5 Science-Based Reasons You're Looking Less Attractive
Research says these factors could affect how you're coming across to others.
Beauty is subjective—we have a whole expression about the eye of the beholder, after all, and you've almost certainly discovered by now that your type isn't the same as everyone else's. At the same time, research indicates that there are common traits that most people consider to be more attractive than others, and vice versa. So if you're struggling to feel like your most confident self, there could be any number of underlying factors standing in your way. Read on to discover five science-based reasons you may be looking less attractive to others.
READ THIS NEXT: The Surprising Sign a Woman Finds You Attractive, New Study Says.
You're wearing yellow.
If you're trying to impress someone you're interested in, you might want to leave your certain clothes in your closest. According to a 2010 study published in Evolutionary Psychology, both men and women judged the opposite sex as less attractive when they were wearing a yellow shirt.
And that's not all: A 2013 survey from the U.K. also found that yellow was ranked as one of the least attractive clothing colors. In the survey, 39 percent of men and 31 percent of women said they would be put off if someone wore yellow on a first date.
Red, on the other hand, was considered a more attractive clothing choice for both cases.
"In reference to color psychology, red is known to be a color of confidence, passion, love, and power, whereas yellow portrays happiness, excitement, and enthusiasm, which may be a lot to take in all at once on the first date," Lena Suarez-Angelino, MSW, a licensed clinical social worker with Choosing Therapy, tells Best Life.
You're not getting enough sleep.
Your lack of sleep might not only be hurting your health. It could also be affecting your attractiveness to other people. A 2017 study published in the Royal Society Open Science journal found that participants were perceived as less attractive after two days of sleep restriction.
More recently, in 2022, a Nature and Science of Sleep study found that even one day without sleep could make someone appear less attractive.
"Having enough sleep is essential for healthy skin, hair, and overall attractiveness since our bodies need time to repair themselves from daily stressors," says Sarah Watson, LPC, a psychologist and life coach. "Sleep deprivation leads to lower alertness, physical exhaustion and a dull complexion, making you look less attractive."
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Subtle Signs That Someone Finds You Attractive.
Your posture is closed off.
You could literally be turning away other people if your body language doesn't appear open. A 2016 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal found that people's posture made a big difference on their outcomes during a speed dating experiment.
According to the study, participants who demonstrated an expansive posture were twice as likely for speed dating partners to want a second date with than those with a contractive posture.
An open, expansive posture is defined as "widespread limbs, a stretched torso, and/or enlargement of the occupied space," the researchers explained. On the other hand, "contractive, closed postures involve limbs held close to the torso and minimization of occupied space by collapsing the body inward," they added in the study.
"Closed posture can communicate defensiveness, insecurity, or discomfort. It sends the message that the person is not open, confident, or approachable," David Tzall, PsyD, a licensed psychologist who was not involved with the study, tells Best Life. "This posture can also suggest a lack of engagement and interest, making it difficult for others to connect. This can be especially noticeable in social situations, such as parties or gatherings, where people are expected to be open and friendly."
You're wearing glasses.
Your glasses may be helping you see better, but they could have some bearing on how you look to others. A 2022 study published in the Cureus journal found that wearing glasses can make people appear less attractive, as well as less confident.
Participants were shown eight photos of four people pictured both with and without glasses, then asked to rate each pictured person on a scale of 1 to 10 when it came to attractiveness, confidence, and intelligence.
In terms of attractiveness, most photos of participants without glasses ended up with "significantly higher attractiveness scores," according to the study. But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice clear vision just to appear more attractive to others, according to Tzall.
"If the glasses are too big or don't suit the person's face, it can blot out the person's true beauty," he explains. "People may fix their attractiveness by picking more stylish glasses, switching to contacts, and wearing their glasses with confidence."
For more life advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
You don't have a sense of humor.
Being funny can really work in your favor—and not having a sense of humor can hurt how others view you. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Psychology found that different levels of humor influenced people's responses about a potentially desirable partner.
According to the study, those with a good sense of humor were rated much more attractive than people who had no sense of humor.
"Lacking a sense of humor makes you look less attractive as you may not seem as easy going or relaxed as those that have a sense of humor," Suarez-Angelino says. "In general, life stressors tend to keep members of society in more serious mindsets. Therefore, having a partner that has a sense of humor can provide the type of comic relief and company that one desires to help relieve their stress."