45: Attractiveness

A Thousand Things to Talk About
A Thousand Things to Talk About
45: Attractiveness

Today, we’re talking about attractiveness.

What makes you feel beautiful or handsome?

Show notes and links:
Ideal body type: 100 years
Manipulation of body odour alters men’s self-confidence and judgements of their visual attractiveness by women (International Journal of Cosmetic Science)
UK women dying to get more confident, study finds (Nottingham Trent University)

Full episode text

Attractiveness is one of those… ahem…. flexible measures. Standards of what’s “socially normalized” beautiful or handsome change from Rubenesque to heroin chic in mere decades, never mind the gender separation of supposed attractiveness.

Studies on this area are as varied as standards, ranging from what counts as attractive to the implications of being judged as attractive from childhood on up. What every individual finds helps them feel beautiful or handsome is a much more interesting topic, at least to me, because it’s so individual.

Doing something that helps or makes you feel beautiful or handsome may actually have an impact on how attractive others judge you. A study in 2009, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science suggests that feeling more attractive could actually make you more attractive.

Two groups with the same mean attractiveness as judged by a panel were split up, with one group given a placebo and another a scented, microbial body spray. After a few days, the group with the scented spray were judged as more attractive in video clips, though not photographs – indicating that the way they moved and behaved had actually changed to be more attractive.

The long story short is when you feel more confident, it’s a very real possibility that you actually are judged as more beautiful or handsome. So what do you do to give yourself a boost?