When we talk about a beautiful face, Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, or Hugh Jackman, these are some popular ones that come to our mind. While everyone has a certain characteristic that differentiates them from others, attractive faces are more similar to each other than expected. Scientists have deciphered 8 facial features that make someone look attractive, here are all of them.
Time and again, researchers have found that people rate men & women who have more symmetrical faces to be more attractive. The reason behind the same isn’t clear though. Some people perceive a symmetrical face as a sign of a healthy body and others treat it as someone who can be approached easily. Studies have found that there’s no link between an asymmetrical face and a healthy body though.
Other scientists have conformed to the notion that we’ve evolved to find symmetrical faces more attractive. Yet another reason could be the brain’s ability to perceive facial symmetry easily and increased brain activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, involved in romantic decision making. No matter what the reason, if you have a symmetrical face, it’s highly likely you’ve been wooed by the opposite gender a lot.
Having big eyes automatically puts you on the list of attractive people. The reason is simple. Having big, shapely eyes gives out a babyface appearance and makes you look innocent and attractive. One study(1) has found men rated baby-like features like big eyes, small chin, arched brows, and plump lips higher on the attractiveness scale.
But it’s not just the large size of the eyes that matters, but also the shape. Eyes that have more of an almond-shape are considered more attractive than round. A perfect balance between round and oval is also rated as attractive. All in all, big eyes with a shape other than round stands for the win!
Smile – it makes everything better, really! If you’re trying to woo someone, there’s nothing better than putting a gorgeous smile on your face. And the best part is, this facial feature is something that can be harnessed by anyone. And neuroscientists have backed it up with studies too. Smiling activates the orbitofrontal cortex, an area that makes decisions based on appearance. When participants saw the same neutral faces with a smile, it increased activity in this area.
Apart from attractiveness, smiling is also related to some other personality traits like trustworthiness, kind and easily approachable. So, flashing a grin is always great pointers for when you want to talk to someone you’ve been eyeing for a while.
Just like a higher hip-to-waist ratio is desirable, so are thick, sumptuous lips. No wonder lip fillers have gained sudden traction in recent years, so have lip plumping makeup products. And no, we aren’t talking about the lips that take up your whole face or look unnatural. There’s a perfect ratio and size though that gives a natural appearance.
Merging the results of different studies, a defined and enhanced cupid’s bow is highly preferable for a sumptuous lip shape. As for the ratio, the majority of men ranked the 1:1 ratio as the most attractive lip shape, followed by a fuller lower lip. Take some time out to the line and fill your lips before you step out for a date next time.
Both men and women often relate attractiveness to flawless skin. And by the same, we mean skin that looks healthy and not a skin tone per se. Radiant skin often gives out light to a person’s health. As humans, we are looking for someone who can make healthy and happy babies with us – and this is a marker for the same.
A healthy looking skin also gives out some positive personality trait signs – like maturity, trustworthiness and competence. It also gives an impression of someone who take care of himself, adding to the appealing qualities list.
Facial scars are in. Harry Potter’s iconic lightning bolt scar will be remembered for ages. Aside from its importance in the epic storyline, science says facial scars in men are attractive to women. It doesn’t work the other way around. Women often associate this strange feature with higher testosterone levels and a symbol of masculinity.
An interesting point to note here is women preferred men with facial scars only for short-term relationships. Even though they ranked them higher on the attractiveness scale, for a longer-term relationship they sided with men with no scars. They considered men with no scars as caring. Women might fancy scars probably because, historically, it’s associated with bravery.
Just like scars, women were drawn more towards men who had a beard than those who didn’t. But having a big bearded look might land you with your desired lady. As per the research, while any kind of stubble ranked higher than a clean-shaven face, having heavy or light stubble was ranked the highest.
However, a very thick beard was considered less attractive because it gave a perception of being dirty. A full beard was deemed as the most attractive. A beard signifies a male’s ability to compete socially with other males and thus, was preferred by women over and over. No matter what though, women definitely never preferred clean-shaven men over any kind of beard, including the caveman one.
Women gravitate towards older men, and scientists have coined this effect as the ‘George Clooney effect’. We generally assume it’s because that women tend to depend on men for material sources, but a study has proved otherwise. Even financially independent women gave more markers to older men when put on the scale of attractiveness. It’s likely because men reach maturity later and women want someone mature to lead a life with them and raise their kids.
Another reason could be a financially independent woman looking for a man with much more power at that age. Whatever it is, the aging face and a maturity factor do make men alluring to women.