How Can I Be More Attractive?
by Kathy Batesel
Benefit from Becoming More Attractive
A slew of studies have shown that attractiveness has its perks. Beautiful people, both men and women, are perceived as smarter, more competent, and friendlier. They get jobs easier, earn more pay, and can get away with being selfish more. People pay more attention to them and forgive them more than less attractive people.
In other words, it pays to look your best!
Some years ago, I inadvertently discovered how important that difference can be. I'd stopped carrying a purse when I was on active duty in the Army. Later I worked for the state prison and abandoned cosmetics when working. I didn't want to draw unnecessary attention from inmates.
When my husband got reassigned to a new duty station, I became a full-time student while he served overseas, but I continued my makeup-free lifestyle for many months. With four teens at home, I worked part-time in a position where I was alone, and attended classes daily, so coloring my hair and spending an extra ten or fifteen minutes a day would have been just one more demand on my already hectic schedule.
But sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! One day, I had an urge to color my hair and buy new makeup, so I did. The following morning, I dressed a bit nicer, painted my face, and headed out with my updated hairdo.
The difference shocked me. Everywhere I went, people smiled and said hello. A complete stranger talked to me in the store checkout line. All along, I'd been thinking that Georgia folks weren't as friendly as their reputation led me to believe, when their off-standish behavior had been because of the way I'd looked!
I will never be a fashion diva. I'm always going to be a bit on the tomboyish side. I'm overweight. My body's glory days are well behind me. But by making the best of what I've got, I continue to find that it produces more benefits and attention in my life.
Here are tips I've gathered for both men and women who want to be more attractive.
What's most unattractive?
Which one of these things is the biggest turnoff to you?
Hygiene - A Basic Element of Attraction
Hopefully, you already adhere to common-sense principles of hygiene. You shower or bathe daily, using soap when you do. You keep your hair neatly styled. You wash your hands after using the restroom, before eating, and after petting animals. You brush your teeth at least once a day for a minimum of a couple of minutes, and you swipe the brush across your tongue to banish bacteria before you finish. A small bottle of mouthwash, gum, or breath mints can help you freshen up your mouth on short notice, and are easy to carry with you.
Here are some extra tips about hygiene that can affect your most intimate relationships:
For Men: Overall, more women find clean-shaven faces more attractive. If you wear a beard or mustache, shave the stubble that shouldn't be there at least daily. While you're at it, trim or shave around your manly parts so it looks tended to as well. (They say that shaving makes a man appear bigger, though I haven't known too many women who are concerned about how it looks so much as how it works.) Use a nail brush under your fingernails to keep them looking clean.
For Women: Shave daily or keep your legs and armpits free of unwanted hair by using depilatory creams or laser treatments as often as necessary. Whatever you do, don't allow your man to feel like he's sleeping with another guy when he strokes your gams at night! While douching was once recommended for freshness "down there" it's not a healthy way to keep your female parts at their best. Wash regularly and if you notice unusual or strong odors, visit your doctor. A man will never, ever tell you that you're funky, but he'll avoid the area if he finds it unappealing. It will definitely influence how attractive you are to him.
Do You Agree?
Do you think an overweight person can be attractive when they're proportionate and well-groomed?
Physique and Attractiveness
Popular media and individual preferences certainly affect how others perceive our attractiveness. Cultural norms may find one body shape to be perfect, while in a different country, an entirely different body shape is admired more.
Nonetheless, scientists have found that symmetry is an important element of attractiveness among humans and in the animal world in general. Ratios are also important. Symmetry and ratios affect how others judge us. We don't have to maintain a certain weight as long as we can emphasize the symmetry and ratios of our bodies.
I am not a mathematician, physicist, or biologist, so I am not going to try to explain the Golden Ratio known as Phi, other than to say that 1.618 is a ratio that is repeated throughout the natural and man-made world's masterpieces. (The link in this paragraph will take you to a great explanation of this phenomenon.) The Golden Ratio is part of the basic human form, and is the framework from which all judgments of attractiveness emerge.
While the majority of us will never have bodies that qualify as masterpieces, we can certainly use this concept unscientifically to create an illusion that comes close. It's almost never necessary to torture our bodies to get that certain "look" as long as we focus our efforts on areas that have gotten out of proportion.
A large woman who has proportionate measurements will look as good as a slender one. A skinny guy who stays in proportion will be as attractive as a muscular, he-man type.
If your proportions are imbalanced, as we see with abdominal weight gain, work on bringing those areas into proportion through exercise and good eating habits. You can also use beauty aids to enhance your features under clothing. Bras, Spanx, shoe lifts, and other accoutrements can be added to your daily regimen to be at your most attractive.
- Select clothing that doesn't leave you looking shapeless. It doesn't have to be form-fitting, but it should help draw others' eyes to what looks best and away from areas you don't want them seeing. Larger, upscale stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's may offer personal shopper services, but if you're buying budget clothing, enlist a stylish friend to help you figure out what types of blouses, shirts, slacks, and skirts look best on your body shape. It's also possible to hire an image consultant or personal shopper if you're really intent on making the most of your look.
- Select clothing colors that enhance your skin tone.
- Use accessories to do the same. Jewelry, belts, scarves, and hats can all be used to enhance what others see when they look at you. Better yet, a great collection of accessories means spending a lot less on clothes because every outfit can give you multiple looks. A woman wearing jeans and a t-shirt will still look more put together if she dons a simple pair of earrings and a bracelet.
- Always dress half a step nicer than you expect others to.
Correcting Skin Problems
Correction for a Lazy Eye
Eyes, Lip, & Skin Problem Areas
Faces and Attraction
Symmetry is an important element when it comes to facial attractiveness, too, but too much symmetry can be off-putting. People who are too perfect appear phony, and some types of imperfections can actually boost attractiveness.
To make the most of your own face, consider how you can downplay symmetrical imperfections and maintain asymmetrical ones that can enhance your appeal. A mole or gap between the front teeth, for example, can tell people that you're approachable and friendly.
Pay attention to the kinds of things that matter as we age. Good skin care from an early age can make a huge difference in how you look as you get older. I was always told such things didn't really matter, and learned the hard way that they do. Healthy skin retains moisture, avoids sun damage, and doesn't wrinkle and get leathery as quickly as neglected skin. Moisturize and clean your skin daily to keep it looking its best.
Cosmetics can help maximize the way we women look if we learn to use it well. I'm sometimes surprised at how many women, even public figures, don't understand how to use makeup and make themselves look worse than if they'd worn none at all!
- Learn how to use light and shadow to maximize attractive features and downplay imperfections.
- Discover how green, yellow, and lavender undertones in makeup can hide a variety of problems, and how to find the solutions that are right for you.
- Figure out what colors are best for your eyes and skin tone.
- Use blush in the way that's best for your face shape.
- Use the right color for your lips to reflect your personality and enhance the eye colors and outfit you've selected, and then apply it in a way that maximizes your lips. Special effects can make your lips look larger, smaller, or shape them attractively.
Attractive Personality Traits
Your appearance affects how people perceive your personality, but I also believe the opposite is true - your personality can influence what people think about how you look. You already know you're a terrific person to know, but to make sure others know it, practice a few tips:
- Show interest in others by asking open-ended questions and listening to their answers.
- Remember information about them - their names, where they work, and things they've told you. When they discover you think they're important enough to remember, you'll be infinitely more attractive to them.
- Avoid criticizing or discouraging others, especially loved ones, if you want them to keep admiring you. The effects of criticism are very subtle, but quite damaging over time.
- Keep negative thoughts and feelings to yourself. Share positive, optimistic thoughts that reveal that you're a capable person. By being the kind of person everyone would like to be, you'll have much more appeal than if you're someone who casts a negative shadow upon others.
Attractiveness is Multi-Faceted
None of us is perfect, or perfectly attractive. Attractiveness is about both personality and physical features, and we can all use improvement in one or more of these areas. While it's admirable to strive for self-improvement, it's also valuable to appreciate who you are right now, today. All of us are masters of a couple of the suggestions on this page, too. Give yourself credit for all the things you do right as you take steps to increase your attractiveness.
You'll steadily find yourself having better relationships with strangers, coworkers, and at home if you appreciate yourself and show yourself at your best whenever possible.