Few people would chose to be bald; we all assume that it makes you less attractive. This consensus has been around at least since the Bible was written and certainly since then. It isn’t just Western culture either. Native American Indians tried to cure baldness with herbal remedies. It is surprising how often generally held beliefs like this turn out not to be true. But not this one. Continue reading
Has this man overdone the shampoo?
This was a question posed to me by a journalist on the Daily Telegraph. The answer is of course no, but I’ll get onto that later. First this is quite an interesting example of how stories like this originate. Here is the full text of the e-mail I was sent. Continue reading
Perfume is supposed to make you smell nice. That is sort of what it says on the tin. But newly published research indicates that it also makes you look better too. The scientists showed photos of women’s faces to a panel. The panel was mixed, but with more women than men. They were then asked to assess the attractiveness of the faces. While they were doing this they were exposed to either cooked fish oil or a delicate rose odour created by the top fragrance house Givaudan. Continue reading
Not every blog post I do is an instant hit. The one I did yesterday about 5 a day for example was met with widespread indifference. Oh well. But it did remind me that there is another reason to eat fresh fruit and vegetables apart from simply being more healthy. They can also make you more attractive. 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
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.
Men’s preference is for average women
One of the best established facts in the study of the science behind beauty is that men find a waist to hip ratio in women of about 0.7 the most attractive. Its a brave group that will challenge this view, but an Australian group has done so in a recently published study. They showed men pictures of average women, Playboy centrefolds, photos from escort ads and curvaceous models from the twenties and nineties. (“Yeah, of course this is science, mate”.)
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.
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