In the world of competing to win a right swipe, you might think your photo can make or break your chances.
But even if you’re horribly awkward in front of the camera—or if your mug doesn’t quite measure up to Chris Hemsworth levels—you can still gain her attention. You just need to . up your awesome creativity, a new study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science suggests.
In the study, researchers looked at how creativity might affect a person’s attractiveness. Rather than trolling Tinder, they showed a group of volunteers a library of photos of both men and women, and had them rate each face purely on attractiveness.
With the hot or not scales in place, they then showed the same batch of photos to a second group of volunteers—this time adding a little info to each image that gave clues as to whether the person in the photo might have a cool, creative personality. The volunteers then and rated attractiveness based on their overall impression.
The result? Average-looking dudes become more enticing when women perceived them as more creative. In fact, the effect was so strong that they were rated just as attractive as the most Brad Pitt-esque men in the bunch.
As a kicker, the men perceived as both physically attractive and creative were rated the most alluring of all.
According to the researchers, these findings might have something to do with evolutionary biology.
“Creativity is thought to be a signal that an individual can invest time and effort into a particular task or can see things in novel ways that may be useful for survival,” study author Christopher Watkins, Ph.D., said to MedicalXpress.
Interestingly, the study found that women experienced the opposite effect—average-looking women with a good imagination and creativity were perceived as less attractive than average-looking dull women to men, suggesting that they still rank looks as paramount when assessing the attractiveness of females.
The bottom line? Next time you’re writing a profile for a new dating app or trying to pick up the attractive woman in your weekend soccer league, don’t fret if you’re not the best looking guy around. Just . to your personality—letting your creativity and uniqueness shine through can be what really catches her eye.
.: Men’s Health
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