According to scientific research, we find the moody man more attractive than the sweetheart. Are we nuts?!
It’s no secret that I’m a Robert Pattinson fan. Is it his awesome acting chops that has me so smitten? Of course not (as anyone who’s seen Remember Me can attest to). No, it’s his whole aura of the brooding, sensitive Brit that has me swooning when I see him on the big screen. Although you personally may not be a Pattinson fan, you know you’ve been attracted to a guy just like him, whether you’d like to admit it or not. Luckily, there’s actually a scientific reason why we find ourselves mesmerized by the depth of his moody stare and a new study may just help you understand why you have a thing for ‘bad boys.’
A study published by the American Psychological Association Journal Emotion, says that we have a thing for gloomy, grumpy-looking guys because they don’t smile. According to the publication’s findings, women think that a grinning guy is too sweet, therefore not as strong, masculine or powerful as a frowner.
“We found that women were least attracted to smiling, happy men, preferring those who looked proud and powerful or moody,” says Professor Jessica Tracy, who led a team of psychologists in said research. She added, ”Showing a happy face may be considered essential to friendly social interactions, including those involving sexual attraction.”
So how did they get their results? The University of British Columbia, Canada, team had 1,000 adults rate the opposite sex on their attractiveness in hundreds of photographs. The photos of both sexes ranged from smiling, happy shots to pictures of men and women with averted eyes and scowls.
Mind, this study has nothing to do with whether a dark and stormy lad will make a good boyfriend — it simply explores who we’re attracted to and why. “We did not ask participants if they thought these targets would make a good boyfriend or wife – we wanted their gut reactions on carnal, sexual attraction,” says psychologist Alec Beall, who suspects that our attraction to moody, arrogant men is an indication that we like men who look like they were designed for sperm donation only (re: masculine).
Smiling men, apparently, seem more like women — which is why nice guys finish last. They lack the unflappable dominance of the “strong and silent” type. Says Beall, adding, “Previous research has also suggested happiness is a particularly feminine-appearing expression.”
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced this study is accurate. Regardless of where I’ve gone in the world, I’m always the most attracted to guys with dark, seductive expressions. Granted, I never actually want to wind up dating one of these bad boys (been there, done that, got the he’s sooooo mysterious-which-is-just-another-way-of-saying-he’s-not-all-that-interesting T-shirt) but I am initially attracted to them.
R-Patz is actually a perfect example for this study, and I’ll tell you why. I actually met Rob a few years back at Patrick Whitesell‘s annual post-Oscar bash in the Hollywood hills. Everyone wanted a piece of him thanks to Twilight, including LA’s then-most-famous heirhead, Paris Hilton. The party turned into a playground for Paris, who kept on chasing Rob around, ostensibly to make out with him in some dark corner (can you blame the girl)? I literally ran straight into him while he was hiding from her. While he didn’t smell — as several reports have stated — he wasn’t the most interesting guy I’ve ever met, or the most well-spoken. In fact, meeting R-Patz made me like him less. I wasn’t being seduced by a pale and sexy vampire, but talking to an ill-at-ease kid wearing a monkey suit and sucking down beers like it was his day job.
Needless to say, I was not impressed by the reality of R-Patz. In fact, my adoration (and desire) simply withered up and died on the spot. His smile probably killed the illusion.
I am ashamed to say my love was back in full force as soon as New Moon hit the big screen and Rob’s celluloid alter-ego was back to his glittering, glowering self. Ugh. Being attracted to a bad boy totally sucks.