Physical attractiveness can determine how a person is ultimately judged regarding friendship, marriage, romantic life, sexual behavior, employment, social privileges, and socioeconomic status.
Physical Attraction in a Relationship
What unique role does physical attraction play in mate selection?
A person’s physical look or features are considered first and foremost in mate selection.
In order to form a relationship, there must be some type of attraction, either physically or on a personality level. Initial attraction to a potential mate is highly associated with physical attractiveness (Braxton-Davis, 2010).
Researchers have found that during the earliest stages of life, infants show a preference for attractive faces (Langlois, Rogmann, & Rieser-Danner, 1990).
Perry, Sherynn J. (1998) “A study of physical appearance and level of attraction to the opposite sex,” it was found that physical appearance is a factor in determining the level of attraction in a possible romantic relationship.
Studies found that, the importance of physical appearance as a factor in the formation of interpersonal relationships has been found to be significant (Kleck & Rubenstein, 1975).
An area of human interaction in which physical appearance seems to be an important factor is that of mate selection (Chambers, Christiansen, & Kunz, 1983).
An investigation by Hinsz (1989), who considered the phenomenon of people attending to marry people who look like themselves. Physical attraction is also found to be a factor in predicting friendships (Johnson, 1989).
Before a man asks a woman on date, he checks her facial look and feel comfortable about who he is asking out. The woman on the other hand accepts the invitation based on the man’s physical look.
Researchers believe dating is a dynamic process in which two people evaluate prospective partners’ characteristics, such as physical attractiveness, personality, values, and habits (Kenrick et al. 1990; Li et al. 2002).
Everybody has a dream girl or man in their mind in terms of romantic partnership motivated by physical attractiveness.
When people fail to find the love and sex they want, they may develop and use compensatory mating tactics like abstaining, searching further, or lowering their standards (Apostolou 2017; Jonason et al. 2020a; Regan 1998a, b).
Though women may burry their desire for physical attractive mates when the search seems impossible, women still want partners who are physically attractive for casual sex (Buss 1989; Buss and Schmitt 1993; Li and Kenrick 2006; Regan 1998a, b).
Anthropologists suggested that attraction is a universal occurrence after conducting a survey within 166 distinct societies and found romantic attraction in approximately 90% of these societies (Jankowiak & Fischer, 1992).
Now and then, people engage in romantic relationship. Before this relationship is formed, there must be an attraction. In most scenarios, initial attraction to a potential mate is determined by physical attractiveness.
To improve upon physical appearance to draw attention of potential mate, people turn to clothing and cosmetics to enhance their physical attractiveness, in turn creating a greater commodity on the dating market (Williamson & Hewitt, 1986; Buss, 1998).
Braxton-Davis, Princess (2010) “The Social Psychology of Love and Attraction,” physical attractiveness has a strong impact over the lifespan, affecting love and attraction.
Collectively, women prefer physically attractive men to physically unattractive men (Li & Kenrick, 2006). Women look at the attractiveness of a man, such as his height, which transmits a biological clue that he has more testosterone and healthy genes to pass onto the offspring (Swami et al., 2007).
Physical Attraction in Socioeconomic Status and Society
Physical attraction does not only stop at mate selection or romantic journey in lifespan. It plays essential role in society and business transactions.
Most studies find effects of attractiveness on happiness or life satisfaction. This is not surprising as society places more value on attractive people.
Customers feel greater security handing over their financial security to physically attractive people or engaging in other business activities.
There are certain societal values associated with physical attractiveness. People believe that those with attractive faces are more kind, intelligent, successful (Foos & Clark, 2011), and trustworthy than those with unattractive faces (Schmidt, Levenstein, & Ambadar, 2012).
Often, physically attractive people tend to receive preferential treatment and are perceived to have positive experiences across many domains in their lives (e.g., social, career, and romantic relationships; Dion, Berscheid, & Walster, 1972).
It is found that in the court of law, criminals who are physically attractive receive lesser sentences (Breckler, Olson, & Wiggins, 2006).
Personal Attraction in Business
People considered attractive have the privilege to enjoy many social and economic advantages with little or no effort. Physically attractive individuals gain social recognitions and attract more friends on the social chart.
Social psychologists have identified a ‘‘halo’’ effect of physical attractiveness leading to inferences that the attractive are more competent, confident, and socially skilled than the unattractive (Eagly et al. 991; Hatfield and Sprecher 1986; Langlois et al. 2000; Feingold 1992).
They are likely to be hired on jobs and paid higher renumerations. Customers tend to be polite to physically attractive front desk officers and shop attendants.
Over the years, attractive shop attendants and food vendors attracted more first time and returning clients to their shops and joints than unattractive attendants.
In a 2009 research, physically attractive waitresses receive much larger tips (Lynn, 2009).
In labor markets, a ‘‘beauty premium’’ and ‘‘plainness penalty’’ is seen: attractive individuals are more likely to be hired, promoted, and to earn higher salaries than unattractive individuals (Hamermesh and Biddle 1994; Hosada et al. 2003).
A study that aims to explore the factors determining consumer loyalty to real estate agents consist of consumers in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, aged at least 20 years old who have experience in engaging the services of real estate companies during housing transactions.
A total of 300 questionnaires were distributed, with 268 valid ones being returned, for a valid return rate of 89.33%. According to the empirical results, physical attractiveness indirectly influences satisfaction through trust and intellectual competence, with satisfaction in turn affecting customer loyalty (Yeh et al. 2020).
According to Wen-Chih Yeh, Chun-Chang Lee, Cheng Yu, Pei-Shan Wu, Jia-Yu Chang and Jiun-Hau Huang in the article, The Impact of the Physical Attractiveness and Intellectual Competence on Loyalty, “physical attractiveness also strengthens workers’ confidence and job satisfaction”.
When companies recruit advertising endorsers who are highly attractive in terms of their physical appearance, audiences will develop more positive advertising attitudes, trust levels, and purchase intentions toward the products of those companies (Yeh et al. 2020).
What Makes a Woman Attractive Physically
On average, men are attracted to women with youthful appearance.
Features of physically attractive woman
- Symmetrical face
- Full breasts
- Full lips
- Low waist-hip ratio
Most Attractive Physical Features of a Man
Women, on average, tend to be attracted to men who are taller than they are.
- Facial symmetry
- Masculine facial dimorphism
- Upper body strength
- Broad shoulders
- Narrow waist
- V-shaped torso
“Our hypothesis, that physical attractiveness and similarity would be most influential in producing attraction, was partially supported by the frequencies of attracting a potential mate.”
However, physical attractiveness was not the most sought-after trait for the person of interest as hypothesized, but rather it was only second to personality, which was reported to be most desirable. Therefore, personality was a stronger determinant of attraction that led to falling in love than physical attraction (Braxton–Davis, 2010).