There is only ONE beauty secret!!! Part two.

(If you have not read the beauty secret part one please read it now)

Angelina Jolie

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder

Although on the surface it may appear that standards of beauty vary worldwide, standards of physical attractiveness have actually been shown to be strong and consistent across ages and regions of the world. Agreement on beauty also holds across genders and sexual orientation and cross-culturally between Asian American and European American females; among Chinese, Indian and English females; and between African and European Americans. One difference though is that in poorer countries where thinness is connected to poverty, larger women are held up as an ideal. This is more because of the status they have achieved (i.e. rich enough to eat well) rather than beauty.

One apparently universal finding is that the physical beauty of females receives more consideration than does the beauty of males. The importance attached to female (as opposed to male) physical attractiveness in our species is an anomaly, considering that among other animals, male attractiveness matters much more than female beauty.

In virtually all of the human populations sampled, males rated physical attractiveness (usually associated with youth) significantly more important in mate choice than did females. Females, by contrast, mostly rated earning potential and ambition/industriousness as more important in mate choice. The attractiveness of the man usually depends predominantly on his skills and prowess rather than upon his looks.

An evolutionary perspective on human behaviour suggests that human beings, like members of other animal species, are likely to have adaptations for assessing the ‘value’ of potential sexual partners, using visual and other cues, and that our standards of physical attractiveness arise from these adaptations. Now we are getting closer to THE beauty secret. Remember, there are no beauty secrets, there is only one beauty secret which will be revealed soon.


The beauty indicators

Features of physical appearance such as full lips, clear and smooth skin, clear eyes, lustrous hair, good muscle tone and a waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) of 0.7 (the hourglass shape) were all indications to our evolutionary ancestors of a healthy (and young) woman. Symmetry of facial features also seems to be an indicator of health because a heavy parasite load can diminish symmetry.

These in-built preferences seem to be aimed at ensuring that males find suitably fertile females who are healthy enough to reproduce and in turn produce healthy children. THE beauty secret has almost been revealed here.

These mechanisms are instinctual and generally subconscious. Men don’t think to themselves ‘I must find a woman with a WHR of 0.7 and smooth skin’. We just find these characteristics appealing, and they are almost universally sought after. When men see beautiful women (i.e. those who have these characteristics) the section of the male brain associated with gambling and thrill-seeking behaviour is stimulated.

Is it any wonder that men turn to look when a beautiful woman walks past? They are receiving immediate positive stimulation of their brains. Men don't know the one beauty secret but they subconsciously respond to it. If you embrace this beauty secret then your attractiveness will increase. Not overnight but fairly quickly depending on the effort that you put in.

facial neoteny

All of these traits are reliable cues to youth, good health, and fertility. Facial neoteny, or the continuation of juvenile traits into adulthood, is appealing to males because it signifies youth. Lips reach their fullness at 14 to 16 when women enter the fertile stage of their life. Men prefer large eyes, small nose and chin, and full red lips. We subconsciously associate all of these indicators with fertility. Cartilaginous tissues (such as ears and noses) continue to grow throughout life; ears get bigger and noses get longer, wider and more conspicuous and are indicative of aging. Also, the vermillion, or red zone, of the lips gets thinner with the loss of connective tissue as we age. Female hips and waistlines expand as they get older.

Males subconsciously associate these characteristics with a lack of fertility. We are almost there. If you found that there was only one beauty secret would you not seek it out? Women want to know how to attract men and this one beauty secret will allow you to do that as well as impress other women

Since men are most attracted to those features that indicate high fertility and perhaps a long future of reproduction (youth will provide that), older women don’t usually cut it unless they are particularly good looking (because a beautiful looking older woman will generally be judged up to 10 years younger than her biological age as compared to less attractive older women).

If men were attracted to only menopausal women then there would not be much chance of passing on their genes to future generations. If men stick to the indicators of youth then there is a good chance they will be able to reproduce, hence the importance of following visual cues that will lead to this result. This should give you a clue as to what the one beauty secret is and it has to do with evolution.

The female face receives a great deal of attention, both by men and women. However, the female figure plays a part in attraction. A large body of physiological research has shown that the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) stands out as a feature of attractiveness among a number of measures of body size and shape and relates to age and fertility.

waist to hip ratio

The waist-to-hip ration (WHR)

Research from Poland demonstrated that women close to the WHR of 0.7 were more fertile than women with larger or smaller WHR’s. Not surprisingly, men’s ideal preferred WHR in women is 0.7. Average female WHR increases slowly over the course of adulthood, in step with declining fertility, and is once again in the male range (0.85 – 0.95) among post-menopausal women, indicative of aging and lack of fertility. Another, perhaps better indicator of bodily attractiveness than WHR, is the Body Mass Index (BMI). This is all part of THE beauty secret.

You can calculate your own BMI in the calculator below:

Body Mass Index (BMI)

A BMI around 18-19 for women is considered the ideal in terms of attractiveness given that small increases or decreases on either side of this range lead to large reductions in perceptions of attractiveness. This is not surprising given that the BMI is closely correlated with health and fertility. A BMI close to 19 confer the lowest mortality rates and fertility rates decrease as the BMI rises or drops below 19.

Dr. Martin Tovee and associates at Newcastle University theorise that men use the BMI as a primary screening mechanism for selecting the most attractive women from a range of possible partners and then the WHR helps them discriminate between these most attractive ones. Don’t be upset if your BMI is greater than 18-19 as figures up to 23 are still considered attractive and most people are not considered overweight until they reach a BMI of 26 or greater.


In humans, mate ‘value’ declines with age, beginning in early adulthood. Unfortunately, attractiveness declines about 2% per year faster for females than for males. Is it any surprise then that women instinctually attempt, through makeup or cosmetic surgery, to enhance their lips and the condition of their skin; through hairdressers to enhance the quality of their hair; through cosmetic surgery to make their noses smaller and better shaped; and through liposuction or fitness regimes to enhance their waist-to-hip ratio/BMI and muscle tone?

Sure people feel good when they look good but it goes much deeper than that. They are in competition with other females for available mates whether they choose to acknowledge it or not. For women, it pays to look youthful and beautiful, for a whole range of reasons.


Beautiful people are usually treated preferentially in a variety of situations, from work to romance to criminal cases. There are evolutionary reasons as to why this is so. Beauty has an impact whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. These evolutionary mechanisms are operating regardless of whether you believe in them or not. Wouldn’t it be better to know what is going on and then be able to choose freely whether you want to play the game or not?

It isn’t fair and it isn’t particularly nice but that is the reality. However, I don’t want you to give up all hope. After all, most of us aren’t Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. I can offer you a few positives.

All is not lost.

The writer Henry James met the English novelist George Eliot (Pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans seen above) when she was 49 years old. He wrote to his father:

She is magnificently ugly. She has a low forehead, a dull grey eye, a vast pendulous nose, a huge mouth, full of uneven teeth. Now in this vast ugliness resides a most powerful beauty which, in a very few minutes, steals forth and charms the mind, so that you end as I ended, in falling in love with her.

I think James was a bit rough on her but even though he was charmed by her, whether he would have dated her is another story.

Beauty alone does not confer happiness. The beautiful people are not necessarily happier than the rest of us. They are usually happier in their ability to attract mates, but one only has to look to Hollywood to realize that attracting mates and living happily ever after don’t always go together.

I know I’ve given the impression that there is one ideal female or male out there that is the preferred type that most people want. This is generally true in that 70-90% of people will go with evolutionary templates of male and female bodies.

However,in reality, very few of us fit the bill and yet for millennia humans have managed to find love and mate and enjoy their lives in spite of not being ‘perfect’.

Luckily, many humans fall for a smile, a sense of humour, intelligence or kindness and caring, and these are attributes available to all of us. However, to maximize your potential and to tap into the ‘advantages of beauty’ the easiest place to start is with your own body. Enhance that and you enhance your life.

So what is THE beauty secret? It is simply this.

There is an evolutionary template for beauty and the closer you can get to that template the more attractive you will be - this is THE beauty secret

Simple, but to put it into practise you need to know what the ideal is so click here for the The Perfect Female Body

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