- Gender and Relationships
Facial Symmetry ~ Does Your Face Turn Heads
Beauty Isn't Just Skin Deep
Despite what some may say, love is not blind, or at least physical attraction is not blind. Two parts are indeed needed for a relationship but when it comes to attraction, two symmetrical sides are best.
This lens is going to introduce symmetry, another reliable indicator of attractiveness that transcends both culture and time. Learn why the common sense lens quote below is unfortunately also scientifically true
"I was brought up imagining that cream rises to the top, merit wins out, the race is to the swift and riches to men of understanding, but it ain't necessarily so. The swift stand a better chance if they are also beautiful."
Garrison Keillor- Prairie Home Companion
Symmetry - It's a Real Number
The definition of symmetry most relevant to this discussion is as follows- "beauty as a result of balance or harmonious arrangement." In simple terms, if a body were to be split down the center into two halves, how well do the two halves match one another? Do the features line up evenly? Are they proportional? As with waist to hip ratio, there is nothing subjective about symmetry, it's a real number that can be obtained without human bias.
Symmetrical features are thought to be indicators of good genetics, adequate nutrition, and disease resistance- pretty much all the characteristics we would like to see in the next generation. Symmetry is a characteristic of beauty that can be applied across both the human and the greater natural world. A good example of how symmetry impacts human attraction is presented in a study on babies (one of the fundamental assumptions being that babies were unbiased- they haven't been around long enough to watch MTV or to have a peer group influence their perception of attractiveness). The study concluded that babies have a preference for individuals with the most symmetrical facial features. The bias towards symmetry goes beyond humans and is evident in the natural world as well. A study on bees and flowers revealed that even bees selected flowers with more symmetry, thus influencing which flowers were pollinated.
Symmetry Pays Dividends
Do individuals with symmetrical features also receive preferential treatment? Yes, unfortunately bees are not the only ones making decisions based on symmetry. Individuals with symmetrical features can expect to earn 3-4% more every year, to receive better work reviews (thus more likely to be promoted), and to obtain (on average) a lifetime advantage of $140,000. That's a lot of extra "honey" without really working for it! Seems unfair? Well, it gets worse. More attractive people are considered more intelligent, more honest, more helpful, more caring... in just about every positive personality trait there is... than their less than attractive counterparts.
If you're thinking that better looking people get more breaks in life, you're right! Unfortunately, it is a "perception becomes reality" situation. How a society perceives a situation directly shapes the outcome. If we think attractive people are more likely to possess positive personality traits, then it is possible we are unknowingly creating the conditions that would support this bias. An example would be a more attractive person landing the lead role in a high school play, which then helps this person get elected as class president, which helps this person get accepted to Yale, which helps this person get accepted to Harvard Law, which helps this person land a lucrative job, which helps this person....
For at least half of us that concludes a very depressing lens, as our worst suspicions have largely been confirmed. Things are looking up though as "The Ugly Truth" will address how to deal with the seemingly unfair factors that govern attraction. For those who want scientific proof they are one of the "beautiful people" try the facial symmetry calculator link below.
Reference Material Links
Where all the reference material that went into this lens can be found.
Some Beautiful Books
Books that tell you what you already know but don't want to hear!
Your ideal competitor for this test - Hope you win
Who had the higher facial symmetry score, you or your partner?
I'm new here and would appreciate any pointers you might have for me, thanks.