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Physical Appearance

People’s outward observable characteristics are significant, in part, because particular attributes that are considered important for physical attractiveness are believed to affect psychological attributes (e.g., self-esteem, personality development) and influence social relations. Although physical appearance is partly the result of genetics, other influences on appearance include age, lifestyle, and social and cultural standards. Because physical appearance is an important component of body image, the normative changes in height, body fat, and fat distribution associated with the pubertal transition contribute to a sudden and acute awareness of physical appearance. As individuals enter adulthood and begin experiencing physical declines (e.g., weight gain, wrinkles), the relative importance of physical appearance in overall well-being diminishes. However, some adult females feel sadness and disappointment about the aging of their bodies, ...

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