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8 Science Approved Ways To Make Yourself More Attractive

You’re obviously a total love machine anyway, but even near perfection can be improved upon. Generally speaking, the best way to secure yourself a bonny lover is to just be yourself, but there’s nothing wrong getting a bit scientific and there are plenty of little tricks to, er, enhance your natural charm and charisma. These consist of a little bit of biology, a little bit of psychology and an awful lot of taking advantage of quirks of your evolution.

Although you now do things like drive cars and wear shoes, your brain is still a caveman at heart, and has evolved over millions of years to ensure you get laid. You don’t have to use these to cynically trick people into a romantic encounter, studies show that being more attractive makes you more likely to succeed in work, friendships and life in general too. People are also more likely to assume that you are smart, kind and funny – they’re even more likely to do you favours and lend you money.

With all this in mind, it would be simply churlish not to take advantage of nature’s little helpers.

8. Carotenoids: Better Than A Tan

If you want an attractive healthy glow, then ditch the fake tan and load up on your fruits and veg, so say the scientists. Studies have found that the relative yellowness of caucasian skin increases your levels of attractiveness.

There are two ways you can get this colouring, by increasing melanin levels (tanning) or by upping your intake of carotenoids. Whilst both of these methods will certainly help, researchers have found that carotenoid colouration almost always wins out over melanin. So where do you get these magical carotenoids?

Pretty much any fruit or veg with yellow and red colouring will do, plus dark leafy greens such as spinach (don’t worry, they won’t turn you green, the yellow colour is just masked by the green chlorophyll).

It’s thought that you probably find the “Sunny D glow” attractive because it is an indicator of good health, so stock up on those veggies.

7. Be Risky

Paramount

If you’re looking to attract a lady, then you’re going to have to take some risks. This doesn’t just mean putting yourself out there, maybe making the first move, you need to literally do something risky. But wait, before you unclick that seatbelt, there are only certain types of riskiness that work – the ones associated with our hunter gatherer instincts.

According to one study, things like handling fire or rock climbing were found in increase the attractiveness of both men and women, but modern risks such as driving without a seatbelt and not updating anti-virus software (no, really) did not.

The difference might be that the hunter gatherer behaviours are associated with providing and protecting, whereas modern risks are generally speaking just borne of stupidity.

6. Symmetry

Chris Pizzello/AP

It’s well-known that humans are programmed to find symmetrical faces more attractive. Some think that this is because it’s an indicator of good, strong genes ideal for passing on to your beautifully symmetrical offspring. Although some studies have cast doubt on the “good genes” hypothesis by failing to find a link between symmetry and health, it would still appear that humans definitely find symmetry sexy.

Whilst this is good news for the well-aligned amongst us, it is somewhat disheartening for the wonkier folk. Never fear though, you can always fake it if you’re dedicated enough, with careful shaping of things like eyebrows and facial hair, as well as clever makeup to create the illusion of symmetry.

5. Lay Off The Cologne

It’s tempting to douse yourself in as much designer stink as possible when you’ve got a hot date, but it’s probably best told hold off a bit and let your true self shine through. Although the existence of “human pheromones” is hotly debated and largely unsubstantiated, the sense of smell definitely comes into play when selecting a mate. Studies into a bunch of molecules known collectively as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) which is an essential part of the immune system.

It’s thought that it is possible for a person to detect different MHC complexes through their body odour, and will be more attracted to a different profile to their own. Now, you probably (okay, definitely) can’t help it if your MHC profile happens to be incompatible with your date’s, but you can give it a fighting chance by going easy on the cologne and letting a bit of your natural musk through.

In fact, even if MHC turns out to be bunkum, it’s a good idea not to gas your lover out anyway, what are you, 14?

4. Destress

Talking to someone you like can be scary, but if you just relax then you’ll probably be more successful. Research at the University of Abertay Dundee found that women can spot a high-stress guy and, what’s more, they don’t like it. When hetrosexual women were asked to rate the attractiveness of 39 men, some with high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and some with low, they consistently found the chill guys more attractive.

This wasn’t just because the chilled dudes happened to be hotter either, as the faces of the men were blended together to produce high and low stress composites. It was found that women were also likely to find relaxed guys even hotter when they were at their most fertile.

As if it wasn’t enough that she can tell your stress levels from your face, it’s also been found that women can literally smell fear too. Creepy.

3. Stereotype Yourself

It’s always better to just be yourself, but if you’re really set on a bit of scientific sexytime, then the general advice seems to boil down to adherence to gender stereotypes. It would be nice if we could completely overturn society’s expectations and find that, actually, evolution programmed the opposite sex to go simply wild for your stained sweatpants and World of Warcraft high score, but it seems that mother nature is just not playing the game.

Studies and meta-analyses tend to indicate that women prefer a low husky voicephysical strength and a strong chiseled jaw on their men as these are all indicators that he’s going to be able to fight off a tiger whilst you’re in labour.

Studies also show that men prefer a higher voiceyouthful features and a low waist-to-hip ratio (i.e. dat bootay) because these are indicators of fertility and the ability to raise and nurture strong little cave babies.

There’s a reason these stereotypes exist, it’s in your DNA.

2. Don’t Smile… Or Do

Whether you should go for dark and brooding, or smiling and friendly depends on your gender, the kind of relationship you’re after and, of course, context. One study found that women under 30 tended to rate men as less attractive when smiling, so perhaps a straight and mysterious look is the way to go there. However, they did find that women over 30 – the ones more likely to be looking for a long term relationship – tended to like a bit of a smile, so it’s really all about who you’re trying to attract.

Men tended to find smiling women more attractive as well as, worryingly, women displaying shame. Obviously this is context based, don’t keep a resolutely straight face if she’s cracking jokes, that kind of behaviour just makes you look like a jerk, but perhaps get to work on your smoulder.

1. Get A Dog

Seriously, get a dog. There have actually been a surprising amount of studies looking at the effect of man’s best friend on your chances of getting laid/a phone number/pretty much anything you want. In a series of four experiments, a guy approached strangers and asked for money for a bus, “accidentally” dropped some money and asked for women’s phone numbers – once with a dog and once without a dog (on different people, of course, or it might look weird).

They also carried out the first experiment with a woman. They found that people are much more likely to give you want you want if you have a dog with you, and the likelihood of getting a phone number increased threefold. Something about a canine companion makes you look more trustworthy, approachable and deserving of a favour in others’ eyes.

So, if you want to be lucky in love, get a dog. And if that fails, at least you’ve got an awesome dog bro for company.

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