When it comes to what humans find attractive, many factors play a role.
Evolutionarily speaking, we tend to be attracted to symmetry and markers that indicate health and wellness. In social terms it has more to do with what’s in fashion at a given moment. But it's when we begin to react to attractiveness that things get tricky.
Our brains tend to make a lot of judgments that our rational selves would think absurd. One of them has to do with opportunities we afford to attractive people that we may not give to those with less appealing features. In this same vein, some studies show that women are considered less competent when compared to men just because they’re women.
How can we correct for our unconscious biases? It takes more then just being aware they’re there.
Here’s another way of thinking about it: a video making the rounds on Facebook from Swiss disability advocates Pro Infirmis, speaking to the issues of beauty and representation:
In the Two Guys audio extra below, listen to Art and Bob talk about why our brains tend to be uncomfortable when we encounter people with injuries, diseases or disfigurement – and what we can do to make ourselves more compassionate and accepting as a society.