Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Science Blows.

Science screws me again.

Men like blond bombshells (and women want to look like them)
-Psychology Today

Long before TV—in 15th- and 16th- century Italy, and possibly two millennia ago—women were dying their hair blond. A recent study shows that in Iran, where exposure to Western media and culture is limited, women are actually more concerned with their body image, and want to lose more weight, than their American counterparts. It is difficult to ascribe the preferences and desires of women in 15th-century Italy and 21st-century Iran to socialization by media.

Women's desire to look like Barbie—young with small waist, large breasts, long blond hair, and blue eyes—is a direct, realistic, and sensible response to the desire of men to mate with women who look like her. There is evolutionary logic behind each of these features.

Men prefer young women in part because they tend to be healthier than older women. One accurate indicator of health is physical attractiveness (seriously? so ugly people are sickly, too? wow...); another is hair (AWESOME). Healthy women have lustrous, shiny hair, whereas the hair of sickly people loses its luster. Because hair grows slowly, shoulder-length hair reveals several years of a woman's health status.

Men also have a universal preference for women with a low waist-to-hip ratio. They are healthier and more fertile than other women; they have an easier time conceiving a child and do so at earlier ages because they have larger amounts of essential reproductive hormones. Thus men are unconsciously seeking healthier and more fertile women when they seek women with small waists. (I wonder if this still counts if you have small hips?)

Until very recently, it was a mystery to evolutionary psychology why men prefer women with large breasts, since the size of a woman's breasts has no relationship to her ability to lactate. (I'm guessing it's porn. But that's just a guess.) But Harvard anthropologist Frank Marlowe contends that larger, and hence heavier, breasts sag more conspicuously with age than do smaller breasts. (But not if you use the VS ipex bra- that thing is AMAZING!) Thus they make it easier for men to judge a woman's age (and her reproductive value) by sight—suggesting why men find women with large breasts more attractive.

Alternatively, men may prefer women with large breasts for the same reason they prefer women with small waists. A new study of Polish women shows that women with large breasts and tight waists have the greatest fecundity, indicated by their levels of two reproductive hormones (estradiol and progesterone).

Blond hair is unique in that it changes dramatically with age. Typically, young girls with light blond hair become women with brown hair. Thus, men who prefer to mate with blond women are unconsciously attempting to mate with younger (and hence, on average, healthier and more fecund) women. It is no coincidence that blond hair evolved in Scandinavia and northern Europe, probably as an alternative means for women to advertise their youth, as their bodies were concealed under heavy clothing. (I find this entire concept highly disturbing...)

Women with blue eyes should not be any different from those with green or brown eyes. Yet preference for blue eyes seems both universal and undeniable—in males as well as females. One explanation is that the human pupil dilates when an individual is exposed to something that she likes. (But wouldn't that mean that if your eyes are really dark, they ALWAYS look dialated?) For instance, the pupils of women and infants (but not men) spontaneously dilate when they see babies. Pupil dilation is an honest indicator of interest and attraction. And the size of the pupil is easiest to determine in blue eyes. Blue-eyed people are considered attractive as potential mates because it is easiest to determine whether they are interested in us or not.

The irony is that none of the above is true any longer. Through face-lifts, wigs, liposuction, surgical breast augmentation, hair dye, and color contact lenses, any woman, regardless of age, can have many of the key features that define ideal female beauty. And men fall for them. Men can cognitively understand that many blond women with firm, large breasts are not actually 15 years old, but they still find them attractive because their evolved psychological mechanisms are fooled by modern inventions that did not exist in the ancestral environment.
Science can kiss my ass.


Michael said...

Seriously, who actually prefers blonds? OK, there are plenty of people I know who do, but very few of them are gentlemen.
Brunettes > Blonds.
(greater than of course meaning "more hot than")

Rachel said...


darcy fabulous said...

I'm blonde. I was also born with blue eyes and have naturally large breasts. I also have a college degree, I sing and write music, I read good books and can carry on interesting conversations.

I guess what I'm wondering is this: Am I wrong to think that a man might find me attractive because of my outgoing personality, my God-given talents, or (heaven forbid) my pretty face? Sure, the natural blondness has faded into brown as the years went by. But who is anyone else to argue the fact that, despite what others might say about my deep desire to lure in the opposite sex, I might actually LIKE the way I look better blonde!

Ok, so maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. I'll admit that. You'll just have to forgive me if I feel a tiny bit put off by the thought that the men who find me attractive ONLY find me attractive because (and I quote) "...their evolved psychological mechanisms are fooled by modern inventions that did not exist in the ancestral environment."

I'm just a dumb Barbie.

Well, except for that darned waist-to-hip ratio. I guess science wasn't so good to me on that one. :)

Tannerama said...

Farrah... I think you are stretching a bit calling psychology a science. (that was kind of a joke.)

But, seriously, I don't like things like this for many reasons. But the biggest one is that it takes away agency and responsibility. "You don't find that girl attractive because of your tastes. You find that girl attractive because centuries of evolution and genetics tell you that you find her attractive."

I like girls because they are soft. They smell good. And they aren't hairy.(at least not as hairy as guys.) I don't like girls with junk in the trunk because my genes tell me they can bear me children. I like girls with junk in the trunk because they have something to move when they are on the dance floor.

"Science" can shout stuff like this at me all day long. But, at the end of the day. I am going to pick the woman I love for my reasons.

Farrah, buck up. Take this stuff with a grain of salt.

f*bomb. said...

I have no junk in the trunk, either. But I hear people are getting implants. Seriously. People are getting implants. IN THEIR ASSES.
Crazy, crazy, crazy.

One time I had a guy tell me he wasn't attracted to me because my "hips weren't big enough." This guy was seriously THE BIGGEST reject I have ever met. It was like having Larry the Cable Guy say he wasn't interested because I have a job. So no. I don't really care what science or man may say. I think I'll survive just fine, thanks.

Vanilla Vice said...

Farrah I believe you heard me say on the boat this weekend - "I won't go under the knife for any man." I have naturally blonde hair and I'm sick of POSERS dying their hair and giving natural blondes a bad name. I just blogged about it.

k8 said...

The Jury is still out on science Farrah.

caroline said...

speaking as a mostly blond (strawberry blond, to get technical), i seem to meet more guys who love the exotic type. and in SF, every guy i knew loved asian girls. seriously, the blonde thing is overrated and overplayed, if i'd look good with dark hair, i'd dye away. plus, blue eyes hurt more in the sun, and boobs get in the way. in my experience, it's the petite dark girls who get all the play.

that being said, just rock what you've got and while it might not be everyone's steez, there will be plenty who will appreciate your "flavor"

Tannerama said...

Word up, Caroline.

caroline said...

ps- tanner, i think you are radical. i wish we could party like rock stars together.

Sarita said...

Okay, I admit it, I actually color my hair. But only because I dont feel as if I look like myself as my hair has gotten darker with age (I'm really still blond, just a dirtier blond than before, so I guess these are just highlights to the natural color....shall I continue rationalizing?).

And, I will admit that on occasion I get attention based on that very stereotype. That some men are attracted to the blond and ample bosoms despite what else you have going on physically or otherwise. And sometimes it's a consolation prize but sometimes it just makes me feel like thats all I've going on.The guys I find interesting are usually into petite brunettes, and not the statuesque blondies. Now if only my eyes were blue instead of green...

Seymour Glass said...

first, i saw a program on attraction once that was on discovery and was narrated by John Cleese so it must be highly dependable...and they did this big segment on that waist to hip ratio and how it signals fertility (which is what we really want) to men...so Farrah, the hips are important in this whole thing from what the show said.

overall i'm kind of blown away by all this. i now understand so much more about men. and technically i am one.

where's the article about women? what does evolutionary biology make them want?

and of course since evolution's a fraud and a sham of the devil you don't have to worry about this stuff anyway because it's not true. science is bogus!

caroline said...

maybe this is a bit of a tangent but, i've had multiple conversations lately about the difference between girl pretty and guy pretty.

girls like eva longoria who are super hot while not being that unique or different looking are more guy pretty, whereas girl pretty would be how girls love another girl's hair or skin or uniqueness or bone structure. there are always the crossovers like cindy crawford who are just too good looking for anyone to deny.

of course these examples are subject to personal taste. i know so many girls who i think are really pretty but guys are like, "no, you don't know what pretty is to a guy." i will say, it seems as if the artsier guys' tastes fall more in line with what i think is girl pretty. or as i like to call it, "acquired taste beauty".

sorry for the length of the tangent, i just find this topic highly interesting.

Liz said...

Darin (my squeeze) and I rarely agree on who is "pretty." I believe we've even had mad mad arguments. How embarrassing.

Off topic:
FARAH - I just emailed you. I hope it is the right email! I hear your are going to be in SF this weekend! I am booked on Thursday but REALLY want to see you Friday or even Saturday. So shoot me an email. I'll give you my info that way. Wahoo!

f*bomb. said...

I know. What has science ever done for me anyway?

As for hips, they are another part in which I am lacking. I'll never be the one for a leg or butt man, so I'll have to hope for a man who's into breasts. Where, o-where will I ever find one of those?

f*bomb. said...

As for the plight of men, here's what science has taught us so far:

Women are more attracted to the "masculine," Alpha-male-type, with hard, strong features when she is ovulating.
All other times, women tend to prefer the softer, gentler looking men.

Thus, using scientific deduction, I'd say the male readers will be best off by lifting weights and reading poetry. That way, you'll get ladies ALL MONTH LONG.

f*bomb. said...

ummm...And what's with multiple reports of you knowing men who are into "exotic, tan, Asian-type women"? How is it I don't know any of these men? The only ones like that who I've met are the weird fetish guys.

As for the cool, artistic men who are into Asians, I don't think I'm trendy enough to be somebody's trendy Asian. The rest of the kids call me a bananna; yellow on the outside white on the inside.

Dubious Brown said...

did you read my post about evolution and attraction? Pretty fascinating stuff: http://dubiousbrown.blogspot.com/2007/06/laws-of-chemistry.html