Stories tagged attractiveness

It's Friday, so it's time for a new Science Friday video. Science Friday
Science Friday
Courtesy Science Friday
Today,
"Evolutionary psychologist Nick Neave filmed men dancing, converted the videos into dancing avatars and asked women to rate the avatars' dancing ability. The researchers found that the highly-rated male dancers had some moves in common. (Some advice: Shake that right knee.) Tracy Inman, co-director of The Ailey School, has trained thousands of dancers and responds to the findings.
Nov
17
2008

This isn't me: It's some other handsome devil.
This isn't me: It's some other handsome devil.Courtesy Max Sparber
It’s true! And these facial scars aren’t from chicken pox or acne, no sir. Do you need me to provide a description of each scar and what it’s from? No, it’s no problem at all! Really. Here:

The parallel lines on my left cheek and jaw line: I call them “The Empire Builder” and they’re from the time a tiger bit me in the face. The tiger and I were wrestling, and things got serious when the beast realized that it was losing.

The two small circles on my right cheek: These are from getting shot by the vice-president. Which vice-president? Dan Quayle. He shot me twice in the mouf with a handgun. We were wresting, and things got serious… It was only a .22, though, so I don’t hold it against him. The man has enough problems.

The cheese-grater chin: I don’t know what it’s from, and that’s why I call it “Mr. E.” All I know is that I woke up tied to a snowmobile, underwater, with a sore chin. When I broke the surface, I was surprised to find myself in the Stillwater Junior High School swimming pool.

The lightning bolt running over the right side of my mouth: I call this one “The Harry Potter.” It’s from the other time a tiger bit me in the face.

So… What do y’all think? Pretty attractive, am I right?

Think about your answer carefully—you wouldn’t want to imply that the journal Personality and Individual Differences is a liar.

See, a new study published in the journal seems to indicate that women are attracted to men with facial scars, at least for short-term relationships. The best scars, too, aren’t from surgery or a scarring skin condition; the scars women in the study found the most attractive appeared to have been inflicted through violence of some kind.

The scientists behind the study (and it wasn’t mentioned as it whether or not they had scarred faces) believed that the scars implied that a potential mate was more aggressive, or had a greater risk taking personality. The scars could also suggest “good genes or a strong immune system.” So your scarred guy could have some nice, powerful genetic material, but may not necessarily be the type you want to pair up with for a long-term relationship.

Oct
29
2008

He can teach you much, but give you nothing: Wait... Is this man even handsome? This IS complicated!
He can teach you much, but give you nothing: Wait... Is this man even handsome? This IS complicated!Courtesy monseurlam
Sorry to break it to you, dudes, but you aren’t just ugly ducklings—you’re just ugly. Or, if you are mirror-melting hot, those good looks are an invention all of your own, so skip the father’s day present, and get yourself something nice.

See, guys and boys, you’re dad may have taught you how to gut a possum, and he might even have given you your first possum-gutting knife, but he didn’t give you the looks that attracted all those hungry eyes at the possum market. He saved those for your sister.

It turns out that men don’t inherit their fathers’ “attractiveness”. Fathers do pass on masculine features to their sons, but there doesn’t seem to be any strong correlation between attractive fathers (or, technically, “hot dads”) and attractive sons. So says the journal Animal Behaviour.

By rating the images of hundreds of males and females, and their respective parents, the recent study hoped to test the theory that women seek out attractive mates to produce sexy male offspring, who will in turn pass on their mother’s genes.

Uh uh. The study found that hot dads didn’t necessarily have hot boys, and that unattractive fathers (or “ug dads”) didn’t necessarily have ug boys. In fact, the study found no evidence of male-to-male attractiveness inheritance at all. So that beautiful bone structure, those sparkling eyes, that indefinable something that makes you so, so foxy… where did that come from? Your mother, perhaps?

Nope, attractiveness doesn’t seem to come from your mom either. It seems that when boys are born, they’re cast out into the Land of Fug to fend for themselves, and if they find a sunny hilltop to build a face on, they have to do it on their own.

Mothers, the study found, do pass on attractiveness to their daughters. And, ironically, so do fathers—hot dads are likely to have attractive daughters. That means that daughters are getting all those good looks funneled into them from both sides! Ooooh, I hate them so much!

It’s like the legend of Puss in Boots, really. The wealthy old miller and his wife (who I believe was some sort of novelty hat heiress) were on their deathbeds at the same time (food poisoning, I believe), and were deciding how to divvy up their vast wealth between their two sons and one daughter. Keep in mind, this was before division was invented, so the two dying parents decided that the fairest thing to do would be to give all their money to the daughter and none to the sons. The daughter lived a long and very happy life, and no more needs to be said about her. One of the sons died more or less on the spot (food poisoning, I believe), and the other grabbed the miller’s cat and did a runner.

The stolen cat may or may not have had a plan for the surviving son’s well-being, but there was no way to tell, because the cat couldn’t speak English, and the son couldn’t speak Cat. So, making the best of what he had, the son forgot to feed the cat until it died, and then took its fur. (And this was clever in itself, because the son was still too poor to afford a knife, and he had to be creative—that’s where the saying “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” comes from.) The son then used the beautiful fur (it was a good cat) to make an attractive fur hat (a skill he learned from his mother), which he sold to a local eccentric. The profits from the sale were then invested in the construction of a new animal shelter/hat factory. The venture proved to be a lucrative one, and it kept the man in stockings and gin for the rest of his life, until he burned the factory down so that his own son couldn’t inherit it.

Do you see the connection? If you replace all references to money in the story with the word “hotness,” the analogy is particularly apt.