Human physical appearance
Variations in the physical appearance of humans, known as human looks, are believed by anthropologists to be an important factor in the development of personality and social relations in particular physical attractiveness. There is a relatively low sexual dimorphism between human males and females in comparison with other mammals. However humans are acutely sensitive to variations in physical appearance, some theorize for reasons of evolution. Some differences in human appearance are genetic, others are the result of age or disease, and many are the result of personal adornment.
Some people have traditionally linked some differences in personal appearance such as skeletal shape with race, such as prognathism or elongated stride (but this is a controversial and sensitive matter). Different cultures place different degrees of emphasis on physical appearance and its importance to social status and other phenomena.
List by category
Physiological differences in human physical appearance from individual to individual
- Height, body weight, skin tone, body hair, sexual organs, moles, freckles, hair color and type, eye color, nose shape, ears shape, body shape, body deformations, mutilations and other variations such as amputations, scars, burns and wounds.
Long-term physiological changes in an individual
Short-term physiological changes in an individual
- Blushing, crying, fainting, hiccup, stuttering, sexual arousal, reddening of the skin due to increased blood flow due to exertion. Sweating, shivering, nose bleeding, skin color changes due to sunshine or frost.
Clothing and personal effects
- clothing, including headgear and footwear; some clothes alter or mold the shape of the body (e.g. corset, support pantyhose, bra). As for footwear, high heels make a person look taller.
- style and colour of haircut (see also dreadlocks, braids, ponytail, wig, hairpin, facial hair, beard and moustache)
- cosmetics, stage makeup, body paintings, permanent makeup
- body modifications, such as body piercings and tattoos
- plastic surgery
- decorative objects (jewelry) such as a necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings
- medical or body shape altering devices (e.g. tooth braces, bandages, casts, hearing aids, cervical collar, crutches, contact lenses of different colours, glasses, gold teeth)
Other functional objects, temporarily attached to the body
- headphones/handsfree phone headset
- electronics (e.g. PDA, cell phone, DAP)
- hair ornaments
- hats and caps
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to people.|
- Body image
- Common human variations
- Face perception
- Facial symmetry
- Hair coloring
- Physical attractiveness
- Recognition of human individuals
- Sexual attraction
- Sexual selection
- Social aspects of clothing
- Social role of hair
- A discussion of the possible effect of physical appearance on personality development at personalityresearch.org
- Page with a list of links to discussions of the role of physical appearance in sexual selection and evolution. We need to link to their links directly, having read them, as this page is a blizzard of pop-up ads