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Home > Evolution of Beauty > The Power of Physical Beauty
The Power of Physical Beauty
Physical attractiveness significantly impacts practically every aspect of interpersonal relationships. Physically attractive women are admired and handsomely paid to be models, glamorized as movie actresses, and are greatly responsible for widespread body dissatisfaction and eating disorders in young women. The fairy tales and the media link physical beauty to positive attributes and this can be explained when children as young as 14 years old, gaze at adults and wish them to have attractive female faces rather than unattractive ones.


To understand the basis for such allure and power of attractiveness, the first step is to identify features that a majority of people find attractive and to search for a basis of consensus. The Evolutionary theorists argue that physical attractiveness reliably conveys biological information about a person`s genetic quality, health, and reproductive potential. Being able to judge these attributes reliably would have enabled people in the Stone Age, to select healthy mates and be reproductively successful, as healthy mates would be better providers and protractors for the family unit. The problem is however, that the reproductive potential, capability, and genetic resistance to disease cannot be directly observed. Therefore, the selection process has shaped the mental mechanisms to attend to those bodily features that are reliable indicators of health and fertility, and such features are judged to be desirable and attractive. Although people are not consciously aware of such a link, therein lies the power of physical attractiveness.

Many evolution-inspired researchers have started to explore whether the facial features that are judged to be attractive, such as full lips, small chin, symmetry of bilateral facial features, and so forth, are indicators of sex hormone, reproductive potential, and healthiness.
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