Curvaceousness, the hourglass shape, has also been found to be a factor.
There are many aspects involved in the perception and judgement of body shape that clearly cannot be measured in isolation.
Men find a greater contrast between the darkness of the eyes and lips and the lightness of the surrounding skin to be most beautiful.
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But how do we define physical appeal and attraction? The idea of applying scientific analytical methods to such questions may seem about as appropriate as analysing Shakespeare's love sonnets through the mathematics of rhythm and the structure of language and vocabulary to better understand their seductive effects.
Nevertheless, breaking down the aspects of attractiveness into their component parts and then subjecting them to rigorous scientific testing has provided answers to many of the basic questions about the judgements we make in the first few moments of meeting a potential partner.
This attractiveness is not just about looks though, because a study has found that feminine features are empirically linked to higher levels of oestrogen in women.
However, familiar or typical faces are also viewed as more attractive, while more unusual and distinctive faces are rated less attractive.