Are people of mixed race more attractive?


| 4 Comments
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According to an article on Psychology Today, an observational study found that when Caucasian and Japanese volunteers looked at photos of Japanese, Whites and Eurasians, this last group was consistently rated most attractive.  Another study, done at the Cardiff University School of Psychology gathered 1205 photos of Blacks, Whites and people of mixed race. They then showed those photos to 40 female students who rated these photos on their attractiveness on a scale of one to ten. It was found that the photos of mixed race people had a higher chance of being perceived as more attractive. (The study results of the last one are not very clearly presented in the article it seems that some information is missing)

            So why might this be? One hypothesis is that people of mixed race appear healthier. A healthy appearance is greatly linked to overall attractiveness because humans (and all animals for that matter) look for overall health when choosing their reproductive partner. Having a genetically diverse ancestry is thought to enhance health because it may lower the incidence of some diseases. This is because genetic diseases are the result of two copies of a defected gene. Genetic diversity lowers the chance of getting two copies of a defective gene. Going back to Darwinian days, mixed genes could lead to a more "genetically fit" person thus leading to overall better health which is translated into overall attractiveness.

            Another factor in the equation is that according to both Psychology Today and the dailymail.com, people are more attracted to "average" faces, meaning that the features are not over exaggerated but more regular, than to faces that have more prominent features (i.e. a large nose or a small chin). At this point neither article elaborates very far on the topic. What I understood was that people who inherit features from parents of different race are more likely to inherit the typical features of each race leading to an "average" face and less likely to have any very prominent features.

            The third and final possibility brought up in the dailymail.com article was that now more than ever, mixed race people are in the spot light. Take for example, Halle Berry, Barak Obama, Tiger Woods ect... These faces are seen all over the place and thus they have become a big part of our ever-changing standards of beauty. 


4 Comments

I think this topic is so interesting. I usually find that when I meet people of mixed race I think that they are more attractive than people of one race. I think that it is interesting that people are more attracted to "average" looking people and that having more defined features makes you less attractive. I like the idea that more people of mixed race could get the best features from each parent and therefore be more average looking. But I wouldn't say that because more prominent people are of mixed race that it would make others think mixed race people are more attractive. I think that the first and second points are valid, but I don't really agree with dailymail.com's last point.

I often think that people of mixed races are extremely attractive. Part of the reason why I think this is a common thing is because people of mixed races look different. They aren't your average White, Black, or Asian. People of mixed races are fewer in number than people who are just one race. I think that people subconsciously pick up on this and when they see someone that looks different than them or the other twenty people around them, they will notice. More commonly than not, that one person that is different will probably be of mixed races. Going back to what you said in your blog that people of mixed races have 'average' faces because their features are not over exaggerated, I also think this is true. However, I don't think they have average faces in terms of looking similar to anyone around them, because I think multiracial people always stand out and draw attraction to themselves this way.

Quinn,
I think the "average" factor is confusing. You're definitely right that they don't have "average" faces in the sense that we normally use the term average, in a banal sense that is. Multiracial people definitely stand out, especially in communities that are predominantly of one race. It seems to me that they have an exotic element which grabs people's attention.
Something else I found interesting while doing my research was how our perception of beauty has changed in the past 20 years.
According to an Allure magazine survey which was taken in 1991 and again in 2011 our idea of “attractive” has shifted from the tall, blond hair blue eyed bombshell to the dark hair, dark eyed, curvier women with more prominent features. This is interesting because it goes against the “average” factor that we discussed earlier.

here is the link to the pool (I forgot to include it in the other comment)
http://main.stylelist.com/2011/03/09/mixed-race-american-beauty-allure-survey/

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