This research did not account for each individual's own looks. Research has shown that people have essentially universal standards of beauty, including large eyes, "baby face" features, symmetric faces, so-called average faces, and specific waist-hip ratios in men versus women.Ariely, Leonard Lee of Columbia University's Business School in New York, and their colleagues looked at information from an online dating Web site called HOTor NOT.com, which allows members to rate others on their physical attractiveness.The modern world provides two new ways to find love — online matchmaking and speed dating.
But that doesn't mean less-attractive people are destined to lives of unrequited love and feelings of just settling for the mediocre.
A recent paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association and reported on in the press suggested that when evaluating photographs from online dating profiles, men and women judge enhanced and un-enhanced photos somewhat differently.
Enhanced photos, those in which a person has used makeup, hair styling, filters, or post-editing, were rated by both men and women as more being attractive.
So while a man might have no qualms about going after someone much better looking than he is, a woman will tend more to choose partners with compatible looks.
Another recent study suggests that, in general, for both men and women physical attractiveness guides cupid's arrow.