Beauregard: Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder

How does one define physical beauty? It depends, as each of us has our own ideal of what constitutes attractiveness. For some men, it’s a supermodel. For others, it’s the “girl-next-door” look. Some guys think nothing is sexier than a 400-pound Eskimo woman with facial hair wearing a Peyton Manning jersey. Or maybe that’s just me.

Physical beauty is a complex subject, but one with a great deal of research completed on it. That’s because researchers have decided that if they’re going to have to go to work researching stuff, it’s much more fun to spend all day looking at pictures of Angelina Jolie than it is to study, say, intestinal disease in gophers.

One such research project recently concluded that men were sexually attracted to females with “high cheekbones and big eyes.” I assume this research was conducted by a woman, because I’ve never seen a guy point at a woman and say, “Check out the high cheekbones on THAT one!”

I also didn’t realize men were attracted to women with big eyes. One of you enterprising readers should probably try to capitalize on women’s sense of vanity by opening up a chain of eye augmentation clinics. The only downside I see is that the women who get eye jobs will inevitably become fodder for cocktail party gossip. (“Look at Sarah. You can tell those aren’t her real corneas.”)

The underlying assumption is that men are attracted to women who display the most traits of fertility. The theory is that men are hard-wired this way, as a result of early man’s desire to procreate with many partners and produce as many offspring as possible. Early man was not really a hands-on type of dad. Nor were there such things as child support payments back in those days.

On the female side, a study from LiveScience.com shows that women are more attracted to men when they are ovulating. (When the women are ovulating, I mean). Their research shows that an average-looking male can become more attractive to a woman based on her hormonal level. Similarly, an average-looking female can become more attractive to a male based on his blood-alcohol level.

Other studies state that women are attracted to men with a “broad jaw and a thin chin.” So the muscle shirt-wearing meatheads you hear grunting at places like Gold’s Gym are working on the wrong body parts. I don’t know how you get a broad jaw other than chewing a lot. Once this information becomes widely known, there will be no need for weight lifting. Guys who want to impress women will go work out at places that sell beef jerky.

Another study published in the Association of Psychological Science indicated that mothers give more attention to their more attractive children. I tried calling my mom to ask if this were true, but she just told me she couldn’t talk as she was on her way to visit my brother.

Other conclusions from the attractiveness studies were puzzling.

“Companies with an attractive CEO have better sales” says the study. (Somebody break this news to Facebook and Microsoft.) Meanwhile, in another section: “Beautiful people have an advantage in politics,” says the author, who obviously does not watch a lot of C-SPAN.

These studies help show how Americans’ sense of beauty is becoming more warped. People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” this year is Adam Levine, the feminine-voiced, beady-eyed, tatted-up nerd from the karaoke show.

The Brad Pitts and George Clooneys, I get. But the Adam Levines and others like him covered in tattoos should be disqualified for lacking a basic understanding of how the aging process affects skin elasticity. The “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2014 will likely be the 2064 Shady Pines Senior Center’s “Most Disgusting Man Alive.”

In fact, these studies that focus on human attraction are all meaningless. For as someone once said, “Beauty is only skin deep.”

That person was probably ugly.

Reach Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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