We are initially attracted to a person based on their physical appearance because according to scientists, we associate attractiveness with traits such as health, fertility and intelligence—traits that are important for the survival of our species. For example, a person with an asymmetric face is perceived to be unattractive, because asymmetric faces are thought to arise from diseases, accidents or genetic disorders. These are undesirable factors to genetically pass onto the next generation. A person with a symmetric face is perceived as attractive, hence thought to possess desirable characteristics to pass onto future generations.
However, a person’s face may not be the only factor contributing to their attractiveness. A study from Nottingham Trent University in the UK revealed that wearing a plain white T-shirt with a black letter “T” on the front increased a man’s attractiveness and perceived health.
Thirty female participants were shown images of different male body shapes and sizes wearing a plain white shirt and were asked to score their attractiveness and health. Then the women were shown the same bodies wearing white shirts with either an upright letter “T” or inverted “T” printed on them. The perceived attractiveness and health in men displaying the upright letter “T” increased by 10%, whereas those displaying the inverted “T” decreased by 10%. This is because the letter “T” is thought to enhance the waist-to-chest ratio on a male, giving the appearance of broad shoulders and a lean waistline. Men displaying these characteristics are seen in society as being higher in social status, dominant, resourceful and protective. This research looked at the relationship between psychology and fashion. Men, it’s something to think about when you’re deciding on what to wear for a date.
If you want to learn more about attraction, visit the BodyWorks Gallery at TELUS World of Science.
Nottingham Trent University | T-shirt trickery can make males more attractive