In case you feel weird or vain about wanting to know whether you are pretty, handsome, or physically attractive, please don’t be. We would all rather be seen as good looking than otherwise. After all, being pretty or handsome is stereotypically seen as having good qualities/character. It attracts a lot of favors too.
In this article, we will be answering the following questions on physical attractiveness;
- what does it mean to be attractive,
- why are some people better looking than others,
- how to tell if you are attractive, and
- how to be really attractive.
Physical attractiveness is a pretty big deal regardless of how people try to downplay its relevance. It has been noted to influence how a person is perceived and treated by others, and how a person feels about themselves. This is why a lot of people invest in beauty products, salon care, various cosmetic procedures, wellness and fitness, and even fashion trends to improve their outlook. In 2018 alone, a French cosmetic company L’Oreal generated about 31.2 billion dollars in revenue Statistia.com. Also in 2018, the International Survey on Aesthetic/Cosmetic Procedure isaps.org recorded over 10.5 million surgical procedures and over 12.5 million nonsurgical procedures.
Did you know that in 2018, 10,607,227 surgical procedures were performed by plastic surgeons globally and Breast Augmentation was the most performed surgical procedure on women? Source: isaps.org
Did you know that in 2018, 12,659,147 nonsurgical procedures were performed by plastic surgeons and Botox was the most performed nonsurgical procedure? Source: isaps.org
If there is anything the above statistics tell us, it is that a lot of people care about being seen as pretty or handsome. Many people want bigger butts, breasts, and thighs, a less wrinkled face, smaller and firmer breasts, a well-defined cheekbone, a smoother face with no blemishes, a longer neck, a curvier figure, a fairer skin, and many more physical features. This is because our daily observations and experiences suggest to us that certain physical features are attractive.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ATTRACTIVE
An attractive person possesses attributes, qualities, or features that people perceive as pleasing, beautiful, and or desirable. Usually, when a person asks if they are pretty, handsome, or good looking, they are asking if they possess physical characteristics that are appealing to a number of observers. Here is what we found from various studies about attractiveness;
- Quite a number of studies have noted that waist-to-hip ratio is a common feature a lot of men find attractive in ladies like Garza, Heredia & Cieslicka (2016). Women with a smaller waist, bigger hips, and butt, and average to big breasts more attractive.
- A lot of studies suggest that men are more attracted to women with low BMI, for example Wang et al., (2015). This means that women with lower body fat are considerably more attractive than fat women.
- Studies suggest that skin tone matters in people’s perception of beauty. Thompson and Kieth (2000); Hills (2002) and Ryabov (2019 found that African Americans with darker skin tones were treated less favorably than African Americans with lighter skin tones. In addition, Frisby (2006) found that ladies with lighter skin tone were considered more attractive than those with a darker skin tone. The love for a fairer complexion also extends to many African countries like Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, etcetera, where women bleach their skin to look “more attractive” cnn.com.
- Interestingly, some studies suggest that men with darker skin tone are considered more attractive than men with lighter skin tone. Although findings by Stepanova and Strube (2018) partly support such studies, these authors also found that men with interracial features (light skin) were considered more attractive than really dark or white men.
- When it comes to facial attractiveness, symmetry and averages are standards many people have adopted in weighing beauty. Symmetry refers to how identical both halves of a person’s face are while averageness refers to “how closely a face resembles the majority of other faces within a population” Little, Jones, and DeBruine, (2011). Studies suggest that those with facial symmetries are more attractive than those with facial asymmetries. In addition, those with average faces are considered more attractive.
- Jagolino (2015) found a significant relationship between physical attractiveness and Social Economic Status. In their studies, men rated women with high SES more attractive than women with low SES. This means that physical attractiveness can be compensated with wealth. If a person has money, how they actually look takes the back seat.
There are many more features men and women find attractive which makes it hard to establish a particular standard for beauty. Apart from the above listed features, some other attractive features are; shape of eyes, smile, dimples, abs, height, length of hair, texture of hair, intonation, personality, etcetera. Although literature has gone to length to try and establish universal standards of beauty, some scholars still agree that beauty to an extent is subjective. Charles Darwin (1871) states “It is certainly not true that there is in the mind of man any universal standard of beauty with respect to the human body” and we agree with him. Culture, race, and individual preferences differ. What is culturally beautiful to a group of people might not be to another. There are men out there that prefer heavy women and there are women out there that prefer pot-bellied men. These preferences go against theorized acceptable standards.
WHY ARE SOME PEOPLE BETTER LOOKING THAN OTHERS
A person’s look is determined by many factors such as; biological quality, environment, diet, cultural practices, and body modification.
A lot of articles have attributed physical attractiveness to having good genes and that people are biologically wired to seek after people with good genes.White and Puts (2019), notes that facial attractiveness is linked to genes that are related to height, BMI, and body weight. This is further supported by Rantala (2014) who found that facial attractiveness in women is associated with their cortisol circulation and body fat (fertility). On the other hand, men have their facial attractiveness linked to their antibody production and level of testosterone (immunity).
This means a woman’s facial beauty is associated with having a good fat percentage. Women that are too thin or fat are less likely to be considered attractive. Also, cortisol is negatively associated with attractiveness for women, and therefore stressed women look less attractive. This is similar to men. Rantala notes that men with more stress levels are less likely to be attractive.
While studies that link attractiveness to a person’s biological quality is a good addition to the study of beauty, it does not explain other possible mediating factors to attractiveness as well as anomalies. What of the role of age and the fact that people can go for body modification? There are other cultural perceptions of beauty that may go against the gene theory. Some of these studies have not been replicated in other regions of the world.
Attractive people might have a better diet and daily health conscious routines than other people. Studies have linked body odor and quality skin in the selection of mates and diet contributes a lot to these factors. How a man smells can be an attractive feature for women. Can this feature be worked on? Yes, through diet and self-care. More fruits and vegetable intake have been associated with better body odor. Secondly, the quality of a person’s skin gives a lot of insight into the quality of their health. Do not forget that people are seemingly drawn to the fittest mate. Good diets; low-calorie intake, intake of food rich in antioxidants, low-stress levels, proper self-care/ grooming, and better workout routine have been noted to improve a person’s general health and skin quality NCBI article.
Environmental factors play a role in how people look; skin color and shape of face for example. Various studies have noted how the environment influences genetics for adaptation purposes. For example, people who stay in tropical regions are comparatively darker than people that stay in colder regions.
A person might be more attractive because they’ve undergone various cosmetics and surgical procedures to enhance their looks. Science has advanced and has provided an alternative for people that want to live up to a certain standard of beauty. Botox treatments are available to correct different face blemishes. There are procedures like liposuction, body lifts, and augmentation. Procedures like this help people with weight and fat distributions. The hourglass shape can be earned through surgeries, so also a bigger breast or even smaller breast.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE ATTRACTIVE
① How long they stir or observe you
If they spend a good number of minutes or seconds admiring you, they probably find you attractive. One observational research technique used in measuring attractiveness is the length of time observers spend in admiring someone they find attractive. However, there is a possibility that a person who finds you attractive will spend less time staring. After all, many people would not want to be caught staring especially if they are in a relationship, in public, and lastly, if they know they have fewer chances of being with that person.
② You get passes or favours more often than not.
People are fairer, nicer, or more kind to you. Studies have shown that attractive people get more favorable outcomes than less attractive people. This is because there is a stereotype that beauty symbolizes good. For example, Yeh and co, (2020) found that physical attractiveness had an influence on customer satisfaction and hence loyalty. Physical attractiveness has been found to influence the pay grade of job applicant hofstra.edu. Even in court sentencing, studies have shown that physical attractiveness influences judges sentencing thelawproject.com.
③ You get compliments for various body features.
Do people comment about your smile, eyes, teeth, shape, hair, skin, or any feature? If you get compliments on a particular feature of you quite often, it means people find you attractive even if it is not a sexual or romantic form of attraction.
④ Some people are hard on you for no reason.
As much as there is a general inclining to treat attractive people fairly, they might often get hostile treatments from a group of people. People could display acts of jealousy and resentment due to their insecurities. This unfair treatment will be gotten from the same gender more than the opposite gender.
⑤ People will be shocked by your insecurities.
If people generally find you attractive, when you speak about blemishes or things about you you consider flawed, they will be generally confused, unbelieving, or shocked about your complaints.
⑥ If you get the “ever” and “as always” phrase quite often.
If you get the “ever” and “as always” phrase in compliments from people, it means that they consider you attractive. For example, “you are as gorgeous as always”, and or ‘ever a beauty’.
⑦ You get a lot of messages from admirers.
Let’s say you post your pictures on social media and people can’t help but compliment you, it means they find you attractive. However, this should not be an ideal rating for attractiveness. There are people that may find you attractive but keep mute. Also, you may be getting a lot of inboxes from admirers if you have a public media account.
⑧ If they want a sustained conversation or link to you, they find you attractive
They try as much as possible to maintain whatever little contact they have with you. They would ask questions, send links, tell you stories even if it is unrelated and will generally want to know about your welfare. They might get annoyed when you do not reciprocate their gestures.
⑨ A change in mood or atmosphere of the room.
Let’s say you walk into a place newly and apart from those that stare, you notice some weird behavior, awkward silence and a lot of attention being paid to your every move or action, there is a high chance that a lot of people in that room/place considers you attractive.
⑩ People tend to value your opinion even within minutes of meeting you.
They would want to hear you speak or contribute so that they can rate you immediately. Be careful though, because what you say could break or affirm hidden expectations of people.
HOW TO BE REALLY ATTRACTIVE
Looking at the information we’ve provided under prior subheadings on physical attractiveness, it is very possible for a person to work on their attractiveness. Since beauty is not only a biological function but rather a product of many interacting variables, a person can improve on their attractiveness by making certain lifestyle changes.
① Check your overall health and improve it.
Since studies have shown that people are unconsciously/consciously drawn to those they consider healthy, improve on your health. This can be done through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Studies have shown that a person’s diet can influence their overall health, skin quality, and body odor.
② Work on your weight and body build.
Since studies have shown that a woman’s fat percentage can influence how attractive she is perceived, learn to work out, and keep a healthy weight. Exercise is equally important for men since ladies are drawn to masculine features. Exercising has way more advantages than just its benefit to a person’s physical attractiveness.
③ Invest in personal grooming kits and products.
When it comes to being perceived as attractive in this day and age, having good hygiene is a prerequisite. Do not be too busy to invest in products that will help you manage yourself properly.
④ Try to maintain healthy skin.
If you are suffering from skin blemishes, visit a dermatologist. Science has evolved and it is helping a lot of people treat and maintain their skin. Skin blemishes tend to affect people’s self-esteem. Sadly, people are drawn to people that are confident with themselves. If you cannot afford a dermatologist, educate yourself on lifestyle changes that will be beneficial to your skin health.
⑤ Work on your stress levels.
According to research, those that show higher stress levels are considered less attractive. Stress generally rubs off on a person’s appearance and overall health negatively.
⑥ Hey, work on your finances too.
A person’s socioeconomic status might override people’s perception of their physical attractiveness. In an earlier reviewed article, it noted that men found women with high SES more attractive.
⑦ Personal development is important.
Personality, behaviors, and attitudes also influence people’s perception of your attractiveness. Identify areas in your attitudes and behaviors that people consider attractive and improve on them. Work on your conversation, sentences, facial expressions, confidence, etcetera.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do you know if you’re attractive?
Usually, we learn how pretty we are from people’s perceptions of us and what they consider generally beautiful. There are socially acceptable definitions of beauty that bombard us daily on social media. These standards often act as mirrors or scales to measure our beauty. Such standards of beauty should however not be the ultimate measure for us since we are all unique and a lot of people prefer our uniqueness and consider it attractive too. We have identified 10 signs that let you know how attractive people consider you. We hope you find them useful.
What makes a person good looking?
A person’s overall health status, lifestyle, physical features, personality, and social status are what contributes to people’s perception of their attractiveness (good-looking). Being good-looking is a combination of factors that interacts together. But the presentation matters a lot. Work on skin, physique, clothing, hair, smile, how you carry yourself (confidence) and anything people are most likely going to see first when they look at you.
Being pretty or handsome has both intrinsic and extrinsic benefits. It is normal for people to assess their attractiveness. In this article, we’ve addressed questions regarding physical attractiveness by providing substantial facts from researches conducted on physical attractiveness. Physically attractiveness can be worked on and we’ve provided tips on how to do that. We hope that you found our article helpful.
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