In Terms of Beauty, Women Evolve, but Men Don’t

Romantically, beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but according to a new report from research done in Helsinki and London, girls are getting prettier, and guys are…well…not getting more handsome.

“Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors,” reports The London Times.  Evidently, beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts, and a higher proportion of those children are females who tend to be attractive.  A researcher at the University of Helsinki found beautiful women had up to 16% more children than plain women.  An evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics proclaimed that good-looking parents were far more likely to conceive daughters.  The most attractive parents (out of 15,000 Americans who were “judged”) were 26% less likely to have sons.

“Physical attractiveness is a highly heritable trait, which disproportionately increases the reproductive success of daughters much more than of sons.  If more attractive parents have more daughters, and if physical attractiveness is heritable, it logically follows that women over many generations gradually become more physically attractive on average than men,”  the researcher said.

Well, here’s my take.  I don’t really know if any of this holds water, but let’s assume for a moment that it does.  This means that a lot of beautiful women are marrying plain men because they are less into “beauty” and more into other qualities (like loyalty, fidelity, ability to provide and protect, sexual prowess, and status), while men want women who are beautiful because their beauty is a source of status for the male and a measure of her overall health for child-bearing.

Nonetheless, I was quite impressed with the beyond gorgeous hunk Tom Selleck, when I learned that he married a rather plain-looking woman, and quite put off with Bruce Willis, when he married some hottie almost half his age.  To me, these choices told me the character and maturity of each man, with Selleck winning out.

All of these “soft science” reports are amusing, if not generally nonsense, and it is amazing how differently you feel about a person’s good looks after you meet and interact with them as opposed to just viewing a two-dimensional photograph.

My main point here is this:  it’s a fact that we are first attracted or repelled by looks (no kidding).  However, I suggest you try MY experiment:  walk through a mall or a flower garden, and look at the people paired up and holding hands or talking softly to one another.   It’s rare that one or both is “beautiful,” but it is not rare that they are happy with the depth of compassion, attention, affection, support, fun, and happiness that they obviously share.

The moral to this story?  Have good hygiene, make the most of the physical qualities you have, and don’t focus at all on your looks (or anyone else’s for that matter).  Put your best behavioral foot forward, and be open to meeting friends and a possible life partner based, instead, on how you make each other feel.