Recent History


In terms of evolution, it is not unreasonable to believe that sexual creatures should be attracted to a mate who possesses predominantly features that are coincident with their own. Natural selection is the natural process in which characteristics passed down from one generation to another increase the likelihood that an organism will survive and successfully reproduce and subsequently become more predominant within a population over successive generations. This is the key to evolution.

The result of natural selection is that, over the course of a number of generations, creatures that have developed beneficial features will thrive at the expense of those less fortunate. Such developments represent the fundamental force that is an essential factor inherent in natural evolution, and represents the Biological insight immortalised by Charles Darwin. Accordingly, a sexual creature who wishes to mate with a suitable partner would be expected to avoid potential partners who possessed unusual (non beneficial) features, while being particularly attracted to those individuals displaying a predominance of beneficial features.

In research studying aspects of attractiveness, the concept of averageness is one of the characteristics of physical beauty in which the average outward appearance of the individual theoretically characterises what may be regarded as an average genotype (which is the genetic makeup of an individual). Such a characterisation gives rise to an indication of health and fertility. In most cases, averageness studies and theories are based on photographic overlay studies in which images are merged together. Attractiveness can be measured on the basis of a number of factors. One such is symmetry (especially facial symmetry, which is one of a number of aesthetic traits related to the health, physical attractiveness and beauty of a person), whilst another is youthfulness.

An important characteristic feature of beautiful women that has long been studied by many researchers is the waist-to-hip ratio of approximately 0.69 for women. The Waist-to-hip ratio, or WTR, is defined as the ratio of the circumference of the waist to that of the hips. The WHR is used as a means of measuring the health of a person, and in turn the risk of developing serious health conditions. Research studies have indicated that people’s bodies which may be described as shaped like an apple (with weight concentrated around the waist) are associated with greater health risks than who are shaped like a pear (with weight concentrated around the hips). It has been verified by physiologists that this ratio accurately indicates the level of a women's fertility. Traditionally, during those periods of history when food was less readily available, overweight people were judged to be more attractive than their slender counterparts.

It is important to realise that the female of the species is not the sole arbiter of natural beauty. The concept of beauty in men has been an established feature throughout history, but is especially pronounced in regions such as East Asia and Japan. Such a characterisation is quite distinct from the perception of being metrosexual which refers to a heterosexual man with a strong concern for his appearance and/or a lifestyle. Such a portrait can be said to display attributes distinctly akin to those of homosexual men. In Japan, in particular, their pop culture establishes physical characteristics synonymous with males characterised with distinctly feminine features.

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