physical attractiveness perception

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Physical attractiveness perception

Many people feel self conscious around strangers and become uncomfortable in the company of others because they don't like their own looks.

Its so common for a person to feel anxious around strangers because of believing that he has an unattractive nose or an unattractive body.

Do you know why do these people feel uncomfortable around others? its not that they have some physical features that they don't like but its because they don't know how people perceive physical attractiveness.

Each person sees the world differently and all people focus on the things that concern them the most. A person who doesn't like his own nose shape will focus on the noses of others especially the ones who have more attractive ones.

do you know what does this means? it means that only those who are concerned about their own nose shape will examine the details of your nose!

By understanding how people perceive physical attractiveness you will become much more comfortable with your looks and when this happens your self confidence will sky rocket.

How people see physical attractiveness

In my article Physical attraction psychology i talked about some of the features that people find attractive in others but the point that many people don't understand is how people process these features in their minds when they see you.

We all know that symmetrical faces and women with low waist to hip ratio are found to be more attractive than others but do you know how people perceive this information? (see also Why do we find some people attractive)

People process your overall looks in search for attractive features and they form the first impression without getting into much details. This means that your face can appear so attractive to someone even if your nose doesn't look pretty according to his own opinion!

I know a friend who is very attractive according to the opinion of most people who know her. This friend has a tiny scar on her forehead and as a result she becomes self conscious around others because of believing that they will judge her by the scar.

She believes that others will focus on the scar because that's exactly what she does while the truth is that most people judge her attractiveness as a whole and rarely pay attention to her scar even though they notice it.

The perception of attractiveness & your overall looks

Few days ago i was walking in a street near my house where a male friend was passing by along with his female friend. The guy recognized me from my back and came beside me with his car to say hi, in the same moment i noticed that the girl started sending me attraction signals even though she could barely see me. (see Body language Attraction signals

Its clear that she saw me from the back, noticed something as simple as my shoulder's width and then when she got close she found that my face is almost symmetrical but not perfect by any means!

Still she saw me as an attractive person not because i had perfect facial features but because the way people perceive physical attractiveness lets them ignore most small details that we don't like about ourselves. (see also Interpersonal attraction theory)

In the gym i met a female friend who doesn't think she looks attractive while the first time i saw her i found her very attractive. All i noticed about her during the first encounter was her stylish sport clothes and her fit body. My friend doesn't like her face features and thinks that she is not attractive while in fact her overall looks gives the impression that she is very attractive.

In short, people judge your attractiveness based on your overall looks and it will rarely happen that someone judge your appearance based on a single face feature such as your lips or your nose.

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