What Makes People Attractive?

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What Makes People Attractive?

Attractiveness is a trait greatly coveted by many people and beauty often brings along with it certain undeniable advantages and perks / Photo by: eldar nurkovic via Shutterstock

 

Attractiveness is a trait greatly coveted by many people. Beauty often brings along with it certain undeniable advantages and perks. In general, about 33 studies showed that people considered attractive were more popular and had better social skills and higher intellect in general than unattractive people. They have less difficulty finding mates, and from there they also have more children, which then grow up to become attractive, as well.

But what are the indicators of a concept as vague as beauty, and are people actually becoming more attractive as time goes on?

 

More Attractive People

According to a study conducted by Markus Jokela, who is associated with the University of Helsinki, women are getting more attractive through the years, but it’s not the same for men. In his research, beautiful women tended to have up to 16% more children than those who were considered not as attractive. The attractiveness of the subjects was assessed through their photographs, and each was asked how many children they had. This massive study employed about 1,200 women and nearly a thousand men to participate, and spanned a period of over four decades of their lives.

Dr. Jack da Silva, an expert in evolution, who commented on the study, stated that while 16% was not a terribly large difference, it still made an impact when it comes down to the propagation of the species. On the whole, there were more women considered attractive compared to men, and that selection dictated that women became more beautiful.

A study from the University of Helsinki in Finland found out that women are becoming more attractive as years go by but men still stays the same / Photo by: MediaGroup_BestForYou via Shutterstock

 

Additionally, attractive people were having a greater number of children, and based on genetics, it was quite likely that these children would go on to be considered attractive in their future years. There was a strong correlation found between a woman’s beauty and the number of children they had.

Accordingly, scientists predicted that beautiful women often went on to have attractive children, especially girls. They believed this was because it was more beneficial for women to be attractive, as most men were found to select their romantic partners based on their attractiveness. Women, on the other hand, chose their potential partners based on behavioral traits that merited success in life, and not necessarily on attractiveness.

Beauty Favored for Survival

These tendencies may be buried deep within us from our days as hunter-gatherers in the wilderness. Women were found as good potential mates if they were able to bear and raise several children, while men were able to find more suitable mates if they were effective at gathering and providing resources like food and protection for their partner and family.

It was still important for women back in these ancient days to be attractive, as studies have shown that attractiveness is strongly linked with genetic quality and perfection. Attractiveness has been found to be greatly linked to the symmetry of someone’s face. The more symmetrical one’s features, the more it meant they had genes of high quality, as genetic mutations and defects would interfere with the symmetry of characteristics.

Aside from symmetry, it is more likely people would find someone attractive if they had average features. While this may sound absurd, having extreme features, such as a nose that is too large or too small, or eyes that are too near or too far apart, has been shown to affect the proportion of one’s face, thus lowering attractiveness.

In general, according to The Economist, some of the most common features considered attractive are small noses, flat faces, large ratios between the forehead and overall height of their face, and smaller jaws.

These tendencies may be buried deep within us from our days as hunter-gatherers in the wilderness as women were being tasked to raise children while men were doing their tasks as hunter gatherers / Photo by: 2630ben via Shutterstock

 

Societal Perks

While there are different opinions on beauty, what people consider beautiful or attractive is a more or less general consensus, even among people of greatly different backgrounds. Men who wanted to have healthy offspring would then likely choose women who seemed healthy themselves and had few genetic defects, which are reflected in their appearance.

Aside from being an important factor in the choosing of a mate, an attractive form can also lead to more favorable social relationships in general. An attractive face often denotes friendliness and can mark someone as likeable and trustworthy. It was also found that the general disposition of parents toward their children was much better if they were attractive, even if the said parents said and believed that they had no bias when it comes to their children.

Evolution of Attractiveness

It has been found that over the many millennia that humans have been around, people have become more and more attractive. This was not only a result of the selection of attractive people to be with other attractive persons, but there may be a hormonal link to it. Hormones and neurotransmitters that regulate behavior also play a part in development.

Thus, over the years, it became more beneficial for people to develop friendly and appealing character and societal traits, which then translated into their physical development as well.

While attractiveness can be considered an arbitrary characteristic for some, the studies and numbers don’t lie about their benefits and what determines a person’s attractiveness.

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