All About Beauty

Okay, so gorgeous people get preferential treatment. It's a not-too-pretty fact of life long attributed to the halo effect. Now there's evidence that beauty and intelligence (and other positive characteristics) go hand in hand. Evolutionary psychologists have opened a tantalizing line of inquiry onto age-old questions about beauty, and not a moment too soon. Clinical psychologists observe that men and women alike appear more concerned than ever with attractiveness and perceived physical imperfections.

Recent posts on Beauty

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The No-Makeup Look Creates a Dilemma for Women

By Tara Well Ph.D. on July 25, 2017 in The Clarity
Research explains the pros and cons of going barefaced.

Four Underappreciated Markers of Female Beauty

It is no secret that when it comes to physical beauty, women are held to higher standards than are men; here are a few of the subtle things that seem to matter a lot.
“’Bikini girls’ mosaic at Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, Sicily”/Kenton Greening/Wikimedia Commons

Enough Talk of Bikini Bodies

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on July 01, 2017 in Beauty Sick
Women who want to improve their fitness need realistic, healthy goals — not shame.

What's In a Face?

Human faces exhibit more diversity than any other physical feature and more than other species. This fact tells us of the social evolution of our ancestors.

The Psychology of the Curated Closet

How cleaning out our closets can ease our minds and de-clutter our lives, while helping our wallets.

Why Flowers Make Us Happy

Flowers trigger the dopamine of excitement and the oxytocin of social trust. A wildflower hike triggers all the happy brain chemicals at once!

How Wonder Woman Is and Isn't a Feminist Superheroine Movie

Must a feminist heroine's sex appeal be the film's primary focus? The audience can make up its own mind about her attractiveness without characters ham-handedly pointing it out.

The Relationship Between Waist-Hip Ratio and Fertility

In women, a low waist-hip ratio correlates with health, fertility, and attractiveness. However, a new study reveals that it may also distinguish between past and future fertility.

Dove’s Latest Body Positivity Failure

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on June 15, 2017 in Beauty Sick
If Dove’s bottles could speak, they’d blend right into the chorus of voices encouraging women to take an objectified perspective on their own bodies.

Eating Disorders Spread Among Asians

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on June 13, 2017 in Minority Report
In the past three decades, Asian countries have seen a surge in eating disorders coinciding with exposure to western standards of beauty. Asian culture also plays a role.

Why Do Man Buns Inspire Instant Vitriol?

By Gregg McBride on June 10, 2017 in The Weight-ing Game
With the advent of social media, we’ve all become a little more “brave” in regard to sharing our opinions. The parallels to other life disagreements have not been lost on me.

Online Matchmaking: Where Benevolence Outshines Beauty

The order in which you view online daters' profiles determines how attractive you will find them. Emotionally responsive profiles can be more alluring than attractive photos.

The Lord of the Wedding Ring: J.R.R. Tolkien’s True Love

Tolkien's new book, Beren and Luthien is coming out decades after the author’s death, but it tells a tale close to his heart.

Why Do School Districts Suspend Black Students for Hair?

When even your hairstyle will get you suspended from school

Is Body Positivity Leading Us Astray?

In the body positivity movement, self-acceptance has been bypassed in our quest for self-love. But when you feel anything but love for your body, might acceptance be a better goal?

Is Hair Down There Going, Going, Gone?

An increasingly large majority of American women (84 percent) and men (51 percent) now trim, shape, or completely shave their public hair. What, if anything, does this mean?
© Can Stock Photo / ikophotos

13 Reasons Why to Live

By Ana Nogales, Ph.D. on May 30, 2017 in Family Secrets
Sometimes depression doesn't let us see the beauty of life.
Goodluz/iStockPhoto

Picture Perfect?

Parents often do not intend to relay the message that comes with unwanted photography: it is more important for me to get the right shot of you than to respect your wishes.
Unsplash/CC0

A Gift From Mothers to Daughters

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on May 22, 2017 in Beauty Sick
The messages we hear about women and beauty make it hard to have healthy attitudes toward our bodies. But we can make certain those messages stop at our own front door.

Are Musical Preferences All in the Sound?

Are musical preferences all in the sound?

The Art of Being Too Sensitive

By Laurie Helgoe Ph.D. on May 17, 2017 in Introvert Power
Have you been told you are too sensitive? Respond with a paintbrush.
"Fitball_Group_Fitness_Class"/www.localfitness.com.au /CC BY-SA 3.0

Body Shame Is Not a Diet Plan

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on May 14, 2017 in Beauty Sick
Fostering body shame is not an effective way to get healthy. Shame makes you want to withdraw from important activities and meaningful connections with others. Shame can be a threa

What’s So Sexy About Belly Buttons?

Academic journals examining the psychological and sexual aspects of the navel are almost nonexistent. But Wikipedia’s extensive, even scholarly, coverage fills this gap.

Face of Controversy

By Dara Greenwood Ph.D. on April 29, 2017 in Mirror, Mirror
Why Plagiarism Isn't the Only "Lesson in Exploitation" of Michelle Obama's Controversial Mural Image

Who Is Most Likely to Cheat on Their Partner?

Being able to figure out how faithful your partner will be would seem to be a worthwhile goal. New research suggests a pretty simple, “skin-deep” method.

Fallingwater: Where Design, Structure, & Psychology Converge

Asked to describe Fallingwater in one word, its owner replied, "Romance." Frank Lloyd Wright used design and structure to evoke psychological reactions.

What Do the Latest Plastic Surgery Statistics Say About Us?

In 2016, Americans spent more money on elective plastic surgery and non-invasive cosmetic treatments than at any other time in our nation's history. What exactly are we "fixing"?

Would You Give Up Good Looks for a Great Personality?

Can we consciously discern the traits which motivate our dating and mating decisions?

My Baby’s Birthmark Was My Fault

For doctors, lasers are interesting. Patients who blame themselves for what the lasers will be used for are not.