7 Weird Things That Make You Less Attractive To Other People

There is no shame in being the kind of person who cares, either a lot or a little, about being conventionally attractive. Like, sure, you might know, conceptually, that beauty doesn’t matter that much if it is not matched by one’s heart, and that spending one’s time looking at ways to shape eyebrows and make skin look like it was blasted by a Krispy Kreme glazer might be time better spent, say, reading intersectional feminist literature and learning how to code, but that’s not going to stop you looking at eyebrow and highlighting hacks, is it?

(It should be noted here that I am using the word “you” to signify “me,” here, which is to say that I care a lot about conventional attractiveness despite knowing that having a symmetrical face does not necessarily make one a good person or even matter in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps you do too, of course, but I do not know your life and cannot predict what you do or do not think!) But there is good news if you, too, constantly find yourself torn between physical and internal beauty. Apparently, there are a lot of things that, scientifically, make you less attractive to other people that don’t have anything to do with how you look, but, instead, how you behave. Because, obviously, beauty isn’t just about what you look like on the outside.

So, here are some things that, according to a few scientific studies, are supposed to make you less conventionally attractive:


Bad news for, um, all of us, probably--according to a 2004 study in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, laziness is a major detractor from overall attractiveness. The good news? This doesn't mean that enjoying the odd (or, you know, frequent) slovenly day in which you do nothing but watch Netflix and eat snacks What it really means, in most cases, is acting lazy when you’re out in public and refusing to help someone with tasks that don’t directly relate to. So, basically, it’s referring to you not being a helpful person because you’re lazy to lift a finger. Which makes sense.

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Being Mean

According to a study done in China in 2014, which showed participants photos of people with neutral expressions on their faces, accompanied by descriptions that either said something like "good and honest" or "evil and mean." People described as evil and mean were rated as less attractive than others. There are a few flaws here, I think--being told that someone bears a certain personality trait doesn't actually mean that they have that personality trait--but it's interesting to know that perceived attractiveness depends on more than facial structure.

Image source: iStock

Contractive Body Language

"Contractive" body language--aka folding your arms or hunching your shoulders--is often seen as less attractive than a stance that's more opened up. I don't think this is particularly surprising (this kind of body language often signifies that you don't want anyone to approach you) but it's an interesting thing to pay attention to if you aren't sure if you're exhibiting contractive body language without necessarily thinking about it.

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Ever feel like you get turned off by someone who's known for telling lies? You're not the only one. According to a 2006 study on attraction, both men and women find dishonesty to be one of the least attractive personal attributes, even more so than unintelligence. So, if you ever feel the need to embellish a few facts about yourself here and there when you're flirting--and, honestly, who hasn't felt this urge at some point?--skip it. It's not worth it!

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Not Having A Sense Of Humor

According to a 2009 study done on the effects of humor on "interpersonal attraction and mate selection" (sexy!), one thing that was found pretty much universally unattractive was not having a sense of humor. This probably varies slightly between genders--girls tend to be attracted to people who make them laugh; guys tend to be attracted to people who laugh at their jokes--but it's worth considering if humor, interpersonal attraction, and mate selection are some things that you are interested in.

Image source: iStock

Lack Of Sleep

One study published in The BMJ in 2010 found that people who got less than eight hours of sleep were perceived as being less attractive the next day than people who got eight hours of sleep. As a basic fact, this isn't super surprising--no one looks their best if they haven't gotten enough sleep--but what is interesting is that lack of sleep makes one seem less healthy and sadder than people who get adequate sleep, which also accounts for attractiveness levels. So, take that nap!

Image source: iStock

Smelling Too Similar Or Too Different

Smell, oddly enough, is pretty important for determining attraction levels--in order to attract someone, you have to have a just-right level of scent. One 2006 study found that heterosexual couples with similar immune system genes and scents were less attracted to their partner than those with slightly differing scents.

Image source: iStock

Were you surprised by any of these things? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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