Monday 12 June 2017

What is Love? Part Two

By Cassandra Samuels

Welcome to part two of my exploration of What is Love? In my last blog I talked about the science of attraction but in this blog I want to explore physical attraction.

What makes one of us attracted to another? It's that first spark that can cause a sizzle or an inferno in a relationship. We all want an all-consuming love that lasts the rest of our lives, but it has to start somewhere. That somewhere is attraction.

We've all heard of natural selection: that we choose a mate by determining who is going to produce the best and healthiest offspring. This is often called the Good Gene Hypothesis.

But what I want to look at today is the research done on the symmetrical attractiveness of the face.
According to scientists, a symmetrical face is a sign of healthiness, whereas an asymmetrical face is a sign of deformity or unhealthiness.

This is where I say that nobody has a perfectly symmetrical face, but those who are widely considered to be attractive often have a more symmetrical face. For example, I took a picture of Brad Pitt.

As you can see he has a pretty symmetrical face. The tip of his nose lines up with the tips of his ears, his nose and chin line up and his eyes are evenly spaced and in line. But what happens if I take half of his face and use that same side to make up the other side of his face?

This is two of his right side which shows how very symmetrical his face is.

Let's look at two sides of his left side, below.

This is what I imagine his sporty brother might look like 😉. Which side of Brad do you prefer? Now you know why some people take photos better from one particular side.

Let's have a look at some others.

Facial symetry has an effect on whether someone finds another attractive in both males and females. Symmetry is a sign of superior genetic quality and developmental stability. Males with more symmetric faces as they age are said to have higher intelligence and to be more efficient at information processing than men with less symmetric faces. This could be due to better genes leading to more resistance against illness and stressors in life, which is then reflected in less accumulated fluctuating asymmetry.

Of course, being attracted to someone is not simply about symmetry. There are many other factors that make us attracted to someone: voice, eye colour, sense of humour, height and smell.

What is it that makes someone attractive to you?

Love to love - celebrating my daughter's baby shower.

Love to laugh - at my grandson's awesome dance moves (he's 20mths old).
Love to learn - Podcasts about Women in History by the History Chicks


  1. Thanks Cassandra! That was a bit of fun. Much as I love Brad, I think Richard Armitage comes out best in the symmetry stakes. :D

    1. I do like Richard and his commanding nose. I think you might be right about him being the most symmetrical.

  2. Hi Cassandra. I am a fan of Brad Pitt, but looking at the 3 pictures, I have to say it's the real Brad, the first more asymmetrical pic, that I find more attractive. I've checked other faces this way and for me it's always the slightly asymmetrical that wins.

    1. No one's face is perfect but it's interesting that the research suggests we prefer someone where both sides are nearly the same.

  3. Thanks for such a fascinating article, Cassandra. I preferred the real face and the right side view to the left. Amazing!

    1. Thanks Sharon. Do you have good side that you prefer when having a photo taken?


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