Forget a smokin' bod, a high status job, a hefty bank account or killer style. It seems the men that reel in the ladies are those with the greatest faces. No, not a chiseled jawline, eyes to lose yourself in, or pearly white chops -- it's "the dimesions of the region between the mouth and the eyebrows," that determine sex appeal. So says a recent study by palaeontologists at the British Natural History Museum, anyway. Crazy, right?
Apparently it all boils down to natural selection. To give you a brief re-cap on your high school biology class, natural selection is the survival of the fittest, or, in this case, survival of the hottest. That's right, the better looking you are, the higher the probability that you'll pass your genes down, 'cause baby, everyone is going to want to mate with you!
That's as far as the concept has taken us in understanding human evolution so far, but now researchers have found a little something that we missed before. "For at least the last two million years, the space between brow and upper lip in hominids has been, proportionately, shorter and wider in males than in females."
Palaeontologist Eleanor Weston suggests that as we've evolved, ladies have taken a stronger liking to men with smaller middle faces because it emphasized other features like thick brows, prominent cheekbones and defined jaws. The more compact, the better.
Dr. Weston, get real! Nothing can replace a hunky male with a sculpted body, dreamy eyes, a thick head of hair, a whack of ambition, a great sense of humour and killer charm!
At least she acknowledges that it's only a hypothesis and she's ready to face scrutiny. If you like what the woman is suggesting, take a peek at her online journal, PLoS ONE. Weston has made some pretty neat discoveries though -- one of her latest revealings is that Mrs. Ples could actually be a Mr. Ples. Yep, the famous 2.5 million year old Australopithecus africanus may have been the Brad Pitt, and not the Angelina, of their time.
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