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Why ‘Basic’ Looking Women Are More Attractive Than Pretty Women, According to Study


If your Tinder profile isn’t getting the amount of right swipes that you’re expecting, your photos may be too pretty, according to new research.

For their study, published by the Royal Society of Open Science, University of Paris evolutionary biologist Julien Renoult and his colleagues asked two groups of men to grade sets of female photos on how attractive they were. On the first set, each subject assessed the attractiveness of 30 different faces by giving them a rating from zero to 20. On the second set, each rater were instructed to pick the more attractive face from 30 photo pairs corresponding to 60 faces. The answers were then combined and reviewed by a computer model of the brain’s visual cortex to determine what makes women beautiful.

The researchers found that women with “simpler” faces were deemed more attractive by the male participants. According to them, this was because bland features are easier for our brains to process and thus are more memorable.

“The interesting point this paper is making is that faces that are easy to process are perceived as more attractive,” University of Queensland School psychologist Bill von Hippel, who was not involved in the study, told

“That raises the possibility that symmetrical faces, faces without unusual features, are perceived as attractive partially because they’re processed more easily.

“If so, then this effect should be largely independent of gender — women should show the same preference for easily processed faces that men do.”

According to Von Hippel, the study reinforces the belief that first impressions count when it comes to deciding whether one is attractive or not.

And while simpler faces tend to be perceived as more attractive, that doesn’t mean you have to give up your makeup.

“My guess is lips and cheeks and eyes shaped in a proto-typically attractive fashion are very easily processed themselves,” said von Hippel. “So if contouring or lipstick makes it a more prototypical face, I’d imagine that meets the definition of ‘simple.’”