A new study found that women in groups are rated as more attractive than those alone.
Dubbed the ‘cheerleader’ effect, the research, from a team from Flinders University, Adelaide, showed a group can boost attractiveness, regardless of the individual’s looks.
Furthermore, according to the researchers, it didn’t matter where in a group you stand or how attractive others are.
A new study found that women shown in groups are rated as more attractive than those alone
‘If you are looking to increase your own attractiveness, you could do so by appearing in a group, though you needn’t worry where you appear,’ the lead author, Daniel Carragher, said.
The possibility of the ‘cheerleader effect’ was established in an earlier study at University of California, in 2013.
The team from Australia wanted to see if their results could be reproduced.
In their study, 130 participants were told to rate pictures of female faces on a scale from zero per cent (very unattractive) to 100 per cent (very attractive).
The faces would appear alone as well as in groups.
‘Faces were perceived to be significantly more attractive when they appeared in a group, compared to when those same faces were seen alone,’ Carragher says, summing up the results of his study.
The position of faces in a group setting was also changed – but these did not seem to affect how highly a woman’s attractiveness was rated.
British cosmetic surgeon Christopher Inglefield, who is the medical director of London Bridge Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Clinic, said the research adds to the ‘mystery’ of attraction.
‘We often strive to stand out from a crowd – but this research suggests we should be happy to be in a large group,’ he said.
The golden ratio
‘What’s interesting about this research is that it reinforces the fact that the laws of attraction are often tricky to pin down and sometimes even defined by mathematical principals.
‘The 15th Century Renaissance painter Leonardo da Vinci was one of the first to realise this when he famously wrote about the ‘golden ratio’, or the ‘divine proportion’.
‘In essence, the most attractive proportions in humans adhere to a special ratio which repeats itself in nature over and over again.
‘Faces were perceived to be significantly more attractive when they appeared in a group, compared to when those same faces were seen alone,’ lead author Carragher said
‘If you happen to have those proportions, you can consider yourself attractive.
‘Meanwhile lots of other recent studies have also sought to assess whether someone is ‘mathematically beautiful’ or not.
‘For example, there’s some evidence to suggest that the ideal size of a woman’s mouth would be that the lower lip is 47 per cent larger than the top lip.
‘Cosmetic practitioners can then use that data when applying simple lip filler injections.
‘And last year American researchers analysed photographs of female models and concluded that if you’ve got a heart shaped face – where your cheekbones are exactly as wide as your eyebrows – you can also class yourself ‘mathematically beautiful’.’