Getting ‘checked out’ just took on a whole new meaning.
Some of us can’t stand being checked out by men when we cross the street or enter a room, and some of us kind of secretly love it. (I personally tend to waver between the two, depending on the situation.)
But regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, you might be interested to learn there’s a legit scientific reason as to why guys give us the once over.
According to DePaul University professor of women’s and gender studies, Dr Midge Wilson, every time a man checks you out, he’s performing a “reproductive fitness assessment”. In layman’s terms, that means he’s subconsciously scanning you for features that are most closely associated with strong health and fertility.
Wilson revealed six features that signal this to guys in particular, to Business Insider, and unsurprisingly, these are the traits men’s brains are hardwired to find the most attractive, making them most likely to shoot a smile your way (or, if you’re unlucky, catcall you). Is this caveman type stuff? Definitely. Does it reinforce sexist ideals? Yeah, probably. Will playing these features up by dressing for your body type and equipping yourself with the right beauty gadgets make you more likely to attract the cute coffee guy you’ve had your eye on? Hell, yes.
Do with this information what you will…
1. A wider waist to hips ratio
The most pleasing ratio to the male brain is 7:10, according to Wilson. Because the waist and hips are connected to childbirth, larger hips tend to signal that you’re a great potential child-bearer and thus add instant sex appeal. A small waist further accentuates this fact; hence the popularity of waist trainers and corsets throughout history, and curvaceous celebs like Kim K and Beyonce.
2. A high voice
According to a 2014 paper published in PLOS ONE, men are more attracted to women with higher pitched voices. The reason? Researchers from University College London found that higher pitched voices tend to correlate with smaller bodies in women, which are linked to physical fitness (though we know it’s not the golden rule).
3. Long, shiny hair
We all know that long, thick, shiny hair is healthy hair, so it’s no surprise then that Wilson identified this as one of the key factors that men tend to scan for when looking for healthy potential mates. The good news if you weren’t genetically blessed with a shiny mop? Keratin treatments instantly improve your hair health and they’re readily available at most salons.
4. Pearly whites
In case you weren’t already convinced of the benefits of smiling more often, it turns out people who smile regularly are usually happier, and let’s face it, we’re all attracted to happy people. In particular though, men find white teeth attractive in a partner, because of the link between tooth shade and dental health.
5. Au naturale
If you weren’t already confused enough about what society thinks of women who wear makeup, research suggests guys actually prefer women who wear 40 per cent fewer cosmetics. In other words, the natural look is sexy, but a little lip gloss and mascara never hurt anyone.
6. Wearing red
Red is universally associated with sex, passion and lust for good reason; scientists have proven it actually enhances our attractiveness factor. There’s a lot of different theories for this, but one is that when we’re turned on, our genitals, lips and nipples become engorged and subsequently become a brighter shade of red, thus mimicking this by swiping on some red lippie can subliminally signal to a potential suitor that you’re ready to go.
Images via giphy.com, tumblr.com and sharegif.com.
Comment: What’s your take on this research? Do you agree or disagree with it?