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Former good article nomineePhysical attractiveness was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
July 16, 2007Good article nomineeNot listed

disproven scientific beliefs[edit]

Most correlations between beauty and health have been proven to be falsified/unreproducible thus far.

Intra-/interracial groups[edit]

The 'Skin color' section seems to require significant clarification. Its general premise as of now is that lighter skin colours[clarification needed] historically reflected more successful people and they "act as indicatiors of good health". The cited source refers to differences "within racial classifications on the basis of skin color" ('colorism'), which seems like a detail that should very much be specified in this article. Its present revision doesn't clarify at all what claims or sources refer to intraracial groups and what refer to interracial groups, despite linking to the Wikipedia article about human skin colour and the section about judgements of social status made based on it. I would be happy to fix this myself, but I'd like to get the opinions of other editors first in this case. --SeparateTitan92 (talk) 16:58, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

You may have to consider a wholesale rewrite. Older sources are likely to be inherently unreliable because of historic "scientific racism". There is also a serious cause/effect problem over perception. Yes, it needs to be done; will it be easy? No chance! Good luck, you'll need it. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 19:13, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


What about the rest of the species? It's not like the concept is somehow people related. --Palosirkka (talk) 05:15, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The article is already very long. To add the rest of the animal kingdom would make it impossibly large. The only solution, it seems to me, is for you to write a whole new set of articles on "Physical attractiveness among chimpanzees", among gorillas, among hyenas, among lions, among monitor lizards etc etc. Then this article could be retitled "physical attractiveness among humans". Mission impossible? But please don't try to shoehorn other species into this article. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 11:21, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Homosexual women[edit]

This article goes into great detail about what heterosexual men and women, as well as homosexual men find attractive, but it only makes the most brief and vague mentions of what homosexual women find attractive. Tadfafty (talk) 10:13, 19 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]

As usual, feel free to find the wp:reliable sources and write it yourself. As a general principle (!), sweeping generalisations imply poor research unless the sample size is huge. Speaking generally. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 15:36, 19 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think I am capable of doing this myself, but it is a very important part of this subject that is totally missing. Tadfafty (talk) 05:33, 25 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Citations not verifying[edit]

"Through the East Asian blepharoplasty cosmetic surgery procedure, Asian women can permanently alter the structure of their eyelid. Some people have argued that this alteration is done to resemble the structure of a Western eyelid while other people have argued that this is generally done solely to emulate the appearance of naturally occurring Asian double eyelids."

But have they really?

Neither of the two sources cited for this say anything to this narrative. Nothing about female specification, either. 2603:8080:2C00:1E00:E8AC:9984:B6B9:3308 (talk) 08:42, 24 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Chee E, Choo CT (January 2011). "Asian blepharoplasty--an overview". Orbit (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 30 (1): 58–61.

https://archive.org/details/cosmeticsurgeryt0000panf/page/6/mode/2up 2603:8080:2C00:1E00:E8AC:9984:B6B9:3308 (talk) 08:42, 24 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Cunningham Et. al (1995)[edit]

From "general" subsection:

"Michael R. Cunningham of the Department of Psychology at the University of Louisville found, using a panel of East Asian, Hispanic and White judges, that the Asian, Hispanic and White female faces found most attractive were those that had "neonate large eyes, greater distance between eyes, and small noses" and his study led him to conclude that "large eyes" were the most "effective" of the "neonate cues". Cunningham also said that "shiny" hair may be indicative of "neonate vitality". Using a panel of blacks and whites as judges, Cunningham found more neotenous faces were perceived as having both higher "femininity" and "sociability". In contrast, Cunningham found that faces that were "low in neoteny" were judged as "intimidating". Cunningham noted a "difference" in the preferences of Asian and white judges with Asian judges preferring women with "less mature faces" and smaller mouths than the White judges. Cunningham hypothesized that this difference in preference may stem from "ethnocentrism" since "Asian faces possess those qualities", so Cunningham re-analyzed the data with "11 Asian targets excluded" and concluded that "ethnocentrism was not a primary determinant of Asian preferences." Rather than finding evidence for purely "neonate" faces being most appealing, Cunningham found faces with "sexually-mature" features at the "periphery" of the face combined with "neonate" features in the "center of the face" most appealing in men and women. Upon analyzing the results of his study, Cunningham concluded that preference for "neonate features may display the least cross-cultural variability" in terms of "attractiveness ratings" and, in another study, Cunningham concluded that there exists a large agreement on the characteristics of an attractive face."

I have read this source pretty well over the past few days and I can say that some of the content here doesn't verify.

This work contains 3 studies, in which a diverse panel of East Asian, Hispanic, White and Black judges rated female faces from the 4 previously mentioned groups.

The claim that "this study led Cunningham to conclude that large eyes were the most effective of the neonate cues" isn't anywhere in the link. It seems more like an observation from the data that the reader made, yet Cunningham also emphasized that neonate qualities were only one component of attraction. Cunningham also never says that shiny hair is indicative of neonate vitality. "Hair" is mentioned 27 times in Cunningham's report, and he doesn't speak to sheen. There is only one mentioning of shiny hair, in footnote 7 (p.276), and it's from DS Marshall (1971) describing preferences among Mangaian island people. It says:

"7 Marshall (1971) described Mangaian preferences as follows, "One version of the 'ideal girl' indicates that she should have a smiling face, shiny black hair, small eyes 'like those of a pigeon,' with small breasts, large hips and round cheeks; her lips should be neither too everted nor too thin, and she should have skin that is neither black nor white" (p. 124). A preference for small eyes and round cheeks would be an al- ternate neonate-mature combination to the current large eyes-promi- nent cheekbone preference and suggests the need for further ethno- graphic and quasi-experimental validation. Nonetheless, it might be noted that pigeons do not have small eyes but rather have relatively large, protruding eyes."

I also have to say that this section of the Wiki only talks about very specific details comparing Asians and Whites from Cunningham's study, ignoring completely that Hispanic and Black judges and models were included in the study. That's disappointing because Hispanic women were judged as highly attractive (p. 267), and exposure to Western media didn't affect the attractiveness rating of Hispanic women, nor for any other ethnic or racial group pf women (p. 268). This has social significance, because media exposure is often said to have an impact on attractiveness, as the Cunningham and colleagues pointed out. In such a diverse study as this, which concerns mainly ethnic differences in attractiveness, more weight should be given to the the broader conclusions about attractiveness, rather than the value of little pinpoints of data in the study, like the value of shiny hair in Mangaian islanders, an overemphasis on the preferences of Taiwanese participants, or a specific neonate cue. That would make this paragraph much more concise and easy to read, and do justice to the study's itself. 2603:8080:2C00:1E00:E8AC:9984:B6B9:3308 (talk) 10:29, 24 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]

You are most welcome to rewrite the section, citing sources. You just need to be cautious to avoid original research and synthesis of sources. First maxim of Wikipedia: if you want anything done properly around here, you have to do it yourself. --𝕁𝕄𝔽 (talk) 14:46, 25 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Tybur and Gangestad[edit]

"A scientific review published in 2011 identified from a vast body of empirical research that light skin colour and skin tone tend to be preferred as they act as indicators of good health. More specifically, these indicators are thought to suggest to potential mates that the beholder has strong or good genes capable of fighting off disease."

I don't find this anywhere in the citation. It doesn't seem to say that light skin is preferred according to research. It does say that skin characteristics such as color, haemoglobin and melanin homogeneity impact perceptions of health and attractiveness (according to two studies). But it does not appear to specify anywhere in the article that this means light skin color or skin tone.


"(d) Skin colour and texture Skin tone and texture may convey important information about underlying metabolic health and infectious disease status, presumably because it relates to blood oxygenation and skin vascularization [26,53,59]. Facial attractiveness covaries with health ratings of isolated facial skin patches viewed apart from other facial features such as symmetry and dimorphism [53,60,61], and objectively measures skin characteristics such as colour (e.g. redness and yellowness), and haemoglobin and melanin homogeneity impact perceptions of health and attractiveness across multiple face ethnicities [26,62]. Additionally, skin colour may inform carotenoid concentration, which may reflect resistance to infectious disease and oxidative damage [63], though there is currently little direct support for the idea that carotenoid concentration in human skin reflects adaptation to advertise robustness in the way that concentrations of carotenoids in colourful bird feathers may do [64]. Indeed, at the current time, little direct evidence addresses whether skin tone or colour reflects current infection levels or infectability. More research is clearly needed. Ratings of healthiness of men's and women's faces, which appear to reflect variations in skin tone and texture, do not strongly covary with measures of masculinity or femininity of the same faces [65], indicating that these dimensions largely reflect different qualities."

Instead this reference seems like it would be better suited to support the following paragraph, which seems a bit synthesized:

"More recent research has suggested that redder and yellower skin tones,[83] reflecting higher levels of oxygenated blood,[84] carotenoid and to a lesser extent melanin pigment, and net dietary intakes of fruit and vegetables,[85] appear healthier, and therefore more attractive.[86]"

I think it is best to replace citation 86 Tybur and Gangestad, since Tybur and Gangestad already cited this reference (reference 60) in the very quote I have posted here, and since we're supposed to value secondary sources over primary ones. - 2603:8080:2C00:1E00:199C:AF08:A97F:14EB (talk) 18:55, 29 December 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Relevancy of Photos[edit]

I think we should remove the photos of Ishtar and Xi Shi. While they are an important part of past perceptions of beauty, this article mainly covers physical attractiveness sociologically. It also clips into the contents of the article, which takes up valuable screen space. Please let me know if i am wrong! BossDJ2 (talk) 01:33, 5 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Locke & Horrorwitz, issues with other studies[edit]

Just leaving a note here about a removal of Locke & Horrowitz. Their study is referenced against this: "Studies have suggested that people are generally attracted to people who look like them".

The study doesn't actually say this, or anything like it. This study is about dysphoria and the mutual attraction of people with similar moods. It has nothing to do with physical attractiveness/physical appearance.

On page 829, right under the Discussion section, it says:

"The purpose of this study was to compare dysphoric and nondysphoric people as they interacted with people of similar or dissimilar mood. The results showed that people in homogeneous dyads (in which both partners were dysphoric or both partners were nondysphoric) were more satisfied, and their satisfaction increased as the conversation proceeded. People in mixed dyads were less satisfied, perceived each other as colder, and spoke about increasingly negative topics. Thus, in accord with other research showing that similarity leads to liking, the crucial determinant of interactional satisfaction was neither the mood of the subject nor the mood of the partner, but their similarity in mood. We therefore need to consider the mechanisms by which similarities and differences between partners influence their satisfaction with each other." '

What this study is actually saying is that people get along better with those who have similar attitudes and mental health status. It doesn't say anything about physical attractiveness, only individual behavior/attitude. That's why I'm removing this line and the source.

There is also some issue with beating around the bush in regards to some of the references. The Tsunokai 2014 study is summarized as "the authors cited race as a factor in dating preferences by Asian-American men, both homosexual and heterosexual." But if we don't also point out that it was also a factor for Asian women, and that two of these three groups actually expressed an opposite race preference, we misrepresent this study as suggesting that there is a universal same-race preference, albeit not as forcefully as with the Locke & Horrowitz study.

There are other problems with some sources cited in this section. Bereczkei doesn't say that people generally prefer people with ethnic features from their in-group. Hall's "Racism in the 21st century" doesn't seem to verify either, and the Psychology Today article is actually criticizing Satoshi Kanazawa's fringe study, which is not even worth mentioning here given the enormous backlash it received. Lewis 2012 notes that their 2011 study failed correction and was contradicted by another study, and they say that further experimentation is needed to clarify their results. So there's a reproducibility problem with the 2011 study. (talk) 10:09, 21 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]


Why are there 10 images about female attractiveness and only two images about male attractiveness? all genders can be equally attractive, there should be at least more 3 images about male attractiveness --Ernne (talk) 15:03, 16 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]