Beauty ideals from the Ice Age


Attractive people are favoured. Why? Surprisingly, it’s not because of the perceived superficiality of the Internet age. Neurology professor Anjan Chatterjee explains more in a TED talk.

Anjan Chatterjee

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder–or rather, in his genes? Anjan Chatterjee, Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, explains: whether we like someone depends first and foremost on the survival of one's own group. The strategy developed during the ice age; times were hard, and only the strongest and healthiest could ensure survival. Characteristics like an asymmetrical face–which could indicate parasitic infections–were an exclusion criterion when choosing a partner. 

Chatterjee's research shows that even today, we consider people who have a more symmetrical face to be more beautiful. Anomalies and asymmetries, on the other hand, are less attractive. In a TED talk, Anjan Chatterjee explains why we are still in the Ice Age in terms of our ideal of beauty:

On 10 May 2019 Anjan Chatterjee will be a speaker at the conference "Eternity Now - Wellbeing and Beauty Retail Reimagined" at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute.