honestly signal good traits such as healthiness and “good genes”.
Beauty Insider: Correct mild facial asymmetries with facial fillers. By padding up the sunken side of your face, you can restore your facial shape to a more symmetrical stance.
Beauty Insider: A V-shaped face is the epitome of femininity; the reverse is true of a square face being perceived as more masculine. Facial Slimming by Botox works well for women with enlargement of the jawline, as it works to reduce excessive chewing and grinding of the teeth, thereby slimming and contracting the sides of the Jaw. For a more definitive V-shaped look and a more defined jawline, consider facial thread lifts such as the Infinity V-lift that not only suspend the skin into a more optimally lifted position but also re-contours the lower face to a more shapely silhouette.
Read more: 5 Things Dermatologists Won’t Tell You
The question of make-up
The link between attractiveness and hormone levels is lost when women wear make-up. Probably because makeup blurs out the effect of bad complexions. For that reason, both men and women judge full facial make-up to be more attractive than wearing no facial makeup.
Beauty Insider: A great complexion is still the key to looking absolutely flawless. Exfoliate with scientific facials that go deeper. Then refine with pore-minimizing lasers or renew with collagen stimulating lasers such as Fraxel Light.
Men prefer women with higher pitched voices, even when artificially manipulated. A more recent report, however, indicates that men perceive raised pitch more attractive only if the women are demonstrating an interest in them. Breathiness when speaking is also considered to be a feminine characteristic women might therefore wish to consider cultivating a “Nicole Kidman” approach to speech.
The question of body shape is a contentious issue. Studies have broken down the analysis of what makes a perfectly shaped body into body mass index (BMI), waist:hip ratio (WHR) (the circumference of the waist compared to the circumference of the hip), waist:bust ratio (WBR) and body weight. Curvaceousness, the hourglass shape, has also been found to be a factor. Overall, small waists and fuller bosoms are preferred.
Beauty Insider: Nobody is born with a body like Jessica Rabbit, and you shouldn’t have to conform too. But there is nothing wrong in edging closer to the ideal ratios with some clever tricks. Non-invasive fat freezing using Coolshape has been giving celebs the one-up to us mere mortals. Each session reduces treated fat by 20%, and is said to be especially effective around the flanks and hips.
Bigger bosoms are more attractive to men. We are probably all aware of that, but just to prove it, in one study a female member of a research team, wearing a bra that permitted her to vary her bust size, sat in a nightclub and on the pavement area of a bar for an hour at each location. She was approached by men more often while exhibiting the bigger bust.
Beauty Insider: For a more robust bosom, breast augmentation is the only permanent solution. There are now options that allow you to put in natural-shaped implants as well as use your own fat in a procedure known as fat grafting.