You see it on social media, on TV, and all over magazines. It’s the same story—the most beautiful men end up with the most beautiful women. But occasionally, you see a stunner of a woman with your average Joe. You see it with celebrity couples like Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd and Jay Z and Beyoncé. So what is this secret weapon these men possess? Creativity.
It wasn’t exactly breaking news when science determined that women prefer handsome men over less attractive guys. Now there’s hope for the not-so-good-looking. Develop a talent.
According to a paper recently published in Royal Society Open Science, women find average-looking men with creative talents just as attractive as handsome men.
In the study authored by Christopher Watkins, a professor at Scotland’s Abertay University, participants were shown two images side by side of an ordinary-looking person and an attractive person. Beneath each image, a short story was attached based on the painting The Lovers by René Magritte.
Some stories were flowered with poetic details, while others were to the point and just dry. It was told to the participants that the people in the photos wrote the stories. They were then told to rate the person’s attractiveness after viewing the image and reading the short story.
The study found that women were equally as attracted to the handsome men as they were to the plain-looking men who possessed a hint of creativity expressed through their stories. What is the scientific reasoning behind the rating scale?
“Creative guys with less attractive faces were almost identical in attractiveness to really good looking guys who were not as creative,” study author Christopher Watkins said to MedicalXpress. “Creativity is thought to be a signal that an individual can invest time and effort into a particular task or can see things in novel ways that may be useful for survival.”
As a result, average-looking men can boost their romantic and social prospects by showcasing their creativity, Watkins said.
For men, however, the study found that creativity did not add to the women’s attractiveness and in some cases detracted from their overall rating.