# Appearance and fascination

1. Sep 12, 2004

### humanino

Maybe 30% of the Internet consists in porn, to the great despair of Saint :tongue2: (where did he go ?) (not that I care)
Even people with respectable occupations such as us in PF must admit it : our most successful thread is the Member Photo one and we humans are fascinated by the physical shape. I was wondering why ? :uhh:
We won't get much by seeing each other, except maybe mental association : it is easier to remember pictorial information. But that can't explain the whole fascination here.
Do you have an opinion ?

2. Sep 12, 2004

### Andy

A pictures worth a thousand words.

3. Sep 12, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

My first guess is that it's because PF members are all so good looking.

One of the first things that a baby becomes fascinated with are faces. Manufacturers of baby toys know this and use this in designing toys. Humans tend to seek out the companionship of others and for many people a great part of that is visual contact.

For me, it's nice to put a face to the person I am speaking with. It makes them more "human" and less of an unembodied "voice".

4. Sep 12, 2004

We're predators, among other things. Forward-facing eyes, hands and arms built to apply force and manipulate things in front of those eyes.

5. Sep 12, 2004

### enigma

Staff Emeritus
Humans are extremely social monkeys.

We've got a special place in our brain which does nothing except for recognize faces.

I saw a special on TV (discovery channel, I think) which had two guys with brain damage from accidents. One of them couldn't make the associations between shapes and objects... they showed him a picture of a hairbrush and he described it as a brown blob with a black blob on top of it. When they showed him pictures of people he knew exactly who they were. The other guy could recognize objects with no problem at all, but he couldn't discern people at all... he couldn't even recognize his own face.

It's a mildly scary thought what'll happen if and when we meet an alien race. They most likely won't be able to tell us apart.

6. Sep 12, 2004

Unless they're smarter than the average ox.

7. Sep 12, 2004

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
I'm just guessing here but at the most primitive level, the more attracted one is to a potential mate, the more likely one is to reproduce. Anything that enhances this desire should yield an evolutionary advantage. So it seems to me that a "fascination with shape" is a highly evolved trait that helps to make babies. Also, beauty is often associated with symmetry and specific proportions that indicate health, and fertility. In fact, universally, men indicate that women having a waist to hip ratio of 0.7 are most attractive in form. The preferred measurements [size] can vary, but the ratios stay the same. Allegedly, this waist to hip ratio - 0.7 - also yields the greatest success rate for child birth.

8. Sep 12, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

I've noticed that different people have very different ideas of what is attractive.

If a man is highly intelligent and posseses a great sense of humor, that is SO attractive to me. It actually affects how I perceive them. I have always regretted the few times that someone talked me into dating a guy because he was "good looking". Physical looks are at the bottom of my list in order of importance. Other women are always drooling over men that I consider unattractive. I just don't get it. It does seem that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

edit - I just read Ivan's post. I agree.

Last edited: Sep 12, 2004
9. Sep 12, 2004

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
I should add that physicists prefer a waist to hip ratio of $$\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}$$

10. Sep 12, 2004

### motai

I agree. There are lots of girls that I know who are pretty but leave much to be desired personality-wise. They tend to be shallow in selecting boyfriends and the relationships that I have seen develop seem to be lacking in depth, with the only emphasis being on physical attraction and nothing else.

Being with someone I can relate with is far more important to me than physical attractiveness. But it seems that the majority of people choose the latter as their primary way of selecting boyfriends/girlfriends.

11. Sep 12, 2004

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Hormones

During the time of their cycles when most fertile, young single women tend to show more skin when going out on the town. Unless they have read about this, they don't realize why, they just do.

motia, I'm afraid your complaint should be sent to Darwin. The same for all of those "men are pigs" arguments, ladies.

You animals.

12. Sep 12, 2004

### mee

We had forward facing eyes long before we were predators if, I believe, australopithecus is one of our ancestors.

13. Sep 12, 2004

### jimmy p

The main problem is that you go for the pretty girls in the hope that they have a personality. At least, I would if I had the guts...

14. Sep 12, 2004

### humanino

Still hope to find another available one... Stupid kid I was :grumpy:

15. Sep 12, 2004

Australopithecus wasn't an omniovorous monster like us?

16. Sep 12, 2004

### The_Professional

What if he's smart, intelligent, funny and looks like Danny De Vito?

17. Sep 12, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

I think Danny DeVito is cute.

18. Sep 12, 2004

### amwbonfire

I too prefer personality to physical appearance. I find that if someone is beautiful inside, and I enjoy being with them, they'll be just as beautiful on the outside too.

I don't mean to take anything away from that saying, but it's just a nice way of saying some people have bad taste.

Only joking! :tongue2:

19. Sep 13, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus

I thought it was about 0.618, or $$\frac {\sqrt{5} - 1} {2}$$.

20. Sep 13, 2004

Physical appearance means nothing if they have a thoroughly objectionable personality. However, I'd be quite happy to find a girlfriend who is nice, intelligent, has great integrity, and is also incredibly beautiful. ;)