Ever wondered what it takes to bag the man of your dreams, only to discover that average-looking girl got the dreamiest one off the lot?
Well, turns out striking beauty isn’t really what a man looks for, according to a recent US study.
According to the results of a studyÂ at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain, men prefer to gaze at â€œaverageâ€ facesâ€”facial features with the most symmetry, that skew more toward unsurprising and further from unique.
In other words, move over, Mila Kunis. Itâ€™s time for us girls next door to have a moment in the dating spotlight.
The researchers surveyed 266 female undergrads on their own perceived attractiveness, then asked 44 straight men to rate the attractiveness of each woman based on black-and-white, unsmiling images alone. Independently, the researchers used criteria, such as symmetry, to categorize the women on a scale from average to unique and youthful to more aged in appearance.
Both the women and men agreed that symmetryâ€”features similar on each side of the face, equal distance between themâ€”was more desirable than faces with asymmetric features. Overwhelmingly, the men were most attracted to women who were categorized as “average.” And not surprisingly, the men also reported youthful faces as most pleasing.
If youâ€™re as puzzled as we were to hear men prefer an average face over a more interesting mug, hereâ€™s the scientific explanation: Men associate average features with high heterozygosity, which means a high genetic variability.
More unique looks, however, lead men to subconsciously link the woman with low heterozygosityâ€”also known as inbreeding. And now we get it.