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Determinants of Female Beauty

Although it is said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, studies have shown that there are many other universal or near-universal qualities which make human females attractive to males. In addition to the predictors of good health and reproductive fitness, these include facial features which may stimulate the male sexual response by their resemblance to aroused female genital areas, and features which resemble those of human infants, who are universally appealing to both sexes of a species. Among these other determinants are:

Symmetry of features: an indicator of lack of disease or injury

Clear complexion: indicator of health

Contrasting colors and features: such as well-delineated eyebrows, dark lashes, dark eyes/light face or light eyes/dark face; these heighten the features of attraction, perhaps a holdover from primitive forebears with less acute vision

Large, symmetrical, white teeth: indicator of reproductive vigor and ability to defend young; also health and contrast

Prominent zygomas (cheek bones), especially with a blush of color: paired, rounded forms, especially if pigmented, stimulate the same male response as the flushed buttocks of simian females in mating position

Thick, vivid lips: as for #5, the genital parallel is inescapable

Large, widely spaced eyes: paired, rounded forms; also similar to a baby’s appearance
Upturned nose revealing nostril openings: combination of paired, rounded forms with resemblance to baby’s appearance

Ovoid face, small chin, lack of facial hair: similar to a baby’s appearance

Thick, lustrous hair: except as indicator of health, a poorly understood determinant

Soft, higher pitched voice: indicator of non-maleness; submissiveness

Waist-to-Hip Ratio and Female Attractiveness
Scientists have discovered that the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is a significant factor in judging female attractiveness. Women with a 0.7 WHR (waist circumference that is 70% of the hip circumference) are invariably rated as more attractive by men, regardless of their culture. Such diverse beauty icons as Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy, Sophia Loren, Kate Moss, and the Venus de Milo all have ratios around 0.7. The ratio signals fertility—as they age, women's waists thicken as their fertility declines.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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