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BEAUTY
Are You Beautiful? Why Looks Matter What faces and fruit have in common When you are picking an apple at the grocery store, you go for one that is a pretty color that has smooth skin with no bruises. And so it is when you are looking at faces. Symmetrical, young-looking faces are rated universally as more attractive, according to researcher Karl Grammer, who has a Web site that explains in fascinating detail the evolutionary psychology of beauty. Being attracted to pretty faces is like being attracted to disease-free fruit. What makes people beautiful, he argues, also makes them good candidates for reproduction.

It is a point echoed in a book by Julian Robinson called The Quest for Human Beauty. Our interest in beauty is connected with human creativity. These forces combine to help us survive, both as individuals and as a species. This seems pretty logical, does not it? Want to Learn More? Following fashion is another way of seeking beauty. Think you do not care about fashion? Think again. It starts to get fascinating once people apply math and science to the equation. Take broad chins, for example. In eight cultures studied, broad chins were perceived to make a man look dominant. That men have broader chins than women is directly related to testosterone, which is a male sex hormone.

Studies have shown that men with broader chins at West Point military academy rise to higher ranks than their narrow-chinned counterparts. Moreover, college students with broad chins have been found to have more girlfriends. And that is not all. In women, the most attractive ratio for the waist to the hips has been found to be .72, according to Grammers Web site. This means that your waist size should be 72 percent of your hip size. (I measured myself, and at .79, I am way off.) Where this gets interesting is where it relates to reproduction. Research in Great Britain and Uganda shows that women with an optimal waist-to-hip ratio get pregnant faster through artificial insemination. So, even without knowing it, we are attracted to what works for us as a species. Even other things, such as hair preferences, are thought to relate to reproduction. Long hair in women is like a health record. It shows how healthy a woman has been, and how well she has eaten.