Attractiveness vs beauty

attractiveness vs beautyBeauty does not automatically mean attractiveness.

We are attracted to people for a wide range of reasons that go beyond their skin texture or bone structure. Attractiveness is more than just finding someone physically appealing.
If it’s evolution that drives our general perception of beauty, why can’t we all simply agree on who is beautiful and who is not?

When you talk about individuals, it gets a little more complicated. Evolution explains why we find certain attributes attractive—to a degree. Factors like voice, facial expression, body language, personality and even scent also enhance one’s appeal, meaning physical features only take you so far before your inner beauty shines through.

Physical attraction may play a significant role when we first meet someone, but there is more to attraction than meets the eye. Simply being friendly and nice plays an important part in attraction. People who aren’t stereotypically good-looking appear attractive to those who know and like them. Researchers asked subjects to evaluate each other before and after working together in groups. In general, likeable people were described as more beautiful because of their happy persona.
Beyond kindness, other traits that make people attractive are cooperativeness and a sense of humor. Being friendly and out-going and making an effort to get along with others all go a long way towards making you seem more attractive to others whilst also boosting the quality of your relationships.
People who can communicate in an expressive and animated way tend to be more liked compared with those who are difficult-to-read. This is because we are more confident in our reading of them and they are therefore less of a threat.

Research shows that two people who share similar interests, values, likes and dislikes feel drawn to each other. People can also feel attracted to others who share a similar physical appearance, background, or personality.

Psychology professor Albert Mehrabian suggests that there are three important elements that account differently for our liking of a person. He calls these as the three Vs – verbal, vocal and visual. [1]
93% of expression is non-verbal. Our actual words make up only 7% of communication, while 38% comes from tone of voice, and 55% comes from our body language.

In conclusion – we can change our appearance with makeup and cosmetic procedures, with manipulation of our body and scalp hair; with clothing, tattoos and adornments; but appearance is only part of the story. Of all the elements that make us attractive to others, beauty is only one.


[1]    Swami, V., and Furnham, A. (2008). The Psychology of physical attraction. London: Routledge.

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