Human physical attractiveness as a biological signal
Opinions about human beauty (attractiveness) may come as a surprise when expressed by a biologist, all the more so because this seems to be a matter of an individual sense of aesthetics (taste) which, in any case, changes in time and space, and depends on fashion, local culture, social class, etc. No one is surprised, however, to see a biologist interpreting the behaviour of animals based on their appearance, for example in the mating season. Why, then, should biology of humans (physical anthropology) not deal with such links in people? The article examines typical responses of persons observing various traits of physical appearance and explains their biological, in particular evolutionary, meaning. The author emphasises the role of the features which are indicators of physical health and predictors of fertility. He takes into account various age categories and sex-specific differences. His analysis covers the important physical characteristics, such as height, weight and body proportions, some details of the face and hands, pigmentation of the skin, hair and even voice timbre.