Will the beauty of women affect the love relationship

Attractiveness: Those who are beautiful get ahead

Some careers are like ivy, creeping upward. Others get the trip to Olympus for free. Sometimes this has little to do with performance, but rather with attractiveness and beauty. Unjust world. But that's the way it is. The vernacular calls the phenomenon "chemistry": If it is right between two people, it works with the neighbor just as it does with the boss or colleagues. But what is actually behind this ominous chemistry has been investigating, for example, attractiveness researchers since the late 1960s - with sometimes surprising results. Why beauty often makes life easier ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: what does attractiveness mean?

Attractiveness is derived from the Latin word for "to attract", "to attract" and means attraction. When a person is perceived as attractive varies. Beauty is in the eye of the beholderit is said so often.

On the one hand, you can use it to lull yourself perfectly and determine: I am beautiful as long as someone thinks I am beautiful. But there actually is measurable valuesthat increase the likelihood that a person will be perceived as beautiful:

Well-balanced proportions

The Rubens figure is often cited in the pictures of the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens in the 17th century as evidence of changed ideals of beauty. This is only partially true: Slightly (!) Overweight may have been perceived as attractive in a time marked by famine - the proportions shown have, however, remained almost unchanged over the centuries. For men, a waist-to-hip ratio of between 0.9 and 1.0 is considered optimal because this indicates a high testosterone level and thus sexual potency and physical strength. For women, the ideal value is 0.7. That signals fertility.


Men in particular benefit from their height. Men who are taller than 1.82 meters later bring home almost six percent more salary than their average high-rated colleagues, according to researchers from London's Guildhall University, who surveyed 11,000 working people.

Long legs

Long legs that are above average make women look more attractive. Polish scientists found out. Regardless of body size. To do this, the researchers manipulated photos and lengthened the legs in the pictures by five percent in order to then have the result assessed for attractiveness. The optimum was ten percent above normal. Legs with a deviation of up to 15 percent, on the other hand, looked stilted again and accordingly unattractive. A study by the University of Cambridge confirms the same thing about the attractiveness of men: Longer legs in men seem to provide their partners with evolutionary information on nutrition and health: Disproportionately short legs are medically associated with type II diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease .

Hip swing

Attractiveness researchers have even looked at the aisle. They found that women who take small steps and wiggle their hips slightly look particularly attractive (to men). In the studies by Edward R. Morrison, the main focus was on the thesis that ideals of beauty, body size index (BMI) and ideal body shape can vary depending on the culture. So the scientists focused more on subtle movements. And indeed: the slight swaying of the hips was universally attractive.

Child schema

The combination of maturity indicators (high, concave cheeks) and infantile signals (large head, arched forehead, large round eyes, snub nose, small chin) makes women attractive. The prototype of such a nanny is Brigitte Bardot, by the way. Women like her subconsciously trigger an attention and care reflex.

Angular facial features

Interestingly, some external characteristics are perceived as attractive by one gender and unattractive by another. The aforementioned child scheme only works for women - men with the same characteristics are classified as unattractive. The expression of the male face is influenced by the hormone testosterone, which is responsible for bone growth. This results in a rather angular jaw with a distinctive chin. A larger bulge above the eye means that the eyes are smaller. Bushy eyebrows and narrower lips are also perceived as masculine.


In fact, the more common the face, the more attractive we find it (Langlois & Roggman, 1990). This is shown above all by studies in which portraits were morphed on the computer, i.e. superimposed on one another. However, one must admit that the averaging primarily compensated for unsightly asymmetries and wrinkles and skin blemishes.


Facial symmetry in particular has a positive effect on the sympathies shown. This is evident in so-called chimeric faces, i.e. portraits that are created on the computer by mirroring the respective half of the face. The face created symmetrically in this way then consists of either two left or two right halves of the face.

Yellowish complexion

Smooth, intact skin is a sign of vitality. Carmen Lefevre from the British University of York was able to show in her studies that we also clearly prefer faces with a slight yellow tinge to the more whitish or grayish ones. That does not depend on the sun, but on the proportion of carotenoids in the skin. These are dyes that occur everywhere in nature: in bananas, carrots and tomatoes as well as in animal skins and feathers. And because healthy people have always been more attractive than sick people, with a yellowish complexion it is not so much the skin tone that we find beautiful, but rather what resonates in the subtext: This person feeds himself and is healthy.

And that's exactly what attractiveness is all about: to contemplation.

Inner or outer values ​​more important?

Within seconds we judge people according to their appearance: gender, age, ethnic characteristics and socio-economic status can be determined with a high degree of accuracy. We make a first impression of a person and, according to scientists, this is important because, in the distant past, we had to be able to use facial expressions to quickly assess whether we were looking at friends or foes.

Above all, attractiveness plays a role when choosing a partner a role. Incidentally, there is little difference between men and women, as two studies by psychologist Madeleine Fugère from Eastern Connecticut State University show. Accordingly, the much-invoked “inner values” are by no means as important to women as they are often claimed.

In one study were Test subjects together with their mothers, in the other study Test subjects together with their fathers presented various photos of men on which three personal characteristics were noted.

Conclusion: Even if there could be slight deviations between the parents and their daughters, the bottom line is that physical attractiveness most desirable is: moderate external attractiveness could be compensated with attractive personality traits such as friendliness and intelligence.

But unattractive men had no chance even with an attractive personality profile. This was interesting insofar as those involved had previously stated that they rate personal characteristics such as hard work, friendliness and affection much higher than external ones.

A reason can be here in social desirability lie: Nobody can choose which genes someone is born with. It seems superficial in character to judge someone only by their appearance.

Many factors influence attractiveness

First of all, attractiveness and beauty are not necessarily identical. Beauty describes rather a pleasant appearance, while attractiveness is not only determined by the appearance.

From a biological point of view, humans may be animals, but a few thousand years of evolution have left their mark. Who we find attractive depends not only on sexual orientation, but also on these factors:

  • Hormones

    Whether women are perceived as attractive, but also whether they classify a person as good-looking, depends on the cycle. In its fertile phase, the face looks more feminine and the skin has a healthy shade - attractive features for a man. In this phase they find male facial features particularly attractive.

  • Feelings

    Pleasing makes you beautifulit is also called. Who we already know and appreciate, i.e. friends, family, colleagues - we automatically rate them as more attractive.

  • socialization

    How we grew up shapes our viewing habits. Certain peer groups wear certain things and style themselves accordingly. The generation and the social class influence our external appearance, which in turn is expressed in certain brands.

  • Zeitgeist

    Various ideals of beauty have existed over the centuries. In Europe, women of the high nobility pressed themselves into stiff bodices up to so-called wasp waists for centuries. Constant shortness of breath and deformed internal organs were the result.

  • Culture

    Who and what we consider handsome is also a product of our culture. So what is similar is often beautiful. This is also shown in studies with couples: They usually show a similar result on an attractiveness scale.

Beauty: The face is especially important

The curves with Push-ups and silicone inserts Get in shape, in the gym and in the agony every week Six pack training, diets and numerous slimming cures - many people spare no effort for a hardened body. With this you hope to appear more attractive.

However, Marianne Peters from Crawley University in Australia found in her study that above all face decides whether you find someone attractive or not.

In which scientific experiment Twelve men and women each were asked to rate the attractiveness of other people using photographs on a scale from 1 to 7. Some of the test subjects saw the overall appearance, others only the faces, and still others only the body.

Then the head of the study Marianne Peters compared the face and body values ​​with the Overall ratingto find out how much these matched. And lo and behold: the faces created the greater latitude for judgment - or in short: they are more decisive for the attractiveness. This was especially true of women who were supposed to judge men. With 52 percent, they primarily examined their faces; only a quarter (24 percent) of the test subjects were interested in their physique. The proportion of men was slightly lower: 47 percent judged the beauty of the face, the physique of women with 32 percent was also of secondary importance.

The frozen face effect

Researchers led by psychologist Robert Post from the University of California at Davis and colleagues from Harvard University have found that static faces Not nearly as attractive as those on the move.

The researchers carried out several experiments for their study: In one of these, the test subjects were asked to rate 20-second videos of faces or around 1200 snapshots from these clips - particularly with the question of how attractive, appealing and likeable they found the person shown.

The same faces cut into him across the bank Videos better off. This also applied to a second experiment, in which the videos and faces were all rotated 180 degrees, i.e. shown upside down. Even in this unnatural pose (which was intended to disrupt the test subjects' typical face recognition and attractiveness patterns), the moving images performed better.

The scientists suspect that as a possible reason Lack of expression in a photo. The livelier the facial expression, the more attractive we find people. This could also explain why faces frozen (but wrinkle-free) due to Botox do not look as beautiful as the cosmetics industry would like to believe.

Beautiful makes you successful: Those who are beautiful have advantages from birth

"Beauty is a welcome guest", mused Goethe. It gives people early advantages: beautiful babies get more attention, beautiful children get better school grades. That increases that Self-confidence, encourages and creates persuasiveness. Effect: Beautiful people find a job faster later.

More than 93 percent of a total of 1,300 HR managers at the largest companies in the USA and Great Britain, for example, who were surveyed by Syracuse University in New York, are convinced of this. The Advantage of a pretty facade can even be counted in euros and cents: Those who look good earn up to five percent more with the same qualifications than his average attractive colleagues. Daniel Hamermesh from the University of Texas found out.

This is confirmed by further investigations. University of Wisconsin economists Joseph Halford and Hung-Chia Hsu found that the share price goes up when one attractive CEO moves into the company. For their study, the researchers analyzed the attractiveness of 677 CEOs of large companies in the American S&P 500 stock index and the development of company prices between 2000 and 2012. Result: A new, good-looking CEO lets share prices rise by an average of 0.43 percentage points - on his first day at work alone.

In order to get a picture of the top managers as objectively as possible, the scientists switched the service provider Anaface.com in between. This is where the attractiveness of faces becomes calculated using algorithmswhich in turn are based on factors such as facial symmetry, eye relief or length of the ears. On a scale from 1 to 10 (10 = particularly attractive), the managers rated in this way achieved an average value of 7.3. So more pretty than ugly. Overall, the CEOs came up with a range between 4 and 8.8 points. The former Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer is said to be one of the most attractive top managers with an index value of just under 8.45.

The cheerleading effect

Who the series How I met your mother has seen, already knows this effect. It says that People in a group appear more attractive yourself. The researchers Drew Walker and Edward Vul from the University of California at San Diego found out in five experiments.

How to get out of the Attractiveness research knows, an average appearance is particularly attractive. And so the whole group promptly looks much prettier, although each individual may have a few distinctive features that we find less attractive.

The name appeared for the first time Cheerleader effect (the one too Bridesmaid paradox is called) in 2008. There it says in a dictionary: "All together the cheerleaders look attractive, although on closer inspection one or the other is not even pretty."

In fact, one works Group of uniform people (who therefore don't have to wear a uniform, they just have a lot of external similarities) extremely attractive to us. We then no longer perceive the individual, but the average of all of them together. Not only cheerleaders benefit from the effect, but also boy groups or girl groups such as the Spice Girls, who were very individual types in themselves. Such bands are usually cast in such a way that there is something for every taste. But only together do they appear even more attractive.

How beauty and stereotypes are passed on

But: Why do we automatically consider attractive people to be more powerful or smarter?

According to sociologists, there is one behind the latter archaic reflex, simple but effective: attractiveness is a signal physical health; In turn, intelligence and performance can develop fully when the body is healthy.

The stereotype is also fed on Relationship market: Intelligent people with prestigious jobs mostly find beautiful partners. Both parts are passed on to a certain extent, so that the children in these relationships are usually attractive and intelligent as well and, thanks to their parents, on top of that better starting conditions bring. The advantage is thus practically passed on. And because everyone knows such examples from their environment, the cliché solidifies and the effect increases.

How deeply rooted this belief is can be seen in the following mentality: Around 90 percent of the Men believe that looking good is important to be successful at work.In the case of men between 30 and 39 years of age, 97 percent found this, according to the result of a Germany-wide TNS Infratest survey of 1000 men. The older generation between 40 and 59 sees it almost the same way: 85 percent agree with the thesis. Only the real social network (not the one on the Internet) is rated higher than attractive looks with an average of 93 percent.

Why do men pay more attention to beauty than intelligence in women?

Because men can see better than they can think? Might be. But sociologists found another explanation: A beautiful woman at the side of a below-average attractive man makes him appear immediately more attractive. So the model at his side increases his status: He is promptly considered more intelligent, more confident, more lovable.

It doesn't work the other way around: an exceptionally good-looking man at the side of an average attractive woman does not change the slightest thing about how others assess her. Too bad.

When beauty becomes a curse

Like everything else, attractiveness also has a downside: although beautiful people have an easier time with the first impression, they often struggle - as paradoxical as it sounds - with the rejection of their fellow human beings. Quite a few react with envy and Jealousy of good looks and the advantages that come with it. Beautiful women regularly report that they have problems in their work environment and hardly find friends. Her colleagues often look at her with suspicion and ignore her because they see her as a threat.

A group of researchers from Spain, the Netherlands and Argentina led by the psychologist Abraham Buunk examined in a study how sexual competition affects work and whether it is more pronounced in men or women. First, they examined how envy and Resentment affect social rivalries at work. Indeed, initially both genders - men and women - reacted jealously to colleagues who were highly sympathetic. Or to put it less scientifically: if you are well received by your colleagues, suddenly you are no longer well received by others in the team.

At the same time, the research team registered that Women react particularly violently when their female counterparts were well received by men - especially when they (subliminally) compete sexually with one another in the company. In other words, if there is such a thing as a secret competition for attractiveness, then the office becomes a theater of war: which one has the better figure? The hip clothes? Which one seems sexier to the (popular) colleagues? Especially when women pay special attention to this (which they would never admit), they react increasingly disapprovingly to colleagues who are more attractive, more influential, more dominant.

The Israeli economist Bradley Ruffle from Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva found in his research that attractive women are less often invited to job interviews become.

The scientist and his team sent 5312 fictitious applications for 2656 job advertisements. They sent the applications either without a photo, with photos of men and women who were on average attractive, and with photos of men and women who were above average. While the Applications of attractive men were very successful, applications from attractive women performed below average.

The researchers suspect that the cause is that HR managers fear that one attractive colleague might be too much Bringing unrest into the team - through courtship behavior of colleagues and jealousy of colleagues.

In certain professional fields, attractiveness can even be a disadvantage: Stefanie Johnson, Junior Professor for Management at the UC Denver Business School showed in an experiment that attractive women are disadvantaged in male professions in which appearance does not play a role. she let Application photos rate them according to their attractiveness. The test persons were then asked to assess how suitable they considered the depicted persons for certain professions. The result was that attractive women were considered unsuitable for professions such as finance director, head of research and development or positions in building supervision.

How to deal with envious people

Do you feel like you are being marginalized by others because you are more attractive? Here are some tips for you below on how to better deal with envious people.

Take it easy.

Wilhelm Busch was already of the opinion that envy was the most sincere form of recognition. You will be admired by your fellow human beings for your private and professional success. It shows you that you did something right. Be happy about it instead of being angry.

Stay on the ground.

What offends your colleagues is, above all, showing off. Don't brag about your successes. Especially an arrogant manner will cost you sympathy points. Let your work and your achievements speak for themselves.

Show understanding.

Everyone is jealous of another at some point. But don't let such taunts provoke you. Getting involved in such disputes can easily escalate the situation. Silence is definitely gold here.

Don't justify yourself.

With vehement assurances that your successes will not fall into your lap, you will not convince envious people. As a rule, this is wasted effort. Envy has its origin in the envious person's low self-esteem. You cannot change that, he has to work on it himself.

Encourage the other person.

Rather, give the envious person the feeling that they can achieve what you have achieved. Offer help and support, but without rising above the other. By doing this, you show greatness and prove that you really deserve to be successful.

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