You undoubtedly have to know that beauty standards evolve and change over time. However, with the advent of social media and dating sites, it seems like we are changing our “types” preference much faster. What do you think the reason is?
We often think that we are formatted by years of natural selection which causes us to like physical traits more than others. Beauty standards have been the same for a long period of time. They change depending on the culture, the people we meet or even according to what the consumer society shows us. However, these changes has always been happening slowly and some only have had a certain “type” of preference throughout their whole lives. In this day and age, it turns out that our beauty standards do not just change over months and years but can change very quickly and even in a fraction of a second.
Our perception of beauty changes according to the mass of information received
According to a study by Haiyang Yang, assistant professor at Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University, the types of physique you like can change based on the opinions of others. Which, in this digital technology era, social media and dating sites era, can cause each and every one of us to change our beauty standards in the blink of an eye.
Our perception of beauty changes depending on the faces we see in everyday life. On dating sites we see a lot of them and only in a very short period of time. According to a study conducted by the University of Sydney, we are more likely to qualify a face as beautiful when the previous one we saw was also beautiful. It also works the other way around, we have an easier time qualifying a face as unattractive when the previous one we saw was unattractive. Thus, based on this observation, we quickly understand that the perception of beauty changes rapidly with each new face we see.
For what reason?
Our brains cannot process the same way all the new information that floods our visual system, explains Jessica Taubert, lead author of the study conducted by the University of Sydney. Therefore, it creates shortcuts to allow him to analyses better the content it receives and also lean on the previous visual cues to help itself.
The shortcut used here is what scientists call the “serial addiction”. “We expect that the physical state of an object will remain stable from a moment to another”. On dating sites, when you swipe too fast from one profile to another, the brain expects to see or not see the same attractive features you just saw in the previous photos.
Our perception of beauty is biased by the flow of images that continuously pass before our eyes, so it is important to take your time when you make your selections because you risk to miss out on an interesting profile.
Therefore, our perception of beauty evolves with each new face we see. Thus, our beauty standards evolve at the same time as we are confronted with the choices of images available to us. The positive point of this evolution is the fact of not being confined to be attracted by only a type of physical standard that it is difficult to achieve. Dating sites allow us to have choice and look at other profiles, so why not take advantage of it.