People have long been interested in the complexities of human beauty, but until recently the science of attractiveness was largely left to poets, playwrights, philosophers, and artists. This book begins the task of providing a scientific look at physical attraction, by offering an overview of scholarly work on physical beauty, culture, evolution and other aspects of human attractiveness.
The Psychology of Physical Attraction begins by discussing the role of evolution in the development of what it means to be 'attractive' in contemporary society. It provides a general overview of evolutionary psychology and mate choice, as well as an in-depth focus on physical characteristics such as physical symmetry, body weight and ratios, and youthfulness. The book goes on to explore the role of societal and cultural ideals of beauty through a discussion of the social psychology of human beauty. Finally, the "morality" of physical attractiveness is examined, looking at issues such as discrimination on the basis of looks, body image and eating disorders and cosmetic surgery.
Combining both evolutionary and social perspectives, this book offers a unique and comprehensive overview of the many debates involved in the science of physical attraction which ultimately allows for a better understanding of human beauty. It will be of interest to students and researchers in psychology, as well as anyone interested in the science of physical attractiveness.