It’s usually not appreciated to talk about the color of a person, as the topic tends to allude towards things like racism. However, that cannot erase the fact that fair skin does come across as more attractive in comparison to other skin tones such as black and brown. So, why do people, especially men, prefer a fair skin tone? Is that just a part of what we have been experiencing in the society or is there a more scientific basis to it? Well, here are some key insights that can help unravel why fair skin is attractive.
Psychological association with white color – The human mind is programmed to associate different colors with different meanings. For example, red is about passion, anger, love and danger whereas green is about nature, abundance and new beginnings. It explains why traffic lights are red, green and yellow and not blue, pink and purple. Similarly, all other colors have different association in our mind. Talking about white, the color is associated with purity, virtue, trust, cleanliness and wisdom. Many experts feel that our basic psychology associated with color white could be a key factor why we find fair skin more attractive.
Indicator of wealth – In some communities, fair skin used to be an indicator of an individual’s wealth. For example, people from economically weaker classes of society who may be doing hard work in the sun would have darker skin tones. In comparison, the wealthier class would be more involved in jobs and businesses that required them to work indoors. This would have helped them to get a fairer complexion. Subconsciously, such things have become a part of our upbringing and it may explain our preference for fair skin.
Higher facial symmetry – It’s common knowledge that the human brain prefers symmetry over asymmetry. This links to the choice of skin as well, since people with fair skin generally have a more symmetrical face. In comparison, people with darker skin tones may have certain asymmetrical features related to their cheek bones, nose to lips triangle, eye sockets, etc. A symmetrical face is naturally more attractive to the brain, and since fair skinned people generally have this trait, it makes them more attractive.
Even though we may have a natural liking for fair skin, there can always be exceptions. Women, for example, prefer darker men, as darker shades are associated with things like virility, killer instinct and mystery. There are also men who may prefer to bond with black or brown complexioned women. Ultimately, the phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ prevails.