A new study comes to a very surprising conclusion about what it takes to make yourself more attractive.
Want to know the secret to seduction? Scientists think they have the answer — and it’s as simple as standing next to an ugly friend. If you’re looking to hook up, it pays to hang out with people who are less attractive or less interesting than you, although that would certainly be a pretty cynical reason to keep a friend around.
Scientists from Royal Holloway at the University of London came to their conclusion by asking volunteers to rate pictures on how attractive the person in them was. They then asked them to rate the same faces alongside faces that were uglier, and noticed that the original faces immediately became more attractive in the eyes of the respondents, according to a Royal Holloway statement.
It shows that while we may be obsessed with attractiveness and beauty as a culture, our ideas about beauty are not static.
Dr. Nicholas Furl, of Royal Holloway’s Department of Psychology, author of the study explains: “Rightly or wrongly, the way people look has a profound impact on the way others perceive them. We live in a society obsessed with beauty and attractiveness, but how we measure and understand these concepts is still a grey area.”
He continued, “Until now, it’s been understood that a person’s level of attractiveness is generally steady. If you saw a picture of George Clooney today, you would rate him as good-looking as you would tomorrow. However, this work demonstrates that the company we keep has an effect on how attractive we appear to others.”