May 23, 2010
Why do men prefer women with large breasts, skinny waistlines, blonde hair, and blue eyes? Study after study shows that men prefer women who look this way, but why? Is it random? No. Like everything in life, there’s always a reason. Let’s address these issues one at a time.
Inside the male brain is a mechanism which looks at a woman’s waist to hip ratio. First, thinner women tend to be more healthy than those who are overweight. Second, the hips and waist are examined and their proportions analyzed as to how easily they could give birth to a baby. Healthy women with the right waist and hip proportions are deemed more likely to successfully deliver a healthy baby. So men are sexually attracted.
My first guess was this had something to do with breast feeding the infant. If the woman had large breasts she would be deemed a better candidate than a woman with smaller breasts. Evolutionary psychologists don’t think this the case though, because breast size bears no relation to a woman’s ability to lactate. So what could be the reason?
Harvard anthropologist Frank Marlowe believes that breasts have been used in the past for their ability to indicate a woman’s age, and hence her reproductive abilities. Large breasts tend to be heavier and sag with age. With smaller breasts this sagging is less apparent, so it’s harder to tell how old she is just by looking at her. So men have evolved to examine the breasts, and prefer large ones.
Since men are naturally polygamous, they stare at any woman who walks by with large breasts and a thin waistline.
Others believe large breasts indicate other forms fecundity (reproductive ability). Two reproductive hormones, estradiol and progesterone, are found in higher levels in women with large breasts and tight waists. So men have evolved over time to prefer large breasts.
As an added note, Jean-Paul Satre believed men preferred large breasts because during sex the man could control the movement of the woman’s breasts, giving his body an extension. He gained two new appendages to control. So it’s a form of possession.
Long Blonde Hair
A woman’s hair is an indicator to her health as well. Shiny, lustrous hair indicates vigor and vitality. Dull hair is found among the sick and aged. Blonde hair is judged most healthy because of how vibrant it is. Also many young women are born with blonde hair but as they age it becomes brown. So blonde hair indicates health and youth. It’s not an accident that women want blonde hair and that brown haired women get blonde highlights.
Blonde hair evolved in Scandinavia and northern Europe. Anthropologists believe this is because the women were wearing heavy clothing and a health indicator was needed to judge age.
There’s more to hair than this though. Styled hair, its shininess, and grooming also play a role. A woman who has put a lot of effort into her appearance must have a lot of time on her hands, therefore she’s not struggling to survive. She’s clean, healthy, and well off. This is also why women prefer men who are clean shaven, a fresh haircut, and are well groomed. It’s all about health and how well off you are.
And some may like to argue, “Well I prefer women with red hair. It’s all personal preference.” Overall though, research shows a strong preference for men to prefer blondes and for women to dye their hair blonde. You can find women dying their hair blonde all the way back in 15th century Italy. Even women in Iran today, with little to no exposure to Western culture, are dyeing their hair blonde.
As for long hair, the growth takes a long time and by examining it you’re able to see a long history of a woman’s health. It’s a sort of rudimentary health record.
What would eye color have to do with anything? Why would blue be preferred to green or brown? The best explanation for this so far is that the human pupil dilates when exposed to something we like. This happens in both males and females. Pupil dilation is a completely honest method for determining interest and attraction. It’s most easily visible in those with blue eyes, so it’s preferred.
You may think, “Well I didn’t even know the pupil dilated, how could I be basing my attraction on this?” Well, our brains do a lot of things unconsciously and you don’t have to be conscious of what it’s doing to notice the effects. You simply see her, she sees you and your brains notice the pupil dilation. It doesn’t matter if you consciously notice it. Only by studying body language books can you bring these thoughts to the conscious level. All kinds of psychological states are indicated by a person’s voice intonations, gestures, and signals like this. Most of our communication takes place at this level, not the actual words coming out of our mouths.
It should be noted that this isn’t always the case with highly intelligent individuals. Such people are armed with a high vocabulary and words take over; gesturing and intonation can be used less.