Conventionally Attractive: 11 Signs 2024, Meaning & How To Free Your Mind From Conventions

Are you wondering what it means to be conventionally attractive? Do you question whether that’s something worth striving for?

Conventionally Attractive
Photo By Rafaella Mendes Diniz On Unsplash

You’ll discover the answers to these questions and more common queries about conventionally attractive men and women in this guide. 

In my role as a life coach, I am often helping clients better understand themselves and those closest to them. 

That’s why I’m excited to share this guide with you. 

So, let’s dive in.

Conventionally Attractive Meaning

This phrase means you have features which the majority of people find attractive.

Of course, there is no way to know for sure what these features are, unless someone could organise a worldwide census. 

So, we traditionally get our cues on who is conventionally attractive from the media. 

Who is being cast as conventionally attractive people in movies? Who appears on the covers of our favorite magazines? Who is modelling our favorite brands of clothes or perfumes? And what features do these people tend to have in common?

(Perhaps you’ve noticed when someone who differs from this overall look appears in these roles, it’s nearly always mentioned in the media.)  

It should be mentioned that conventional standards of beauty can change over time. It can also differ slightly in a given culture and among different age groups.

However, there are certainly features that have been regarded as conventionally attractive across the world for the last few decades at least – and it’s these that we’ll focus on in this article.  

Conventially Attractive Features

Here are 11 examples of features that are considered attractive across the world.

1. Facial Symmetery Is The Secret To Conventional Beauty

You’ve probably heard people describe a pretty face (or a handsome face) mentioned as a standard of conventional good looks.

But what is it that makes a beautiful face? 

According to scientists who have extensively studied this topic, facial symmetry is a big part of it.

Conventionally attractive facial features are balanced in a way that makes your face look symmetrical. That means your ears, your nose, your eyes or chin aren’t too big, small or misshapen compared to the rest of your face. 

2. Clear And Smooth Skin Is A Universally Desirable Quality 

A lot of features in this list are perceived (at least subconsciously) as indicators of good health – and clear skin is one of these. 

Clear and smooth skin makes you look younger – and most men are attracted to features that make a woman look younger. 

This is because younger women are perceived by men’s caveman brains as more fit to have more healthy children.  

3. Taller People Are More Likely To Be Considered Conventionally Attractive

Men’s biological brains are attracted to features which indicate a woman can give birth to a healthy child.

Women’s biological brains are attracted to features which indicate a man can protect her and her family.

That would explain why so many studies indicate that most women would prefer to date a guy who is more than six feet tall.  

Guys aren’t as picky about the height of their partner, although taller women are generally more favoured when it comes to landing modelling jobs.     

4. A Toned Muscular Physique Is Desirable To Both Sexes

There’s a reason why most male models are ripped beyond belief. It’s because this is what most women find attractive.

The biological reason is that stronger men are better equipped to protect a woman and their family.

Some men might find muscular women to be too masculine when many prefer more feminine features, although a toned physique is generally considered more healthy (and therefore more desirable) than being even slightly overweight.

There seems to be more talk about the perfect body proportions for a conventionally beautiful woman, based on chest to hip to waist ratio. The so-called ‘golden rule’ of body proportions is supposedly that the bust should be eight inches larger than a slender waist, while the hips should be ten inches larger.   

5. A Big Chest Is A Great Indicator Of Conventional Beauty

When women have a full bust, that’s considered another biological signal that she’s ready to give birth to healthy children – and that’s a key reason why men obsess over them.

Conventionally Attractive People
Photo By Jernej Graj On Unsplash

When men have huge pectorial muscles, that’s one of the most obvious signs that they’re in great shape. 

6. Six-Pack Abs

For many, the attainment of six-pack abs is considered a milestone that proves they are in great shape.  

What’s more, a famous 2012 Western Illinois University study revealed that visible abs are considered the sexiest muscles on the male body. 

Perhaps it’s because the stomach is one of the most prominent parts of a shirtless body, Maybe it’s because a six-pack is so difficult to obtain. It might just be people’s way of saying they don’t want to date anyone who is overweight. 

EIther way, six-pack abs can be considered a reliable indicator of conventional beauty.

7. Full Lips

Thick lips are an indicator of healthy blood flow to the face, which is a sign of good health and fertility.  A simpler explanation is that they’re more pleasurable to kiss.

Just as with all the entries in this list, big lips only meet conventional standards of beauty when they remain in proportion with the rest of the body. 

There are plenty of women who overdo it on the fillers and end up with a comical-looking smile, rather than a sexy one.   

8. Straight White Teeth

Straight white teeth are the not-so-secret ingredient to a conventionally attractive smile. 

They’re an indicator of good health and add to a symmetrical-looking face. Bent or missing teeth are considered less attractive.  

9. Thick Melanin-Rich Hair

Thick hair is another sign of good health. Melanin-rich hair is less likely to go grey in old age and is therefore an indicator of youth.

10. Pale Skin

This is a far less universal sign of conventional beauty.

However, studies show that ethnic minorities find it tougher than caucasians to attract online dating matches in the West, while caucasians find it easier to do so than locals in many parts of Asia and Latin America.

Whether you consider this right or wrong, in Asian and Latin American culture, it is considered beautiful for a person to have paler skin, especially women. There are beauty products designed to make one’s skin paler widely available in these parts of the world.   

11. Friendships With Other Conventionally Attractive People

A somewhat off-the-wall entry to finish with, but you’re more likely to be considered attractive if you’re friends with beautiful people.

Researchers have proven the existence of ‘The Cheerleader Effect’, which is the cognitive bias causing individuals to appear more attractive when they’re part of an attractive group. 

Also, if you have conventionally attractive friends of the opposite sex, that can go some way to persuading beautiful people that you’re in their league when it comes to dating. 

Conventionally Attractive Examples

For examples of conventionally attractive men and women, have a look at who is chosen to model high-end clothing, fragrances and underwear. See who is cast in the sexy roles in movies and TV shows.

These are the most reliable indicators of conventional attractiveness, as the recruiters need their brands to appeal to as many people as possible.

By casting a person considered ‘unconventionally attractive’ or even ‘conventionally unattractive’, they could lose their brands huge amounts of money due to a lack of a worldwide appeal.    

Conventionally Attractive Celebrities

  • Margot Robbie
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Beyonce Knowles
  • Ariana Grande
  • Mila Kulis
  • Channing Tatum
  • Chris Hemsworth
  • Zac Efron 
  • Michael B. Jordan
  • Henry Cavill

Am I Conventionally Attractive?

You can be considered conventionally attractive without having all of the features mentioned in the guide above.

Conventional Beauty
Photo By Pavel Danilyuk On Pexels

Want to know whether you’re a conventionally attractive person?

Here are some clues to look out for. 

  • You get a lot of compliments;
  • You’re paid to model;
  • You’re compared to a celebrity who has conventionally attractive roles;
  • You’re catching people staring at you a lot;
  • You have a lot of followers on social media (even though you don’t post anything remotely interesting);
  • People are always asking you out on a date or trying to have sex with you. 

Related Content: Signs Your Husband Doesn’t Find You Attractive Anymore

Should You Strive To Be Conventionally Attractive?

The most obvious advantage of being conventionally attractive is that a lot of people will be interested in dating you.

Most people want to develop a romantic connection with someone they’re deeply attracted to – and conventionally attractive adults will have a wider range of suitors in that sense.

However, there are arguably other advantages too. 

Many studies have proven the existence of a ‘Halo Effect’ in society, where very attractive people are more likely to be considered to have good personality traits. This makes it easier for them to make friends, receive job offers and negotiate pay rises. 

Indeed, The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis hired researchers who discovered that attractive people earn more money and are more likely to be hired than less attractive people. This was even true for positions where their appearance doesn’t play a role in their potential job performance.   

So, it would make sense to do all that you can to be deemed conventionally attractive, right?

Before you answer that question, let me play Devil’s advocate and explore the downsides of striving to be conventionally attractive.

There’s An Opportunity Cost When You Dedicate Time To Becoming Extremely Attractive

Your genetics play a key role in your appearance – and will sometimes create a ceiling on how conventionally attractive you can be considered.

However, there is a lot you can do to improve your appearance and boost your attractiveness in the eyes of others. 

For example, you can spend more time sculpting an attractive body in the gym. You can wear better clothes. You can spend more time styling your hair, doing your make-up and generally grooming yourself.

Models and other people who are paid to be attractive spend a lot of time and money on things like this. That’s time and money which could be spent on other things. Hobbies. Educating oneself. Hanging out with friends. Doing anything to build a more attractive personality      

Will Being A Conventionally Attractive Person Make You Happy? 

Most people don’t like going to the gym as often as it takes to become a conventionally attractive person. Some people don’t like spending hours on their hair and make-up every day.

There’s no guarantee that spending this time on your appearance will make you happy either.

Some extremely attractive people complain that their thoughts aren’t taken seriously – and that they can’t find someone who loves them for their personality. It’s also common that beautiful people stir up the jealous side in those of the same sex, causing them potential drama, conflict or general ill will.  

There are some models out there who continue to obsess and feel inadequate about their appearance, no matter how much work they put in and how many compliments they receive.

Indeed, the problem with basing your self-esteem on your appearance is that there will always be someone better to compare yourself to. What’s more, our ability to keep up with conventionally attractive people will always become more difficult as we age. 

If you’re not feeling good enough for what you want in life, here’s a list of more reliable ways to boost your self-worthiness

Being Unconventionally Attractive Is Easier, More Fun And Sometimes More Fulfilling

If you weren’t born with enough of the features that make you conventionally attractive, that’s OK.

You don’t have to dedicate your existence to improving your fitness, fashion and remaining well-groomed. 

It can be a lot more fulfilling to accept yourself for who you are – and make the most of what God gave you.

You might enjoy presenting yourself the way that you want, rather than what society suggests is conventionally attractive. 

When you do, you may find this makes you a happier person that other people are more excited to be around. 

Unconventionally Attractive

An unconventionally attractive person is someone who is widely considered to be attractive despite not having a lot of the features that conventionally attractive people have.

A lot of unconventionally attractive people fit into a niche. Take a look at ‘SuicideGirls’ as one example of this. Men with the ‘Dad Bod’ body type might be another one.

However, there is one trait that people considered unconventionally attractive have; a great personality.

When we like the way we feel around someone, our brains tend to focus on the positive aspects of their appearance and place less emphasis on their imperfections. It’s a reverse Halo Effect of sorts – and I believe this a huge reason why average-looking people are considered unconventionally attractive. This is why ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. 

It’s why most fun, kind, interesting and joyful people usually have no problems finding romantic partners, no matter how they fare in the looks department.   

How To Free Your Mind From Conventional Ideas Of Attraction

Do you struggle to see yourself as attractive? Do you think there’s nothing you can do to attract a loving partner?

Here are some ideas I’d recommend to help free yourself from this mindset: 

  • Find examples of people who look like you who do attract romantic partners. Look for lessons that you can learn from these people.
  • Be wary of the media you consume and how it affects you. A lot of TV shows, movies and online content places more emphasis on appearance than people do in the real world. 
  • Online dating and social media apps are other platforms where people put more emphasis on beauty compared to in the real world. If you’re relying too heavily on these apps to meet a partner, maybe it would be a good idea to put more effort into meeting potential partners in-person.  
  • Make an effort to notice how much positive attention you get from the opposite sex when you’re in a confident mood and having fun, compared to when you’re feeling shy, stifled and self-concisious. Confidence is one of the qualities that can make any person more attractive in the eyes of others.  
  • Has anyone ever complimented your appearance? Perhaps an ex-partner or someone you hooked up with at a nightclub? They probably meant it, even if this was the ‘reverse Halo effect’ in play. Your personality can do a lot to spark attraction.    
  • If you never get positive attention from the opposite sex, consider whether there are elements of your behavior you can alter to change this. This thought exercise isn’t easy as it requires you to lose your ego. A dating coach can help you with this.   
  • Sometimes, your selective focus won’t allow you to see the evidence of conventional thinking being inaccurate. A therapist or life coach can help you to challenge the thoughts that don’t serve you. 

Related Content: Telltale Signs You Are Unattractive & How To Change

Any Questions? 

Thanks for reading my guide on conventional beauty standards.

If you’d like to ask me a question about beauty standards, what makes a person attractive or sexual attraction in general, feel free to write me a comment.

Perhaps you’d like to give me an idea about what you find attractive and why.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, I’d love to hear from you – and of course I’ll do my best to reply as quickly as possible. 

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.