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The myth of universal beauty

bbc.com

Has our notion of beauty been the same ?

There are even some good evolutionary reasons why beauty might be timeless. Certain biological features might signal health, fitness, and fertility – the makings of good mate – and we should find these features sexually attractive.

Consider the apparently received wisdom that we prefer symm...

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Masculinity vs Femininity

Biologists had also hypothesised that we prefer faces that epitomise the ‘manliness’ or ‘femininity’ of their gender: the broad jaw of Jon Hamm for men; the delicate features of Miranda Kerr for women. Again, the rationale was sound: bone structure reflects the sex hormones pumping through our bl...

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Contradictions  to gender lines

Most studies had only examined Western societies. When Isabel Scott at Brunel University, decided to cast their net wider – across communities in Asia, Africa, South America and Russia, the...

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Even heavier weight is attractive

In cultures where starvation is a real risk, preferences for heavier weight in partners is expected because those individuals are most resistant to food shortages, and indeed, this does seem to be the case . When dominance is valu...

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Our beauty is shaped by familiarity

Our attraction is also shaped by familiarity: the more people see you with a certain appearance, the more attractive it can appear. In a time when cosmetic surgery is becoming the norm, this offers an important lesson. Instead of changing your unusual looks to suit the fashions of the time, you c...

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