We may not want to admit it, but the way someone looks outwardly, is often the first thing that attracts us to them. Research so far tells us that physical appearance is probably the most important factor in how we select a date or potential partner.

Universal beauty is often associated with movie stars. Many prefer to see soft and muted features on the faces of women, and strong and prominent features on those of men. Youth is valued, and aging is not. Universal beauty is often equated to flawlessness and perfection, and aspired to by many. Many people undergo expensive cosmetic procedures in their quest to become perfect. In 2016, Americans spent more than 8 billion dollars on procedures like injectables, tummy tucks, and breast enlargements.

The Western concept of universal beauty, however, is actually not consistent across cultures. In Asia, women are so pre-occupied with pale skin that they will undergo skin-whitening procedures and wear extra clothing to shield their skin from the sun. In Saudi Arabia, female beauty is often associated with the eyes since this is the only facial feature visible under traditional dress.


Studies show that how we look will affect how others treat us and even our chances at finding a potential mate. At first, I was deeply disturbed by these findings. Since not all of us are gifted with supermodel looks at birth, does this mean that our love life is irrevocably predetermined by our physical attributes?

As I delved into the subject of looks and attraction further, I discovered that those “unchangeable” parts of our looks were not driving attraction anyway! Contrary to popular belief, a symmetrical nose, the perfectly proportionate figure, or a classic face are not nearly as important as the aspects of yourself that are easy to change! The little things under your control are the most attractive characteristics of all.

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A research by Mehrabian and Blum (1997) was conducted to find out which physical features were deemed most attractive. In essence, they wanted to discover the relative importance of stable features (e.g. body type and height) versus changeable features (e.g. grooming and hair) in physical attractiveness. And what combinations really made someone “attractive”. Here are the attributes that make you most attractive…

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Their shocking finding was that, by far, the most attractive features fell under the category of “self care”. These features include changeable aspects like good grooming, clear skin, neat hair, nice fitting and quality clothing, good posture, and healthy weight. Essentially, the most attractive features about a person (male or female) is that they put forth some effort to present the best versions of themselves. This may subtly allude to some amount of self-love which is a trait of a confident person. Self-care will mean different things to different people. At a basic level, it may just mean being clean and neatly trimmed hair and nails. For others who want to take it a level, it may mean having a clear complexion, nice fitting clothes and a confident posture. The good news is: There is no plastic surgery, major gym time, or extensive overhauling required.

Try: Since self-care is very much ‘nurture’ rather than ‘nature’, it’s no wonder that the grooming and aesthetic industry is mushrooming at a rapid rate. Even celebs who shun surgery would at the very least engage in some amount of grooming, be it for their face, skin and body. Most popular in Western culture are the skin brightening lasers and anti-aging facials, not to mention skin tightening treatments. Short of surgery, these aesthetic treatments have quickly replaced the older generation facials as more effective therapies to maintain a person’s outlook. In Asia, laser hair removal, anti-pigmentation therapies such as Porcelain skin program reign supreme as being smooth, fair and hairless are coveted traits of an Asian beauty.

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Men who look more masculine are more attractive to women. This comes as no surprise to many. In Hollywood, leading male actors have always been portrayed as hunks with chiselled features, strong jawline, broad shoulders and a muscular frame. Many of the masculine traits can be cultivated through a careful regime of healthy diet and hard work at the gym. You do reap what you sow in this case for men.

Try: That’s not to say that men don’t seek some quick short cuts if they are available. Coolshape to melt down excess tummy fat makes it easier for the six pack to show through. Onda Body Magic, a quick non-invasive therapy to tighten skin is a godsend for men who have folds of loose skin from extreme weight loss. For men who desires a more chiselled look, they can always have the option of jawline or cheekbone fillers. Last but not least, one trait of masculinity is a full head of hair. While this may be more likely to be controlled by God (or genes), recent technological advances have spurned a host of hair loss therapies such as Revage 670 laser and Revitascalp hair loss treatments.

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Women who look more feminine are seen as more attractive than women who possess less feminine features. While this can be altered to an extent by hair and makeup, certain facial and body traits are more highly associated with femininity than others. In particular, a V-shape face, large eyes, petite lips and a slim figure.

Try: while the repertoire of ‘feminine’ features may sound like quite a handful, closer inspection revealed that most of these traits can be achieved by simple non-invasive aesthetic treatments. Take a V-shape face, doctors have been successfully recreating this look with a clever and safe combination of Botox for the masseter muscles, Ultherapy to redefine and slim jawline and in more recalcitrant cases, threadlifts such as the Infinity V-lift. Having a slim figure is something within the realm of possibility for most women with a careful diet and judicious exercise plan. Women, never one to shun external help wherever possible, are enthusiastic recipients of non-invasive fat loss treatments like coolshape and Onda body magic.

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There is something to be said about a pleasant person, basically one who exudes an easy, happy, positive, and friendly in attitude. Again, our feeling is that this is something that can be cultivated through time.

Try: If you have difficulty being well-liked, we recommend the all-time bestseller by dale Carnegie How to win friends and influence people. It’s a great read and who knows, it may change your life!

Who knew the Jersey Shore folks had the secret to attraction with G.T.L. (gym, tanning, and laundry). Although they can’t seem to manage relationships, they do have a point about taking care of yourself.

Groom well, buy some clothes that fit, stand up straight, smile, and be healthy. That’s all it takes to be attractive, sexy, and get a date or mate. You can take the plastic surgeon off your speed dial now, stop obsessing…and go have some fun 🙂

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