They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but is it
really? What is pretty? Who decides whether someone
is attractive or not? Why do we think someone is really
cute but their friend is just average? There are many
social factors that play into who we think is beautiful,
but the majority of what attracts us to other people is
deeply imbedded in our subconscious psyche. Here are
some psychological facts about why you feel the way
Have an old dad? Sorry, but you’re prone to be more
attractive to older men with more facial creases and,
chances are, less hair. How old your parents were plays
a huge part in who you find attractive as an adult. So,
the younger your parents were when you were born,
the more likely you will be to have an attraction to the
Symmetry in facial and body features is a huge
determining factor in perceived level of attraction,
tested of over a multitude of cultures worldwide.
Symmetry means beauty and it’s easy to understand
why. Afterall, there’s really no other sight quite as
lovely as two identical big, beautiful eyes staring back
at you, now is there?
Ok, ok, we’ve all heard it before. But is it really true?
The answer, however creepily you want to interpret it,
is yes. We are indeed attracted to people who remind
us of our parents. For example, if your mom has blond
hair and blue eyes, chances are good you’ll end up with
a girl just like it. Or if your dad was tall and thin, you’ll
probably be interested in guys who remind you of him.
I know it’s weird. Best just to deal with it.
There is a magical face ratio number that dictates who
will be beautiful and who will fail. For example, the
distance between your eyes and mouth should be
about 36% of the length of your face. Babe math! I
guess that’s how plastic surgeons make so much
You are what you wear
Humans are attracted to certain colours more than
others. Cold, neutral tones have a calming effect while
bright colours like orange and red stimulate attraction
in many an innocent onlooker. Next time you want to
spice your night up, throw on something tight and
They say smell is the strongest sense linked to
memory. So, needless to say, how you smell is
incredibly important. Not to mention what you eat,
where you work, and how often you bathe can be
subconsciously absorbed by the nose. Different people
are attracted to different smells, like dairy, curry,
sweat, or smoke.
Women tend to raise their voice pitch when they are
attracted to another person. This is an involuntary
indication that they are interested in mating. So, this
raise in pitch is perceived as attractive to others around
them. In studies, women with higher voices in general
are thought to be more desirable than those with lower
How hungry you are can determine who you find
attractive. When your stomach is growling, you tend to
find others attractive who are larger in size, with more
fat on their bodies. This is thought to be a genetic pull
toward those with more resources and access to food.
So the next time you find yourself oddly attracted to
the chubby guy two doors down, check and see if it’s
your brain or your belly that’s in charge.
Marilyn Monroe’s hourglass figure is still famous for a
reason: measurements play a big part in how attractive
we find women. The chest-waist-hip ratio is perfect for
bearing children, which is what we are all
subconsciously programmed to desire. As well being
an indication of productive prime, this type of figure
also shows a strong level of health and nutrition,
perfect for making babies.
Beards, beards, beards
Beards are back and it’s good news for everybody. It’s
amazing what a little bit of scruff can do to transform a
boy into a man and studies show this is a natural
psychological phenomenon. Medium-sized beards are
perceived as the most attractive while full-grown beard
wearers are thought to be better husbands and fathers.
Guys, want to meet someone? Grow a beard.
We smile when we’re happy. Humans are attracted to
happy people. So, smiling will inevitably make you
more attractive, right? Wrong. Research has shown
that men are definitely attracted to women who smile,
but women are attracted to more serious,
argumentative, aggressive men.
Even though it seems like an old-fashioned school of
thought to belong to, women are still attracted to men
who display signs of pride and authority. Think alpha
male chimpanzees. Or gorillas. You know, the ones
who beat their fists on their chests while calling out to
their predators. Women are still into it, and it doesn’t
look like this psychological attraction is going
Attractive babies get more
Studies have shown that good-looking babies and
children get more attention from their parents than
their uglier counterparts. Attractive children receive
more love, care, and positive reinforcement just
because they’re cute. Teachers, nurses, and doctors are
also inclined to treat prettier babies better than those
they consider less attractive.
Believe it or not, genes play a large part in who you find
attractive. We are more likely to be interested in
someone who has a close genetic make up to us. Wait –
that doesn’t mean you’re destined to mate with your
brother or first cousin! We are subconsciously
programmed to desire the continuation of our family
lineage. Finding a partner of a similar culture, race,
and religion makes complete sense in this respect, and
the closer they are to your own culture, the more likely
it is that they have similar genes.
Babes get better jobs
In interviews, more beautiful people are almost always
more likely to get the job. Unless, of course, it’s an
attractive woman interviewing for a job traditionally
performed by a man. In this case, good-looking
women are unconsciously thought to be less capable of
meeting the demands of the job. So, you should dress
up for more effeminate jobs and dress down for those
usually given to men.
Long legs, big eyes
Why do women wear high heels, eyeliner, and
mascara? To give off the effect of having longer legs
and bigger eyes. Theses are both physical traits of
younger people and are therefore linked to youth and
fertility. We are naturally inclined to desire the most
reproductively successful mate so it’s easy to
understand why we’re drawn to these characteristics.
Youth wins, every time
Regardless of culture, human beings will always find
younger people more attractive than older people.
Even in cultures that highly value the knowledge and
wisdom that comes with age, young men and women
are still deemed more suitable mates. Again, this
comes from out internal biological clocks that are
pressuring us to meet somebody and make some
Make-up masks the flaws
So, if we’re so attracted to the perfect face and body,
why do unattractive people still exist? Why haven’t we
bred them out of the system yet? The reason is simple:
we’ve developed ways to mask those flaws. Clothes can
hid physical flaws, shoes can correct limps and
accentuate our height, and make-up can hide a whole
list of ailments. We use these things to make our body
look more symmetrical and therefore more beautiful.
Researchers have shown that men are more attracted
and concerned with the weight of a woman than
women are concerned with the weight of a man.
Though men tend to find a whole range of body types
attractive, a woman who is more than 20 pounds
overweight is less likely to be seen as desirable. So that
extra five pounds really doesn’t make a difference,
unless it tips the scales into the obese section of the
Just as men are about how much their potential
partner weighs, women care about how tall men are.
Taller men are seen as more attractive, perhaps
because of the way they make a woman feel protected.
Men who are just one or two inches shorter than
normal have a much harder time finding a mate and
taller men have shown to have more reproductive