What is Attractiveness

Attractiveness s the power of attraction. In relation to people, it can be based both on external characteristics (beauty) and on traits (character, charisma, social position) or on material things. It is assessed differently from person to person and depends essentially on the expectations of the observer. As a subjective value, it is subject to social and societal change.

Stereotypes about attractiveness

Studies show that people think attractive people are more successful and competent (see also halo effect) - but not more righteous or concerned about others. Other research shows that even infants pay more attention to attractive faces, and that adults implicitly associate attractive faces with positive traits.

Who or What is attractive

There are several things that decide decide if someone is seen as attractive: - A particular influence is the pre-existing feelings towards a person: people you love you find more attractive. - social comparison plays an important role. People judge their own and others' attractiveness according to the impressions they have of their social environment. It has been shown, for example, that men judge their wives as less attractive if they have seen pictures of very attractive other women shortly before. - Research has shown that, on average, there is a positive correlation between physical attractiveness in couples (that is, "pretty people usually have pretty partners"). Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry expects humanity to split into two subspecies based on matching. The genetic upper class would be tall, slim, attractive, intelligent and creative, the lower class stupid, ugly and stocky. be attractive symbol image

Attractive faces

Attractive faces are often created in experiments on the computer. For this purpose, a series of photographs of real persons is morphed into an average face. Such average faces are judged as attractive by many observers. In the opinion of some authors, however, the attractiveness of the average faces may be due more to the side effect that their skin appears particularly flawless, smooth, fine, and thus of reproductive age as a result of morphing, than to the actual averageness of the faces.

Perceived attractiveness can be increased by artificially created symmetry between the halves of the face. Infants also pay more attention to these artificially created faces. In addition, faces with more feminine features seem to be perceived as more attractive, for example if they have higher cheekbones. Daily experience shows that smiling people are spontaneously rated as more attractive than others.

In the animal kingdom, there is evidence that external features and their symmetry are determinants of sexual attractiveness, for example, the peacock's wheel, the plumage or whistling of birds, or among higher mammals, the stature of the oldest gorilla or the antlers of male deer.

Can attractiveness Change?

In a study conducted in 2011, researchers investigated the correlation between the (facial) attractiveness of babies (aged 24 months and under) and the same individuals in young adulthood (16-18 years) by assessing attractiveness from photographs. In fact, no correlation was found between attractiveness in infancy and in adulthood (no correlation): for example, some pretty babies became not very pretty adults, while some not very attractive babies remained not very attractive.

Beauty ideal

A beauty ideal is a contemporary concept of beauty within a culture. As a rule, the term refers to the appearance of the body and face. Ideas of beauty related to clothing, jewelry or hairstyle are referred to as fashion.

Beauty ideals exist for both sexes, but due to their social position they played and still play a greater role for women's own self-image as well as for their perception from the outside than for men. Male and female ideals of beauty change over time, refer to each other and at least partially align with each other. However, the opposite is also true: a strong emphasis on gender differences. So the ideal was (and is) often exactly what is considered special and typical male or female.

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