Guru Magazine - - Contents -

Be­fore the ‘Hot or Not’ web­site, there was Miss World. Be­fore that, there were Di­vine Beauty Con­tests. It seems men and women have al­ways en­joyed ogling each other. Dr Stu dis­cov­ers what it takes to have that spe­cial ‘X fac­tor’ on page 36.

It all started as an ar­gu­ment one evening. The men were on one side of the room, the women on the other. The bat­tle lines were drawn. Movie star Keira Knight­ley was the point of dis­cus­sion. We men were pas­sion­ately ar­gu­ing that she is beau­ti­ful. We

knew we were right. But the women were far from con­vinced – some claim­ing that she has a face that looks as if it has been hit with a fry­ing pan. They were clearly jeal­ous of her good looks. Pre­dictably, the dis­agree­ment did not reach an am­i­ca­ble con­clu­sion. The say­ing that “beauty is in the eye of the be­holder” is painfully clichéd but true: ev­ery­one’s idea of what makes some­one at­trac­tive is dif­fer­ent. (Clearly not ev­ery­one thinks Keira Knight­ley is.) It is, how­ever, hard to deny that some peo­ple are just… well… darned good look­ing. Take Natalie Portman or Ryan Gosling: they seem to have that spe­cial some­thing, mean­ing that they reg­u­larly fea­ture in glossy mags’ ‘Hottest Celebri­ties’ lists. We all know it when we see it, but can never quite put a fin­ger on what that ‘X-fac­tor’ is. The se­cret of beauty is, how­ever, not as mys­te­ri­ous as you might think. Hey baby, your testos­terone drives me wild! Af­ter breath­ing, drink­ing, eat­ing and sleep­ing, a hu­man’s next most pow­er­ful urge is to get down and jiggy with some­one spe­cial. But this re­cip­i­ent of our lovin’ can’t be just any­one – they need to be able get our heart rac­ing, tummy tum­bling and the hairs on the back of the neck stand­ing… erect. Put sim­ply, they need to ‘turn us on’ – and that usu­ally means they need to look at­trac­tive. So let us look at a stereo­typ­i­cally ‘good look­ing’ man: he is tall, has broad shoul­ders and a mus­cu­lar, V-shaped up­per body. Con­versely, the belle of the ball has a cur­va­ceous fig­ure, full lips and soft fea­tures. Th­ese ap­peal­ing qual­i­ties aren’t ran­dom and are seen pos­i­tively across dif­fer­ent cul­tures. In a prim­i­tive and un­con­scious way, they give us clues about who will make a good mate and par­ent of our fu­ture chil­dren. The hall­marks of a ‘good look­ing’ man sug­gest that he is phys­i­cally strong, thus giv­ing him the abil­ity to in­tim­i­date and dom­i­nate other men. He will there­fore make a good pro­tec­tor of a fu­ture fam­ily. Any good look­ing man will also tend to have prom­i­nent cheek­bones, a chis­elled jaw­line and prom­i­nent brow – all of which de­velop in the pres­ence of high testos­terone lev­els in the blood. And high testos­terone lev­els in­di­cate that he is par­tic­u­larly vir­ile. Sim­i­larly, a woman’s al­lure is born out of her abil­ity to bear chil­dren. When high lev­els of the fe­male sex hor­mone, oe­stro­gen, pump through her veins, she will de­velop wider hips, larger breasts and softer fea­tures. Plenty of oe­stro­gen can make a woman ex­tremely fer­tile – and that seems to be some­thing men sim­ply can’t re­sist.

LEFT: Com­par­i­son be­tween a male

(top) and a fe­male pelvis (bot­tom). Fe­males gen­er­ally have

wider hips to per­mit child­birth.

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