Color 3D bodies and judgements of human female attractiveness

Kathryn L. Smith, Piers L. Cornelissen, Martin J. Tovée*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


For a set of color video clips that depict a 360° view of the bodies of 43 young Caucasian women who are within the normal range of percentage of body fat, we show that their attractiveness to both male and female observers depends strongly on their percentage of body fat and their level of skin tanning, but is not significantly related to their cardiovascular fitness (a key health measure). Although evolutionary psychology suggests that physical health should play a role in determining attractiveness judgements, it appears that cardiovascular fitness may be a weak cue, at least in bodies not undergoing cardiovascular exercise. Instead, it seems that more salient cues, such as body mass and skin tanning, are the primary determinants of attractiveness judgements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


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