Attractiveness is considered a subjective judgment of a person’s physical appearance, including his or her ability to elicit or stimulate attention. The word attract originates from the Latin attrahere, or to draw near, suggesting a feeling akin to the magnetic pull people have toward those they deem attractive. This feeling may be brought about by the perception of facial symmetry in humans, but other factors—such as gender and sex, similarity, proximity and familiarity, and culture—can also influence this judgment.

Attractiveness is a quality that is influential from birth to old age. It can affect people’s lives in many different and sometimes unconscious ways—from how much love and care an infant attracts to the likelihood of someone’s succeeding in a job interview. This entry describes factors contributing ...

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