Colored more attractive if I'm colored?

I’d be interested to read your cites, Entropia.

All I know is that Beyonce is about nine million times hotter than Rosie O’Donnell. I think there may some statistical tendency for people to be more attracted to people within their own ehnic/racial spectrum but I don’t think it’s an overriding decisive factor. I would guess that body type, youth, health and “attractive” facial features are at least as important if not more so.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that most black women would say that Heath Ledger is hotter than Al Roker and most white women would say that Taye Diggs is hotter than Jim Belushi.


I think people are attracted to a trait in a prospective mate if they are proud of and/or comfortable with the trait.

E.g.: short, chunky guys always seen with tall willowy blondes? Probably wish they were tall, lean blonde guys. (Unlike short, chunky guys happily married to short chunky wives).

Shakespeare oversimplifies.

Lighter has been generally seen as more attractive in a great deal of cultures simply because it signifies that you’re not out in the sun laboring. Everyone except of the blackest shade will tan, so this principle has been pretty universal.

Now that we don’t work in the sun too much anymore, things have rather switched. Having a tan means you’re not a loser who sits and labors indoors all day. Thus, nowdays darker is often better.

Regarding some other explanations:
Someone said that paler skin means you can absorb vitamin D better. But if you’re tanned it means you’re absorbing plenty of it! There is not at all a correlation between skin color and actual vitamin D levels! I think this idea is extremely dumb. There is already, however, an excellent, profoundly recognizable symbol of vitamin D deficiency: depression. Especially in women. If a woman is being PMS-y (especially in winter), trying a vitamin D supplement can’t hurt.

Someone said something how there tend to be more women-light man-dark couples. I don’t quite understand. The two possibilites is that similar colors pair up or different colors pair up. If there are many contrasted pairings where a woman is light, then there ought be an equal number of pairings where a man is light. As for why women, in general, are lighter… it could be that whole labor thing again, and in a man being a laborer may have practical advantages that outweigh status ones (and if he doesn’t have to work because of status, there’ll be a great many other things attractive about him). For women, being a laborer may not be so important and status dominates. (And the siginficance of status in a woman is also rather different. A high-status man would be an excellent provider. A high-status woman may also have that benefit, but I think often she is just a symbol of status for the man himself. Ditto for the emphasis on physical appearance in women. Women are desired because they are desirable. It is circular logic until you realize that it might just be an evolutionary carrot that gets boys to work hard and contribute to society. As anti-feminist as it may be, I think it makes sense. The principle of a carrot/stick existing and aspiring toward social status contributing positively to society can also be seen in the fact that misfortuned societies seem to value status more. Eg blacks and ‘respect’ and bling, as well as wealth being so hugely worshipped in developing world countries which are not so poor that wealth is needed for actual survival. Sometimes status is gained destructively. Often, however, it is gained productively. And even when status is gained through war, this usually happens when resources are low, and it actually makes sense for particular groups to wage war for resources.)

Someone said that it is easier to see lesions on light skin. Maayybee… but you can see lesions on anyone if you just pay attention. You don’t need to find pale girls so you can inspect them better. In practice, people would prefer dark skin specifically because those skin imperfections wouldn’t be that visible. That is exactly what i’ve found in my experience!

As for being programmed to sometimes seek diversity… I can certainly see how that could be true. Lots of guys like “exotic”-looking women (although in our day and age we’ve all pretty much seen everything, and hardly anyone is exotic). I can easily see an evolutionary reason for this. Sometimes genes need to get mixed. I don’t know, we also often like novelty and it might all just be unrelated.

As for what color you yourself are… I really doubt that matters. I don’t sit there staring at my body. I judge who is attractive because of social mechanisms. Sometimes these social processes might lead people of similar ethnicities to stick together, and they’ll think their group is more attractive than outsiders. But it’s nothing genetic, I’m pretty sure. It would take WAY too much effort to rewire the brain to permanently affect what it perceives as physically attractive, imo at least.

Regarding finer features… well, asians certainly evolved in that direction. Whites, in a few ways, did also. Hard to say why, however. And yes, they evolved, and yes there is some reason, though i’m not making any claims as to what it could be.

Well, there is NO WAY it would be a single gene, and there is NO WAY scientists would be able to discern this. I don’t know of any sociological experiments, but those would be very difficult to construct.

Short chunky guys like tall willowy blondes because it is a demonstration that they’ve gotten so rich and/or powerful that they’ve managed to acquire a woman who wouldn’t have given them a glance otherwise. However, they’re not “always seen,” and that’s the whole point. Quit watching so many mob movies.

Er, there might be when blacks are taken out of the natural climate. But then evolution can’t be acting on that. When talking about tanned/untanned, this connection just falls completely falt.

Last thing: high-status men pairing up with high-status women may also be merely a way to consolidate power. I like this explanation a lot, but social status existing as a carrot may be valid alongside it.

I’ll stick with my assertion that the ‘best’ dogs and cats are those that are healthy and intelligent - Darwinian principles select those characteristics on working farms.

Fecundity is not the only test for ‘success’ - it is total environment

  • short sighted, flat footed males survive wars

Signs of beauty might have some odd cultural causes, for example in some cultures girls are sent to fattening up finishing schools. However, I wonder whether their suitors really appreciate it

  • from observation women tend to tart themselves up for other women rather more than for men.

In say 1800, did men really prefer totally white (wan) females ? Or was that a female fashion. Did Victorian males really find bustles attractive ? Currently, do males really go for stick thin anorexics ?

Currently there is a huge market for skin whiteners, in Africa and India. I wonder whether men are driving that market, or is it women titivating for non-male related reasons.

As for the slight diversity bit, to be a Darwinian success one needs to throw off ‘sports’, eg: mild mutations - to cover ones bets.

Again, you’re incorrect. Survival has nothing to do with it. All a “fit” individual has to do is put out a bunch of offspring that can put out a bunch of offspring. There are a million short-lived organisms that are well-adapted to their environments simply because they reproduce a lot. And they are not intelligent by any means. Ever tried to engage a bacterium in conversation? Talk about boring, man.

Since you keep posting incorrect information on this subject, I’d advise you to actually do some research on natural selection. Opinions are not appropriate for this forum.

Signs of beauty might have some odd cultural causes, for example in some cultures girls are sent to fattening up finishing schools. However, I wonder whether their suitors really appreciate it

  • from observation women tend to tart themselves up for other women rather more than for men.

In say 1800, did men really prefer totally white (wan) females ? Or was that a female fashion. Did Victorian males really find bustles attractive ? Currently, do males really go for stick thin anorexics ?

Currently there is a huge market for skin whiteners, in Africa and India. I wonder whether men are driving that market, or is it women titivating for non-male related reasons.

As for the slight diversity bit, to be a Darwinian success one needs to throw off ‘sports’, eg: mild mutations - to cover ones bets.

You’ve misunderstood what I said in the above quote.

I never claimed that short chunky guys are "always seen’ with tall blondes.

I was referring to instances where it is the case (when such a short. chunky guy is ‘always seen’ with tall blondes), and opining on the reason for the preference.

Frankly, your “assertion” isn’t worth squat in this forum unless you have a cite to back it up. Saying that the best animinals are those that are healthy is really nothing more than a tautology. But “intelligence” is a different matter as it isn’t always selected for. In fact, it’s generally thought that dogs are not as intelligent as their wild ancestors, wolves. They evolved to be less intelligent in order to be more compatible with humans. That doesn’t mean they’re stupid, just not as intelligent as wolves.

Why don’t you try reading the article I linked?

What’s more, there are a few groups of people who do not fall into these patterns. One example is the Inuit people who have darker skin than should be expected based on their latitude. However, their traditional diet is extremely high in vitamin D.

If you have any cites that counter this hypothesis, I’d love to see them.

Personally, I’ve found people of pretty much all races attractive. Some more than others, I suppose, but that’s probably largely due to my living in Texas. I imagine it’d be pretty different if I lived in, say, Abu Dhabi.

FRDE, good point that fashions often get exaggerated. Practitioners, in trying to make themselves up, do not quite understand where the point of attractiveness really lies. This doesn’t apply to just women, but men also. How many men commit fashion mistakes thinking they’re making themselves hot?

However, these things only happen as overlays over legitimate trends. They do not materialize as aberitions out of thin air. (Although sometimes the causing trend might be very brief or might work for only a small number of people, yet leave many more fashion casualties… but that’s not quite the case for face-whiteners and fattening up or thinnning down. Those things actually are attractive for many people, if done right.)

kimera, regarding the topic of skin color and vitamin D. I won’t quote you to save space, but you know what you’ve said. You are totally right that in general people evolved skin color in response to their latitude. I cannot agree more with that. What I am saying is that skin color cannot be the basis of individual choices of whom to mate with, that it cannot indicate how much vitamin D some particular person is getting. Within a population which has already adapted, the tanner individuals actually indicate to others that they’ve had more exposure to the sun. It could also be that they don’t have the right genes, but if anything it’s more likely they’re tanned. Anyway, skin color is just a poor way to determine vitamin D intake. Best of all, there already exists a profound emotional signal of one’s level of vitamin D. It is incredibly effective, since being in depression is the surest way of not getting a mate. Maybe you don’t think people will wear signals of their own inadequacy. Nope, they do all the time. Also see bellow.

Er… only if that creature is not a social animal and the survival unit is the individual. For pack animals, for example, the survival unit is the pack. This is something many people do not understand (and i’ll admit evolutionary theorists debate it… although i feel it is impossible that the incredible abundance of self-sacraficial instincts, like those of shyness or submissiveness or martyrdom, could possibly have evolved otherwise.) Because of this, certain game-theory-type situations of people cheating (ie everyone trying to be a leader or always being confident) get resolved to benefit the common good rather than the individual. But anyway, i’m going off on a tangent, and i can’t immediately think of how to connect this to the main topic.

FRDE, oh, and as for people trying to please their own gender more than the opposite one, which was more accurately your point. Right, I agree there too. It skews things as well, but actual attractiveness is still something of an anchor (except when it comes to shoes… when has a man ever cared what kind of stillettos a woman wears, or when has a woman cared what kind of nikes a guy has on. or purses or etc. But with these things their value is more important than their appearance, and it’s more a matter of status. Although… that actually supports your point that women whiten themselves up for status relative to other women not just entirely to impress men. This is an excellent insight.)

(er, in India women whiten themselves up. To make the discussion relevant to us, we should be talking about tanning. Yet tanning is not the status symbol that whiteness is, since anyone can get a tan while being white is difficult. Being tanned is more a symbol that you are fun-loving and spend your day outside on the beach. It is still attractive and it is still a status symbol, but the dynamics are quite different from whiteness.)

I’m afraid you misunderstood my assertion about dogs and cats

  • I defined the requirements and asserted that a certain environment selected for those requirements
  • I’m surprized you did not spot my point about males unfit for military duty being natural survivors in wartime.

Rather a long time ago I worked for a tour operator, we had a huge floor of ‘reservation girls’, 300 in total answering the 'phones.

There were about 3 males in the area, and it was not regularly visited, yet the girls were amazingly tarted up.
Partly, the girls were ‘self selecting’ as the pay was poor, but the foreign holiday benefits very good indeed, but mostly I figured, they were dressing for each other.

Later unscientific research confirmed my hypothesis, women spend a fortune at the hair dressers, yet males tend not to notice a hair cut (a compliment from a male about a new style goes a long way)

I’ve also noticed that quite a lot of females are unconfident when it comes to selecting and buying clothing for themselves, even though they are adept at it for others, the most absurd example was an ex of mine who was a talented designer and taught fashion (very well).

Tanning became a status symbol in northern Europe sometime in the 20th century though, as a tan in Winter says “I have the money for a winter holiday in the sun”.

Wait a minute, wait a minute. Having sufficient vitamin-D helps offset depression?

I could be feeling better by eating fish, or taking a frickin’ pill???

Re, the OP: I can find just about anyone different from me physically attractive. Not that I don’t find women of English descent attractive, too, but there’s definitely something to be said for exotic = erotic.

Yes, yes you can. Of course your depression has to arise from a vitamin D deficiency, but it is quite common. Sometimes it is referred to as “seasonal afflicted disorder”–SAD, get it? It is especially prevalent in very northern climates that get very little (or no) sun in the winter. Obviously if you sit in a dark room all day you’ll get it too. Some people need more vitamin D than others and may develop it more readily, even with average amounts of light. If you find yourself flocking to brightly lit spots in your house, that could be an important sign. Try taking it for a couple weeks, see how you do. Seeing as you live in Toronto, might be a good idea.

Do you realize that you just said unscientific research confirmed your hypothesis? Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds in a forum whose purpose is to give factual answers to questions? I can see that you’re new around here, so you might want to explore some of the other forums (like IMHO or MPSIMS) where opinions are shared. There is a lot of nonsense out there about evolution, and we’re here to fight ignorance, not spread it.