Mr. and Mrs. Perfect, Part 2

However, the current trends have moved towards a more feminine society (also possibly the result of oestrogen in our water) which has contributed to the ‘metrosexual’ era. Here women now seek out more feminine looking men, who they also believe will be more gentle and less intimidating. Studies where women were asked to rate picture of men saw them picking out almost androgynous features. However, during and just before a woman’s menstrual cycle, their tastes change and they begin subconsciously to seek out the better genetic material for their offspring. This means that a woman is far more likely to cheat at this time, and with someone with the more classic jaw and brow mentioned above.

The opposite is true of women, in whom oestrogen minimises bone growth in the lower face and chin. This should also result in a smaller nose and comparatively fuller lips. The ideal female forehead is also high though the brow is again stymied by the oestrogen meaning larger, more prominent eyes. According to a 1993 study that showed men various composite photos, the ideal 25-year-old woman had the full lips of a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old’s delicate jaw. A little bit creepy that… Women looking to improve their appearance can help themselves by thinning their eyebrows and using makeup to highlight their lips and eyes – in turn making their jaws and noses appear slimmer.

For men, height is important too and studies have demonstrated that taller men have higher salaries and more attractive partners. Strangers estimate taller men to be richer and more successful then their vertically challenged counterparts. Five ten and above is perfect, but again while you can’t increase your height you can certainly help yourself along the way by wearing insoles with a slight heal inside your shoes.

However, what’s also been shown to be important is how well matched we are for our partner. That means genetically ‘perfect’ is moot because we all look for different things (those who look like us, like our parents etc). In one study men were asked to smell the t-shirts of women and rate them in order of pleasantness. These t-shirts were scented with the women’s natural pheromones which helped the men to correctly and unintentionally order the smells exactly in order of how genetically matched they were. Based on smell alone then, males can pick out the partner that is best suited to them specifically to create the healthiest child – and the process works both ways. Sight too aids this process and explains why couples often look alike – we subconsciously pick out partners who look similar to us. Take a look at famous celebrity couples and see how similar they look, it’s actually quite striking.

So in conclusion you may or may not be technically ‘genetically perfect’ or ‘physically perfect’ in the eyes of society. However for someone, you will be the perfect match and while you can train yourself and groom yourself to be better than you are now, you must never lose sight of how important your imperfections are in making you unique. Perfection is only possible within an imperfect framework.

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