“Beauty is a beautiful trait, which can only be sensed by beautiful people at heart and soul.” – Maria Cluston Cletus
Attractiveness, beauty, allure – all are things beholden to the subjectivity of the individual. One person may think intelligence is attractive or sexy, someone else may not care. Others place heavy emphasis on physical features, some don’t – and so on.
Science, particularly biology, plays and important role in attraction – and whether we find someone to be “attractive.” Attraction “cues” may be conscious or subconscious, obvious or obscure. Psychology is funny that way.
We’ll discuss 11 methods of attraction per science and research:
#1 Forget playing “hard to get”
Men and women may think they’re more attractive by concealing their feelings, motives, etc.; perhaps believing this sleight of hand adds to their mystique. There is some evidence to support this, although a “brain connection” is deemed more important.
In a 2016 study, researchers state:
“Humans interaction with other humans must be able to understand their interaction partner’s affection and motivations, often without words…We found the better a participant thought they could understand another person’s emotion, the more they felt attracted toward that person.”
#2 Red is hot
Science has shown that women who wear red are more attractive to men. Dr. Alec Beall, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, explains:
“This red-attractiveness link is partially explained by men’s perceptions of implied sexual receptivity among women wearing reddish garb.”
Dr. Beall emphasizes his “red-attractiveness” conclusions by noting the universality of the findings. From tiny villages in the middle of nowhere, to Paris and NYC, red draws the male eye.
#3 Don’t be a stiff
Ever wonder why some women love guys like Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell? To us guys, they’re both tremendously talented, hilarious characters. To many women, they are also incredibly attractive.
In a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, the authors explain the differences between the sexes and interpretation of humor:
“Men emphasized the importance of their partners’ receptivity to their own humor, whereas women valued humor production and receptivity equally…Women preferred those who produced humor for all types of relationships.”
#4 Prioritize self-grooming
Nobody wants to get someone who looks like a slob. Doesn’t mean you need the fashion sense of a Valentino or Versace, but some effort is in order.
Science shows that one’s perception of physical attractiveness keenly focuses on “changeable aspects of our self-representation.” In other words, combing or brushing your hair, fit and clean clothing, and a healthy weight.
#5 Lay off the makeup (a bit)
(For this male writer, a woman whose face resembles a birthday cake is appalling. Sorry.)
Anyways, across studies a few interesting discoveries were made about makeup:
– Faces with “natural” makeup are seen favorably, while those wearing excessive makeup were less desirable.
– Most women wear makeup as a confidence-booster (not just for “pleasing” men.)
– Many women overemphasize the importance and impact of wearing makeup.
Advice for women who adore makeup is similar to that of alcohol consumption: “everything in moderation.”
#6 Go lumberjack
No guys, don’t start flaunting flannel, jean suspenders, and mountain boots.
Heterosexuals, knowingly or not, look for the most definitive traits of the opposite sex. For men, nothing is more “definitive” than a (well-groomed!) beard.
Fascinatingly, research demonstrates that beards convey not only masculinity, but health and vigor, parental ability and reproductive vitality.
#7 Show your shape
Put simply, many mistakenly believe men are attracted to thinner women. This is not true (this writer concurs). Research shows that men prefer a body shape with fair curves and hips.
In terms of fashion, InStyle recommends “semifitted styles that softly follow your curves and show of your waistline.” Belted shirtdresses, sheaths, and full skirts fit this description. Classy and sexy fashion, in other words.
#8 Be kind!
Exhibiting kindness is something we should be doing, anyways…
That said, having a kind heart may have a positive effect on your attractiveness. Termed the ‘halo effect,’ physically attractive people are more likely to be associated with benevolent qualities. It wasn’t until recently, however, when scientists discovered the opposite (kind people are more attractive) may be rooted in scientific fact.
According to Dr. Beall: “Mounting evidence suggests that the ‘what is good is beautiful’ stereotype may also hold true.
#9 Get a doggy
As if we needed another reason to love dogs.
But look at these survey results compiled by researchers at the University of Nevada, who studied a dog’s effect on attractiveness and dating:
– About 50 percent of women judged their date from how the man treated his dog.
– 35 percent of women were more attracted to a man who owned a pet.
– 22 percent of (smart) men used their “best friend” to attract a date.
#10 “Watch your tone”
This one is pretty commonsensical: tone of voice impacts attraction levels. Men find women with a higher pitch more appealing; whereas women like a deeper-toned voice.
The rationale behind tone and attraction is also straightforward. Both men and women associate a tone of voice with femininity and masculinity; especially when it comes to body type.
#11 Smile – or not
In a University of British Columbia study, researchers examined the relationship between expressions of happiness, pride, and shame, and sexual attractiveness.
The study, which consisted of 1,041 participants using “different images and samples” discovered: “a large gender difference…in the sexual attractiveness of happy displays.”
Here are the findings:
– Happiness (i.e. smiling) was the most attractive female expression, and the least attractive male expression.
– Pride was the most attractive male expression, and the least attractive female expression.
Bressler, E. R., Martin, R. A., & Balshine, S. (2006). Production and appreciation of humor as sexually selected traits. Evolution and Human Behavior, 27(2), 121-130. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2005.09.001
Donvito, T. 13 Things Scientifically Proven to Make You More Attractive. Retrieved from April 12, 2017, from http://www.rd.com/advice/relationships/how-to-be-more-attractive/
Tracy, J.L, Beall, A.T. (2011). Happy guys finish last: The impact of emotion expressions on sexual attraction. Emotion, 11(6), 1379-1387. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0022902
Staff, I. (2015, August 13). The Best Dress For Your Body. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://www.instyle.com/fashion/clothing/best-dress-your-body
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