Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Perception of Beauty and Attraction

    Ever wonder what's your type? How does facial symmetry and the perception of beauty affect attraction? It starts back to when we are very young, as it has been proven that babies prefer attractive faces and symmetrical faces over any other. Symmetry within faces are more easily perceived as well as recognizable, so if a baby is staring at your face they are studying the patterns within the symmetry of your face as well as forming some sort of recognition. Our brains naturally look for patterns, this helps to better make decisions as well seek more attractive faces. This is why our brains seek out more symmetrical faces because more patterns can be found within the features. Scientists found then when manipulating the facial symmetry of an individual they can study how it's attractive, and how it compared to the natural symmetry of the face in the perception of beauty. The results were a gradient: when symmetry was decreased on a face it was less attractive, when the face was increased in symmetry it was found attractive ( mirror images of a face), and the more naturally symmetrical faces were the most attractive. 


    While symmetry plays a large role in the perception of attractiveness and beauty, it is also based in cultural and evolutionary differences. Humans are more attracted to a number of things some of them culturally significant and other biological features, we have an ability to inherently distinguish between attractive and unattractive faces, yet the perception of beauty is based on a number of things. Along with symmetry, skin homogeneity (even skin tone, smoothness of skin, reflectiveness of skin, winkles, and facial contrast), sexual dimorphism (sex-typical characteristics), and youthfulness all contribute to the perception of a beautiful face. It is important to note that beauty perception and standards also change depending on cultural backgrounds and even race and ethnicity. 

    Beauty is often perception based though there is also biological factors. In the age of social media the standards and perception of beauty has changed, and broadened peoples view of attractiveness. The rise of social media has caused for a globalization in the difference of attractiveness, beauty, and beauty trends. 


  1. I definitely agree with you on the fact that social media broadens everyone perception of what is attractive or beautiful and what isn't. The more social media evolved the more everyone realized what's "beautiful" is different around the country and around the world!

  2. Yes, I agree that the perception of beauty has changed due to social media, which has broadened people's view of attractiveness. But social media has morphed the idea of what is acceptable beauty. For example, a woman can be a plus-sized model. Still, many images of plus-sized models do not show plus-sized models that have "muffin tops," stretch marks, or even cellulite which is normal and only okay if it is not the face of a giant named company. It makes me feel that the inclusiveness of beauty is only acceptable with boundaries.

  3. I agree with Brianna! I think attractiveness has always been very subjective; however, with social media being such a big thing now, people are changing their faces to fit the symmetry that people find 'attractive.' While it is proven that most people find a symmetrical face more attractive, everyone's face in its natural form will be found beautiful to someone!

  4. This concept is so fascinating that we are drawn towards more symmetrical faces without our awareness. Society defines beauty through a combination of factors and physical beauty can vary between cultures and over time. However, facial symmetry and having certain body proportions are major part of physical attractiveness. Great post!