Jun 17, 2016 wsj.com

Common Beauty Myths Revealed

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If you were to create the world’s most gorgeous woman based on the beauty research published each year, she would have quite a checklist to meet.

For starters, her father should be young: A 2014 study in Evolution and Human Behavior showed that people with older fathers were rated as less attractive. She should have a reddish complexion, according to a February paper in Perception. As for her profile, research published in 2012 in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that her nose should be at an angle to her upper lip of between 95.5 and 100.1 degrees.

People may say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but we all recognize the same conventionally gorgeous people when we see them. We crave hard proof of attractiveness, and scientists devote plenty of energy to discovering it. But the conclusions of all this research are seldom as simple as they seem.

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