More than just skin deep? Personality information influences men’s ratings of the attractiveness of women’s body sizes

The Researchers: V. Swami, et. al.

Published In: The Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 150(6), pp.628–647, 2010


Personality affects physical attraction.


Think “good personality” is a euphemism for a not-so-hot date? Think again. Knowing your date has a good personality can make them more attractive to you.

In this study, a team of researchers (led by YouBeauty attraction expert Viren Swami) tested whether personality affects physical attraction. They asked a group of 2,157 men, ages 18 to 68, to rate the attractiveness of women’s bodies, ranging from emaciated to obese. One group saw information about the women’s personalities before viewing the photos, while the control group saw only the photos.

Personality mattered. Men primed with positive personality information were attracted to a wider range of body sizes than the control group. Specifically, a good personality made heavier women more attractive.

But get this: Men primed with negative personality information were attracted to a narrower range. In other words, a good personality made body size matter less, while a mean streak created more pressure to look ‘perfect.’

If you want to look gorgeous, primp your personality.

Beauty connection

When it comes to attraction, many factors matter, including personality and how well you feel you know someone. You’ll also be more into people who look like you, share your beliefs and even have your name! So if you’re prone to what-am-I-going-to-wear-and-what-if-I-get-a-zit panicky first dates, take a breath. To boost your beauty, just let your true self shine.

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