Beauty ideals from the Ice Age

07.03.2019

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.