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Attractiveness or attraction refers to a quality that causes an interest or desire in something or someone.[1] The term attraction may also refer to the object of the attraction itself, as in tourist attraction.

Visual attractiveness[edit]

Visual attractiveness or visual appeal is attraction produced primarily by visual stimuli.

Eye candy[edit]

A common slang term for visually appealing persons or effects used to draw mass attention is eye candy.[2] The implication is that they are eye-catching in a superficial fashion, for example due to adding an element of sexuality. Like actual candy, this addition is seen to be neither nutritious nor substantial, but rather provides a potentially addictive appeal which will sustain the attention of a wider audience, possibly despite their better nature.

The term dates to at least 1978 and comes from the similar term "ear candy" (the name of a Helen Reddy album) which dates to 1977.[3]

It could also be derived from the phrase "a feast for the eyes" meaning a visually pleasing sight.[4]

This expression is sometimes used for example to actors/actresses whose visual enjoyment to the audience is perceived as so evident they are alleged as having been cast for this reason, e.g. for their sex appeal. Various novels, articles, and stories have used this slang term to show a physical attraction one person has toward another.[citation needed]

Physical attractiveness[edit]

Physical attractiveness is the perception of the physical traits of an individual human person as pleasing or beautiful. It can include various implications, such as sexual attractiveness, cuteness, similarity and physique. Judgment of attractiveness of physical traits is partly universal to all human cultures, partly dependent on culture or society or time period, partly biological,[5] and partly a matter of individual subjective.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ortony, Andrew; Gerald L. Clore; Allan Collins (1990). The Cognitive Structure of Emotions. Cambridge University Press. p. 59. ISBN 0-521-38664-0. 
  2. ^ "WordNet Search". Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  3. ^ "Ear candy". Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kearl, Mary (June 2009). "What Makes Men and Women Attracted To Each Other?". AOL Health. Retrieved August 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ Hönekopp, Johannes (2006). "Once more: Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Relative contributions of private and shared taste to judgments of facial attractiveness". APA. Retrieved July 2010.