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Your Age And Your Attractiveness

January 15, 2012

  1. These curves are based on observation and careful thought, not empirical data.
  2. Internal attractiveness consists of personality, femininity, openness, etc.
  3. External attractiveness consists of weight, natural looks, hair, clothes, etc.
  4. Percentage of potential means the level a woman achieves relative to what she could achieve, taking into account uncontrollable limitations such as body shape (not to be confused with weight), facial structure, etc.
  5. Combined attractiveness is a weighted average of internal and external attractiveness. 
  • Internal attractiveness is weighted at 40 % importance.
  • External attractiveness is weighted at 60 % importance.
Don't pay too much attention to the values on the vertical axis. What matter more here are the rough values on the horizontal axis, i.e. when the peaks or changes occur. This is typical, not representative of all women. See this page for example variations. Other sources have real studies that are interesting and tend to agree with this illustration.
While I think this plot can largely speak for itself, I do want to highlight and qualify a few things.

The graph is not meant to hone in on the exact age of peak attractiveness. Don't draw conclusions based on the peak (A) occurring at 32 rather than 29 or 33. Instead, draw conclusions based on the peak occurring at 32 rather than 22 or 26 (which are more typical assumptions). More importantly, consider that although physical attractiveness peaks at one point (C), internal attractiveness plateaus later (D). While the "late" (i.e. post-30) peak in overall attractiveness is likely to draw some criticism, I doubt that such criticism is honest, or considers a woman's internal attractiveness. Furthermore, a recent study seems to back up this conclusion.

I shaped the curves for internal and external attractiveness separately, without giving consideration to each's effect on the combined curve. When I plotted internal and external attractiveness combined, and saw the "lull" in the early twenties (A), I was a little surprised. But upon reflection, it made sense. The "lull" is the point where a girl looks beautiful but has yet to come into herself. She is hot but boring to spend time with. So many girls in their early twenties are this way. Their overall attractiveness stalls until they develops their personality throughout their twenties. Some women never make this internal development, as illustrated in one of the example variations, posted here.

Notice that the full potential for combined attractiveness is never reached, because the peak of internal and external attractiveness do not occur simultaneously. While this is not always the case, I think it is often so, because women tend to spend their effort on looks or personality at different times in their life.

Notice, too, how the decline in external attractiveness is ameliorated by the increase in internal attractiveness, flattening out the decline.

Read Next: American Women Are the Best

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4. What Men Think About Older Women

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