In this episode we dissect Cunningham et al’s 1990 paper on female facial preferences in men and why more ‘babyish’ (neotenous) features are actually preferred over hyper-masculine ones. This podcast takes a deep dive into facial aesthetics research, providing additional context, commentary and findings while simplifying the research into a more generalized application of beauty research for a contemporary audience.
In the audio, male model Dan Brown is mentioned for his neotenous looks which combine both the mature, developed elements of a face such as a strong jawline and high cheekbones with immature elements such as rounded eyes and high eyebrows. The research points to this type of prototypical face actually being the most attractive by female preferences, beating out hypermasculine and hyperfeminine male faces.
Cunningham, M. R., Barbee, A. P., & Pike, C. L. (1990). What do women want? Facialmetric assessment of multiple motives in the perception of male facial physical attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(1), 61–72. doi:10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.199