People who suffer from stress are physically less attractive to potential partners. A clear link has been established between the stress hormone cortisol and physical attraction. This was showed by a series of studies by researchers of the Dundee University.
"Men and women who are relaxed are much more attractive to potential partners than fellow members of the same sex who are troubled by stress", says researcher Fhionna Moore, behavioural scientist of the Dundee University. She claims that the stress hormone cortisol is responsible for the phenomenon.
Healthy is attractive
Cortisol values in the human body increase during stressful moments. In the short term, the hormone causes an energy boost. It helps to add more glucose to the blood stream and it slows the development of muscles and bones. However, high doses of cortisol in the body can be detrimental to health in the long run. According to Fhionna Moore, a result is that stressed people appear uglier as well. Pictures of respondents with a high cortisol value were constantly found to be less attractive than portraits of people with a limited amount of the hormone in their blood stream.
The professor points out that the attractiveness often corresponds with good health. "Symmetry in the face is the sign of a strong immune system", says Fhionna Moore. "A healthy complexion indicates a healthy diet and good cardiovascular health."