What makes someone attractive? Is it their looks, their personality, or something else entirely? While there isn’t a single answer to this question, there are certain things that can make you more attractive to others.
According to experts, here are ways to know if you’re attractive.
Speaker, Author, and Visualization Coach
What makes one attractive varies
“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” (the actual movie phrase was “Magic mirror on the wall,” but I am sticking with the widely quoted, yet incorrect, version above).
That question has likely been asked for thousands of years. And, given the time period and geographic locations throughout history, the answers could literally be worlds apart.
In the 17th century, painter Peter Paul Rubens favored a style featuring women who were ‘plump or rounded usually in a pleasing or attractive way.’
In contrast, Kate Moss began her modeling career in the late 1980s and was considered to be among the most beautiful women in the world, while being described as ‘waifish’ (and wearing a size zero).
Over time, the definition of what makes men attractive has also varied wildly.
Male models strutting down American runways tend to be thin and chiseled, while in Japan, professional sumo wrestlers are sex symbols worshiped by millions of women, regarded as the epitome of perfection…their rolls of fat are considered sexy.
I’ll be honest, most of my life has been spent somewhere in-between these two physical extremes.
Over the past two decades as a speaker, author, and coach, I have worked hard to make myself attractive in the most authentic ways possible (personally and professionally) without starving myself or stomping my way around an arena wearing a bed sheet as a diaper.
To paraphrase a quote attributed to Adam Savage (regarding gravity): “Attraction. It’s not just a good idea; it’s the law!” Yes, I am talking about the Law of Attraction. Far from the ‘Woo-woo’ label it often gets stuck with; I’ll keep it real.
QUESTION: When you enter a room of people, does your energy draw people toward you or repel them? Do you have conversations with the ‘right’ ones?
Could outward appearance and ‘looks’ be a factor? Sure. But here’s the thing, while being someone who struggled for many years to see himself as ‘physically attractive,’ my energy has always had a magnetic quality.
In the most extreme example (also one of my favorites): A complete stranger once approached me at an event and simply said: “You’ve got the most amazing energy around you. May I stand next to you for a bit?” We wound up having a wonderful, lighthearted, energy-filled conversation.
In early June 2007, several years after my first marriage ended, and after working very hard to envision the best version of myself (and then think, speak and act in such a way that I believed I deserved it):
I wrote in my journal: “I am ready to fall in love,”
About ten days later, I received an e-mail from someone named Tina…which I nearly deleted as spam. The next day I opened it and realized it was from a woman with whom I’d gone to high school. It had been 21 years since our last conversation. And at that time, she lived more than 1000 miles away.
Over the next four weeks, via phone calls, texts, and e-mails, the crush which I’d had on her back in high school (while never actually asking her on a date) re-emerged.
Very noteworthy: She would not send me a picture of herself and had no social media footprint at the time. I was flying blind, working only with my heart, soul, and mind.
What had attracted her to reach out to me after so many years? She saw a video of me online. Not as a chiseled model or a sumo wrestler…but as a former radio guy who was performing stand-up comedy.
She remembered how much I’d made her laugh back in our school days and how she’d also had a bit of a crush on me.
At that 4-week mark, we opened up to each other about our true feelings. We celebrated our 15th anniversary this past June.
- What are you attracted to?
- Who and what are you attracting into your life?
- Are your thoughts, words, and actions putting you into the orbit you wish to be?
- Do you ‘see’ the opportunities among the situations which present themselves to you?
- Or are you consistently finding yourself disappointed by the results of what your thoughts, words, and actions are drawing into your perimeter?
How could you become more attractive?
- First, it depends on who (and what) you are looking to have in your life.
- Second, it can have a lot to do with the way you regard yourself.
- Your self-talk can be a magnet to draw in or repel outside objects or energies.
For much of my life, I spent a great deal of my public life being self-deprecating…believing that doing so, with humor, actually made me attractive.
Ohhh, it did…but I was not attracting the energy or people whom I most desired.
I had to sit down and ponder (putting pen to paper, in many cases) who and what I truly wished to have in my life, then conduct myself in such a way that I would increase the odds that those desired outcomes would manifest in my periphery.
In essence, we need to make ourselves attractive to the opportunities. Perhaps we need to take a similar (yet slightly different) approach to the Evil Queen’s question: “Mirror mirror on the wall, how do I attract the best of all?”
CEO, The Lipo Group
We all have different opinions on what is attractive and what is not
Looking at a person’s physical appearance
There are many ways to measure attractiveness. One way is by looking at a person’s physical appearance. This includes:
- Skin color
- Hair color and style
- Facial features
- The shape of the nose and mouth
Looking at the person’s personality traits
Another way to measure attractiveness is by looking at the person’s personality traits. For example:
- How they dress themselves up.
- How they carry themselves.
- What they say or do when interacting with others.
- What kind of work do they do.
We all have different opinions on what is attractive and what is not. Some people find certain features more desirable than others, while some people find the same features to be unattractive.
What we think is attractive can also depend on our culture, upbringing, and environment.
If a person lives in a society where they are exposed to more people with certain features, then those features may seem attractive to them.
People often use the term ‘attractive’ when talking about how someone’s appearance affects their feelings of sexual or romantic attraction towards them.
It’s important to note that attractiveness doesn’t always have to do with how someone looks but can also be about their personality or behavior.
- The first step to knowing if you’re attractive is to know what your natural beauty is. You should know what you look like without any makeup and without any hair styling.
- The next step to knowing if you’re attractive is to know your own body type. There are many different body types, and it’s important that you find out which one you are so that you can dress accordingly. For example, someone with a pear-shaped body will look better in clothes with a waistline than someone who has an apple-shaped body type.
- Next, it’s important to know the different facial features and how they can be enhanced or minimized. Knowing the best way to enhance or minimize certain features will make your features stand out in a good way or hide them in a way that makes them less noticeable.
Appearance is an important factor in how we perceive others. We often judge people based on their looks and make assumptions about their personality, intelligence, and social status.
Related: How to Improve Your Personality
Licensed Therapist and Sex & Relationship Coach
There’s so much more than just looks that need to be taken into account
We all should know by now that ‘pretty privilege’ exists. But how can you really tell if you’re attractive?
- Do babies stare, laugh, or smile at you, maybe just a bit more than others?
- Do you usually get the job even though you may not be the most qualified?
- Are authority figures less likely to stop you from doing something maybe you shouldn’t be?
- Do people often stop and compliment you out of the blue?
- Free drinks or extras sent out by the kitchen?
You’re more than likely conventionally attractive.
Maybe you’re thinking, ‘Okay, that’s great, but what about from a non-external source?’ Well, check out your face in the mirror.
Is it relatively symmetrical? Symmetry is perceived as a sign of attractiveness and is easier to look at.
If you can’t tell, take a photo of yourself and head to the edit screen. From there, you’ll be able to flip your image vertically back and forth between the sides of your face, you’ll notice if one side is off or unsymmetrical.
Finally, this only pertains to people who have the privilege of sight.
When taking one of your senses out of the picture, being attractive depends on so many other aspects.
From your biology of hormones and scents that go undetected naturally to being quick-witted, confident, and someone who stands up for themselves and others. There’s so much more than just looks that need to be taken into account when wondering if you’re an attractive person or not.
More importantly, what makes you feel good about yourself, and what about someone makes their qualities attractive? You can become a mirror of those who you find attractive qualities in, easily setting yourself up for success and feeling amazing.
Annemarie Lafferty, CECP
Neuro Emotional Therapy Specialist | Owner, Healing Within Wellness
It depends on the attention you receive
Attraction is an interesting topic because we assume it is based on physical attributes, but there is also intellectual, spiritual, and even ethnic attraction.
Certain races may be attracted to their own heritage or be attracted to friendships outside their circles of heritage.
As an energy medicine practitioner, I believe attraction starts with energy, the energy we are emitting and who it draws in. There is a saying “reason, season or a lifetime” that people come into our lives.
Is there a reason this person is in my life right now? Is this for a “season” of my life like a college sweetheart? Lifetime could be the spouse of 50 years or the career that brought you joy for over three decades.
So how do you know you are attractive on any of those levels? By the attention you receive, do you have many offerings requesting your company or areas of expertise? Who repeatedly requests your time, and how do you feel in their presence?
Attraction can also involve being attracted to someone’s kindness, generosity, personality, fashion sense, etc., so it is important to ask yourself why you are attracted to this person and vice versa and ask them why they are attracted to you.
Professional Matchmaker and Dating Coach, MatchMaker May
Not just looks, but your whole package
First and foremost, it’s your energy when you walk into the room that determines right away if you’re attractive. Your dazzling kind-of-flirtatious smile, almost like you’re hiding something, or that “you know something that they don’t know” look.
The way you carry yourself makes people wonder who you are. That’s how you know you’re attractive.
We, as human beings, usually feel more attractive when we’re around friends than when we’re alone. Maybe because if we are around people who love us, we feel better! And having a symmetrical face is a bonus!
Strangers and friends want to approach you
If someone wants to approach you or find out who you are, that’s how you know you’re attractive. If a stranger says you look like a pretty celebrity, you instantly know you’re attractive.
If someone sees you be kind to someone or emit joy, then they will find you attractive. We are all drawn to kindness.
If you’re a man, a woman might try to make eye contact with you, stand closer to you, and smile at you in an appreciating way. If a woman touches you in any way (i.e., straightened your tie, touched your arm), then she finds you attractive. A woman flat-out gives you a compliment.
Related: Why is Body Language Important?
When we feel the most attractive
After we work out and then fix ourselves up…shower, do our hair, put on make up, and put on deodorant… that’s when you know you’re attractive.
You just spend some time on your body, making it hot, and you just feel better about yourself.
Relationship Expert, Texas Divorce Laws
People want to hang out with you and are drawn to you
You are attractive if people are drawn to you and want to hang out with you frequently. People are drawn to you and want to be around you because of something about you.
Whatever it is that makes others want to be around you; whether it be your looks, your sense of humor, or your energy, you are unquestionably attractive.
Everyone is attractive in their unique ways, so even if you cannot recognize it for yourself, others who seek you out and desire to spend time with you do.
You frequently receive compliments
This is a basic rule, but if others frequently compliment your greatness, beauty, and intrigue, you’re doing well in life.
People are eager to compliment you on your looks because they want you to know and feel attractive. Some may be attempting to flirt with you or catch your eye.
People notice you
Maybe people constantly check you out on the street or stop and stare as they pass you at a café.
Naturally, if you feel comfortable doing so, it can feel wonderful and boost your confidence by letting you know that other people think you are attractive. It could be based only on your appearance and your unique preferences.
You know you’re attractive if you embody a certain confidence
Attraction is more of a gained confidence than a prescribed look or physique.
You are secure with your place in the world and know how to stand on your own two feet. You can look in the mirror and happily smile back at yourself. Feeling attractive equates to loving yourself, too.
If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect anyone to feel attracted to you?
Feeling and being attractive can be like a magnetic pull, where others are instantly drawn to you. You don’t need a compliment for affirmation or validation, as you are at ease with your identity.
Feeling attractive is believing you’re attractive—no questions asked!
Carol Gee, MA
Author, “Telling Stories, Sharing Confidences“
If you feel you are attractive, you probably are
The simple answer is to look in the mirror. Do you like what you see? What does your hair look like? Your face, your overall figure.
Happily married for close to 50 years, nothing makes me feel good as when I dress up a bit, my husband says, “you look cute.” Add that to women friends and colleagues telling me that I have a pretty face. Adding that at my age that I don’t have any wrinkles, few gray hairs, and asked my secret.
The ultimate test is when other men give me admiring looks. For example, once I was en route to the ladies’ room at my job. Standing near the elevator talking were one of the professor’s colleagues and two men who apparently had been visiting the university where I worked.
One was an attractive African American gentleman (I’m African American) who gave me a nod and spoke.
As usual, I thought I looked cute in my slacks with a pretty top that matched my shoes. I wore makeup and smelled good as I adore smelling good. They were still standing in the hallway talking when I passed them again on my way back to the office. The same gentleman acknowledged me as I again passed.
Still, no matter how others respond, if you feel you are attractive, you probably are.
Relationship Expert, Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers
Don’t believe you’re not attractive if you don’t receive compliments
You rarely receive compliments. It’s a common misconception that receiving compliments means you’re attractive, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
If people assume you already know you look nice, they might not try to praise you, or they could feel like they are focusing too much attention on you. Therefore, don’t believe you’re not attractive if you don’t receive compliments.
Portrait Photographer, Nekoda Mattox Photography
You know you’re attractive if you feel attractive
Attraction doesn’t just come from what you’re born with. Your energy, how you carry yourself, and even how you think about yourself all work together.
Changing your mentality may seem like a cliché, but it really is true.
If you believe you’re unattractive, you behave differently — you might not go through the hassle of finding the clothes that fit right, or you may choose to go to the budget hairdresser, and so on, because what difference does it make?
But if you believe you look good, and you believe you matter — you take the time for the “extras” that go into making you look good. You feel good. And confidence is attractive.
Change the way you think — that’s the key to an attractive person. You know you’re attractive when you believe you are.
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