The Scientific Fundamentalist

A look at the hard truths about human nature.

Barbie: Manufactured by Mattel, Designed by Evolution IX

Why men are fooled by women and modern technology.

The big irony:  Why men are fooled

So men like women who look like blonde bombshells, or Barbie, and women want to look like them, because each of their key features (youth, long hair, small waist, large breasts, blonde hair, blue eyes, and large eyes) is an indicator of youth and thus of health, reproductive value, and fertility.  There is precise evolutionary logic behind the image of ideal female beauty.  By now, astute readers who have been following the posts in this series may have caught on to the irony of it all.  None of what I have said in earlier posts in this series is true any longer.

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Through face lifts, wigs, liposuction, surgical breast augmentation, hair dye, color contact lenses, and cosmetic surgery, any woman -- regardless of her age -- can have all of the key features that define the ideal female beauty.  Very little of Pamela Anderson’s appearance is natural.  A 40-year-old woman today can rely on modern technology to continue to look like a 20-year-old woman.  Farrah Fawcett at 60 looks better and younger than most “normal” women half her age.

And men fall for them.  As the Savanna Principle (“the human brain has difficulty comprehending and dealing with entities and situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment”) suggests, men’s brains cannot really comprehend silicone breasts or blonde hair dye, because these things did not exist in the ancestral environment 10,000 years ago.  Men can cognitively and consciously understand that many blonde women with firm large breasts are not actually 15 years old, but they still find them attractive because their evolved psychological mechanisms are fooled by the modern inventions that did not exist in the ancestral environment.

Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist at LSE and the coauthor (with the late Alan S. Miller) of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters.

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