10 Things That Make You Less Attractive, According to Science

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10 Things That Make You Less Attractive, According to Science


Are you accidentally putting people off because of small things you do every day? Studies show that attractiveness doesn't just have to do with the body we were born with, but how we choose to act.

While maturity, emotional stability, respect, and honesty are all qualities people look for in a long-term partner, getting the ball rolling and keeping things moving is a little more tricky. Whether you're looking for tips on how to get a date on Tinder or strike up a conversation with that cute guy on the bus, watch out for these 10 things that make you seem less attractive.  

1. Lack of Sleep

A study in Sweden found that people who hadn't slept in 31 hours were less attractive, less healthy, and less happy than those who'd had at least 8 hours of shut-eye. Participants said the people with less sleep had "droopy/hanging eyelids, red eyes, dark circles under the eyes, and pale skin." As if you needed another reason to sleep more.

2. Being Stressed Out

If you feel stressed, chances are you look like it, and that's not a good thing. A study conducted in 2013 discovered that men were less likely to be attracted to women who were stressed or anxious. It seems the presence of the stress hormone cortisol affects how we judge another person's fertility and overall health, one researcher suggested.

David M Masters

3. Smiling Too Much

Wipe that smile off your face, because it might be turning people off! According to a study from the University of British Columbia, an overly proud or happy face was deemed less attractive. Participants were given a collection of photographs, and asked to rate the people.

Men rated women more attractive when they smiled, but less attractive when they appeared proud. On the other hand, women said men were more attractive when they looked proud vs. happy.


4. Contractive Body Language

Research shows that crossing arms, hanging your head, or hunching your shoulders can be a huge turn-off. A study by four different U.S. universities showed that people were less likely to go on a date with someone who had off-putting body language in their dating profile photos.

Instead, they were more attracted to photos of potential partners in "expansive positions," such as reaching their arms upward or standing with squared shoulders.

Flickr/Pabak Sarkar

5. Smelling Too Similar or Too Different

Body odor has a lot to do with attraction, but it's more scientific than you think. Studies have found that people look for partners with immune system genes that are neither too similar or too different from their own.

The way a person smells determines the level of genetic compatibility and attraction. In one study, researchers took a DNA sample from a group of couples. They found that the couples were least attracted to each other had MHCs too close or too contrasting with each other.


Go to the next page to find out how addictions can decrease your attractiveness.

6. Not Having a Sense of Humor

Laughter is the best medicine, and you'd better believe it may attract Mr. or Mrs. Right. The University of California discovered that being funny was equally as important to both men and women when looking for a mate. "The way to anyone's heart is through their funny bone," wrote R.J. Wilson.

Teacher Trainer

7. Being Mean

Is the "good girls like bad boys" adage really true? Not always. A Chinese study concluded that people perceived to be mean had a lower attractiveness. Participants (both men and women) were given photos of people with little or no facial expression. Some photos were labeled with positive words, such as "honest," while others said "mean" and "evil."

Even though they had neutral faces, the people labeled as mean were rated less attractive.

Finding God Daily

8. Excessive Smoking or Drinking

Smoking and drinking were "cool" in high school, but for those looking for a long-term partner? Not so much. In a survey of 200 women, researchers found that they were less likely to be attracted to men who were frequent smokers or drinkers.

It makes sense. Addictions and bad habits don't bode well for a happy and healthy relationship.


9. Too Much Laziness

A study in 2004 analyzed the results of a 6-week archaeology expedition by students. Each student was asked to rate their colleagues' level of attractiveness at the beginning and end of the course.

The results? Certain participants who were rated as attractive in the beginning had a lower rating at the end because of perceived laziness.

Bill Stainton

10. Acting Too Superior

Nobody likes an egotistical gal or guy. A 2014 study analyzed results from students who rated people based on how they described themselves. People who showed humility were more likely to score a date with one of the students, while those who showed cockiness rated much lower.

I guess the students really didn't like the sound of this statement: "I'm a really good student and pretty smart, but definitely not a nerd or bookworm. I guess it just comes naturally."

Margie Warrell