BY: NADIA ZAIDI
I have to say, nothing beats a good sense of humour. Nothing.
Err, okay, maybe a nice head of hair and a chiselled jawline that rivals any Gillette model. Does this make me superficial? Nope. Apparently I’m the norm according to a new study, which found that women value looks more than we let on.
Jokes aside, women are generally more in tune with defining characteristics like humour, intelligence, diplomacy or kindness. So does this report make us hypocrites? Women frequently complain about the superficiality of the male sex, yet we might value physical attractiveness as much as the next guy.
Each woman was presented an option of three men. In fact, when researchers asked 80 young women between the ages of 15 – 29 to choose men from a bunch of photos and profile descriptions, appearance was the biggest influencer on choice. Given the age bracket, it might appear to make sense. The younger we are, the more attracted we are to good looks. But guess what? Those same women’s mothers (aged 37 – 61) were given the same selection. The results: they were also influenced by a man’s looks over his personality profile.
Despite how appealing his profile was, looks superseded all preferences. Even if the unattractive male was paired with the most desirable traits, both mothers and daughters picked the attractive man. The study goes on to suggest that if a man is moderately attractive then his personality traits matter to a woman. A man must meet some basic level of attractiveness otherwise it doesn’t matter how great his personality is.
These findings suggest that women generally underestimate how much importance they place on a man’s level of attractiveness. Conversely, men are more aware of their bias toward good looks. It might also be in part because of the subliminal association that attractiveness has with a woman’s fertility, according to more findings.
I think it’s important to be attracted to a potential mate. I’m not sure of the measures of attractiveness, or what it means to different people, but it all seems relative. Of course, there are certain physical traits that women and men find attractive by default, but to completely deny a person solely based on appearance despite possessing valuable traits seems asinine.