When you’re describing how good-looking someone is, chances are you don’t say, “She/he is so symmetrical!” But multiple studies have revealed that a person’s “symmetry”—basically, how closely both sides of their face/body match—plays a big part in how attractive we find them. There may be a scientific reason for that as people who had lower levels of oxidative stress in their body also had more symmetrical features, meaning symmetrical folks may actually be healthier, according to a study published in the journal Animal Behavior.
In the study, ten measurements were taken of the men to determine their symmetry—things as specific as ear height and finger length. Then they were tested and quizzed for indicators of oxidative stress. Finally, a group of women was asked to rate images of the men’s bodies and faces for physical attractiveness. Men with more symmetrical bodies had lower levels and were rated as more attractive. Of course, no one is perfectly symmetrical so make sure you know these 12 things sex therapists won’t tell you.
The perfect body mass index
Your body mass index (BMI) refers to the relationship between your height and your weight. Women who fall on the low end, below what is considered healthy, are considered the most attractive, according to a study published in PLoS One. For men, the results were more forgiving, with maximum attractiveness correlating with the healthy BMI range, they found. Don’t get too hung up on this one factor, though, check out the sex myths that everyone thinks are true but needs to ignore.