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Sometimes, you are more attractive than normal

Let's say you have to take a picture of yourself for your Tinder profile. Or you're picking a date to go out on a first date. Everything kept the same, is there a possibility that you can look better? No change to your hairstyle, your clothes, your face, your accessories. Nothing. 

Well, the answer is yes. Sometimes, you are more attractive than normal, even if you can't notice it yourself. Moreover, others notice your increased attractiveness, even if they don't notice they notice. 

Ok, that's a mouthful. But before we delve into the evidence, this is but just one from a long list of examples of how our brains assess and come to decisions without us even knowing it is happening. And as it normally is, we then come up with reasons to justify the decision we subconsciously made, thinking we made them consciously. 

That's a fair bit of abstract thought but this becomes clear in a bit. 

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For Women:
 

The results have been incredibly consistent for women across several research projects. There is one short window every month where women are considered to be at their most beautiful.

First, we have research from Craig Roberts et al, from the University of Newcastle.

 

  • They selected 50 women aged between 19 to 33 in 2 locations, Newcastle (England) and Prague (Czech Republic). 

  • They took two pictures of each subject:

    • The first picture showed them when they were fertile, 8 to 14 days after the first day of their last menstruation.

    • The second was taken 14 days later.

  • Roughly 125 women and 125 men were then asked in which picture the women looked more attractive. The picture showing a fertile woman was chosen by 51-59% of each group - a statistically significant result, says Roberts. Interestingly, female viewers appeared to be more sensitive to the effect.

It turns out that a woman is considered to be most beautiful just at the peak of fertility in her menstrual cycle—about ten days before menses.29 This is true whether she’s judged by men or by women, and it’s not a matter of the way she acts: it is perceived even by those looking at her photographs. So her good looks broadcast her level of fertility. Her signals are subtler than the baboon’s rear end, but they only need to be clear enough to tickle the dedicated, unconscious machinery of the males in the room. If they can reach those circuits, the mission is accomplished. They also reach the circuitry of other females: women are quite sensitive to the effect of other women’s cycles, perhaps because this lets them assess their competitors when fighting for mates. It is not yet clear what the tip-offs for fertility are—they may include some quality of the skin (as tone becomes lighter during ovulation) or the fact that a woman’s ears and breasts become more symmetrical in the days leading up to ovulation.30 Whatever the constellation of clues, our brains are engineered to latch on, even while the conscious mind has no access. The mind merely senses the almighty and inexplicable tug of desire.

 

Eighteen dancers recorded their menstrual periods, work shifts, and tip earnings for 60 days on a study web site. A mixed-model analysis of 296 work shifts (representing about 5300 lap dances) showed an interaction between cycle phase and hormonal contraception use. Normally cycling participants earned about US$335 per 5-h shift during estrus, US$260 per shift during the luteal phase, and US$185 per shift during menstruation. By contrast, participants using contraceptive pills showed no estrous earnings peak.

To see whether estrus was really “lost” during human evolution (as researchers often claim), we examined ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by professional lap dancers working in gentlemen's clubs. Eighteen dancers recorded their menstrual periods, work shifts, and tip earnings for 60 days on a study web site. A mixed-model analysis of 296 work shifts (representing about 5300 lap dances) showed an interaction between cycle phase and hormonal contraception use. Normally cycling participants earned about US$335 per 5-h shift during estrus, US$260 per shift during the luteal phase, and US$185 per shift during menstruation. By contrast, participants using contraceptive pills showed no estrous earnings peak. These results constitute the first direct economic evidence for the existence and importance of estrus in contemporary human females, in a real-world work setting. These results have clear implications for human evolution, sexuality, and economics

When pandas ovulate, their voice becomes higher, because that's what males prefer. And guess what . tha's the same with humans. Female voices are higher-pitched during ovulation. Female faces also become more symmetrical duing ovulation, as do certain body-parts, like breasts. The symmetry makes these females more aesthetically attractive to both sexes, even though we cannot really tell this is happening. It's too subtle for you 

For example, the “fusiform face area” is more responsive to faces in ovulating women than in those menstruating. Similarly, the “emotional” vmPFC is more responsive to men’s faces when women are approaching ovulation than when they are approaching menses; the higher the ratio of estrogen to progesterone in the bloodstream during that preovulatory phase, the more vmPFC responsiveness. Finally, women find faces of men judged to look “aggressive” to be more attractive when they are ovulating

mickey mouse and steamboat willie

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