No six-pack, no worries! When it comes to picking partners for long-term relationships, research has shown that both men and women are more concerned about facial attractiveness than bodily appearance.
A new survey by Posh and Venus has shown that 72% of men and 56% of women prefer facial attractiveness to physical attractiveness.
Results from this survey might come off as a surprise to many seeing as there is a lot of hype around voluptuous, hour-glass shaped bodies for women or ripped, muscular body for men. Needless to say, reinforcing oneself physically is not a bad idea, but it’s not top on the chart either of qualities for long-term relationships.
Members of both genders were tasked, in another study, to create the ideal appearance for their partners. Men favored pretty faces over sexy bodies for long-term relationships. To a lesser degree, women also favored facial attractiveness over physique.
Evolutionary psychologists have attempted to figure out reasons for their respective choices. Let us see:
Why do men favor facial attractiveness over physical attractiveness in relationships?
Simply put: for reproduction purposes. Faces, of course, are not used for reproduction. But a face can serve as an accurate indicator of youth. Facial traits like complexion and wrinkling are markers of age. Researchers believe that men pick facially attractive women. Because it serves as a means to judge a woman’s reproductive potential in the long run.
In trying to narrow down the preferred facial specification, one study revealed that men rated features like large eyes, small nose, and small chin (the innocent baby face) as most attractive.
In contrast, when tasked to choose partners for short-term flings, men favored body over face because a voluptuous body indicates that a woman is at her most fertile.
Why do women favor facial attractiveness over physical attractiveness in relationships?
Women are complex. In picking partners, a lot of things are factored into consideration. From budget to social status etc. Researcher, Marriane Peters from the University of Western Australia has this opinion. He opines that women focus on the face because they serve as a window to assessing a man’s emotion. Emotional maturity is a big deal for women.
Unlike men, women prefer a face that is not so babyish. The whole internet rave about Beard Gang isn’t just banter. Research has found that bearded men were rated to be more attractive to women, especially for long-term relationships.
The face of a man, unlike that of a woman, isn’t a symbol or determinant of fertility. However, it serves as a pointer to health and physical strength. A bearded, masculine face is associated with general self-confidence, social assertiveness, and dominance. All these are very valuable currencies for women.
Again, unlike men, there is reduced difference in the result when the research was focused on short-term relationships.
As already mentioned, the result of these researches doesn’t mean you should cancel your gym subscription. In fact, continue to work out. Take care of yourself. Stay hydrated, apply moisturizers, dress well and smell nice. The combination of a great physique, flawless skin, and an attractive face would put you heads above others.