Talk:Physical attractiveness/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Older comments

categorized by Dpr 01:14, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

There are some arguments in this article that border on the absurd! For example:

  4. Large, symmetrical, white teeth: indicator of reproductive vigor and ability to defend young; also health and contrast

Reproductive vigour? Ability to defend young? What? ("Look out for her bite -- she's got symmetrical white teeth!")

  5. Prominent zygomas (cheek bones), especially with a blush of color: paired, rounded forms, especially if pigmented, stimulate the same male response as the flushed buttocks of simian females in mating position
  6. Thick, vivid lips: as for #5, the genital parallel is inescapable

The parallel between cheek bones and buttocks is "inescapable"? Personally I don't think of genitalia or buttocks when looking at someone's face. Moreover, many men, depending on race and other factors, have prominent cheek bones or "thick, vivid" lips. What is that supposed to mean? To answer you, people don't generally think DIRECTLY of those as being correlated, but it's ingraianed in humans on a more genetic, subconscious level.

I think all these assertions would be far from accepted for many people. I don't think this kind of arguments can be accepted in the Wikipedia if they are not supported by direct links to the concrete scientific, peer-reviewed references where the results of the experiments leading to such conclusions were published.

The fifth one is kind of true because the blood will plumped to the lip when a person is sexually stimulated..... I read that form a book.

Stereotypes associated with physical attractiveness

(removed, see if anybody complains)

Quote from the first passage of the article... "Physical attractiveness can have a huge effect on how people are judged — people tend to attribute positive characteristics such as intelligence and honesty to attractive people without consciously realizing it."

However, it may also be necessary to mention the emerging habit of often unconsciously setting negative stereotypes. It's infact quite common to hear people judging like "blonde and nice but intellectually scarce" and similar (even more vulgar) expressions.

Much later in the article the "self-fulfilling prophecy" effects of beauty are mentioned. It's really very common that this also in the negative sense.

I haven't found this on any literary source but just from common sense and experience.

I removed "Amongst African-Americans and black men throughout the West, a shaved head or very short hair is currently considered attractive, possibly having an influence in increased caucasian and Asian men adopting the hairstyle." in the section that deals with men's hairstyles as a determiner. I don't see any articles or links relating to where this information was gather, and sounds like an incorrect stereotype.

Unattributed Fact

"Furthermore, infants, who presumably have not yet been affected by culture, tend to prefer the same faces considered attractive by adults."

I don't dispute the truth of this statement, but it's a pretty strong claim to make without citing sources. Presumably this was the result of one or more studies. Any attribution any of the sources would be helpful.

It is commonly known in psychology that even young infants stare longer at faces rated as more attractive by college students. Maybe the article's sentence should be rephrased. --Nectarflowed T 00:35, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
actually, I remember reading something about this (specifically, its validity) in a National Geographic, but I can't recall what issue --anonymous

Other Pysical Attributes

"Clear and somewhat lighter complexion: healthy"

The bolded text was added on Aug 20, 2005 without any source I could find that would verify the truth of the new assertion. I did find an copy of a still older version that says it came from wikipedia and does not have the new text. that link is:

Here is the appropriate quote:

Symmetry of features: healthy

Clear complexion: healthy

Contrasting colors and features: such as well-delineated eyebrows, dark lashes, dark eyes/light face or light eyes/dark face; these heighten the features of attraction, perhaps a

The listed attributes are complimentary, but in the common era, males don't just look at fascial features. They notice other body parts and/or clothing of the oppposite sex (although you don't see it ver common among females noticing males), including the females clothing, undergarments, and most commonly girls, breasts and buttocks.

Some males might comment about females amongst each other, "She has a nice ass," or "She got hot boobs," etc.

I think this should be taken into consideration if anyone would be nice enough to edit the article. And, if you do, please, take this into thought.

 I have a social psychology book that directly contradicts what you've said about men focusing   
 on clothing.  While women do rate better dressed men are more attractive, this effect doesn't     
 occur in when men rate women.

Weird "Facts"

"In Mediterranean societies such as Ancient Egypt,..." : since when is Egypt considered a Mediterranean society?

Look on a map. Egypt is adjacent to the Mediterranean. Ancient Egypt traded extensively with both Minoan and Classical Greece, and a wide variey of other Mediterranean civilizations.

"In Renaissance Europe, the codpiece, a popular fashion accessory, led to emphasis on the thighs, and fashion-conscious men strove to maintain muscular thighs." : No, the codpiece did not serve to emphasize thighs; it served to exaggerate/suggest the male genital area.

Probably saying that by focusing attention on the genital region, the thighs also became more prominently viewed. --Dpr 01:14, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
no they are not 'probably' saying that, they are saying just what they are saying and are just not well informed before they wrote an article. you dont have to always try to be nice ---matthew

Malaysia/small eyes

Did any one know in malaysia, people consider small eyes is pretty??? That is because once I've in there once they the tour giude have said that. Seems to be more common for guy that small eyes is more appealing. Anyone have more information on this?!

Good question. Anyone? --Dpr 01:14, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

(I am the person ask the question above, who personally attracted to male with smallyer eyes than I do.)This topic is more based on western society.......

Official Survey

I've read about a survey that was taken which helped to rank the different ethnicities in terms of physical attractiveness in general. So according to this survey, asian men were thought to be the least attractive to the majority of those who participated in the poll, and african-american women were thought to be the least attractive in the other poll (for men). I'm just wondering where I can find this poll, and if it could possibly be including in this article as a reference or even having it's own section altogether. Is there an article on Wikipedia on "race and physical attractiveness according to consensus"?

I saw a Weekly World News article to this effect. It about a study by French scientists that ranked the British as the world's ugliest people and the French as the most beautiful. Temtem 02:05, August 23, 2005 (UTC)
I haven't seen the above-mentioned survey, but "interracial marriage 'gender gaps'" concur with those results. Asian American men and African American women marry partners of other races far less than Asian American women and African American men. Steve Sailer suggests the cause is perceived masculinity and femininity, and he discusses skin color (human males have darker skin tone than human females), and muscularity correlates.[1] Black-Asian marriages are rare, but have an even greater gender disparity than Black-White marriages. --Nectar T 02:23, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
you really shouldnt even bring up weekly world news here, unless you are writing an article on it. -matt

"Sexual attraction" article--content coordination

Sexual attraction, as does Beauty, has a large section on physical and other features correlated with attractiveness. I suggest that this is a violation of the no duplicate articles rule of Wiki and producing a waste of effort on two projects which should be combined (somehow) as one. Execute some kind of merge? --Dpr 08:02, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

  • Sexual attractiveness and beauty are NOT the same thing by any means. Sure, some beautiful people are also sexually attractive, but they are NOT the same thing. I've seen plenty of sexy people who aren't beautiful, and plenty of beautiful people who aren't sexy. The two are not mutually exclusive.
  • Sexual attraction and physical attractiveness are separate areas of research and should have separate pages. If the sexual attraction page overlaps too much with this page, then it needs to be edited to cover factors of sexual attraction other than physical attractiveness. Unfortunately, I am more familiar with physical attractiveness research than with sexual attractiveness research, so I would not be a good candidate. The physical attractiveness page focuses on scientific research, whereas the beauty page is largely nonscientific. I can see merging the scientific parts of the beauty page to the physical attractiveness page, but I do not see that as necessary.--FreeKresge 22:49, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Having no information in regards to the past, I will say that it is relatively well known (and clear once you begin thinking about social situations) that sexual attractiveness, particularly in men, seems to be more heavily corrilated with self confidence than with physical attractiveness in modern life. A good link for this article would be to the article on David DeAngelo. Also, while men seem to be singularly focused on physical appearance, a woman's self confidence does influence her sexual attractiveness. Think about what is more attractive, a woman who you feel is 'too good for you' or a woman at your beckon call?


No mention about breasts? Surely this can't be left out. Although the hip thing seems accurate.

Added as a minor note.


Perhaps some pictures to visually demonstrate this subject? Squash 05:49, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Historical Variances

There is no mention of women's fashions throughout history, it's all about guys. And also "Having tanned skin is viewed as naturally attractive, and as a potential sign that the person takes foreign holidays". Where the hell are you getting this from? It is such an unintelligent statement.

Attempted to fix this somewhat. --Dpr 01:14, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
I wrote the section on historical perceptions on male attractiveness but I dont know very much about the female side of things, I was hoping someone with more background knowledge of that area could write a corresponding section on womenRusty2005 21:24, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Body products

The use of body products, such as perfumes, colognes, skin creams, is something we may want to add, especially in regards to cultural and historic variances. --Dpr 03:16, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Hairstyles/What they indicate

Can this be moved to a separate article? --Dpr 01:14, 8 October 2005 (UTC)


Is dimples considered a determinant of female beauty? I wasn't sure...but I guess all of you guys agree with me. It's been there for more than a month. (Kyla 17:57, 8 October 2005 (UTC))

Hairless and smooth skin

Hairless and smooth skin: feminine

This, as a component of "other determinants of female attractiveness" was removed...while possibly unsourced, it is surely true, with very widespread applicability...should it not be returned to the text? Thanks --Dpr 03:35, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

It does not appear to be part of the original list (that I assume has recorded source). Somewhere. I am new here and pretty clueless on how to find stuff, if you point me towards such a source I will do some checking. As the culprit who raised the issue about the unsourced content changes of Aug 20, I am willing to help.Hazarat 04:30, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

(I am not sure... but male hormone responsible making hair other than those one on your head... isnt?!)

No, not as far as I know.

Bias, perception and personal preferences

I think this article perspective does not represent the population as a whole. While some of the ideas are popularly true, that does not make it suitable to be put in this article. The majority of article writers are of a certain culture, which would mean that the article would represent what this certain culture thinks. For example, lack of body hair is considered attractive in the western society but not so much in other parts of the world(no evidence). We sohuld stick to general understanding of attractiveness with respect to certain properties like youthfulness and fertility. Sincee these are commonly shared across the entire species, not just a culture. -Ayoyo

This article, like any Wikipedia article, should report on as many aspects of a phenomenon as possible, in other words, presenting information about the multiple, varying perspectives on physical attractiveness. In other words, we should provide approximate (perhaps very rough proportions) and the various proclivities common to each. Culturally-specific preferences should be reported, but mentioned as such. As the article currently does, we should describe (near) universal preferences, as well as trends specific to different cultures. --Dpr 21:05, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Some Parts of the Article Are Scientifically Lacking

This part of the article: "Many have asserted that certain advantages tend to come to those that are perceived as being more attractive, including the ability to get better jobs and promotions, receiving better treatment from authorities and the legal system, having more choices in romantic partners and therefore more power in relationships, and marrying into families with more money," is wrong, because it's been empirically shown nad not just asserted in numerous studies that attractive people recieve better treatment from the legal system (one of those studies is very famous in undergrad psych texts, it involved released convicts, some of whom were given plastic surgery and others who weren't - despite no difference in the average number of crimes committed by either group after release, the group that recieved plastic surgery was less likely to return to jail). The increased choice of romantic partners is also supported, but this time by an overwhelming number of studies. I don't know if any studies have been done linking the type of job a person has to their attractiveness rather than just income, but they probably exist and that's probably that's probably the case too. In fact, the studies that demonstrate the much greater than average height of most (male) presidents and Fortune 500 CEOs are studies that link one aspect of male beauty with desirable jobs, so in at least one sense, that assertion is also correct.

The use of asserted neutralizes the fact that these relationships have been repeatedly observed in controlled environments. This is a tangent, but it seems that the majority of people deny that they judge others in terms of physical appearance when most really do (this page is the site of some authors of a study about this, you can find their study online in german: ). I think this is why people say that the association between attractiveness and advantages in life is asserted rather than observed. These are facts, not opinions, and the word asserted needs to be changed to reflect that.

This part: "Physical attractiveness can have very real effects. A survey conducted by London Guildhall University of 11,000 people showed that those that subjectively describe themselves as physically attractive earn more than others that describe themselves as less attractive. Less attractive people earned, on average, 13% less than more attractive people, while the penalty for being overweight was around 5%. This can be viewed, however, as result of the increased self-confidence likely to be enjoyed by people who earn more than average," is also wrong, in that studies have been done directly linking others' perceptions of a person's physical appearance to that person's income ability. Not surprisingly, the two are positively correlated even when that person's appearance is judged by others.

Also, this article is fundamentally incomplete without mentioning the averageness hypothesis, which states that average faces are attractive. This article overemphasizes symmetry at the expense of averageness, which the studies in this book ( suggest is more important. While there are definite and particular characteristics that make a fact beautiful (high cheekbones, etcetc), averageness of the face is a very important factor. The maintainer of this article should read that book and be sure to include the findings from it, many of which are very recent (the averageness hypothesis is from around 1990, I believe).

The first study in that book is the same or very very similar as the one summarized here (, as they use the same pictures and reach the same conclusions about averageness and many other topics. The maintainers of this page should at least check that website and extensively update the material according to what's found there, as it encompasses most of what modern psychology has learned about physical appearance.

Furthermore, some people in the discussion seem to think that because a couple of characteristics of beauty are cultural, beauty must be referenced culturally (given that it's asserted that the examples don't represent a world-wide view of beauty). At least with respect to facial attractiveness, this is entirely wrong. In the first chapter of that book I linked to the correlation between ratings of attractiveness across cultures is given as r=.91 and across ethnicities as r=.87 (the 2nd might be off by .01 or .02, it's from memory). Beauty is overwhelmingly universal. This is also wrong about the waist-hip-ratio, which is ideally .7 for women (regardless of the prefered size of women in a culture).

While some characteristics may be peculiar to a culture, all research shows that the traits mentioned on this page as attractive (big eyes, prominent cheekbones, the necessary waist-hip ratio, a triangular face, etcetc) are regarded as attractive by an overwhelming number of cultures. Furthermore, there's evidence linking the facial traits preferred in men and women to relative levels of their hormones, so there's plenty of room for proposed explanations for why humans find certain faces attractive. I don't have time to find the links so I can't include the studies, but look hard and you'll find them all over google. There are similar studies linking symmetry of males to fluctuating asymmetry. Clearly, these explanations of human beauty are much less conclusive than the studies that determine what constitutes beauty, for obvious reasons.

Sorry, I don't really know how to edit. There is a reference to Marquardt in the article and I've read that none of his work has ever been published. It may be derivative on some ideas that have received some support but I have heard that some unattractive or average looking people fit the mask more than some people we consider very attractive. It's possible that the mask and the web page are hucksterism. I am unable to find anything that confirms or discomfirms but did find the following:

Racist and stereotype assumption about Eurasians

I deleted the "Eurasian beauty (1/2 Asian, 1/2 Caucasian)" "determinant" under "Other determinants of female beauty". This assumption is racist, and a stereotyping of Eurasians. An attractive Eurasian is not any more attractive than an attractive person of any other heritage. Secondly, "Asian" doesn't only refer to East Asians, which are meant here. The example of an attractive female, Kristin Kreuk, is not attractive because she's Eurasian but because she has a symmetrical face with well-balanced features.

would make more sense and fair and non-racist if put "people with multiracial descent" rather then just "Eurasian beauty".

Eurasian beauty

Eurasian beauty is a factor of female beauty. Take a look at the external links that says eurasian the right mix? (Jessica Liao 23:04, 2 November 2005 (UTC))

I don't care about what this link tells me. There are also unattractive Eurasians. There are attractive and unattractive people among all ethnic groups and mixtures. Just because it's supposedly the current trend that model agencies are searching for Eurasians, I still don't see too many Eurasians in commercials or advertisements, except maybe Devon Aoki. In Japan, for example, Eurasian models are big. In Korea a magazine will sell more copies if the girl on the cover is obviously Eurasian. I think this is very sad. People from all over the world are having the Western beauty stereotype shoved down their throats, and then people in Asia believe an Asian woman can never be as beautiful as a Eurasian one. This is ridiculous.

^No, you're being ridiculous by putting your agenda ahead of the empircal reality. The study is NOT about all people of multiracial descent, it's about eurasians. You seem to believe that throwing "racism" at something that offends you justifies your actions. The fact there are unattractive eurasians does not change a general trend that is not only a "stereotype", but is also supported by a scientific study. See the link at the bottom of the article. And sign your comments from now on, it's four tildes. Sorrowek 09:31, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

If that's what the facts say, that's what we should be including. Skinnyweed 00:25, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

"The Eurasian Beauty"/"Physical Attractiveness of Multi Origin Descent"

[Nov 11, 2005 WPG, MB]

Personally, I think some point a child of two people that have quite different features usually are more attractive to the others because the child would usually have the best of his/her parents' feature by the evolution of species. In this case, it is more obvious between two (or more) races, but not necessary to happen.

For example, Caucasian have defined bone feature and more variety of hair and eye colours than Asian. Caucasian are also tends to have stronger built than Asian from the nutrition and geographical/cultural condition, which have changed by 1980s and 1990s.
In the other hand, Asian tend to maintain more neoteny and more delicate bulit (which is consider a big factor of feminity). Asian have smooth, hairless skin, and they have more variety on facial structure. Asian are also big tendency to have better complexion and gentle (somtimes even doll/baby looking) face structure that would last most of their life.

Therefore, due to the evolution of a species, Eurasian female (or have feature of both side that is either full Caucasian or Asian. even thought Asian have more chance to have "Caucasian" features" as being Nothern Mongoloids) would have all of "positive" facial structure belong to Asian and Caucasian, which also gain admiration from both side.
(Devon Aoki is not a very good example of this..... more like Maggie Q or Reika Hashimoto or Michelle Branch)

Attractiveness, Self-Image and Body-Type Preferences among Whites and African Americans

Characteristics of Beauty and Attractiveness

A study performed in the United Kingdom showed a very strong and direct correlation between the level of each woman's estrogen and how attractive, healthy and feminine they were found to be, showing that fertility is related to attractiveness. To scientists, a convenient marker for physical attractiveness in people is symmetry, as measured by taking calipers to body parts as wrists, elbows, and feet to see how closely the pairs match. In both sexes, relatively low asymmetry seems to be associated with increased genetic, physical, and mental health, including cognitive skill and IQ. Also, symmetric men appear to be more muscular and vigorous, have a lower basal metabolic rate, and may be larger in body size than asymmetric men. Symmetry is a major component of developmental health and overall condition and it appears to be heritable. Researchers also found a strong correlation between asymmetry and romantic jealousy, suggesting that asymmetrical lovers may suspect they're somehow less desirable.

[some of these statements are sweeping and misleading, or outright false. At least, that's the impression I get reading some of the literature. For example, reading a metanalysis by Langlois et al. it is claimed that there is a very modest correlation between attractiveness and IQ but they are careful to not posit causality e.g. between a fitness-related evolutionary theory and socialization theory. From what I've read it seems the socialization theory is more likely given the magnitude of the difference is significantly larger in children, and from studies demonstrating biases of teachers paying more attention to and expecting more from attractive children; and subsequent studies priming higher positive expectations by administration of a false IQ test (the teachers pay more attention to the student who according to the test is "most likely to bloom" and subsequently score higher on a real test than controls)

The above statement also lacks context. Almost all attractiveness studies compare a least attractive group to a most attractive group and there isn't a lot of data demonstrating that people of medium attractiveness are fundamentally the same, so it's difficult to disentangle what is a "homeliness penalty" and what is a "beauty benefit" and how it applies to various situations and stations in life.

The statement about health is outright false if it's inferred by facial attractiveness. From Langlois et al. 1998: "we found that adolescent facial attractiveness was unrelated to adolescent health for either males or females, and was not predictive of health at the later times". Although there is a misattribution of health in line with the "attractiveness halo". Also see and commentary. There is some discussion of tradeoffs in health and attractiveness which highlights a common misunderstanding of "fitness" as optimizing in a way similar to social darwinism, or superiority of the individual (psedudoscience), although it may turn out that there is a signal or signals that in some way honestly advertise reproductive or genetic fitness.

Regarding symmetry, see It appears that the relationship between symmetry and attractiveness isn't as strong as implied. Although according to the article there is a much stronger relationship between symmetry and health. (also see various alternative or complementary theories about attractiveness such as averageness, hormonal theories and so on).

In my opinion the entire original article is filled with smaller mistakes and misleading statements like this and should be rewritten by someone with real expertise. This isn't a specific complaint about wikipedia as the literature itself seems to be frequently contradictory, and many of the conclusions in published articles are nothing more than speculation.]

Historically Beautiful Features

According to evolutionary psychology, the attraction to bodily characteristics are said to be biologically innate. Early humans were attracted to particular physical traits in the opposite sex. An attractive individual is perceived in having good genes. The classical female figure suggested fertility. For women, fuller breasts and hips 1/3 wider than waist or a waist to hip ratio of 0.7 is considered the ideal. A smaller waist suggests youth and greater fertility. Similarly, the early male physique implied protector and provider. For men, a more muscular physique with wider shoulders and a waist to hip ratio of 0.9 is considered more attractive. A larger waist would signal unhealthy genes. We have inherited the physical and psychological characteristics of the winners of this beauty contest. It makes sense that men should care more about the way women look than vice versa, because youth and fitness matter so much more in female fertility. And while male preferences do vary with time and place there's also some remarkable underlying consistency. For instance, it has been found that the waist-to-hip ratio was the most important factor in women's attractiveness to men in 18 cultures that have been studied. Regardless of whether lean or voluptuous women happen to be in fashion, the favored shape remains a waist/hip ratio of about 0.7.

History of Interracial Couples

In America’s history, interracial couples were frowned upon, and there were even laws in the 18th century, 19th century and 20th century against miscegenation. However, as it becomes more socially acceptable, every year there are more interracial marriages and relationships, especially between whites and African Americans. No matter which partner is white or black, the body type preference of their corresponding mate is the same: black men prefer a fuller-bodied woman, and black women see fuller-bodied women as more beautiful than a thinner body type. Even more interesting, African American women tend to prefer a larger body type for themselves as well. White women see a much thinner body as being preferable.


"The term African American no longer denotes only those people originating from Africa, but the black population in general, including Jamaican’s Haitian’s etc."

This is rediculous and simply untrue...African American denotes those of African heritage, from the United States of America specifically. The term 'black' can be extended to Jamaicans, Haitans, etc.

"Accordingly, the term white does not only designate people of Caucasian or Anglo-Saxon background, but any person with light skin color."

This is also ludicrous as there are African Americans with very light/white skin color, who are African American or identify as black.

The black and white disparity is far more loose and complicated than these assertions, and further demonstrates why this article should be removed. Such assumptions and allegations on the basis of race will never be accurate because the idea of race is arguably a social construct and cannot truly determine the individual actions of people.


Why is it related to body-type preference?

Body image is closely related to body-type preference because if women are happier with a certain size body in general, then there will be more women shaped like that. As a result, it would be evolutionarily desirable to prefer a certain shape if there are more of that type available.

Which races are happier with their bodies?

"Research often indicates that body image disturbance, particularly with regard to thinness ideals, is more of a problem for white women. Some research concludes that African American women and adolescents are, overall, more satisfied with their bodies than are their White counterparts. Although many black women do express an interest and concern with how they look, particularly in terms of hair style and skin color, the majority of African-American respondents in studies do not judge themselves in terms of their weight. They do not believe that as females they are valued solely on the basis of their bodies and not the merits of their minds. According to the girls in the studies, being thick, curvaceous with large hips, a rounded backside, and ample thighs, was seen as the most desirable body shape. Being so fat that you have no shape anymore was considered unattractive."

1. What research indicates such findings? 2. Which African Americans were included in this study (Age, socioeconomic background, geographic location?) 3. Can this truly be applied to the entire population of African American people?

Race cannot be the only determinant of body image. How would an African American in completely white surroundings differ from this study? This article makes it seem as if no change would occur. African Americans think one way and whites the other, which is racist in itself. I cannot imagine this to be accurate, since there are anorexic and bulemic black women and men. This entire article is based on inaccurate generalizations.

Why are African-American women more satisfied with their bodies?

Researchers suggest that African American female's positive body image is linked to their positive sense of racial or social identity. The Black family, extended family and the Black people's community are critical players in this process in that they convey through their words and actions, a positive sense of Black identity to young girls which mediates the values and attitudes of the dominant culture concerning women's role and body image. Black girls' gender identity is shaped as it intersects with girls’ race and social class to produce a different sense of gender identity that challenges dominant white culture's definition of womanhood. Young girls receive positive emotional support from their mothers concerning their bodies and their ability to succeed in life through a process we label "internalized self assessment". Wider contextual factors within the Black Community/culture, from peers to extended family send specific messages to young women regarding their bodies that are in stark contrast to White Western norms of beauty.

Factors Influencing Body-Type Preference


Eldridge Cleaver, a black Muslim believing in the doctrines of Malcolm X, wrote a book in which the last chapter was titled “White Woman, Black Man.” Cleaver explains that Black men covet white women because of their hatred for the white man’s injustice against them. He explains that the Black man’s lust for white women is due to the self-hate of black skin which the white man has instilled in the Black men of America. Cleaver also explains that he feared Black women because in seeing their strength he was forced to see his own faults. Any lack person who follows the doctrines of Eldridge Cleaver and other historically black Muslims may still hold the same beliefs.


Researchers found that Americans showed a strong correlation between their body image size and their ethnic and gender background. Black women were more satisfied with a larger body image size than White women. However, this may stem from the fact that when Black women were the only people bringing in money (as maids, before black men had equal employment opportunities) after emancipation, so a larger woman meant a woman who had more money to provide for a family. In Latin America, larger women are considered healthier and more attractive, perhaps because larger build is more favorable for child-bearing (another argument from studies). Researchers presume body-shape preferences are affected by several social factors and in the Arab nation of Qatar, women prefer slightly heavier women and men to thin ones. For the most part, the results of a study in Qatar backed up the hypotheses.


Higher education is directly proportional to the selection of a thinner female body shape. Lastly, employment status also influenced the ratings. Employed women were more likely to prefer thinner females and heavier males. This is possibly because people are prone to liking a person when they believe they are of higher status than the other. Therefore, if a woman is employed and thinner than her mate, she will be looked upon favorably by her peers and she will look more favorably upon herself.

Attraction/Body-Type Preference Studies


The majority of African American men prefer an average body type and weight in females. Their preferred weight for a mate was 133 lbs. White men are equally split between those who preferred slightly thin females and average females. Their preferred weight for a mate was also lower, averaging about 125 lbs. Results of the women showed an overwhelming preference for slightly thin males. 85% of White women and 80% of African American women found slightly thin males more attractive.

Body Shape

White men find large buttock and wide hips less important features of attractiveness than their African American counterparts. White men find slim figures to be very important, while African American men find pretty toes to be very attractive and more important to them than White men. Women were also questioned for what they found important in attractive men. White females find light eyes and skin color to be more important than African American females, who prefer full lips and muscular legs.

The study speculates that these standards of attractiveness are very race-specific and these characteristics are more prevalent in the members of their own races than that of others. They found that physical characteristics that were critical in defining the differences between races were considered more important than those that did not. Further questions posed by this study concern whether or not people judge other races to the same standards of attractiveness as they do their own.


Average American body mass index (BMI) measurements show that black females have the highest BMI of any other racial group. Also, they have the highest female incidence of obesity. White women, however, have the lowest BMI, and the lowest incidence of obesity.

Where are the references?????

Weight versus BMI

Most people expect a much larger gap in weight than the result of the study (a mere 8 pounds). However, the real gap in body type is shown in the BMI statistics, which shows that it is not just a weight difference, but an entire body composition. This explains how black women are built differently, with wider hips and buttocks. It is not necessarily fat, though, since muscularity is not a factor in a BMI measurement.

Western preference for tanned skin?

I found this statement highly questionable:

In the 20th and 21st century Western world, tanned skin has been considered highly attractive for both men and women. A theory for why this is so is that during the 20th century it became possible for those with higher incomes to travel to warmer climates during the winter. A tan served as evidence of one's vacation, and thus became a symbol of status.

(The article then goes on to mention the preference for lighter skin in Asian cultures.) I don't know where the above statement comes from and whether its at all backed by research - the statement is uncited, like everything else in this article. The idea that there is a universal preference in the contemporary Western world for tanned skin on otherwise light-skinned people strikes me as an erroneous statement, and rather dated. Its true that from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, a "heathy tan" was largely considered desirable, and that this ideal still holds true in some segment of the population in contemporary Western countries. However, a light, even pale or "alabaster" look has also become popular, brought on by the decline of the 1960s-1970s "natural look" ideal, publicity that tanning is very unhealthy for the skin and causes it to age more quickly, as well as the peripheral influence of punk and gothic fashion. Uma Thurman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kate Moss, Claire Danes, and Natalie Portman are just a few examples of models and actresses that have never been photographed with any kind of deep tan, and have skin tones that range from light to downright pale. These are all women who are considered extremely beautiful by a large number of people in the contemporary Western world - this would seem to be evidence that contradicts the idea of a generalized preference for tanned skin over untanned skin. Iamcuriousblue 07:21, 12 April 2006 (UTC)


“Attractive Body.”

Corbett, Melanie (2004 April 19). “The [Racial] Dating Game.” The Stanford Daily. <>.

Hesse-Biber , Sharlene Nagy, Stephanie A. Howling, Patricia Leavy and Meg Lovejoy. “Racial Identity and the Development of Body Image Issues among African American Adolescent Girls.” The Qualitative Report. Volume 9.

Musaiger, Abdulrahman O., Nora E. Shahbeek, and Maryama Al-Mannai. “The Role of Social Factors and Weight Status in Ideal Body-Shape Preferences as Perceived by Arab Women.”

Jackson, Linda A. and Olivia D. Mcgill. “Body Type Preferences and Body Characteristics Associated With Attractive and Unattractive Bodies by African Americans and Anglo Americans.”

Sheridan, Bridget. “Scientific Formula Determines Most Desirable Body Shape.”

This reads like original research, in which case it should be on Wikisources, not here. If not, the title is too long for anyone to find and you should consider merging with some appropriate existing article. --David Woolley 14:14, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

external links

I'm removing the following external links:

They seem to consist mostly of unverified original research, and do not seem to be notable proponents of points of view discussed in the article, so I think they meet the criteria in Wikipedia:External_links#Links_to_normally_avoid.

--Allen 01:13, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Caucasian features

I guess this is bit controvercial but it definitely should be disscussed. It is the one of the most obvious example of culture/politics influencing the concept of beauty. I edited the universal section to elaborate this aspect. Vapour

Nazis controlling this article:

Physical_attractiveness#Universal_correlates_of_beauty is an immense POV violation only found in wide distribution on White supremacist websites and forms. Trust me; I used to lurk on them. Their idea is that European and Asian relations are superior than European and African relations. Many of these Neonazis are Midwestern Americans part American Indian or Central Asian (Volga Germans), or Amerasian, or Lapp/Finn/Samoyed/Uralic etc in origin and think they are more Caucasian than Ancient Romans. Maybe it is just me, but I find that a wee bit repulsive and downright offencive. I wonder how they can masturbate to hentai and think that Cleopatra is some impure European because of Semitic descent, or that Nefertiti was not beautiful, whilst Eurasians are "hot and sexy". I guess WWII Axis Powers in Germany and Japan have developed a "beautiful relationship". Count me out. Your skin tone cannot mask your barbarisms. Lord Loxley 23:57, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

For someone so seemingly immune to the pitfalls of racial classification, you certainly can cite their presence with grim accuracy. Perhaps your interest in, as you put it, "supremacist" websites is not yet entirely diminished from your perspectives?

At any rate, your post is gibberish and violates many, many logical maxims (slipper slope conclusions for one).

Moreover, many elements in American/British/European culture draw their influence from Germanic roots; not just beauty. Simply because its interwoven into our collective culture does not mean it wholly defines the scope of our ambitions, friend. If that were the case, the warlike tendencies of the Zulus would be a pervasive cultural trend in Africa.

So, before you jump to conclusions about the supposed racist undercurrent inherent within a topic, make sure you at least prepare your logic with better precision and fully understand *your* intrinsic motivations for posting.

Personally I only agree with both of you to the limite extent. Obvious that not all non-white race look up to the "Caucasian beauty stereotype (this is the most ridiculous idea i have ever heard in my life)" but it doesnt saying that so said that must be supremist or Nazis in that term. What I do need is that i need some one to clean up that topic because it is not neutral. In acient society people look up to fair skin only because they mean fair people dont have to do outdoor work and Asian people look up to big eyes because of neoteny as such case. I of the phenonmenon i find about a lot of people (regardless of ethinicity, but esp in North America) think that coloured people look up to white people so they want to have white people feature. This is a quite big misconception because people look up to certain feature, and therefore they admire that race who have it but definetely not vice versa unless it involves discrimination or other non-beauty related factor. --MeowKun 17:00, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Angelina Jolie

I took down the picture of Angelina because the article should not be biased in it's opinions of who's beautiful and who isn't. This isn't "People" magazine here. I, along with I'm sure others, don't feel she's an example of physical attractiveness

I agree. On the contrary, I find her features too exaggerated, to the point of not being pleasant to the eyes.

Unsigned Comment Moved

[I'm not sure how to post a comment. Please move to a more appropiate space if necessary.]

I agree with the comments made by the poster of 8 October 2005, (above).

Further, unqualified statements like the following are ridiculous. Many black people prefer thin physiques. And I would have hoped that the latest news report about Star Jones's breast reduction and gastric bypass surgery would have finally put to rest the stereotype that all black women are fat and happy about it. Not only is it not "interesting," it's not true.

"No matter which partner is white or black, the body type preference of their corresponding mate is the same: black men prefer a fuller-bodied woman, and black women see fuller-bodied men as more beautiful than a thinner body type. Even more interesting, African American women tend to prefer a larger body type for themselves as well. White women see a much thinner body as being preferable." - —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 13:50, April 7, 2006 .

The Section "Universal Correlate of Beauty" is NPOV

The central idea of that article indirectly indicated that people of European descent are consider as the ideal/propotype of beauty: ex "It should be pointed out however that people in East Asia do not realize the reasons behind it and might argue they consider large eyes attractive simply because this feature is more rare among Asian populations.", "In fact, "rounder" face and "slender" eyes, which are physical symbols of Northern Asians (Mongolians, Northern Chinese, and Koreans, the dominant cultural presence at the time)" or the idea of chaging one's skin colour among African or South Asian descent is simply becaues of the fairness of the European Descent, but not because of other factor such as economical pupose or prejudice and such.
This is section is very bias toward the idea of racial stereotype (ie Asian should have slanted eyes and flat nose or otherwised he is either part Caucasian or he/she want to look Western or even go to pastic surgery in order to reach that "beauty ideal") and not considering that this article (or least this section) and fully consider for different cultures or other purpose. This is the reason I think we need a NPOV tag on this section of the whole article. --MeowKun 15:39, 28 September 2006 (UTC)