What Makes Someone Attractive?

I’m calling this The Pretty Project:

What is it that makes a person attractive? Or gorgeous? Or beautiful? (Or whatever your favorite adjective is)…

A few drinks?

No, I’m looking for something more in depth than that. A formula for physical beauty if you will…


Seriously, what is it that makes a man handsome or a woman beautiful? What is it that sets someone above another on the appeal scale? I’m talking about snap impressions and perceptions here.

David by Michelangelo

Robert Burton has said that if vanity is not our chief feature, it is at least our secondary feature. And the evidence would seem to support that…

The general topic of attractiveness is important to members of virtually every society and attractive people are recognized universally as being appealing, even across wildly varying cultures… This means that there is a measurable standard for beauty and what is generally found most desirable. But, what exactly is it? I desire tangible descriptions. I do not mean for this to be the definitive guide to attractiveness, but I have tried to cover the issue in some depth.


Researchers at Stockholm University have proposed that our decisions on whether we find someone attractive may be due to hormones that we were exposed to in utero or during puberty, our heavy reliance on visual information, the way our brains evolved systems to recognize/perceive/process various stimuli and/or our desire to pass “attractive genes” to our offspring so that they might have a higher probability of finding a mate and consequent reproductive success.

Okay, so let’s explore this…

According to exhaustive research done by Germany’s University of Leipzig, the thing that everyone finds sexually attractive in the opposite sex is symmetry. This is true in both the human and animal kingdoms. Faces with a high degree of symmetry are typically considered more attractive and symmetry has been associated with good health and genetic quality.  Marked deviations from this mean are perceived to indicate lack of fitness or ill-health, a possible result of natural adaptive selection pressures underlying preferences. It is to our advantage to mate with somebody with the best possible genes, right? These will then be passed on to our children, ensuring that we have healthy kids, who will pass our own genes on for generations to come.

The symmetrical face…


Superficially, there is a formula for facial beauty involving symmetry … It happens to be the standard for learning to draw portraits:

The eyes are just above half of the way down the front of the head and should be 1/5 of the width of the face. Ears should lay flat to the head for the most part and extend from the middle of the eye to the opening of the mouth. Lip edges should line up with the pupil of the eye, no thicker than the closed eyelid. At the base, the nose should be just larger than the eye width and not sit too far above the lips. The bridge of the nose should extend straight and not be too protruding or flat. The chin should be gently rounded and smooth. The face in general should be oval-shaped with smooth skin and clear cheekbones. And the eyebrows should be tame and separate, but not too thin.

Large deviations that are easily perceived, such as a crooked mouth, deviated nose, eyes too far apart, or one eye too small, disrupt the perception of beauty.

That said, there are exceptions. Kate Moss is a successful model and her eye proportions are rather far off. And many people think Paris Hilton is beautiful when her face really fails the above.


Studies in humans conducted by researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have shown that men in particular go for women with symmetrical faces and “hyperfeminine” facial characteristics, such as a small pointed chin… Men also are drawn to things that signal youth such as full lips, clear and smooth skin, clear eyes, lustrous hair, and good muscle tone (which makes sense when viewing a woman for her reproductive potential). This doesn’t work when taken to extremes though. Unfortunately for our perpetually youthful-looking friends of both sexes, babyfaceness isn’t associated with attractiveness. Less wrinkles as you age, perhaps, but not attractiveness.

The preference in women for symmetry is not quite so pronounced. However, for the judgment that is passed by women, men are apparently judged on the angle between their eyes and mouth and are considered more attractive based on cheekbone prominence and facial length. Those who have higher levels of testosterone are typically ranked as having more masculine faces, associated with the above characteristics. It is thought that women may use facial attractiveness as a proxy measure for a male’s physical strength.

Some evidence produced in a study conducted by the University of Toronto suggests that perhaps for women, it’s not the symmetry as much as the expressiveness of a face that counts. The study manipulated the features of asymmetric faces and found that, when the features were altered to enhance the symmetry of the face, the face was rated as less attractive. Researchers believed that the newly symmetric faces were less attractive perhaps because the faces were made to appear unemotional.

Carrying symmetry to the rest of the body

It always comes back to symmetry… Beauty is objectively measurable.

The hour-glass figure:  Studies have shown that men prefer women with a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7. You can calculate your own ratio using this formula:

waist measurement ÷ hip measurement = ratio

This seems to apply whatever the woman’s overall weight. A group of researchers compared this ratio with the average ratio of Miss America winners over the years. It was exactly the same. This ratio would seem to make sense as an indicator of a woman’s reproductive health. When women age their waist tends to become less pronounced as they put on fat around the stomach. This coincides with them becoming less fertile.

And guess what?  Just as would be expected based on the above evidence, a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 20.85 has been determined as the most attractive weight for a woman.

If you are interested, your BMI is easy to calculate as well:

BMI= weight in pounds ÷ height in inches x height in inches multiplied by 703

In other words, if one is 5’10” and weighs 150 pounds, the calculation would look like this:

150/(70 x 70) = .0306

.0306 x 703 = BMI of 21.5

For the simpler metric system, BMI= weight in kilograms ÷ height in meters multiplied by height in meters

In other words, if one is 1.6 meters in height and weighs 50 kilograms, the calculation would look like this:

50/(1.6 x 1.6) = BMI of 19.53

In western culture men are generally regarded as attractive if they are broader at the shoulder and narrower at the hips (the general “V” shape); it suggests a physically strong and healthy male. Research has also found that women find a slim waist and a muscular chest attractive on men as well.

You even carry the idea of symmetry over to an individual’s skin…  A young, healthy woman, for example, with clear skin (think of it as symmetrical skin) will be considered more attractive than an old, unhealthy woman with blotchy skin (which you can think of as unsymmetrical skin).

Rightly or wrongly, symmetry is perceived as an indicator of general good health and strength…  And it is hardwired into our DNA to find that attractive.

Below are some examples of individuals that correlate to the “attractive symmetry” attributes described above…

Trigger Love


Jude Law



hot latin girl

Charlize Theron


James Dean


Sienna Miller


Brad Pitt


Myrna Loy


Zoe Saldana

zoe saldana

George Clooney


Angelina Jolie


Rudolph Valentino


And last, but certainly not least, the woman described by many as the most beautiful in the world – Aishwarya Rai, Queen of Bollywood. She absolutely nails the symmetry guidelines detailed above for attractiveness…




OK, now the Science Of Attraction section starts getting creepy…

We apparently are also attracted to the look and smell of people who are most like our parents…

Mummy’s boys and Daddy’s girls?

The latest studies (one from the University of Montreal and another from the University of Oslo) indicate that what people really want is a mate that looks like their parents. Women are after a man who is like their father and men want to be able to see their own mother in the woman of their dreams.

At the University of St Andrews in Scotland, cognitive psychologist David Perrett studies what makes faces attractive. He has developed a computerized morphing system that can endlessly adjust faces to suit his needs.

Students in his experiments are left to decide which face they fancy the most. Perrett has taken images of students’ own faces and morphed them into the opposite sex. Of all the faces on offer, this seems to be the face that subject will always prefer. They can’t recognize it as their own, they just know they like it.

Perrett suggests that we find our own faces attractive because they remind us of the faces we looked at constantly in our early childhood years – Mom and Dad.

Creepy, huh? There’s more creepiness.  Even the pheromone studies are now showing a preference for our parents’ characteristics…

Love is a sweaty T-shirt competition?

In 1995, Claus Wedekind of the University of Bern in Switzerland, asked a group of women to smell some unwashed T-shirts worn by different men. What he discovered was that women consistently preferred the smell of men whose immune systems were different from their own. This parallels what happens with rodents, who assess how resistant their partners are to disease by sniffing their pheromones. So it seems clear we are also at the mercy of our lover’s pheromones, just like rats.

It gets much worse on the creepiness scale though…

Fatherly fragrances

At the University of Chicago, Dr Martha McClintock has shown in her own sweaty T-shirt study that what women want most is a man who smells similar to their father. Scientists suggest that a woman being attracted to their father’s genes makes sense. A man with these genes would be similar enough that her offspring would get a tried and tested immune system. On the other hand, he would be different enough to ensure a wide range of genes for immunity. There seems to be a drive to reach a balance between reckless out-breeding and dangerous inbreeding.

Now, the below ties in to us being attracted to those that look the most like us…

Learn to love yourself?

Have you noticed how many married couples often look quite similar? As explained above, studies have shown that we prefer somebody who looks just like we do. And so, from a batch of individual photographs, researchers have discovered that  people can spot who the couples are with unnerving reliability.

Research has uncovered that there is a correlation in couples between their:

Lung volumes
Middle finger lengths
Ear lobe lengths
Overall ear size
Neck and wrist circumferences
Metabolic rates

Although people agree on the desirability of more attractive people as romantic partners, the evidence shows that they select (or settle for?) mates who are similar to their own level of attractiveness.


So, are we completely at the mercy of chemistry and our subconscious? The above is what science says is attractive to us. However, this wasn’t good enough for me. I decided to hit the streets (metaphorically speaking) to investigate this topic further. I asked a number of my friends and a few complete strangers what was attractive to them.

beautiful norwegian girls

If the submission was via email, I have entered the comments exactly as I received them (I am distancing myself from grammar and spelling errors, in other words).

If the comments were verbal, I checked with all parties that the comments were accurately transcribed. In some instances, I asked about things the person found to be unattractive. Here are the results:

Amanda S.

Hmm… on pure physical attributes I would have to say a nice back and shoulders (I’m a drooling sucker for toned back and shoulder muscles), short, neat hair (I like ’em clean cut), and smile. Confidence plays a big part in that too (at least the kind you can pick up without having a conversation with them… the way they carry themselves, etc.). I also like hands, for some odd reason… a guy that has big, rough, working man hands is a major turn on for me.

Unattractive – looking like you haven’t bought any new clothes since Jr. High, long hair (though I can over-look this if they have most of the attributes above, but their hair better not be ratty and gross), sickeningly skinny guys as well as overly over-weight guys, nasty teeth, and being really hairy.

I also like guys who can hold their liquor… nothing is more unattractive than a guy stumbling all over himself in a bar and looking like a total jackass. Being a little stumbly by the end of the night is OK – being shit-faced every time I see you at the bar by 8 pm and barely able to stand is NOT.


Nice, smooth skin, shiny and full hair, good teeth, eyes that sparkle, and a balance and symmetry to the facial features. Health and balance and vitality.


(To be fair, I have to include the opinions of guys as well… Jose is quite the player, excuse me, “playa” and is happily single. Below he describes his ideal in feminine beauty)…

Okay, starting with the eyes, they are almond-shaped, with arched eyebrows that makes them look open and inviting. The eyes are very important, especially if they smolder and look hot.

Their noses are long and straight with balanced size in proportion to the face; the nostrils are just right – not too large & wide or small & pinched. Even with black women, who tend to have wider noses, the attractive ones still have nice noses.

Their lips are full and sensual, with good teeth. Lips are also a VERY important feature. Thin lips can look mean or cruel, while fuller ones look kissable.

The face is a long oval type shape with a good jaw line, not too heavy & masculine, but feminine and well-defined.

The skin is clear and complexion looks even-toned without blemishes.

The hair hangs nicely, looks healthy, soft & lustrous and frames the face.

Overall I think it’s a matter of balance and proportion, i.e. the shape of the features and the distance apart they are from each other. Like an attractive face must hit the ‘Golden Ratio’.


I would say the first thing would be a nice build, athletic looking, tall. Then maybe how they are dressed. I personally am a fan of jeans and a t-shirt with tennis shoes, casual. It also has a lot to do with how they walk. I think you can tell immediately if they look secure with themselves or not. So a good, confident walk is attractive. A nice smile is always good, a fucked up grill is always a deal breaker!!!

I don’t think I really become attracted to someone until I get to know them. I am more attracted to personality than looks. It always seems like the beautiful men have AWFUL personalities


I find that posture and confidence can make or break beauty. A beautiful person who clearly slouches, walks with their head down and clearly put no effort into being presentable (tangled and dirty hair, unibrow- the extreme of not presentable that is) will not appear as attractive as a so so person who did a bit of quick primping, looks clean, and walks properly. I cant stand guys who have an ‘i just spent 10 hours playing xbox’ slouch 24/7. Moving with grace I think is a big thing… extreme clumsiness really throws an image off.


Attractive – shorter guys, well-built, good smile but not a creepy smile, a man that can grow a real beard – not pubic hair attached to the side of their face, absent-minded professor look with clothing, quirky dress

Unattractive – cologne, really tan guys (guys that fake tan), guys that cut the sleeves of their gym shirts all the way down to their belly button so their nipples and chest hang out. Guys that can’t grow a beard trying to grow one, feminine faces with waxed chests (Ab Fitch models that look like mannequins). Molly wants a normal guy and she can’t have a guy that would spend more on waxing than her…


“Attractiveness is simply a subjective matter” – a quick smile, self-confidence, clean, gentlemanly behavior (“please”, “thank you”, etc.), nicely groomed, broad shoulders, guilelessness

Unattractive – smelly guys, mullets


Unattractive – scrawny guys, red hair, bad teeth

Amanda B.

Attractive – tall, trim guys with the ability to laugh at themselves and not take themselves too seriously. (Amanda doesn’t care about short or long hair or facial hair, but no beards). Well-dressed whether it be “surfer well-dressed” or a “suit well-dressed” as long as they are put together well. Good smile, muscles but not a meathead with veiny muscles. (Doesn’t care if they have tattoos or piercings. Also attracted to redheads and good teeth).

Unattractive – rudeness, slobs, super-super hairy guys – like a Robin Williams hairiness level, short guys with a Napoleon complex

Brenda (a wacked out homeless chick)

Produced the answer of, “All I cares about is tha mothafucka has a big dick and a big wallet” after I gave her a dollar…


People are at their most physically attractive when they take care of themselves. The people most able to take care of themselves are those with higher levels of income.

So the people you see on flights from the U.S. to Rio or Budapest or the Riviera or wherever? These are the people who have the time to work out regularly, and the money to pay for gym memberships and personal trainers; organic, fresh produce and nutritional supplements; and top-of-the-line personal care products (shampoo, styling products, manicures, makeup, etc.). Also, these are the people who can afford to buy the most flattering clothes.


(I met and started talking to Tod at Bistro 33 because he was with a friend of a friend of mine. Tod was drunk and so this doesn’t flow as well as it might, but I think the thrust of his comments is clear).

Attractive – a girl that appears grounded and well read. This makes me wonder what kind of person they might be – how interesting they might be. I’m looking for a unique person – someone that demonstrates some kind of uniqueness. Someone that is their own person and doesn’t subscribe to all of the bullshit.

Unattractive – Superficial, dumbass bimbos with fake boobs and bleached hair


Attractive – British accent, white t-shirts

Unattractive – excessive facial and body hair, “backne”, greasy hair, the line that guys with ripped abs get with their ab muscles below their belly button (the cut most guys strive for)…


It definitely begins with the eyes, as they are for sure “Le sentier à l’âme” (the pathway to the soul)

With the eyes, of course, comes the eyebrows, which for me, those on a man are the utmost sexiest thing there could possibly be!

On and on, then there is definitely the stride and the shoulders, particularly the broadness of them…

But even more importantly than that would be a beautiful, natural smile, for that tells you a person enjoys life!

For the unattractive stuff… Likely someone who appears to be miserable, or allows themselves to be dragged down by life’s hard times… and lack of confidence is serious too, although, this should not be mistaken for humbleness, as this is an incredible and powerful trait…and an excessive reeking, arrogance sucks too!



slender build
big, expressive green eyes
long, thick, dark lashes
plump, kissable lips. no lizard-lips allowed, that is a HUGE turnoff
straight, pretty, delicate nose
dazzling smile
round, plump booty
beautiful hands
shapely legs
full head of hair, preferably long
freckles a plus
good biceps, not too huge though
no Neanderthal eyebrows! eyebrows should be well-shaped, preferably arched, and proportionate to the eyes and face shape; size and thickness are a non-issue

must smell “right”. I’m not talking cologne here… some guys’ natural, clean smell just turns me on while others are more bitter or just not quite right… this is a dealbreaker

sexy voice a MUST. this is a dealbreaker too. a velvety, slightly gritty baritone shivers my timbers

needs to feel “soft”… a thin layer of fat on the body, because I just don’t find any pleasure in caressing a rock… but I’m definitely not talking excess weight here, just a bit of softness…

soft body hair, no one likes stroking a porcupine

guys who move in a graceful, somewhat feline way


humor/wit, definitely mandatory and can make the ugliest man instantly a hottie
passion for things in general
raging intellect combined with conversational skills
artistic talents are always a huge turn-on, almost mandatory in fact

These are the things that will make me drip from the crotch


Attractive – broad shoulders, short brown hair, light eyes, great smile, muscular (but not excessively so), tall, jeans and a t-shirt, the ability to laugh at themselves – confidence and a sense of humor are the most important and are absolutely required

Unattractive – bad teeth, bad glasses, short, big ears, red hair (Carrot Top style), sloppy appearance, back hair, greasy hair, braces


Look healthy – show a clean face; attend to wounds promptly; eliminate or hide lesions such as moles, pimples, and blemishes.

Avoid agents of aging – do not expose your face to the sun (or other radiation); avoid extreme environmental conditions such as strong hot and dry winds, extreme cold, or heat

Practice moderation – eat a balanced diet emphasizing foods good for the skin; avoid excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and over-use of drugs; take a multi-vitamin.

Project a well groomed demeanor – faces are more attractive if the person carefully attends to their appearance.

Carefully consider accessories – clothing, such as hats, and accessories, such as jewelry, can improve the overall appearance of the face if appropriately chosen.


Attractive – athletic build, soft lips, blond hair/blue eyes, clean white teeth, natural and proportionate boobs, book and street-smart, slight bounce of the breasts as the girl walks

Unattractive – dirty fingernails, cocaine pinky fingernail, acne, upper lip hair, protruding “AK-47” nipples, large noses, collagen lips, back rolls, fat rolls in the front that hang down over the waistline, blue eye shadow, cheek piercings, “baby talk” (Michael doesn’t mean calling someone “baby”, but talking in a cooing baby voice), smoker, anorexic look with protruding ribs, bad teeth, vaginal odor, fake tans, pale/ghostly white skin – the worst look is a girl with pale skin, black hair and freckles, body-builder muscles, 2nd toe longer than big toe, women that wear NASCAR gear, New York accent/attitude, coke bottle glasses, high-pitched voices, socks with sandals, needy/clingy women, hooker boots with a short skirt, the hot chick at the bar that expects you to buy her a drink because she is hot, cottage cheese thighs, sleeve tattoos, unshaven bikini line, obesity, heavy drug user, stumpy legs, armpit hair, smacking of the lips as a girl chews her gum, young single mothers, large asses, Ugg boots, large designer sunglasses, 80s bangs


Physical beauty is only a component of overall attractiveness, albeit an important one. Your physical deficiencies can be offset by tasteful clothing, an engaging personality, your skills and interests, and your achievements.


what makes me attracted to a guy: a great smile (and face in general), at least 5’9 or so, but above all…an amazing personality! he has to be nice, funny, caring…you know


Attractive people?

1) smile
2) sense of humor
3) self confidence
4) passion


A guy who has a great sense of humor and can make me laugh, hot body/toned, tall, great smile, he’s dependable and intelligent, cool and laid back, and someone who can always make me smile :)

Nikki P.

I don’t claim that good looks don’t count as I would be lying. I am attracted to handsome men who know how to choose their clothes according to the latest trends in fashion, who have interesting and funky hair-styles, and who wear a piercing in the eye-brow or in the tongue. It is quite difficult to find a man who has all these qualities, but it is not impossible.

For me charisma and sex appeal are those ingredients which make me lose my mind. If a guy has only one of these qualities then it means he promises something, but if he has both of them he is the perfect candidate for winning my heart. Should I be lucky enough to find someone with a good sense of humor and with an extroverted character and always ready to make new friends – then all my dreams come true.

Julie R.

What doesn’t help (for me):
+ cosmetics
+ clothing style
+ piercings
+ tatoos

What does help (for me):
+ overall appearance of good health
+ curves where nature intended them
+ demeanor, attitude, ‘carriage’
+ receptivity


(Ken is gay and commented on both men and women)

Attractive – dark hair with light eyes, faces that are different – not the chiseled look, confidence, women that look mature and proper

Unattractive – bad feet, bad teeth, overweight, buff/muscular guys

Ken made the comment that, “Men want good mothers in a woman and women want good providers in a man.”


It tends not to correlate with anything noticeable, i.e. the person may not be particularly good-looking, you may not know them, they may even not seem all that nice, but there is something that causes arousal and desire to have sex with them. I know that there is a theory that one of the “mysterious” factors in attraction is scent – we may be attracted to some people because we subconsciously recognize that their smell is different enough from our own to indicate that they have a compatible immune system. Ideal for making babies with a strong chance for survival! Certainly, if someone smells too familiar to me I am slightly revolted regardless of how nice a person they may be and how well I get on with them even though I’m not sexually attracted to them and it shouldn’t be a problem.

So basically, what makes someone “sexy” or “sexually attractive” is a few physical traits and some mysterious as yet undiscovered factors.


What attracts me to a guy is really strange. If they have nice teeth the next thing I look for is a brain. If they don’t care enough about themselves to take care of their teeth then it is a losing situation from the start..not saying perfect teeth -just cared for. I honestly go nuts for a man who is intelligent and well rounded, they are usually sarcastic as well. If they make me laugh then it is a bonus. I will melt over a smart man. For meaningful relationship the only difference would be if they are willing to grow and change as I do. stupid huh?


What i find attractive is intelligence and emotional understanding, but also they have to have that chemistry with me. For some reason I don’t find “square bod ” type men attractive, but tall, lean-bodied, soft, gentle men.


I love a sexy foreign accent. Those similar to cristiano ronaldo, arsenium, cesc fabregas etc are all pretty sexy and make me drool (you can catch them on youtube)

Another is when, you know how simon cowell has that sort of attitude and charisma which makes a lot of people go “wow”? I like that. Also, when he is flirtatious but doesn’t just want the one thing.

Lastly you know when people adapt their own style, I think that’s really sexy. Like, when men wear things like berets instead of football shirts, or wear jeans with a blazer…Just somebody who has fashion sense, please!

In relationships I look for more than a bit of fun, I look for somebody who I can have good conversations with (and talk about stuff like life, etc…) and where my opinion has a right to be heard as well as theirs. Generally a NICE person.


Physical features can definitely make someone beautiful on the outside. Good bone structure, good skin, healthy shiny hair, white, straight teeth, good coloring, full lips, etc.

Confidence (imho) can turn any person into a truly beautiful person. I’ve seen men that I thought were just smokin’ hot and later realized physically they look nothing like what I’d normally consider hot just to look at, but I’d be drooling over them anyway. Some people just have magnetism and I think that comes from being confident. Not cocky and conceited, but comfortable in their own skin.


First of all, it comes down to chemistry, a spark between people – usually brought on by several characteristics: similar sense of humour (very important), kindness, loyalty, intelligence, a passion for life, ambition and thoughtfulness. This is my list mind you and everyone has a different one. And I still stick by my vote that MONEY is not important to me in the least. Yes, this is probably because I have money. But so what? It just doesn’t matter to me – ambition does, but that is not ruled by the all-mighty dollar. I want a man to have goals for himself and his life, to want to strive to get there – whether these goals mean selling his paintings on the street or what have you.

Looks are important – this is always stressed by everyone. But what about them? ATTRACTION is important, not looks. I can be attracted to the strangest people (Conan O’Brien, or Jack Black anyone?) that are not conventionally good-looking just because something else they possess pulls me towards them (mainly humour, fun, good-spirit etc).

So, thankfully, the homeliest guy can be found attractive to me if there are other factors that surpass that and add up to the thing called “chemistry”.

But can the most handsome guy be found bland if the chemistry lacks?


Maybe being TOO attractive can render someone unattractive.

I met a friend of a friend for drinks the other day – while I knew what he looked like and had been talking to him for a while, I was SHOCKED to meet him face to face.

He was tall – 6’4”, in a snazzy pinstripe suit and tie, shiny aviator glasses, nicely browned from recent days in the Indonesian sun. Oh and he looked like a BETTER looking version of James Franco. A 6’4” James Franco look alike.

My first thought, “I think I’ve seen this guy on the cover of GQ” followed by “he is WAY too good-looking to be seen with me.”

Maybe I am just easily impressed – a suit and tie does do it for me everytime (love that old-fashioned glamour), I suppose because I very rarely see guys my age wearing one (GQ was 30 and had to wear one for work). I also notice that I rarely see any guy that I would consider “hot” – maybe because attraction for me always happens after I get to know them. So when I see someone who would – by Hollywood standards – be considered “gorgeous” – it’s a bit of a novelty.

As we walked down the street to the Freehouse bar overlooking English Bay, I couldn’t help but feel like I was with a celebrity. This guy had every woman on the street turning heads. Suddenly I felt like laughing my ass off – I felt like the dumpy female with the hot guy and imagined all the women going “how did someone like her get someone like him?”

It was a turn-off, actually.

Maybe I am unfairly putting GQ guy into a box but in my opinion and experience, really good-looking guys are unfaithful. They cheat. They can’t be monogamous. They have no sense of loyalty. They are conceited. Vain. Shallow. Arrogant. Uncaring. Unkind. Flaky. Bad in bed (according to Samantha from SATC because “they never had to be good”). Have roving eyes. Expect perfection from those with them. They are fake. They have no faith. You can never trust them. They are good liars. They induce insecurity.


(she’s bi, so I had her comment on men and women)

Typically, both would have symmetrical faces, straight nose, large eyes and straight teeth. The woman will have fuller lips and the man a stronger chin and jaw.

The woman will have an hour-glass figure, BMI 20.8, and be average height

Man would have broad shoulders, be tall and slightly muscular.

For typically beautiful, the woman would have longish hair and the man short. Neither would have facial piercings or tattoos.

Donna E

What makes someone attractive… this is a tough question. I think I’ve never asked myself which are the features that makes me think “I like this guy”. It is not something easy to describe. When you see someone you like, you just know it, you don’t interrogate yourself why you like him. I believe that each one of us is usually attracted to a person with a similar personality, behavior and mentality. I personally find attractive guys that are confident but not arrogant, curious, travelers, ready to explore and not scared of taking risks during their lives. Of course, physical beauty plays an important role as well. I’d be a liar if I declared” personality is the only factor that matters”, because we all know that a hot guy is much better than an ugly one. We like to show off our dude.  I find attractive guys with sporty outfits, but not too sporty, for example tennis shoes, loose jeans and a simple colorful shirt. Short hair, preferably light, no beard, no goatee. I completely dislike tight jeans and shirts, gelled hair and pointy shoes. No way!

I don’t like arrogance, excessive confidence and selfishness. In addition, I can’t stand guys that are too close to their parents, so close that it becomes an insane relationship. One of my exes used to do everything for his parents, even when we were together somewhere, if his mum suddenly called because she needed a ride to the market, he would immediately take the car and drive all the way back to his home to pick up his mum. If a guy is like that, I don’t want any part of it. I learnt my lesson.


This issue is more complex than space here allows, but in general, unless we’re talking about raw sexual attraction, one’s physical attractiveness alone is not likely to influence any other person’s behavior significantly (unless you are a leper). Someone interested in career success, in their love life, in their own self-satisfaction, in anything other than just being attractive, should focus on their creative skills and especially their interpersonal abilities, and less upon their physical beauty. This conclusion does not mean that one should be unconcerned about one’s appearance, demeanor, and behaviors – these are different issues from physical attractiveness though. Which brings us to perceptions…

When I was interviewing my girl friends for this article, I had the hardest time getting them to separate physical attributes from perceived attributes such as confidence or an ability to be a good provider. This made me realize that this area had to be addressed.

Many women made the point that they were looking for a guy that shows he is able to “provide” e.g. by being successful, well-off, etc. To put this in a biological context, it seems women are driven to observe the ability of a man to offer food and protection. This wouldn’t necessarily be indicated in a man’s genes, but in his rank and status, for example.

However, the number one feature that women listed as being attractive was confidence. Confidence seems to play a huge role. Perhaps this plays into the “provider” image because a confident guy will come across as knowing what he is doing. And if a guy knows what he is doing, he is able to provide, right? Anyone else want to weigh in on this speculation?

Regardless of the reason for confidence being attractive, I have seen endless amounts of evidence that it can allow one to carry the day in even the most adverse circumstances. Just to give a couple of recent examples from my personal life: When a good friend got a laughably ridiculous mullet haircut in Las Vegas, the girls loved it because it takes a confident guy to do something like that. And, when I purchased the jacket pictured below (my cousin is being funny – she does not normally look like that) and wore it around town to amuse myself – the girls loved it. And again, it is because it takes a confident guy to do something like that (which is exactly how a girl in a Patagonia shop described the appeal to me). Also consider movie stars that many women consider attractive – Johnny Depp, Edward Norton, Jack Black, etc. They are not necessarily attractive guys in the traditional sense, but they portray confident characters in movies and that is attractive.


Finally, I waited until the end to make this point, but I’m going to call bullshit on all of the girls that say they are attracted to a “nice” guy… I have never seen anything but nice guys finishing last. A chick may say she wants a nice guy and may even believe what she says, but at the end of the day, the nice guy is going home by himself or with an uggo.

177 thoughts on “What Makes Someone Attractive?

  1. Girls are definitely more hung up over a guy’s looks than they would like to admit. Clothes (classy, clean, expensive), shoes (smart), hands (not too womanly, fingernails not bitten clean), bum (tight – not fat, not flat), eyebrows (not joined), no skin spots, not a beanpole or too small, good fitness – shoulders and arms are important, hair (not balding).

  2. In cultures where male beauty is valued, I think the features that are considered attractive are generally the mature ones – the small eyes, large nose, thin lips and prominent chin rather than the big eyes and small mouth and jaw of the attractive female. Of course, there are beautiful male faces like Michaelangelo’s David, but I think that in general, men have more freedom to stray from the rules of proportion and still be regarded as attractive – think of Sean Connery or Gerard Depardieu

    • Nooooo wayyyy. Big noses, small eyes, ew. What’s beautiful is men like halle berry’s exes. Not some big nose, balding, nasty bacteria eyed man.

      • CICI, As crazy as it sounds, a recent study showed that women actually prefer men with larger noses; I know, rightttt.

        The study used a series of photos of faces and facial silhouettes where sex could not be determined and then interviewed thousands of women from Big Ten colleges to determine which faces were the most attractive. More than 90% of those interviewed selected the same faces as attractive; “Large nose photos.”

        Who knew?

        To each their own.

  3. I think that for men or women, personality wins hands down. Sense of humor and intelligence are important. Height is an important turn-on for women.

    • Nope I find I’m always attracted to guys between 5’6 and no taller than 5’10 in height! No idea why but I just don’t like tall men, I’m 5’4. Also I prefer mid to dark blonde hair on a man, or light/mid brown too. Tall dark and handsome not for me!

    • Morgan, You may be surprised to learn that I, in my younger days, now forty nine, I was part of a group of young men that played a game of carnal knowledge.

      I was a door to door, magazine sales person and knocked doors on college campuses in all fifty states and at every major university. In a three period I seduced and had inter-course with more than five hundred women. These women included all ages, from eighteen to fifty. They were of all races, religions, and marital status; a very diverse collection of people indeed.

      And for the record: I do not advise other young men to follow my footsteps in this “game.” In the three years I was engaged in it, I did serious harm to my ability to be intimate. It took me more than a decade to engage in intercourse where it did not feel like I was going through the motions. It took me an additional five years to be able to connect with a woman on an emotional level. We have now been happily married since 2000, and have a daughter of our own. God help the boys that try to court her. (insert stern face here)

      I was a 5’6″ 130 Lbs stick figure. I have NEVER felt that I am attractive and was picked on most of my school days by taller, more muscular, better looking, and wealthier guys because of my appearance. My nose is large and my ears stick out a little more than I like. However, I have ALWAYS been very confident in my self.

      Much of my confidence stems from my intelligence and my realistic inventory of personal attributes. My confidence in pursuing the opposite sex is based on experience in the shower rooms of high school and later, boot camp. I know that when the lights go dim and the clothes come off I out measure the vast majority of other men.

      Yes, I am aware that it is not most women that are hung up on males penis size. Rather, it is actually men that have that pre-occupation. I also know that most men’s TRUE outward confidence, mine included, comes not from the size of their biceps, shoulders, or education, which hard work in the gym and in the class rooms has since afforded me, it is grounded in their perception of how their penis size measures up to the rest.

      Women are initially attracted to taller guys, but virtually every study shows that the vast majority mate with men closer to their height AND stay with those with pleasant personalities.

  4. I call bullshit on your call of bullshit. I’m a woman and I like nice guys. I’ve never found the “bad boy” attractive. Genuinely nice guys should not be out looking for women in bars, though, because the ones he will find there are looking for excitement, not niceness. But that isn’t true of all women.

    • Hi, my name is Megan. Being a teenager in this day of time is extremely hard. I feel as if society is pressuring teens into beleiving one “look” is the perfect image. While reading this helpful well-written article, I noticed comments of what women find attractive in a man. As a southern country girl, country me are overly attractive! But my question to you is, ” how do teenage girls who follow the advice of those who say ‘be yourself and he will come’ get the guy she wants. It hurt my self esteem when I finally build it up and believe that I am beautiful when girl who look at a guy get him. This guy I really like is in my chemistry class (ironic huh?) tells me about all the dates he goes on and how he never gets close to a girl since he was hurt by his ex. Then he will flirt with me and make those stupid butterflies flutter in my stomach and make my knees weak when he touches my arm or hand to grab something. I guess what I am really trying to day iswhat can girls like me do to win the hearts of the ones we want oh-so desperatly?

    • Agreed. Plus I was fully on the author’s side until the section regarding his personal observations. then came the comments about nice guys finishing last, going home alone or with uggos, etc. neither of which is attractive to any woman with half a brain and a decent self image, regardless of her looks.

  5. 1) Thank you for your comment

    2) I’d be very curious to hear your definition of a “nice” guy because I need more information before being able to fully respond to your comment.

    3) I agree that one does not necessarily go to bars looking for wholesomeness and Mr. or Mrs. Right (at least they shouldn’t).

    • I this guys who are taller than me but just tall enough where if I hugged him I will be right under his chin(: I perfer dark har and tan skin but if you are pastly and hot well gosh darnit your hot! I like it when a guy is built but not like overly built where every muscle has it’s own muscle (eww) he wants to treat me as if I precious cargo that is fragile. He will be my better half as I am to him. Call me old fashion but that would be stupid since I’m 16 lol.

  6. Everyone wants a hottie…as I’m finding! :) I find your breakdown of what makes someone attractive to be fascinating. I WANT TO BE ATTRACTIVE! How do I become attractive? The answers are above.

  7. Well..I like a guy who is my oppisite in appearance.
    Pale and has light hair
    (: I like guys with long hair (styled long though)
    I like it when they have a sweet smile with dimples, someone who gives tight but not sqeezingly tight hugs that make ya feel safe,
    I dont like fat dudes with dreasy hair smell like they haven’t showered in a month and has bad breath and teeth >.< eww!

  8. omg! i agree w/ almost all this stuff…but i think when it comes to confidence…its okay as long as it doesnt come off as cocky. as long as its more like karisma(sp?) but yea…you sound really smart haha

  9. The characteristics or features that are called ‘beautiful’ are all eurocentric. As an African-American that doesn’t have any feature listed above I still consider myself beautiful and other Black people like me. Full hips, full butt, full lips are beautiful. Maybe this forum should be the beauty project from a eurocentric perspective.

    • I was struck by the apparently Eurocentric nature of the results myself. However, these results incorporate data from all races – both on those being reviewed and those doing the reviewing – not just those of European descent…

      A poorly understood component of human biology or decades of relentless marketing by the advertising industry shaping opinions on what is considered beautiful?

      • Well ofc it’s going to be Eurocentric after colonialism and settling everyone’s countries and the media showing them to be perfection and heavily in their favor. All other races (the ones without self respect) want to look German.

        – Asian american

  10. The older I get the less fussy I become with men but here are the most important attributes to make a man attractive to me:
    1. Excellent oral hygiene and good breath.
    2. Olive skin or darker.
    3. Ruddy with red lips and cheeks.
    4. Preferably big, thick lips.
    5. Small nose.
    6. Small eyes or at least ones that are symmetrical and don’t bulge.
    7. Courage.
    8. Grace.
    9. Sense of humour.
    10. Style.
    Yep; looks like I’ll be finding myself a nice black man.

      • Actually, I have seen some White men with bigger, longer noses than Black men. Get a clue! And stop being jealous because she wants a Black man.

    • Have read soooo many takes on what makes someone attractive! At 48, with 4 children & 3 from my Scandinaviian x wife. Ive lived in different countries & made alot of money with no help, financial or otherwise. I would consider myself as quite good looking! I was a very successful junior sportsman & captained teams at international youth level, but chose not to chance a career because our family needed the money. My confidence always attracted the most beautiful & daring of women in my teens without even hunting! It depends on age – financial situation – location – friend & family opinion – influence & upbringing. Generally, women want the security & sense of achievement to show friends her success & their man brings. Since being divorced for 18 years, ive had 3 women leave their husbands for me, & a 28 yr old after 6 weeks. Not through money cos gave 80%l away to my x, set up my children, paid parents morgage off & now moved home to care for disabled mum since dad died. (BUT) I can still if i want get hold with girls from any age because i tell them the truth. Im a travel agent of a personal voyage & excitement to better myself again, & they come for a trial period! The thing is, subconsciously they know i am what i say i am & believe!! Self confidence, being honest & genuine will always get attention, but appreciated by those whom both deserve!!

  11. I am a tall, skinny girl (5ft. 7in, 108 lbs) and i am definately a chubby chaser. i like short-ish chubbly or broad shouldered guys. 5ft 9in is the perfect height for a guy, i think.

    • Interesting about you being a chubby-chaser… I would imagine that confidence and personality play a significant role for you in determining attractiveness? Men seem to be much more focused on the visual, tangible side of attractiveness, while women are focused more on the less tangible (confidence, perceived abilities as a provider, etc.) to determine attractiveness.

  12. My ideal girl… What does she look like? Where is she from? What’s her personality like?

    I’ve thought a lot about this. She wouldn’t be Irish that’s for sure! You got to diversify the gene pool.

    With looks I’m very particular. She would have to be very exotic, the kind of women who enters a room and renders other men dumb; jaws on the floor hot. I prefer sallow skin, jet black hair, very slim, a low upper arm circumference, good hip-to-waist ratio, a strong jaw line and big eyes—I told you I was particular. Certain ethnic groups fit the bill – Arabic, Eastern Slavic (preferably Ukrainian), Amharic (Ethiopian), Indian, Armenian & Latin girls.

    With personality I guess the main thing is she can mingle with friends and family effortlessly. That requires a girl who’s relaxed and confident with a good sense of humour. This needs to be balanced with someone who is passionate, sensual and affectionate. Who best fits the bill in this regard? In my experience I would say Filipinas. There’s a reason they’re rumoured to make the best wives.

    So, my ideal women would have the personality of a Filipina and be mixed race Ukrainian/Ethiopian. That’s why they call them ideals right? Why stop there? I could become a Muslim and get four wives – a Malaysian, a Saudi, an Ethiopian and a Slavic Azerbaijani—now that’s ideal.

    In reality, I’ll probably fuck half the planet trying to my “ideal women,” reach 50, give up and marry a Balinese beauty queen in her 20s. Sigh.

    • Sir, though this response may come in latishly, nevertheless I feel obliged to reply to you, a dear soulmate I find, as I could learn from your essay.
      Having this sixth sense for absolute, untainted and divine beauty in a woman is a gift not many men these days can call their own.

      May your quest for this ethereal and delicate creature, this queen of Sabah and Roxanna blend be crowned with success.
      And may your union be blessed with numerous beautiful children.
      And may you then marry your prettiest daughter off to me – your souldmae, I shall remunerate you immeasurably.

      May your quest be not in vain

      • I’m just laughing at all this right now
        beauty and attractiveness are two different things, and we have no control over either. many people say they want a certain type of hair color, or body type, and off they go to the human factory to make sure no one steals their patent. but it would be unwise to confuse instinctive lust with, well, who you’ll really end up with. Do a pair of eyes that know summer hills make you happy, or is it the symmetry of someone’s face? the loud laugh, or the quiet smile? attractiveness changes with the ages. But like begets and attracts like. Why? Who can say? Does it matter? there is no formula to getting asked on a date (unless you’re the main character of a romance novel). People are only attracted to each other in the first place because nature wants more babies, more humans to climb around and muck about in oil. So if you have a bone to pick with nature, I invite you to shake your fist, hook, etc. at the moon, and pelt it with frozen ravioli. anyone would notice that.

  13. Why do men prefer blondes? Answer: Handicap principle.

    [A]ccording to research out of the University of California, the answer is that blonde hair, like the peacock’s tail or the rooster’s bright-red plumage, is a sign of fitness. The evolutionary reason why men are attracted to blondes is that the hair and skin colour make it easier to spot problems. Anaemia, jaundice, skin infections, cyanosis (a sign of heart disease) and some other conditions, are, these researchers say, much easier to detect in fair-skinned individuals than in brunettes.

    So, in ancestral times when bugs and infections were thick on the ground, there was an evolutionary need to be able to pick a mate who would be healthy and have healthy offspring – hence the preference for blondes.

    • I don’t know where the question “Why do men prefer blondes?” comes from. I absolutely do not and never have. I prefer a woman who looks like my own mother and my mother has olive skin and dark hair and dark eyes with long arms and long legs. On a side note, many people think I am about 6 feet tall but I am really 5’9″ or so. This is because of my disproportionate (in a good way!) long arms for my height. Anyhow, I know plenty of men who do prefer blondes and plenty who do not. This is for various reasons. Either the man is going through a phase of a sort, or has a fascination with blondes, or has jungle fever (he loves interracial sex – I myself have fair skin but my mom is olive because my dad is pure irish so I turned out quite fair but I love to see dark skin against my body during sex because it is a turn on that I am mating with a female who is different than me and am thereby increasing diversity in my gene pool. I also sexually lust for dark (olive to dark to medium brown) skin). That being said, I do not buy that men prefer a certain skin tone or height or hair color alone. Rather, they primarily prefer “features” that have to purely do with ratios and proportions – either based on science or what they have seen and are comfortable with during their lives.

      • what about the silvermark then.. i am female with a silvermark… think lilly munster. does this apply as well, like with blondes? although, i am a mutt of english, irish, shawnee (native american), and predominately Sicilian. my hair is black, spiral curl, with white stripe center, like the skunk. olive skin, though with freckles on shoulders and bridge of nose..so i wonder, if you are an even mix of olive in summer and fair in winter, with both white and black hair.. what happens. lol.

  14. From the same University of California study…

    “Attractive people have it all. As babies they get less chastisement, more cuddles, and better presents.

    At school they are more popular, have more friends and are less likely to be bullied. And as adults, they have more sexual partners, and are more likely to be married, have a good job, and earn a higher salary – around 10 per cent more than plain Joes and Janes. They are also perceived to be healthier, smarter, and more trustworthy, and if they go into politics they are more likely to be elected. But why are some people seen as attractive and others not? And why have we evolved to find some features attractive and others not?

    According to new research, it may all be down to oxidative stress and antioxidants. Psychologists have discovered that men who were rated as the most physically attractive by women have the lowest levels of markers of oxidative stress. […]

    Ten bilateral features of the men – ear width, ear height, wrist width, elbow width, lengths of four fingers, ankle breadth and foot breadth – were measured and compared. The men’s urine was measured for markers of oxidative stress and for hormones, and they were quizzed about any birth complications, such as late or premature birth, which can increase levels of oxidative stress. Finally, a group of women were asked to rate images of the men’s bodies and faces for physical attractiveness.

    Results show that men who were rated as attractive by the women had significantly lower levels of oxidative stress. And men with more symmetrical bodies had lower levels and were rated as more attractive. Men who had experienced birth problems had higher levels of oxidative-stress markers. […]

    Some studies have shown that men are especially attracted to women with a low hip ratio – small waists and large hips. Just why remains elusive, although suggestions have included better child-bearing abilities, improved health, and greater survival. One University of California study showed that women with larger hips perform better in intelligence tests, as do their children.

    Body mass index, a measure of both height and weight, is another dimension that has attracted the attention of researchers. A ratio of 20.85 has been found to be most attractive in women, because, say researchers, it is seen by men as sign of good health and good reproductive potential.”

  15. I am not very specific about height– as long as he is not shorter than me. I prefer dark hair and blue eyes, though I don’t ONLY like those colors. The hair should be not too close cropped, but DEFINITELY not too long (halfway down the neck is my limit)

  16. Interesting article.

    I find men with dark hair and blue eyes, and taller than me attractive. (which isn’t that hard) However, I will not consider dating a guy unless I can hold a good conversation with him, and if he can accept the fact that I am a complete nerd.

    As far as nice guys go, I find it hard to be sympathetic. I have asked out guys that would be placed under the “nice guy” category, only to get shot down every time as they pursue a girl who has no interest in them. Most likely I’m bitter, but I just can’t seem to care when they complain about it anymore.

  17. Symmetry & proportion are VERY important, indeed. This guy I almost decided to date fit the perfect description of an ideally attractive male. But he had the worst blemishes ever. It doesn’t matter how attractive you are, please be ZIT-FREE!

  18. Pingback: Obiettivo Bellezza: Che Cosa Ci Rende Attraenti? | The Velvet Rocket

  19. Great article! Ever heard anyone say, “wow, they’re ugly for and attractive person and attractive for an ugly person.” This article brought that to a greater understanding. I lack confidence, although I am compliment on my looks and sense of humour alot. I usually recieve compliments while I’m in a comfortable enviroment and dressed down. When I go out and I dress up, someone may look interested in me but turn away eventually. I’ve always wondered why? Reading this article and peoples opinions, open my mind.

  20. btw, i’m straight
    Atractive-shiny hair that’s natural but stightly styled (any length but not super short on most guys), thin but strong noses, *important* strong jawline, thin/slim, strong, slight abbs but not bodybuilder, good posture, short, sort of thin lips, smiles willingly but not too often so you know you said something really imporant/funny to him, takes girls seriously, gentleman, no horrible cussing but edgy enough to cuss sometimes, non dyed hair(unless it’s like a streak of black or blonde or red or somethink edgy), no fake highlights, soft voice, thinish legs but not weak, good in school (b-a+), makes jokes like puns and stuff not knock kock jokes, not a jock(stupid asses)

      • This is definitely aimed at what WHITE ppl like. As is most things in American/European life. No biggie. You said it was based on everyone. Did you notice none of pictures shown were of blacks or mexicans? It’s cool though, always interesting to see what white ppl think is attractive; and see that white ppl are just “statistically” a better looking race and all of THEIR traits are what perfect beauty is! Let’s all be white!! Lolol

      • Thank you for your comment, Edward.

        Your comment raises a very interesting question. The pictures in this post were of the stereotypical people considered attractive by the mainstream. Why does the mainstream (as represented by Hollywood and the advertising industry) give us so many examples of people with light skin and delicate features? And, by the way, this is true regardless of whether one is viewing advertisements in India or Canada or Peru or Zambia. So, what’s the reason? Subtle racism seems like an easy answer. However, it isn’t that simple.

        There have also been multiple studies done where only black people or only Asian people or only Native American people or whatever are asked about what they find attractive. Invariably, those with lighter skin and more delicate features are selected as the most attractive. Okay, you might argue that this is cultural conditioning brought about by Hollywood and the advertising industry. However, these same studies have been done on groups with little or no contact with the Western world and the results are the same.

        So, it seems there may be some ingrained human preference for lighter skin and more delicate features. I don’t know why. It’s an interesting phenomenon and I certainly don’t have all of the answers.

        By the way, before sending this email, I Googled “hot black girls” to see what would come up. All of the pictures that came back were of girls that had straight hair, light skin and delicate features. Now, THAT could be subtle racism since people consciously choose which pictures of girls to post. However, it also is another (admittedly unscientific) example of society’s preference for the lighter skin, delicate features, etc.

        Thanks again for your comment and for raising this issue…

  21. Thank you for your post. I am a believer that beauty is subjective for the onlooker. My brother is attracted to blonds, my sister to african americans and I, possibly native americans or asians. They all have very distinctive cultural markers as to what makes them attractive. I think that as I become older my focus is not so much on what is superficial as it is on the man’s personality. If he’s not a responsible, financial savvy, intellegent, good hearted cook who can make me laugh and love me always, than he’s simply not for me. Attractive or not. It’s what is on the inside that makes them sexy for me.

    • I would argue that a man’s personality will always trump his looks for women. So, even if he were less attractive than other men orbiting you in your youth, a man with the qualities you mention that you wanted, could have pulled you at that time…

      However, the focus of this article was on superficial, physical standards of beauty. A post on what is attractive after an initial, superficial meeting (personality, etc.) would require much, much more.

    • “I would argue that a man’s personality will always trump his looks for women.”

      I would argue that’s a stereotype and complete bullshit. As I like to say, “Dude, I’ll be fucking YOU, not your sense of humour!” When I’m looking for a roll in the hay, I don’t give a shit how awesome the guy’s personality is. If he’s not fuck-worthy, I’m out!

      • On an abstract level, obviously everyone prefers the more attractive partner. However, unless you are selecting your men for “a roll in the hay” using a format similar to a police lineup, which I find unlikely, I don’t think your comment is reflective of reality.

        I was not suggesting that a guy that is a 1 or a 2 in physical attractiveness will be going home with a 10 every night just because he has confidence (although I have seen some shocking examples that fall close to that and, undoubtedly, it has happened).

        Let me use an example that is not so abstract to explain my point:

        You’re hanging out at your favorite bar and are in the mood to get laid. Two guys walk in and one of them is a 6 and one of them is an 8. The 8 is shy and immediately retreats to a dark corner of the bar, nursing his beer.

        The 6 walks right up to you with a cocky/fun vibe and opens you with a great line. The 6 is charming and engaging – he has great stories and is funny. You are enjoying your time with him.

        You glance into the corner where the 8 is hiding a couple of times, but he is too shy to even make eye contact with you. You really think you’re going home with the 8 in that situation?

        The 6, the guy that has the balls/confidence to approach you and engage with you, is going to be the guy going home with you, rather than the more handsome wallflower that disappears into the corner.

        Let’s try another example… Suppose that both of the guys were an 8. And further suppose that the 8 in the example above was not quite as shy, but was more engaging than above. With two equal 8s in physical attractiveness, you would undoubtedly go home with the 8 that was more confident, funny and engaging.

        Again, personality comes out on top of physical attractiveness…

        Men are far more likely to approach a shy, but attractive girl hiding in the corner. Very, very rarely will you see a girl hitting on a guy. And I have never seen a particularly attractive girl make any effort to pick up a guy. She simply doesn’t need to as she has so many options competing for her attention.

  22. If “evidence shows that they select mates who are similar to their own level of attractiveness.” Can you explain those couples who are extreme opposites in terms of attractiveness i.e an attractive wife and a very unattractive husband? And no, money does not play a role. I guess personality play’s a huge role too in determining someone’s attractiveness. :)

    • Thank you for your comment, Nancy.

      Yes, I can explain why one sees couples that seem to represent extreme opposites in terms of attractiveness…

      When I wrote that “evidence shows that they select mates who are similar to their own level of attractiveness” I was referring to studies based solely on physical appearance.

      The dynamics for a real long-term relationship are different. For men, the most important component for attraction is looks. The most important component for women is confidence. Thus, you can have an ugly guy that has a confident, alpha demeanor and he will be able to snag a girl well out of his league (in terms of physical appearance) due to the strength of his personality.

      Conversely, an unattractive girl can at times score an attractive man if the man is not confident. Despite being attractive, some men lack the self-esteem or self-awareness that they can do better and, thus, settle for an unattractive woman in the false belief that she is the best they can do.

      Hope this helps to clarify matters…

  23. I kind of did start talking out of frusteration, but I definitely understand what you’re saying Justin. It sucks that people tend to like lighter features. But all in all that actually does go back to racism.people with darker skin, for lack of the better words>> are taught not to like themselves as much and like lighter skin more. There’s some studies that show little black kids who are asked to picked out of two dolls, a black and white one. They’re asked Which doll is “better”, which is the “good” doll? And even black kids more often picked the white doll. Black ppl, through media , society, etc. Are taught that whites are better than blacks , in general. It sucks but it’s the truth. And I love white people, but there’s no denying that we live in a white man’s world. White people run te world. Any hint at white people not running the world; like for instance, people preferring dark features over light features, would definitely cause the powers that be to revaluate the situation, and somehow make it to where whites had the upper hand again. Obviously that’s not A FACT, just what history suggests. . . So simply, sure people prefer lighter skin because that’s how we’ve been programmed since FOrever. I’m just speaking honestly… Most times pals pictures of God is even white. People with the most power are white. So yea it makes sense that people would subconsciously be drawn to light or ” whiter” skin… And I have light skin..just saying though…

  24. I am a mixed girl and I agree with Edward that the media is eurocentric because white people feel as if they are better looking than other races. However, I believe that this will change soon, One example is the popularity of Ashwaraya Rai and Kim Kardashian. Back in the 1920s when segregation was alive and kicking blonde and blue eyed women were preferred but due to the rapid immigrating, racial mixing and overall multiculturalization of America perceptions are changing. Think about this, in 2009 Cristina Applegate was voted People magazine’s most beautiful woman, now in 2011 a latina woman, Jenifer Lopez was given the title. I believe this is hope for a better, unbiased America.

    On a cuter note, what I find most attractive in a man is the Mediteranian and Middle-Eastern look. Arabic guys are so attractive to me! I love dark brown/blue/green (not small) eyes, brown/black hair, light brown skin color and a “sculpted-by-god” face. The shape of the eyes is also important “almond eyes” are the most attractive. I also have a fetish for smooth/beautiful hands, a SLIGHTLY hooked nose, and an elegant walk.

    I find overweight/ bean pole thin, husky dog blue colored eyes, blonde hair, “nappy” hair, big noses, extremely pale/dark skin, “awww HELL NO” teeth, and unsymmetrical faces UGLY <3

    ~ Haruhi

  25. So i read this and im extremely surprised on how many people prefer clear skin. Im 15 and i have terrible skin. Am i ugly for this? I always hoped people could look past it…. I always thought i was actually kinda pretty behind that.. Could someone tell me what i would be considered? I am going to describe myself.. long bored straight brown hair, brown cat eyes,with arched eyebrows, my eyes a pretty much symetrical except my left eye which is slighty smaller that you only notice if you are really staring, my right eyebrow is a little more arched than the other, a ivory skin tone with pink cheeks, a nose that fits my face but has a slight bridge to it but is still staight and femine, high cheek bones, ( im native american) small but plump lips, pink as well. i always wondered as well what if you are beautiful because that one flaw? isn`t that possible? umm thanks for your time Camille :)

    • Thank you for your contribution, Camille…

      Being Native American, we would guess that you have an olive complexion (which is attractive). The other features you described sound good as well, but without actually seeing you or a picture of you, we must work with what you have given us rather than the brutal honesty that a picture might reveal. For example, we take you at your word that the slight symmetrical difference between your eyes really is only noticeable if one makes a close study of them.

      Bad skin, unfortunately, is regarded by humans as unattractive. However, (and we’re assuming you are referring to acne) you may take comfort in the fact that as you exit your teenage years, your skin issues will disappear. And, with your olive complexion, you will soon have skin that is the envy of many.

      The best thing you can do now is to stay fit and toned (to put it more directly – don’t get fat), work on building up your confidence and social skills and learn to dress well (no UGG boots and sweatpants out in public). At 15 you are still growing and everyone is awkward at this age. Stick to what we outlined above and you’ll do very well during your 20s.


      The Velvet Rocket staff

      • I’m 15, and I’d like to know how ‘attractive’ I’d be considered (on days without breakouts). Without breakouts, my skin is all the same shade, and not pasty white, but not super tan. I have Native American blood, which only really shows in my bushy eyebrows (which I have done), and my dark, straight hair. I have a pretty long nose (the base isn’t unusually wide). My mom says it’s ‘aristocratic’. I just think it looks bad. Moms’ opinions of their children’s looks aren’t really accurate. It’s not like they’re going to tell their child, “Honey, you’re so ugly, I just love you!” I have a recessed chin, and majorly screwed up teeth (getting fixed with braces, though), high, pronounced cheekbones, a small cowlick on the very front part of my hair. A big, smooth forehead, and plump, kissable lips. Also, my chin is not very pointed, and my eyebrows are high and arched. My eyes are fairly large, and almond shaped. My chin is not really pointed, but it does fall lower than the rest of my face. My ears are of average size, but do not lie flat against the sides of my head. I’m a fairly average weight and size (with a little tummy pudge). I do not have dimples, and my body is, for the most part, tan. I am almost completely flat chested, but I have a nice butt and long, ‘sexy legs’. My hips are not much wider than my waist, and my ribcage is very big, which makes my stomach protrude more than it normally would. My whole body is a warm tan, and I have some minor cellulite on my thighs. My mom says I have “thunder thighs” (she says they’re a good thing) but I’m pretty sure they aren’t big enough for “thunder thigh” status. My lips are a soft pink color, and my hair is chestnut brown. I keep myself clean, and my hair comes to three inches past my shoulder in the front (it’s a little longer in the back). The cut I have frames my face well. I have feminine shoulders and some arm muscle (I don’t have flappy wings there). I have a good length, feminine neck, and the top of my ears reach the average height of my eyebrows (middle between highest and lowest points). My eyes are the average distance apart, and my philtrum is about a centimeter long (vertically). I have a pronounced Cupid’s Bow, and a fairly small mouth. My hairline is basically a straight line on top (which I love), and it goes back a little in the corners. My hands and feet are a little big for me (but I’m going to grow into them, so whatever). I’m about 5′ 4″ or 5′ 5″, and I’m probably going to end up around 5′ 11″ (both my parents are tall). I have long, thick eyelashes, and black eyebrows. My eyes are a light/medium brown. I’ve been told that I bear a resemblance to Vivian Leigh, and my left eyebrow is arched slightly higher than the right, and it has a slight dimple above it, at the angle of the eyebrow. I have slightly chubby cheeks, although I’m quickly growing out of them. That’s all there really is. I know your judgement, without seeing a picture of me, isn’t fully accurate, but I’d like you to do your best! Thanks!

      • There are now scientific guidelines on what makes a person, especially females,
        attractive. Generally it looks at symetry between body parts and limbs, concentrating
        on the face and eyes.

  26. Im also very sorry if my questions are immature and stupid… i was just curious because you guys have very intelligent opinions.

    • Like we said above, work on the confidence… You should never apologize for sharing an opinion or asking a question.

  27. I have found that natural courses tend to produce much more dependable results and I find that most people are much happier in the end. In fact there are everyday ways to aquire fairer skin; lighten skin pigmentations; freckles; age spots; acne marks; lighten dark underarms or lighten your overall skin tone. What are your readers thoughts and experiences?

  28. I must say, I am a bit judgemental when it comes to appearences. Harsh, I know, but few actually admit it. When I think of my “dream man” and how he should look, act, and think, a very distinct, vivid image comes to mind.
    -He is 6’2″ tall. (I’m 5’11”.)
    -He has light hazel-ish color eyes.
    -He has medium length dark brown hair.
    -His eyebrows are very sexy, not too thin but not too bushy.
    -His forehead is

  29. Whoops, pressed the wrong button.
    -His forehead is medium length and not too protruding.
    -His ears don’t stick out and are average length.
    -His cheek bones are high but soft.
    -His lips are defined but slim and velvety.
    -His chin is very manly but doesn’t jut out.
    -His neck is long, like mine.
    -His shoulders are broad and muscular.
    -He has to have a sense of humor or I’m not interested.
    Yep, that’s my dream guy. Pretty shallow, huh? Well, I would go in depth on his personality but that would take hours, ha, ha.

    • Thank you for contributing to The Pretty Project, Eleanor. And, no, as was outlined above in the basic science and biology of attraction, having an ideal in mind is not at all shallow. There is, in fact, a solid basis in biology for your preferences…

  30. I might sound weird for this but here goes!! I’m a 27 year old, and my ideal man, looks-wise, is a Swedish singer called Martin Rolinski. He is the opposite to what most girls go for. Blond, blue eyed, not that tall, and VERY pale. Almost feminine but he has a lovely complexion and smile. I’m a straight girl. He is a ”pretty boy” I suppose. I always used to go for tall dark and handsome, the stereotype, until I spotted him in a pop video. I think he is absolutely gorgeous which is WEIRD considering I am a natural blonde with blue eyes I thought opposites atracted!! Still, i am happy to rebel against stereotype this world would be pretty boring if we all fancied the same!! :)

    • Thank you for your contribution to The Pretty Project. And please see my comment above on whether your attraction preferences are “weird” or “shallow” or whatever…

    • Hey, I just looked Martin rolinski up and he is beautiful!! If you find him attractive I’m willing to bet that you’ll find tom cruise as the vampire lestat gorgeous too. He has blond wavy hair and is pale and is really really sexy. Thanx!! Actually I was wondering if you could tell me if I am “attractive”. I have curly golden and honey toned hair, gray/blue/green eyes, thick long black eyelashes,straight slightly upturned nose, subtly defined cheekbones, small mouth with supple lips, rosy complexion, I am 5’5, athletic with dancers body and 2 dimples in my cheeks. Oh and my teeth ate straight. However I have a very quiet personality. It’s not that I can’t be outgoing, I usually am, but I prefer to read and think. Is that still attractive? Somewhere someone wrote that being outgoing was attractive. Oh and I’m 16, idk if that helps. Thank you! :)

      • Thank you, Anna.

        In response to your question – it depends on whom you are trying to attract… When it comes to attraction, generally, men just care about looks, while woman are more into the intangibles such as personality.

        So, assuming you are into men, don’t worry about presenting a false personality of being outgoing (These days you’ll stand out more for reading and thinking anyway). The rest of what you described sounds good. Keep that athletic dancer’s body and you’ll be well prepared as you enter your prime years of youth and beauty.

  31. Pingback: Anatomy of Beauty « tfoley22

    • Hey Sparky Smart Sauce –

      Why don’t you try running those numbers again, but use a calculator this time. I’ll help you:

      1.6 multiplied by 1.6 equals 2.56

      Are you with me so far? I hope so.

      Now, enter the number 50 into your calculator and divide it by 2.56.

      After pushing the = button, you’ll see that the answer is 19.53, which just so happens to match “whatever the hell I put”.

      Amazing, huh?

      The funny thing is that the more dumb you trolls are, the more rude you are. This, of course, just makes you look even more foolish when you are proven wrong.

  32. I have to say, I found the same thing with your lbs/inches calculation. Just to clarify, I am neither a troll or stupid. Oh, and I am not trying to be rude. I weight 135lbs and am 72 inches tall. 135 * 72 / 72 =135. How does that work out? What am I doing wrong?

    • Thank you for your pleasant comment, Sandy. The mistake you are making is that you are mixing up what you are supposed to multiply and divide… So, 72 multiplied by 72 equals 5,184. Divide 135 by 5,184 and you get .0260 as a result. Multiply this by 703 and you get a BMI of 18.278… Hope that helped.

  33. I’m not attracted to guys who are overly nice, but once a guy stops treating me without respect it’s a huge turnoff. I do like a man with strong character and at the same time having a balanced moral character; meaning, he can’t be a judgemental prude and he can’t be rude pig who disrespects women. I like a guy who’s a go getter and a fighter, but he HAS to be nice to me :-)

    • To add to my above comment. Here is what appeals to me physically. I love tall men, but in most cases not over 6’4″. Strange that my dad was 6’3.5″. I’m 5’8″ and a guy has to be taller than me or make up for it in his build and sex appeal. I’ve made some exceptions for guys that are 5’7″, but no shorter or that would just feel awkward to me. One thing though I don’t get is that my father was a thin man and I’m not attracted to thin men. I like men with broad muscular shoulders, nice butt (my dads was flat as a pancake lol) and nice thick legs. If a guy slumps over, has rounded shoulders or a forward head it’s an immediate turnoff. I’m attracted to men with dark hair, preferably straight and black, eye color greenish hazel to black, I’m not a fan of light blue eyes. I like olive skin, light to dark. My dad had black kinky curly hair (he’s Sicilian) brown eyes and light olive skin. I love a man with a strong jawline and chin, moderate body hair (no butt hair, back hair and it can’t be long enough to tie lol). I’m curious as to why I would like some hair but not lots of it. One more thing, the way a man sits. His legs open is a turn on and his legs together or crossed is a turnoff. If he fidget with his hands it’s a turnoff and I don’t like men with big eyes.

      • Thank you for your comments, Dawn. That was a quality breakdown on what you find attractive and a very welcome addition to The Pretty Project…

  34. __What about the principle of “averageness”? i.e., the more ‘average’ a person looks, the more attractive they tend to be.
    __I assume that the more diverse a person’s gene pool, the more effective their immune system would be against disease, and so the healthier they would appear.
    __I also imagine genetic diversity would guard against birth defects and other consequences of inbreeding.
    __I also wanted to say that maybe another reason fair skin and delicate features tend to be considered beautiful is that these are seen in people with higher levels of education and income (think less time in the sun and less need for manual labor).
    __I live in a neighborhood that is predominantly Black, Latino and Filipino, so growing up, I felt that the most beautiful people would look like some combination of the three (i.e. the ‘average’ from my perspective).
    __I have pretty fair skin and look Euro (as does my mom), so I’m pretty sure I wasn’t looking for someone that resembles either myself or my mom.
    __Now that I’m older and have traveled around, I think my tastes have changed somewhat. Physically I pay more attention to proportions and healthy skin than ethnicity (though I still like women with Asian and/or African features), and education and personality are now as important to me as physical features.
    __Oh, and I have a much deeper appreciation for blondes… especially dirty blondes ;]

  35. Almost any skin color- I dont like overly tan white people it annoys the crap out of me. A mix between asian and black makes a beautiful skin color to me.
    Hair- long enough to play with, dont like redheads, love facial hair especially sideburns. Their hair connot feel dry, or look dry it drives me crazy. Cannot stand excessive body hair, or no body hair at all. I like tall and lean guys with muscular backs, skinny ass guys, and muscular ones. Guys shorter than me do make me feel tall (im 4″11″) but im not attracted to them as much. I like eyes that draw you in with their mysteriousness. I love any eye color. A man has to be older than me, at least physically. They need to look intelligent, i cannot stand someone who looks like they dont know shit, and gets by because they are hot. Men who sweat for no reason, or excessively repulses me. But i love it when a man looks dirty, like Johnny Depp at the Oscars a couple years back, as well as clean shaven buisness suit men. Long elegant fingers turn me on, and tattoos. I have a weakness for guys who have a tortured look in their eyes. Long noses, and nice lips, not small and pinched like owen wilson, or razor thin lips. I like freckles :) Overly confident guys turn me off, confident and content, or quiet and open guys catch my attention. unibrows should be illegal, and my favorite part of a man is their jawbone. Strong jawbones draw me in.

  36. adding to my previous comment, Alan Rickman is sexy to me. Most people would not think that, for them George clooney is a sexy older man. George clooney’s face is too defined for me

  37. i never look at a girl’s brains, only her face and body. people ask if i am a tits or an ass guy. i am neither. i have to have a beautiful face to look at. beauty is of course purely subjective in many ways but i like to see myself in the girl. either high cheekbones or dark eyes or a roundish/square face of some sort but NEVER an aggressive chin like many of these “supermodels” have (not adriana lima of course). so yes i put a premium on physical beauty. it’s nice that a girl has brains, income, blah blah blah but do i really want to hang out with a guy? that’s what you are when you are an ugly woman with “other” things to offer.

  38. Why not? Let’s add more variety to the pot: I’m attracted to men, women, and people presenting as outside of the gender binary (because this can influence appearance). /statistic GET

    Firstly, I like eyes. Especially those that are framed by thick, long lashes; preferably dark enough to be seen. I’m predominately indifferent to skin tone and iris colour, but I find auburn and blonde hair to be more attractive on fairer skinned individuals, with darker hair attractive across the spectrum. Styling should fit the face and not simply be based on “Oh, I like this”. What works on one face shape might not work on another. Brows that are taken care of and well groomed, not too thin, also get points.

    I tend to find structural features that sit right in the middle of conventional masculinity and femininity to be the most attractive as a general rule, a sort of androgyny. There are some exceptions in those cases where there’s a soft enough line to everything, and there I find more masculine features to be just as attractive; same goes with some more angular feminine cases. My preference overall lies in softer-edged features, though. This is mostly for the jaw, hands, legs, hips, and butt. I do like muscle tone of varying degrees, but preferably nothing extreme to either side. Something that indicates the person is active. The sort of sleek, lean muscle tone in particular is attractive to me.

    So long as weight is carried well and doesn’t seem to “throw off” the individual’s skeletal frame, I’m generally not bothered by it. Often times, it ends up adding to an individual’s attractiveness (people who carry their weight well are often also confident about their appearance; I figure this feeds into the attraction). I do, however, prefer the notion of a big woman over a big man. For some reason, female shapes cooperate more with weight, in my opinion. Breast size is case by case, and generally biology is pretty smart in that regard, I find.

    I’m indifferent to height, for the most part. I get too “artsy” about what “fits” a person, sometimes; biology usually gets it right, at least.

    Clothing should fit the frame, and the colours and patterning should flatter. Those are my only thing there.

    Hygiene. Cleanliness. Not a fan of facial hair, either.

    I like piercings and tattoos, but not excessive numbers of them. Even if your taste is punk as Hell, whatever it is, there’s a way to do it without *over*doing it. Different for everyone.

    Sucker for a nice voice; varies from person to person, too.

    After that, things become unrelated to physical attributes, I think (personality, attitude on things, drive, etc.).

    Yes, needlessly complicated things, yesssss. In short, a lot of things are very dependent on the person I’m looking at. The only “universal” trait is that softness, lashes, and groomed brows. Sorry for the TL;DR.

    Also, just as a math thought: the confusion a couple people expressed in regards to your equations might have been avoided by writing it as X/(Y*Y) or [X/(YY)]*703 instead of X/Y*Y and X/Y*Y*703. It just more clearly shows the order you’re using, s’all.

  39. Pingback: Dissection: The Ideal Female Body « Communicate This

  40. Reading all this comments, just make me wonder. How superficial the human race can be. All you guys/girls above have proven that. Why cant we just learn to treat a women as a women and a man as man. We can’t. Because the world today is lacking this type of education. And I strongly beleive the survey is pro eurocentric. Get your facts….caucasian only represent 15%-20% of the world population. Another question…do you all women really go out looking for that type of men or you guys really run to get that type of women? No I dont think so. We all have preference I am sure of that. But there are times when someone just walks into our life and the rest is history….Conclusion, think deeply…. more than what hollywood and advertisment can offer.

    • You’re completely missing the point… Since you do not like the results of the research, you are trying to suggest that others are superficial. You must not have read the introduction very carefully though, because superficiality is exactly the point of this exercise. The goal was to explore, using objective metrics, what makes someone physically attractive – stripping out intangibles such as personality, fame, etc. In other words, what makes someone superficially attractive – what is attractive when everything else is peeled away and it is just raw biology telling us what is good or bad?

      And we’ve already covered the racism angle too. As was previously described in detail, the research above transcends race, culture, etc. ALL cultures have shown a preference for the traits outlined above – even cultures that have not had exposure to Hollywood and the Western advertising industry. . After all, skin color has nothing to do with symmetry, does it?

      And that nonsense about settling for an unattractive person… Simply put, a 9 will not be happy with a 2. I don’t care what his/her personality is like – if one is embarrassed to be seen in public with their significant other, then that will not be a good relationship. So, let’s put aside the platitudes and the feel-good nonsense and just accept reality.

      Yes, in an enlightened, ideal world someone could be fairly judged by complete strangers on the merits of their personality and intelligence alone. However, we don’t live in an enlightened, ideal world. And because we don’t, staggering quantities of research have conclusively demonstrated that more attractive people have more success in their professional and romantic lives and, overall, lead happier lives. There are millions of years of evolutionary biology dictating these preferences to us and compelling us to think and behave as we do. So, don’t try and fight it. Try to become more attractive.

      • Hi Justin,

        I not missing any of your point or others. And how do you know I dint like the results ?. Yes I have read the introduction carefully. My point is your research is based on a minority group of people who represents only 15% – 20% of the population. I dont intend to repeat this again!. On your objective of using biometric research, . Do you know that some tribes in Africa, use ornaments and other fashion objects on their face, ever since they are young to alter some feautes on their face. Do you know some tribes in Souteast Asia use rings on their necks to make their neck loner. These are just a few. There are many facts out there, yet to be discovered.

        So what type of facial symetry are we talking about? The western symetry = Hollywood casting and western advertisments? Which you have outlined above Correct me if I am wrong.

        ” And because we don’t, staggering quantities of research have conclusively demonstrated that more attractive people have more success in their professional and romantic lives and, overall, lead happier lives. ” – Where did you get this result from. Another research on a minority group of people on the global scale ?. What ever goes on this world has to be equal, so to say there is equal amount of people whom are not good looking – attracted to not good looking and their create a balance and harmony. Tell me if Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are good looking?. Arent they sucessfull?.

        With plastic surgery millions of years of evolutionary biology dictating these preferences can be changed in matter of hours. I am fighting evolution, people out there are, and its not a good thing. Because true nature always wins in the long run. So where is reality here?

        I am already as attractive as I am. I presume you are attractive too.


        The Most Beautiful Thing we can experience is the Mysterious.

    • i am willing to bet that in societies where natural growth is altered to fit a desired result (e.g. a long neck in african culture, small feet – foot binding – in china’s past, etc.), there is STILL a proportion being considered as the final result. the goal in these societies isn’t to merely make a long neck and be happy. it is to extend the neck to a point, in some way proportional with the rest of the body or facial shape, that is pleasing to the human mind visually. the same with foot binding. all in all, we alter our noses and tits with surgeries all the time in the developed world. we still look for proportion and ratios. this is the thesis we are focusing on. it isn’t to deny another culture’s perception of beauty or to claim superiority over another (yes i fully agree, hollywood does peddle this view constantly and consistently). it is to underline that all cultures involving human thought seek out defined and specific concepts of “prettiness.” take for example, if your nose is too large or too small, it isn’t attractive. even if you like to see a small nose on a girl, it cannot be too small. this is what you witness in down syndrome: a person who has a pushed in nose that is visually repulsive to the human being’s mind and eye because we KNOW that is a physically-diseased specimen of a human. if you see a nose too large on a man (this is attractive for women, at least in america – large nose, small eyes on a man), it still cannot jut out to the extent that it causes dissonance in the face. we can argue that some people do find this attractive – but that is always the case. you will always have outliers in a given population but that doesn’t devalue the established standard for the mass population.

      justin is talking about facial symmetry in its most basic definition: a face when cut in half resembles one another as best as possible. when the resemblance is off, we notice and are turned off by it. that’s it. the biological argument is, when are forming in the womb, the cells are joining together to create the human body and if it is created as perfectly as possible, we should see a baby who has perfect symmetry overall. this also segues somewhat into the eugenics argument and another argument of actually wanting asymmetry to maintain diversity in a gene pool to guard against extinction but those are other topics.

  41. Well, of course, it is impossible to poll everyone on the planet about what they find attractive. However, the research cited provides a representative sampling with narrow margins for error (much like political polls). The data encompasses far more than the 15-20% you suggest. And although I did not cite them in this article, there are many studies that have been done that demonstrate that attraction preferences are universal – from the Pygmies in Africa to uncontacted tribes in the Amazon to London urbanites – all value symmetry and the other traits I have outlined above. The fact that cultures with no exposure to Western ways show the same judgment in determining attractiveness demonstrates that this is not societal conditioning – this is a biological function.

    I believe you’re stretching the meaning of symmetry. Symmetry simply means that things match and are even. It is an objective standard that can be measured mathematically.

    In other words, what the research suggests is that someone that had two ears that were the same size is considered more attractive than someone that had one big ear and one small ear. This is not conditioning from Madison Avenue and Hollywood.

    Naturally, you can provide individual examples that do not fit into the normal patterns of events as you did with Warren Buffet. The above is meant to address attractiveness in general – obviously not every person or event will fit into the formula. But generally, in most cases, the above will hold true. And to address your specific example – I never said that attractive people will always be successful and unattractive people will not. What you will find is that attractive people IN GENERAL tend to get promoted more quickly and tend to have higher salaries. Again, this is generally, but not always true… The point of this exercise was to determine the basic realities of attractiveness and not to try to anticipate and incorporate every exception into the attractiveness calculations.

    Look, I’m not asking you to take my word on any of this. The research is plentiful on these topics and if you look into it, you will see that what I am outlining above is widely supported by extensive research. And I am not defending Madison Avenue or Hollywood either. What I am saying though is that what we find attractive runs deeper than social conditioning – there is an instinctive, biological component to it. And, thus, it would seem there really is a formula for beauty.

  42. This blog was pretty long and thought out for a topic so mundane. I would suggest a follow up entry on the latest mating calls to attract the most “symmetrical” hunks out there. Now maybe that’s something people could use.

    Just kidding, maybe?

    At the end of the day when I look at my husband, as blinding as his good looks are, I see him for him. Even if one day he transformed into Two-Face I know I would love him all the same.

  43. Wow this is a really serious debate! As everyone can see everyone else has an opinion and it wont always be the same as the next person. What makes me happy might not make the next person happy. Life isn’t simple and therefore you wont have every scenario mapped out. This article may be based on scientific facts but doesn’t apply to every person. There is no point in getting so worked up over something like this because opinions are like butt holes everyone has them and they all stink! :) “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Anyway we are just two friends who view the world quite similarly. This is just our opinion considering we are only eighteen.

    • All buttholes don’t stink. Some of them are very arousing if paired with the right face and body and the circumstance (a horny guy who hasn’t been with a woman for a long time, or if you have a fetish for that kind of thing). This blog highlights technical ideals in beauty that can be measured. It is possible that we may or may not like the girl or guy next door but it is not possible that, reasonably speaking, we find “models” within a certain set of ratios in both body and face to be “ugly” or “unattractive.” Opinions cannot be measured or calculated scientifically (like my butthole opinion) but beauty can and is done so regularly without us thinking about it. We just know beauty when we see it. This blog breaks down why and how we know what beauty is.

    • Well, I certainly cannot add more to scir91’s comments as he lays things out superbly and far more eloquently than I could.

      So, I will just point out that your opinions are no less valid because you are “only eighteen” as you put it. Someone that is older may have more experience in some areas, but that doesn’t mean they are right or that they necessarily have an opinion that is worth more…

      • I’m a 20 year old female.I am mostly African American with some American Indian.I believe I have other things mixed in,but I can’t put my finger on it. I’ve had people say i’m attractive,but I have trouble finding it to be true.
        What I look like:
        *Milk chocolate w/a bronze undertone skin color
        *straight teeth
        *my nose still is obviously one a black person may have,but it has some type of shape that makes some say Puerto Rican/Spanish
        *I’m around 5’4
        *135-40 lbs
        *almond shaped eyes,very deep brown
        *thick brows (they actually suit me)
        *medium length hair,appears to be black but really dark brown.It gives a red tint I’m they

  44. Gods, I hate studies like this. I am mixed and I find anyone who DOESN’T look like me is attractive. I hate couples who look like they are dating a mirror or their sibling. It is so creepy because somewhere along the line, you KNOW they really are related. I find asian boys the cutest. They have cute little handsome faces and they always have charming little smiles that make me melt, haha. Some people like the opposite of themselves. Those of us who aren’t Vain beyond belief I guess. Sorry folks but if you date what looks to be your relative, you are vain and I hope your kids come out ok. That’s just me though. >:P

    • first of all, these are not “studies” in terms of research-based “outcomes.” these are known facts about what the human mind finds beautiful and desires to see, and finds patterns of, in nature. secondly, YES you CAN have an asian person fit these features, or any other race for that matter (remember, “race” is a human construct, it is not science or biology in any sort of way). this doesn’t have to do with race specifically. it has to do with mathematical proportions and features that humans find pleasing to look at. i do agree that if you breed within your race, it’s kind of a guilty incest thing going on there but then how far do you want to extend this type of logic? for the time being, we accept that in biology all human beings are descendants of one single ancestor – or two, depending if you believe that male and female (sexual reproduction) were present vs. a single entity of human was present and reproducing (asexual reproduction) and it evolved to have male and female to help diversify its gene pool so it can survive better against natural diseases. that being said, every person is an incest participant based on biology. if you use the God creation argument, then yes, adam and eve also had children and their children had children amongst themselves. there is incest once again. so incest is a part of human existence and nature. that is another topic. the point here is, we humans look for certain beauty in faces and bodies because within that beauty is a hidden and calculated science going on behind the scenes. a science which helps the human race going by encouraging the selection of the healthiest mates possible.

      personally speaking, i am a big fan of pheromone science – the idea that we seek out mates who smell different than ourselves to help strengthen the immune system and diversify the genes of our progeny against inherited and environmental diseases. i once dated a girl who smelled like me and i found it highly repulsive (i tell my girlfriend to never use perfume – not stink, just wash and be clean but be neutral so i can feel her real self). i am sure if you are reading this article, somewhere along the line a year or few years ago, you must have seen those repeated articles of women smelling men’s dirty shirts during their periods and finding ones with the highest natural testosterone to be of their liking. there is now even a dating website dedicated to pheromone dating. it was on the front page of msnbc just a few days ago. anyhow, this is an off-topic note but, once again, there is a science going on here that doesn’t depend on the human construct called “race” nor any type of “study” in its generic sense.

  45. Interesting article.

    I’ve wondered for a while about the reasons behind what is attractive and what is not. I’ve always had very different tastes than most girls—I like androgynous-looking guys generally, preferably slender with not too much muscle.

    From personal experience, a lot of girls find broad shoulders and muscles attractive. Supposedly, from what I’ve read (not necessarily in this particular article) it has to do with the woman wanting a strong guy to protect her. So I wonder if more independent women would tend to gravitate less towards the tough-looking manly men (and by independent, I mean women who dislike relying on their boyfriends). I know that personally, I wouldn’t really like having a protective boyfriend; it would make me feel weak. I’d rather date a guy that’s my equal, not someone I’d have to protect or that would protect me.

    It would be interesting to see if independence is indeed related to it, but it might be a bit of a far-fetched theory *shrug*

    And regarding the last paragraph of your article—I like nice guys. :)

  46. What I think is good looking in a guy:
    Nice smile, no acne, nice eyes ( i like brown), shower regularly, blah blah, kind of toned but not super muscly.

  47. I’m 15 and I have straightish chestnut hair, fair skin, some freckles, brown eyes, a slightly deviated septum (unfortunately), and a nice smile from what people tell me (my smile is what I get the most compliments on) and dimples. I am 5’9″ and weigh 130lbs (I think lol). I am definitely not gorgeous. In my eyes I’m like a 5/10. Do you think that I’m what people would call attractive? (You don’t have to be nice). ;)
    Also, I’ll just say what I like in guys. I tend to go for darker hair, I like when it’s wavy or with big curls. I find that I’m more into guys with green eyes. I like medium colored skin, normally. Not too tan, not too pale. I love when guys have a cute smile – dimples on guys is just like the best thing ever! I think 5’10” to 6′ is ideal for me. Not too muscle-y, some biceps and ya know, abs are always nice ;). Not hairy – ew. haha :) Personality-wise I like when guys are flirtatious, nice, and funny (they HAVE to be funny). I think the cutest thing is when boys are really good with younger kids. It shows that they’ll be a good father. So, yeah. That’s what I’m into, I guess! :D

  48. I like a HUGE nose on a guy. No one has mentioned this! I like Asian guys, but my favorite is Jackie Chan because his nose is uncharacteristically large for an Asian. I like ethnic guys: Latin American or Italian. I love skinny, athletic, toned guys: near impossible to find in my age group. Hair is best very short or even nonexistent. Please men, have a hairy chest up to the throat and don’t shave it! (Yes, I know, Asians don’t have that.)

  49. I can positively say that why I like blonde women with blue eyes is because my family is full of people with light hair and blue or grey eyes. For example im 16 years old and I am 6’6ft with light brown/blonde hair with blue/grey eyes with a ecto/mesomorphic body type with broad shoulder that goes to a skinny waist with the v thing, although i defintally could put on some muscle, so I of course go after women whom are tall skinny-athletic, have blue or grey eyes and are blonde or burnette although slmetimes ill settle for brown eyes I dislike green but I also like some thing odd which is women with sunken checks I guess is how I would describe it kinda like Olivia Wild’s face

  50. Btw how tall is to tall to you women I have yet to stop growing and might exceed 7ft and im scared women will find me scary/creepy with my hight and shoulder width oh and I didnt clarify I dont care about their smell but the face is extremely important to me with sullen or thin cheeks you know pronounced cheeck bones symmetry. Ofcourse and a chin that is either rounded and small or small and rectangular at the very tip but no clefts on em I find that extremely unattractive oh and if they dress punkishly or preepy thays preety hot to as im into heavy metal but also like preety girls.

  51. come on we r all attractive in some way or the other but most persons spend too much time wanting to be like a celebrity but it is ok to want that but look on the bright side if God wanted u so he would have made u.i love me a tall man and girls u have to agree the be packing lol mmmmmm

  52. Thanks and I have always wondered if I would be considered pretty. To start off I have- high cheekbones.
    – thick long eyelashes
    – full, dark pink lips
    – in proportion to the rest of my face large eyes
    – long smallish nose
    – sort of pale skin to the point of being lightly tanned
    – light evenly spaced freckles on my cheeks that highlight my cheekbones, I don’t know how
    – short(pixie cut short) chocolate brown hair that looks kinda red in the sun
    – brown eyes
    – I am fairly muscular and because of this kinda look chubby, although I only look chubby occasionally
    – I am an hourglass shape
    – my legs are long in proportion to the rest of me
    – my collarbones protrude quite a bit
    – my hair frames my face quite nicely and flows outward

    Also I found this super helpful and in the ideal man I would want:
    – neat, closely cropped hair
    – muscular body with that ‘v’ shape
    – almost abs by still kinda soft
    – great sense of humour
    – preferably an optimist cuz I am a pessimist
    – light tan that doesn’t look overdone
    – great personal hygiene
    – nice smile
    – witty
    – handles me carefully like I am fragile
    – loves superheroes almost as much as I do
    – dresses well without over doing it
    – no hair gel
    – preferably dark brown hair
    – maybe blue or hazel eyes

    Onwards, just so you know any man I want has to from a different universe than my father. My father has a pot belly, facial hair and a terrible sense of humour. As he would say ‘You Brenna are very fat, lose some weight. No I’m just kidding we know you are just muscular.’. Anyway thanks this was really informative and keep up the good work.

  53. well i mean most girls and guys value what other people look like that is okay but… we are forgetting about emo’s yes they may cut themselve (very unatractive) but they are mysterious quiet and i quite think thats cute to be honest i prefer an emo guy to a normal strong sexy built guy

  54. well i don’t mean to show off but i am attractive but seriously here are some tips: Are you skinny? Are you tall? not very tall but you know…………. Do you have very dark eyes? or what ever you eye color is it very deep? long hair, a little curled? are you decent, you have a beautiful smile? if not PLEASE put on braises in the name of beauty. After all beauty comes from the inside too* so work on the above and if you`ve got them believe me you ARE attractive just be a little nicer.

  55. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of
    the website is extremely good.

  56. Hey I like how real you are about this whole thing…… Also if you are asking about weather or not you ate considered good looking it not on here might be an indication if low self esteem/confidence and we just learned that confidence is número uno so that should be the first priority for said people
    So just spent a long time reading this is I wanted to add an experience or two if mine
    Ill try to put this together to logically make sense.
    So in high school I had bad teeth, poor grooming, mild acne, as a result lower phisical attraction. Now I have other qualities that are attractive but my teeth were sender rival oddly enough but not straight and I bet it brought on a whole lot of underlying thoughts that were negative as far as my attraction goes. And the result was no girlfriend in high school and well just say on the bottom end if the social scale.
    So to address the law of manly attraction I was never scrawny but never burly, I got a construction job spent a few weeks at a summer camp where no one knew me before (no previous/ old view of me) I was more welcomed desired and liked by girls around me also I was defiantly more myself while there and therefore more confident.

    Keep in mind the whole time I an aging so… Better skin, more facial hair, les puberty voice, better hygiene, stronger physically, and better fashion sense but I’m just talking about some big stuff right now.

    So a year or so later I wear a suit everywhere and with what I did I was automatically taken for a good upstanding person. that combined with always looking well kept and sharp made a difference in the way people perceived me and u was in the public eye all day also important I had moved far from where anyone knew anything about me. This resulted in a obvious increase in how both makes and females regarded me but there was defiantly a stronger air of attraction from females. Funny to see how even straight people will also do hold you in higher regard if you are more attractive.
    Now a year later I have Invisalign braces my teeth are about fixed still doing the same thing in a suit not even looking for any kind if relationship as what I was doing took all my attention, none the less I noticed a huge increase in the “vibe” that I got from women, they were more attracted to me than ever before and when talking to people they took me for a totally differ person before I moved to this new place (I lived in multiple cities over the span if a few years) they thought it odd that I had not had a girlfriend that I never kissed a girl because they saw my personality as attractive but never knew the physically unattractive Jared, I attribute the major unattractive as to be from the teeth and I was less confident a few years back from this time ( I was getting older thus more confident) also the new lift that they saw me made me more confident and therefore now attractive probly a good reason why attractive people are more successful as confidence translates into many positive things in the professional world. Soooo yea

    I come home new smile new shine and quite different the people who knew me before still held a similar light to me but there was a change. I began to be noticed by others who I had net before but there was a lack in interest before where there was none friends would joke about how I all the girls were into me or how good looking I was. And with my gears changed from a no girl policy to a go get em attitude I taken as someone in the top of the social food chain and at the top on the attraction scale an family and friends let me know this. I also became way more picky in who I would even want to date.
    So rounding this thing out, hopefully you can draw something font this in that there is definite relation to the attractiveness if a person and there confidence also proving the better you look the higher standard you will hold for others you have a close connection to. Also shows that yes women are in fact quite a bit more shallow than they would let on as my smile was the biggest change and low and behold there was a massive change in how any girl regarded me old or aquatince. Even from my talking to my ex she would not of really given me a shot if my smile was not what it is today…. Totally fine with that by the way as I even when u had crooked teeth was Hurley turned off by bad teeth and probably because if all the underlying issues that we perceive when we are looking for someone.

    Hopefully some of this was insightful on the subject and I didn’t ramble to much about nothing as I do that once in a while and this whole post is freaking huge.
    But I did write this just. To show that my experience in life I’d in line with what has been said in this article in most cases

    Ohh fun thing people have told me I look like: Christian Bale, Tom Cruse, Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gilenhall, Denis Quaid, Jack from lost,

    These men all have different looks for sure just goes to show that girls will hold one thing above the rest if a man can be rather inconsequential as long as a particular trail holds true. Or Maybe I have one if those faces who knows.

  57. i always think that a guys face isthe most important feature. if they smile alot thats always good. also if they’re taller than me, thats the main too things i look at too see if a man is attractive or not. is it right to think that how a girl presents herself (as in cleanliness, clean, shiny hair, and clear skin etc.) and her having a healthy weight one of the two most important things as to whether or not she is attractive? i was also wondering why many men are obsessed with how big a womens breast’s are?

  58. I’m attracted to red or curly hair. Skin tone doesn’t really matter to me, but fake tans are unattractive and I’m more attracted to white guys (I am an extremely European girl who is paler than a piece of paper). I like thin guys who are taller than me. Eye size is irrelevant, but I think green and blue eyes are really attractive. I like it more when a guy doesn’t dress really fancy (sweatshirt, jeans, funny t-shirt) and posture doesn’t matter unless somebody is seriously crouched down like an ape. Teeth don’t matter that much, but it’s nice when somebody has nice teeth. Eyebrows should be separate and not too bushy. I like some big noses (Ringo Starr) but mostly I want a straight, not-too-large nose. I like messy hair that doesn’t look like somebody spent hours fixing it. Freckles can be cute. Six packs are nice to look at, but not a must. Nails don’t matter at all, and my nails are messy myself. Nice skin is good, but if I like somebody enough, it doesn’t really matter. Greasy or oily hair is gross, and is somebody smells like they haven’t showered since the dawn of time it’s a complete turn-off. As for personality, I find it really attractive when somebody is rebellious (smokes pot, does graffiti, etc.). Humor is a must in guys, because if somebody isn’t funny, talking to them is a complete bore. I’m socially awkward myself, so I’m not expecting some guy to just walk up to me and ask me to be his princess, because I know I sure wouldn’t want up to somebody like that. I like gamer guys and am not attracted to jocks. I want somebody to curl up and play Minecraft with. I love it when a guy is a feminist (as in, against sexism). Somebody who will help me when I make a mistake is awesome, but I also want a friend who will make fun of me occasionally. I love it when I like the same music as somebody (my crush recently made me a playlist, which was really awesome). I want somebody who is smart and witty. If a guy can make fun of himself, that’s awesome. I like it when guys listen to me when I talk about stupid stuff (how annoying my friend is being, etc.) and talks with me about it. I love it when I like the same things as a guy. Just a little by-the-way, I’m a sixteen year old female with blonde hair, relatively large grey-blue eyes, a smallish nose, and a really small mouth (approximately an inch wide but still plump). I’m not sure if the info about me matters, but I guess it’s just some perspective. Is anybody else attracted to similar people as me? Is what I’m attracted to normal?

  59. I am a freshman in high school, so I’m sure my tastes will change and develop with time, but really, the most attractive thing to me is height. I am 5’10, and a female. I weigh about 180 pounds, but I am an athlete, a lot of that is muscle. I am by no means fat, and not buff either. I consider myself moderately attractive. Small, shapely lips; full bodied shoulder length hair; long legs and medium Bbrown eyes. The most frustrating thing in the dating world if young people, to me, is that no around me is even close to being as tall as me. My ideal height is just over 6’0, medium build, and bot an asshole. Jesus Christ, so many kids are assholes. I mean, this kid I used to likeconsidered me an open lesbian for a while. Eh, maybe I’ll just date up. Find a nice, tall senior to fill my time. And on your comment earlier, I think a lot of nice guys finish last because they were courteous enough to allow their peers a head start or something. No one likes a douchebag.

  60. Interesting article, I’ve seen this research before. (one of those educational channels did a series on this type thing)

    What do I find attractive? That’s a good question. I sort of lump that into two different categories.
    1. what I find attractive in humanity in general
    2. what I would consider as a partner for my own tastes.

    Category 1 – I think all races of people have certain endearing qualities to them that I appriciate and find attractive in the sense of my own spiritual / religious beliefs. All being created in the image of the same God – I find the variation in humanity facinating. There are Asian, Afraican, Indian (India), Middle-eastern, Native North and South American and Native Australians who I think are attractive, but I am not attracted to them, in the sense that I would be looking for them as a potential marriage partner. (Which for me, the only real reason I’d date someone is to see if they could be a potential marriage partner – but than again, that too is part of my religious and moral belief system.) My primary ethnic background is Northern European, but I do have some North American native in me.

    Category 2 – (Not looking for a man at this point in my life, but if I were to “put in an order” this is what I’d want.) I’d like a man who’s either my height or not too much taller. I like soft curley hair. I’d like a guy who’s physically industrious. He doesn’t have to be in olympic athelete shape, but I wouldn’t want him to be a couch patatoe either. (That goes for drug addicts, smokers and alcoholics – those are definitly deal breakers!) I want a guy who’s clean and well kept and here’s where the “provider” thing may come in – he has to have a job (or if talking about someone who may be physically impaired – working toward that end). I say this because I don’t think it’s good for anyone’s mental health to be idle and feel like they aren’t going anywhere.

    Outside of physical traits, I will not marry someone who doesn’t have the same religious beliefs I do. (Tell me I’m narrow minded or what ever but – no – won’t do it!) Once those bases are covered though, he’s got to be someone who’s compassionate, patient, understanding, in good control of his temper, intelligent, helpful and secure in himself.

    I’m not sure if “secure” would translate into “confidence”, but in some sense it may. Secure though would definitly have to involve a couple of things. First it would have to entail love and willingness to invest in a child who needs lifelong care. I have a son who’s Autistic and has Epilepsy and any potential future husband of mine who can’t deal with that – I don’t need him. (Which is part of the reason the first husband left.)

    Also, he’d have to be secure enough to contend with me. I myself am physically impaired and don’t exactly hit the “beautiful” mark, because I have scars and facial injuries that are noticable. I’m not ashamed of them. I kind of consider them my “battle scars” and I wear them well. (I’ve been through a lot in life. My impairment is due to a car accident.) Despite all this though, I’m extreamly hard working and I will not tolerate a husband with less ambition and passion for life than I have.

    So those are “musts” for me. Other plusses would be well roundedness, varied interest, adventurous, likes to travel – things like that.

    Oh, one more “must” I just thought of. He can’t be the jealoce or suspicious type. I like history and got no qualms about dressing up as a soldier and spending a weekend in Gettiesburg, or Yorktown or something like that. So, if he’s got a problem with me running around all weekend being a redcoat, than – this aint going to work out!

    So there’s where I’m coming from, but admittedly I’m probably older than most of the other responders here.

    One last observation I want to make about this Eurocentric attracted to lighterskinned people thing. I don’t really understand that and I’m not sure it has to do with the world power peridime, (white man’s world thing) although it may?

    Of the people of non-European ethnicticities that I know, I have seen prejudices within races against people that were darker skinned. It kind of floored me the first time I witnessed it happen. It was in a college voice class and the teacher had recored our performance (we put on a qusi-play at a nursing home – it was fun)

    Anyways, we were watching the taping and one African-American girl left the room, a couple of minutes later I got up to use the bathroom and she was out in the hall crying. I asked her what was wrong and she told me I wouldn’t understand because I was white. I said, well try me. So she started to explain that the girls sitting behind her were commenting on how dark she was on the video tape. Saying she was “ugly black” and all this other BS. I did confess to her that I was a little shocked. I didn’t know darkness or lightness of skin was an issue in the African American community. I told her that I didn’t think she was ugly. God made her the way He did for what ever His purposes are and that it didn’t matter how dark or light our skin is – we’re all the same underneith – we’re all human. We talked for a little bit and I think she felt better. Which was good.

    Over the years, I did come to find out from other people I knew who were of Sub-Seherian African ethnicticity, that her experiance was not uncommon. There is a lot of prejudice in the African-American community toward dark skinned people, which I think is sad. I saw that too though between the African-American / decendents of slaves and the African immigrants. (I worked with refugees at one point) The refugees weren’t generally liked by many of the other group, which I thought was strange too. Some of it I think had to do with work ethic. The American born decendents of slaves that had a good work ethic never had a problem with the refugees, and I think that was because, for the most part, the refugees were very hard working too.

    So, there’s my two cents!

  61. “Rachel” has literally described me, makes me feel extremely good about myself, wish it was possible to meet these people now haha

  62. I prefer guys that aren’t afraid to stand out or be different from everyone else.
    Dyed hair, short, long, spiked up, etc.
    Piercings and tattoos are a bonus as long as they’re tasteful and not too many – and no tacky tattoos either. I’m especially attracted to eyebrow piercings and lots of ear piercings.
    People with a bit of an attitude and they’re own original opinions and ideas on contemporary society.
    They must be a music lover and have an interest in either literature or the arts.
    They’ve got to be taller than me (I’m 5’6 so 5’9 and up is good) broad shoulders, large, masculine hands, and a really nice, inviting smile.

  63. When I first look at a guy, I look straight at the hair. If it’s healthy and not to short or long (min is about 1.5 in and max is about mid neck) then that’s perfect. I prefer brown hair, esp. in the darker tones. I dislike super short hair, dark hair, and crazy frizzy hair.

    Then I look at the face (this i where i differ with my friends, who say they look at the body next). I like strong cheekbones more than a strong jaw. Expressive eyes and a wide smile. I don’t really notice teeth unless there are snaggle teeth or really bad stains. I love long noses. I dislike broad noses, beards or mustaches (a little stubble on the jaw line can be sexy, though), and square jaws.

    Next is the body. I like guys who are well dressed (plain t-shirt and baggy jeans do not impress), tall, olive to tan in skin tone, and leanly muscled. Pecks and shoulders are more important to me than abs or butt.

    And that’s all I get in a first impression.

  64. I personally prefer a man who is at least 6’3″ because me being 5’6″ and loving high heels, i don’t even want to be close to being as tall as him. Hair length doesn’t matter to me, as long as it isn’t chin length. My father has long hair, longer than mine I think, and he is really attractive. Crop cuts are attractive too, because I am partial to military men. The hair can be any color really, brown, blonde, or red. Black hair is really pretty, darker in general is more attractive I believe. He isn’t always the most attractive one there. He can be really attractive to me even if he isn’t the version of attractive to anyone else. Has to be muscular. I want people to be intimidated by him like they are of my father. Seems to cause less trouble when he wants something, because people don’t question someone that big. I also love freckles. Covering their face and back and arms is just oh so sexy. I have freckles, so I don’t want a flawless man standing next to me, makes me feel bad about myself. Besides, freckles add character to a mans body. I want to discover each and every one of them.
    Personality wise, he has to have tough skin, because I’m not the nicest girl around. He has to be able to handle sarcasm, and dish it out just the same. But he doesn’t have to be mean, I want a guy who is funny and witty. Can crack jokes on a split seconds notice. He also has to deal with the fact that I don’t take compliments very well (I know, opposite of every other woman, but to me it says, “I am noticing you today. I am paying attention to what you wear, what you look like”. so it worries me about the days that he doesn’t compliment me, and then it gets all jacked). He has to carry himself in a way that says, “Hey look at me! I am Freaking Awesome and I know it!”. But he cant be too conceited, just a little for confidence. I’ve always found that those guys who are the right amount of conceited are sexy, because they have a lot of confidence, which I lack.

  65. I am contributing this partly because I have often noticed that many people choose partners who are similar looking to themselves, or their parents. This is also addressed in the above post. However, this is not the case for me. I am a woman who is attracted to blond, or redheaded men, with blue eyes. I like men who are not particularly slender and are very broad at the shoulder. I prefer men with substantial weight to them due, at least in part, to naturally thick musculature, and am fine with men who are overweight, as long as they carry it well.
    My preferences are very different from the way my father, or my family generally, look. My father was slender, taller than average (as is all my family), and had an olive complexion, black hair and grey eyes. I resemble a combination of him and my mother. I am taller than average, very slender, and have a very fair complexion, dark chestnut hair and hazel eyes that look either green or gold, with black arched brows.
    In addition, I resemble no member of my fiancee’s family. His family runs average in height, and they tend to be overweight. His father is a redhead, but everyone else has medium to light brown hair, or blond hair, and medium skin tones with blue eyes.
    We were both immediately attracted to each other when we met and have occasionally commented on how little resemblance there is between us, or our families, though obviously the differences could be greater.

  66. Pingback: Attractive/Unattractive People As Couples Phenomenon - Page 3 - Stormfront

  67. I guess… I’m contributing because hey, more info can’t hurt, right?

    So, at the risk of sounding shallow, my list of things I physically like in a guy are, generally speaking (based on my history):

    -Dark hair (not a requirement, I do like some blondes too, but mostly I like dark hair)
    -Blue or green or gray eyes
    -Fair, clear skin. Freckles are okay, but not a lot. Basically, European descent is what I’m looking for, though I think that has more to do with what the majority of the population is in my area than anything. I don’t actively seek out men based on their skin color.
    -Taller than I, by a few inches at least
    -Broader shoulders than waist and hips
    -Obvious ears (not sticky-out, per se… but they are obvious. I blame my dad for this one)
    -Distinct, dark eyebrows (but not too thick!)
    -Clean hair that is neat. Shorter is better than long, but not too short. So long as it’s cared for, I’ll live with long hair.
    -Speaking of hair, no hair anywhere I don’t have hair (like the chest or the back). I don’t care if your leg hair is darker or thicker (to a point) than mine (or rather mine would be if I let it grow), but I don’t want a guy who has lots of hair everywhere.
    -Muscle, but lean muscle. I don’t want a body builder who has muscles with muscles. I’d also like a bit of softness with that muscle, please.
    -Nice smell. I’m not talking about if you shower frequently or use a cologne I like (nothing to strong and it should be fresh and light, not… dark. Does that make sense?). I’m talking about your natural scent, which isn’t something that can be helped, unfortunately. You either smell right or you don’t.
    -Nice teeth. Not perfect, necessarily, but you take care of them and obvious dental problems were fixed long ago. No braces right now, please. Also, bad breath makes it hard to talk to you.
    -Not a physical thing exactly, but CONFIDENCE. Walk with it, act like you have it if you don’t. Don’t necessarily be a stuck up git who thinks he is the best thing to ever happen to woman-kind, or even the world (I will probably hate you if this is the case), but have some self-respect. Believe you have worth.

    This list is not set in stone, and things change as I go through new experiences. If a guy doesn’t fit the list, it doesn’t mean I won’t like him. Like my current boyfriend for example:

    -Dark hair
    -Dark brown eyes
    -Dark skin (he’s Ecuadorian)
    -Barely taller than I am
    (Everything else he fits, basically, but he’s still way different from any guy I ever imagined myself with)

    Personality-wise, he’s also pretty different from the guys in my past (in both good and bad ways). But this article focuses more on the physical, and so will I.

    • It’s all in the name of science, LKJ, therefore nothing shallow about it at all… Thank you for your contribution.

    • As a male you are better off because women care more about personality than looks. For an ugly woman, there is always cosmetic surgery or learning to settle.

      In other words, yes, biology and Charles Darwin are eternal…

  68. I am taking somewhat of a guess based on experience/observe/seeing things;
    men are good at different “alpha” activities. Yes alot of men excel at sports; a
    popular theme in school/life. There is William Gates III, ie Bill Gates of Microsoft.
    He is the alpha of computer programming (and computer technology; Microsoft).

    Asians have a reputation and a knack for karate. I guess it’s not important
    to be the all one male at a law firm / corporation because each of us alone,
    even ugly guys have activities that we are superior at.

  69. I think everyone has a preference. When I’m in public, I notice that all sorts of people are paired together: Tall with short, fat with skinny, even some people that may be considered unattractive with attractive people. What I’m getting at is that people who put such a heavy emphasis on looks are not looking at reality. I notice these people often struggle the most with relationships, too. They claim to have all the answers by saying these things are scientific facts, yet many of them are the most miserable and unlucky in love.

    As for myself, I never went after the so called “hot, bad boy” types. I have always been a woman that has valued long lasting, solid relationships. Bad boys bring drama, they are high maintence, and unstable. I’m not trying to end up in a bad relationship just because I was foolish and could not get over looks. For the record, I am married to a “nice guy”. I feel safe, secure, and most importantly, I’m loved. There are a lot of people who are in relationships with very attractive people, but they are not loved. Some of these people are even attractive themselves. If being attractive was all it took to be in a loving relationship, explain why some attractive people can’t find partners? Why is it that the divorce rate in Hollywood is so high?

    Not everyone finds the same thing attractive. Most of the world has been influenced by Western media and this is the reason why you see similarities in other countries. There are many cultures that do not share the West’s idea of beauty. If the concept of beauty is based on scientific evidence, then explain why beauty standards are not universal. Beauty standards change over time as well.

    People who only look for one thing in a partner are foolish. There are mulitple things that make a person what they are and looks isn’t even half of it. Besides, it is true that a lot of people view attractive people more positively, but how many times have these so called attractive people used their appearance to hurt others? Look at Ted Bundy. He was a very attractive, charming male who ended up killing a lot of women because he went undetected for years. Looks can also be deceiving. Don’t be a fool.

    Everyone reading this should take some time to relfect upon themselves. Do you really want people to love you just because you look good? Good looks are only around for a short time. Develop traits that will carry you far in life. People may forget a nice face, but one thing most people will never forget is how you made them feel. I love my husband because he makes me feel like I am a woman worthy of love, praise, and every good thing that life has in store for me. Women, do not be deceived. There a lot of attractive women that do not have this.

    Find someone that will love you for you. Don’t strive to please others. The purpose of these so called studies is not to point out facts, but to make you feel bad about yourself so you waste time, money, and energy on something that is fleeting. Do the best that you can, take care of yourself, and love yourself.

    I promise if you love yourself, you will find true happiness, love, and peace. :) May God bless you.

  70. Hey, the india girl is not pretty at all, and kinda looks asymmetric and oh my god, i just looked at it again, it’s horrible… why people lie to her and tell her that she’s a “queen” hate the hypocrisy of the world… stop telling ugly people that they look good, and stop acting like looks don’t matter at all…. it does and if you look ugly to your self you’re probably ugly, and even if people keep making you think otherwise, the only true test is the reality

  71. I think the most attractive men to me have been the guy that actually seem like they are enjoying my presence, and actually ask me questions. TOO OFTEN I get guys that talk all about themselfs. If you like the chick, show it!!! Weather your physically hot or not. The worst they can do to you is say no. Or to go away because your a huge creeper x3
    Iv found myself drawn to these kinds of people, even if they arnt physically hot. Because it makes me feel wanted and just honestly really happy. The only Physical traits that im attracted to it Good eyes, Hair, and all around hygiene (Just brush your teeth, take a shower, ect.)

  72. Beauty is subjective. Some people’s garbage is someone else’s treasure. Studies like this are shallow and pathetic. They are reason people are getting plastic surgery…smh

  73. You have taken a rather one-size-fits-all approach.

    To define attractiveness, one must first identify the goal/motivation behind relationship building. If your only objective is Darwinistic procreation, then perhaps the analysis you present is relevant.

    But this begs another more personal question: how many offspring have you created? If the number is low, then you have failed by a Darwinistic standard. You should be empirically classified as unattractive. Love could be entirely excluded in this model.

    I assert human relationships are formed for widely varying motivations, thereby they rely on varying definitions of attractiveness. Do two single senior citizens get married because of confidence in facing old age alone, or insecurity with old age? Can’t they still love each other, & find attraction? The senior citizens I have known over the years (who married very late in life) all identified to me that finding a partner for trials at end of life was paramount. That means the key association was insecurity.

    Have you ever developed an attraction for a strange hair stylist while you talk (& can’t see her), & can’t even remember how she looks? I have. In that case, it was personal traits that included (perceived) warmth & generosity. Possibly there was a subconscious remembrance of appearance, but definitely not a conscious one.

    I encourage you to look beyond your own ego in your analysis.

    • And I would encourage you to actually read the article as it is stated repeatedly that the focus is only on what makes one physically attractive… Further, in the conclusion the importance of confidence and other such intangible factors for the entire attraction package is highlighted, while again reminding readers that the thrust of this article was only on the physical aspects of attractiveness.

      Amusingly, you fall exactly into the same pattern frequently encountered when interviewing women during the writing of this post who were constantly trying to pull away from sticking only to traits they found physically attractive and would drift off into intangibles such as warmth, confidence, etc.

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  75. What I find most attractive in a man is about 5’10, 160 pounds, fit – green or blue eyes, blond or brown hair, good teeth, good skin, unshaven.

    I tried to stay away from stuff that is attractive outside the physical realm, but I have to say that I do like men that are confident.

  76. I guess beauty and personal preferences are very much subjective, ultimately.

    Anyway, preferences in a man:

    -Good height, not too tall though! Ideal about 6’2″-6’3″
    -Good teeth
    -Broad shoulders
    -Absence of deformities or general “weird” traits.
    -Gorgeous blue eyes (with dark hair…omg)
    -Solid, natural built. No scrawny guys but no body builders either!
    -Good, masculine features. No creepy weak-jawed weirdozoids please!

    Other than that it’s all about confidence. It’s really what makes someone attractive.

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  79. I disagree that men want someone looking like their mother. She’s a ginger with freckles and that’s about what I detest the most in a girl. I’m attracted to black haired, olive skin, foreign girls, preferably Indian/Pakistani or Arab. Sadly, the Mediterranean look is also what most women prefer, even those women themselves.
    I think I have a deep-seated fear of producing ginger sons as I know they have it hard in life and my life was hard enough as it was (school bullying, unpopular teen, no teenage dating etc) Had I been a ginger on top of that I think my suicide would already be completed.

    • The thoughtful pre-selection (ginger avoidance) is an interesting intellectual angle to what is normally a crude, hormone-driven process, Fred. In your case, I would certainly consider it a noble course of action as, no question, being a ginger would make the already difficult teenage years downright intolerable.

      However, we are certainly not compelled to have children with everyone we have sex with. So, if you were able to remove the concern about your potential offspring from the picture, that might change your outlook on what you find attractive.

      Of course, that said, the olive-skinned Mediterranean look is one of the gold standards for beauty and so your appreciation for this segment of our society is not entirely unexpected either.

    • seriously that is fucked up in my opinion you shouldn’t judge people by what they cant control. to each his own though. im a ginger!

  80. There might be a lot of truth in your end-point about nice guys. I remember some (American) IRC friends once sarcastically saying “girls don’t like intelligent guys, they like jerks” or something similar….(I don’t have the logs, but it was close to that)

    Plus on Urban Dictionary you have the “Friend Zone” which means…What you attain after you fail to impress a woman you’re attracted to. Usually initiated by the woman saying, “You’re such a good friend”. Usually associated with long days of suffering and watching your love interest hop from one bad relationship to another. Verb tense is “Friend-ed”.
    “I spent all that money on a date, just to find out she put me in the Friend Zone”

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  86. You’re clearly mixing at the end “beautiful” and “mean”. The opposite of “nice guys” is “mean guys”. Girls are attracted to good looking guys with a good personality. Knowing if a guy is nice or mean does not come from talking to them in a bar. It takes at least a couple of dates (for me at least). So if some nice guys are too shy and come out as ‘personality-less’, and if they are also ugly, then they will ultimately end up with someone similarly ‘personality-less’ and ugly. But all in all, it’s all just stereotypes.

    • Serial killers receive hundreds of letters in prison from women swooning over them and offering to bear their children… The nice guy working hard at his job in an insurance company and coming home and mowing the lawn? He has no women swooning over him. You like the IDEA of a guy being nice and would maybe even want to marry the nice guy, but when it comes to raw attraction, the serial killers appear to carry the day.

      Obviously, that’s an extreme example, but the lesson to be learned is that nice is not sexy, while overconfidence, a hint of danger, etc. are sexy.

      • Dear Justin ames you say a lesson to be learned lets put it this nice is very sexy indeed very much so its all part of him really bad is not and you say a hint of danger are sexy not at all thats a fact Mr justin ames thankyou.

  87. This confirmed what I feared: that to most men, beauty is about the face. I have a decent body, I am a bit over the “ideal” BMI at 5″6 and 138 lbs, but I have curvy hips, full bust and good proportions. HOWEVER, my face is nowhere near ideal. My chin is too small (and I have a double chin because of this, despite not being overweight), my nose and forehead are on the bigger side and my eyes droop down at the corners (I’ve noticed men seem to prefer the opposite eye shape which is almond, up-slanted eyes). My skin is pretty good, and quite pale, which seems to be a preference in the study but not so much among white men, as a lot of them like exotic, darker girls. When I was travelling overseas, I got a lot of compliments on my appearance, but here in North America I am mostly ignored, or approached by very unattractive men (much older, very overweight, bad hygiene etc.) It makes me very sad, and I wish I could change it somehow. I want to get plastic surgery, especially on my chin, but I can’t afford it.

    • LOVE YOUSELF AND YOU WILL BE LOVED! who gives a fuck if someone else doesn’t think you are gorgeous they can fuck off. know that you are and that will help others to see it.

    • So you’re rarely approached because you’re unattractive, or you get approached, but just by unattractive men? Because it sounds like you’re complaining about men who are only attracted to looks, while at the same time only attracted to looks.

  88. Oh, and when it comes to men, I don’t like them to be TOO nice as in pushovers, they have to have a backbone, but I don’t like jerks either. Someone confident, or even a bit shy and awkward but with a great sense of humor is what I like. And intelligence; I won’t date dumb people. Looks-wise I’m not THAT picky, anywhere close to my own height or taller is fine, and thin to a bit chubby (not into gym rats). I do have a thing for beards and deep voices, though. And nice lips can make up for a lot of other so-called “flaws.” This one guy I went out with was short and looked like a gnome, but he had perfect lips and a great voice, so I thought he was super hot.

  89. An attractive guy for me is someone who is okay with who he is, nice eyes, the athletic stuff isn’t really a thing but if he wants to keep up with me …, anyway, he will have the sort of look that says; challenge me and you may lose or you may not; come and see. confidence is sort of a thing but I also like being able to form a basis with a person when we both are equal and nothing is taken more from one person more than the other. i.e: he’s contributing more to the convo or vise versa, although sometimes I just don’t want to talk. for me its more personality than looks although good looks are a bonus. usually after I get to know someone I start to appreciate their physical features more and their smell. being smart is also preferred and being able to make me laugh is almost a have to.

  90. Dear manager marilyn monroe is the most attractive person that every was that every will in this world thats a fact of all time she really is l think she really deserve this for every one to look up at her to say wow wow every time as l am a real fan of hers really she will be a real star in my eyes for ever yes .

    • Marilyn Monroe was a wreck. She didn’t like to bathe, had bad hygiene, and a severe flatulence problem. And it was said her lady parts could offend fish.

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  92. What’s attractive is a smart and sweet girl who isn’t caught up on looks. Not one one girl said anything about intelligence. Physical attraction. How the guy looks. His cloths. His hair. His teeth. His body. And then they wonder why they end up with total jerks and douches.

    Girls who are hung up on looks Pretty girls aren’t rare. Being pretty isn’t special, talented or unique. I can find pretty walking down the street, at the store or the gas station. The majority of pretty girls are either dumb, crazy or broken. Sometimes all three.

    The best relationships are with people that you would normally overlook. And the more you get to know them the more attractive they become. Then suddenly one day the person you wouldn’t give the time of day is the most attractive person in the world to you.

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