Lovers of taste and decorum will of course be aware that this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was won by Conchita Wurst. Whilst her success was no doubt largely due to musicality and creative artistry, it may have caught some people’s attention that she sports a beard. I wonder if this had anything to do with her success? Recent research suggests it might. Continue reading
Collagen shots are becoming popular. Most beauty enthusiasts know all about the role of collagen in the appearance of the skin, and how it is the webbing that holds everything together. It is a protein that has a spring like appearance that fits in with its ability to make your skin springy and resistant to sagging and wrinkling. Continue reading
We don’t pay a lot of attention to vellus hair. This is the fine downy hair that covers a lot of our body, with the exception of the palms of our hands and for some reason, the backs of our ears. It isn’t very visible so the beauty world doesn’t take a lot of notice of it, though to my mind it is quite attractive. But you need to get pretty close to someone to be able to even see it, so it isn’t something you are really aware of except on family members are very close friends. Continue reading
Lies on dating sites? This may not come as a huge surprise, but when it comes to profiles on dating sites, people tend to lie a lot. Continue reading
I am probably one of the few men in their fifties who can spend a lot of time online reading blogs by young women and exchanging messages with them without having to clear my browser history before my wife sees it. I do of course have a perfectly legitimate reason to do so, and I am also lucky enough to have a very good relationship with Mrs Beautyscientist. But the attraction for older men of younger women has been the source of a great deal of scandal, comedy and gossip over the years. The older men rarely come out of it with much in the way of dignity, but that doesn’t seem to put them off. Continue reading
I am a slightly gawky individual. I am bit more interested in my computer than my personal appearance and I am not good at relating to other human beings. I am also well aware that the profile of my face does not conform to the ideals of Classical Greek beauty.
Despite all this, I have been reasonably successful in passing my genes on to the next generation. I have the good luck to be relatively tall, and I think that this positive has overcome all my other negatives. I am in the upper quartile for height, very nearly in the upper decile. I am taller than about 80% of other men in other words. In more ordinary language, I am tall but not outstandingly so.
Most of us are dissatisfied to some extent or another with our body shape. A lot of people are a lot heavier than they would like to be, and there have been endless ideas put forward about how to get to the weight you want to be. One of the things we all know is that if we eat too much we put on weight, and that we can lose weight by eating less. I get some surprised looks sometimes when I suggest that excercising isn’t very helpful for getting slim. My logic is that what matters is how much you eat relative to how much energy your body burns. If you exercise you deplete your blood sugar, and this makes you hungry. Your problem now is one of willpower. But if you have the willpower to overcome your hunger, you could do that just as easily without exercise. In fact the act of burning up your energy quickly has probably made it harder not easier to resist your cravings.
This week’s cover story on the New Scientist magazine is about sexual strategies – the different approaches men and women have to sex. At the time of writing you can still read the original article here, but New Scientist tends to take stories down after a while so the link may not work when you come to try it. But it is a long article in any case so here is my summary, and what it means to your own dating strategy.
Lynda Boothroyd of the University of Durham investigated what affected whether men and woman were more likely to be monogamous or promiscuous. This was a scientific study, so there were no moral judgements involved. The most interesting finding was that people were able to very accurately predict just from their photos whether people were more likely to be monogamous than promiscuous. The more attractive a face was, the more likely people were to rate them as promiscuous. And this was indeed the case.
This isn’t all that surprising on one level of course – the more attractive a person is the more opportunities they are likely to have. As is usually the case when it comes to sex, blokes are more straight forward. The better looking guys are more likely to stray. That is about all there is to it, and I guess it is easy enough to interpret. For a man, biologically speaking, there is a lot to be gained from sleeping with as many females as possible. Good looking guys have the wherewithall to attract the partners and it isn’t surprising to see them taking advantage of it.
Women are more likely to shop around when they are ovulating, even when in a stable relationship. It isn’t perhaps as obviously a good strategy for women to pursue lots of sexual partners, especially when they already have a partner who they could cheese off. Maybe this is why this strategy is limited to times when women are fertile. The risk is more worth it.
I usually try and see what advice can be given from research. It is a bit trickier this time. For men, if you are planning on dating a married woman you will do better to look for attractive ones. For women, beware of men on internet dating sites. There is a good chance that they are married and looking for a fling. (I know, I know, you already knew that….)
The original reference is Evolution and Human Behavior, vol 29, p 211, and don’t forget that evolution is the key to attractiveness.
I have already posted about the features of an attractive female face. But what lies behind these observations? Could it be that your hormones make you beautiful?
A few years ago scientists at the University of St Andrews took photos of 59 women aged between 18 and 25 every week for six weeks. They also took urine samples and measured their oestrogen levels. By taking readings over the whole menstrual cycle they were able to come up with meaningful estimates of how much oestrogen the women had in their blood streams. Continue reading