Mirror, Mirror: The Most Attractive Beauty Traits

Are you beautiful? According to a recent study, skin tone, hair color, and even hair length play into the measuring of physical attractiveness, health and fertility in women by others.  So, wait…we have no control over it?! (We don’t, really, so cut yourself some slack.)

The researchers gave participants a bunch of drawings to look at and asked them to decide if the women pictured were attractive or not. Generally, lighter skin tone (for women especially) ranked higher on the attractiveness charts. Brunettes were considered pretty, too, although hair length didn’t really matter much.  As for fertility charts, brunettes seemed to be strongest in this area. Women with shorter hairstyles and lighter skin tones were also found to be more fertile.

The study’s main objective seems to be in hopes of arriving at a place where we can determine why certain judgments are made.  In particular, in instances where skin tone and hair types lead to discrimination (i.e. the workplace).  While this may provide some insight into these problems, it certainly doesn’t clear any issues up and is just more interesting than anything else.

There are a lot of factors that could aid in the development of this research.  If there were a broader pool of people participating in the study (not just from the United Kingdom) and if they used photographs rather than line drawings that may have been found in a 1970s text book on anatomy. Next time around, let’s hope they really investigate all these point and potentially factor in the psychological aspects that go with a study of this nature.

At the end of the day, I’d have to agree with Dr. Vivian Diller — there’s a real difference between beauty and attractiveness and all too often we confuse the two.  Embrace who you are and your own uniqueness; it’s what sets you apart from the pack.

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