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Mating and Symmetry

Is it just me or are there a perponderance of "scientific" studies about mating and physical symmetry?  NPR has been churning out interviews like fanatics these past few years.  Now Wikipedia has an article dedicated to it. 

Physical attraction isn't everything, obviously, but it usually matters ... for initial attraction -- and hookups.  S fell for a guy who rejected her feet!  Her FEET weren't perfect!  It seems superficial but it'd be a big deal if your partner had a foot fetish.

I'll admit to some symmetry affection.  Cate Blanchett, Uma Thurman, George Clooney, and Brad Pit are divinely symmetric IMO.  The Ocean's 11-13 lineup is something I'd like to freakin' see at the next airport, and not for gawking reasons -- I'd just smile at 'em all:

But what about us who are asymmetric?  I have this thing where my left eye is higher than my right (or vice versa ;)  Glasses masquerade it to some extent, and plastic surgery might help out when wearing contacts, but I've just grown to light up my eyes when outside ... and live mostly as a hermit with the books.  It avoids the red carpet spotlight :)  Not a solution but what to do if this is genetic?  What I mean is: as animals, can we overcome instinctual preferential treatment?  With rationalizing it??  Pfft!

My second admission is that I'm actually attracted to some asymmetries.  Not sure about S's foot thing, and I don't want to sound perverted, but if there is something unique then I tend to like it.  Odd.   It's probably a reflection of one's self.  The perfect are attracted to the ideal, the unique are attracted to differences.  That's some confirmation bias right there!  :)


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
I find this fascinating as well, especially since your facial tissue actually starts out being the exact same stuff as your brain tissue. Your brain makes your face. I've observed that "artistic types" tend to be less symmetrical than most, with the hypothesis that their left and right brains are more differentiated from one another than most people's (i.e.: their artistic side is especially developed). So maybe incredibly symmetrical people just have incredibly average brains. ;)
Mar. 17th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
wow. Where did you read this? It would make all the pieces fit together ...
Mar. 17th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)
I *think* I heard it from a lecture I went to by JoAnne Deak, a neurobiologist.
Mar. 17th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
But EVERYBODY is asymetrical, even George Cloony. If you take an image of someone and a mirror reversed image, they are sort of shockingly different. I think Dereks face is almost perfectly symetrical and he thinks mine is, but both of us think our own faces are obviously lopsided. Weird.
Mar. 17th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Interesting...
That is the ultimate test -- the mirror; and the best test -- your partner. Being partnered gives one an advantage here.

BTW: you pick the best pics! :)
Mar. 17th, 2009 08:06 am (UTC)
I don't know that one necessarily has to have a fetish for something in order for an imperfection to ruin ones attraction to another. For instance, I don't have any kind of "eyebrow fetish" and there is this one girl whose eyebrows just weird me out. I don't know if they are naturally the way they are, or she just tweezes them to be super shapely, but it really ruins her entirely look for me despite the fact that, other than that, she is super fucking pretty.
Mar. 17th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
This might be repulsion from idolization. OK, I just made that phrase up! hehe, but it sounds like seeking perfection is a turnoff when it's distracting. For Cate's sake, she evidently just eats the right food.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )