Men are more attracted to less stressed women

HealthMen are more attracted to less stressed women

By Dr. Attia Anwar

If you are always overwhelmed and always stressed, you should know that it can make you less attracted to the opposite sex. There are different reasons for that. But all of them make it difficult for you to find love and a good relationship.

According to the theory of evolution, men will prefer less stressed women


Scientists believe that a person’s face carries strong signals about their health. Stressed-out people are generally less healthy. So men are more attracted to relaxed faces. A study has proven that people were shown photographs of women with high and low cortisol levels. So most heterosexual males find the faces of women with low cortisol levels more attractive. Cortisol is a hormone that is increased in stress. Its amount is related to the stress level.

There is one explanation for this stress decreases fertility. So according to the theory of evolution, men will prefer less stressed women. It is no surprise that men and women both will like chilled-out faces. Because it is better for reproduction and species dominance.

So you have to be careful that your stressful job or life stresses are not only damaging your health and decreasing your productivity but also making you less attractive to the opposite sex. Stress becomes obvious on your face or it leaves marks on your face. So it is not about that after talking to or meeting stressful women, men don’t want to meet them again. It is simply seeing the photographs of women with high stress levels and finding them less attractive. So study proves that there is something about the faces of stressed women that makes them less attractive.

Judgment of beauty is both individual and cultural. But biologists and psychologists believe there are certain things on which humans all over the world agree. One of them is that both men and women don’t prefer women and men who look diseased or unhealthy. Women also prefer men with strong immune systems. Immunity is also damaged by stress. But men do not correlate with immunity as far as attractiveness for women is concerned. This study was done in response to a study in which it was proved that women are less attracted to stressed men. So it applies to both sexes. Relaxed people are more appealing to the opposite sex in general.

Chronic life stress is related to weight gain. It has multiple reasons. Stress stimulates the appetizing hormone leptin and results in more intake of food

Apart from this effect of cortisol and its relationship with attraction from the opposite sex stress also affects your appearance. It brings many changes in your body, face, and hair, which make you aesthetically less attractive.

If stress level increases, the cycle of hair becomes faster. There are chances of getting hair loss.  It also prolongs the hair loss stage in the cycle. And thinning of hair occurs. It also causes premature greying of hair. As the hair cycle becomes faster it has a finite amount of pigment. So there is a loss of pigment. Alternatively, stress sometimes signals hair to produce less pigment. That will make hair finer and duller. Which affects the appearance of a person.

The cell cycle is also affected by stress. It slows the renewal process of the skin. So skin becomes more wrinkly and dry. Excess cortisol released by stress causes the production of oil by the skin. It can lead to acne. Studies have shown when stress levels increase in students during exams it will lead to exacerbation of their acne. One alarm fact is stress may impede digestion. Therefore there will be inhibition of absorption of vitamins. And it will lead to all sorts of health and skin problems.

Chronic life stress is related to weight gain. It has multiple reasons. Stress stimulates the appetizing hormone leptin and results in more intake of food. It especially results in eating food high in sugar and fat. Moreover when we are stressed good food stimulates the release of endorphins. Which is feel feel-good hormone that will cause a craving for food. So we eat comfort food which alleviates our anxiety and stress. As a result of stress, we have less drive for healthy eating and healthy cooking and it will result in consumption of convenient food. Which is usually more in calories and less in nutrition. All these factors will lead to weight gain which makes us aesthetically unattractive in addition to bad effects on our health.

I believe there are better reasons to avoid stress than purely aesthetic. But our bodies will not learn to go through all this. They will degenerate. If we notice these superficial effects, we will know the price we are paying for being stressed all the time.


The author Dr. Attia Anwar is a consultant family physician with a postgraduate degree from the Royal College of GP UK. She is a strong advocate of health and well-being and wants patient participation in decision-making regarding health.

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