What physical traits make a man attractive?

When it comes to what women find physically attractive in a man, there are a number of factors that come into play. Physical attraction is complex and influenced by both biological and social factors. However, research has uncovered some common physical traits that many women find appealing.

Facial Features

A man’s face can convey a lot about his genetic fitness. Evolutionary psychology suggests that women evolved to prioritize facial features that were markers of health, strength, and genetic quality when choosing a mate. Here are some facial features that research suggests enhance a man’s attractiveness:

Strong Jawline

A strong, masculine jawline emerges during puberty under the influence of testosterone. It signals the man went through puberty at a normal time, indicating good health. A prominent jaw and chin also give the impression of strength.

Heavy Brow Ridge

A pronounced brow ridge above the eyes is linked to higher testosterone levels and perceived as dominant and masculine. However, a very heavy brow can look intimidating, so moderate protrusion is ideal.

High Cheekbones

High, prominent cheekbones are associated with higher testosterone. They also enhance the appearance of facial symmetry, which women favor.

Wide Smile and White Teeth

A genuine smile that reveals straight, white teeth demonstrates good health and hygiene. It also makes a man appear more approachable and charismatic.

Facial Symmetry

A symmetrical face indicates the man has “good genes” and developmental stability. Small asymmetries can be appealing, but major asymmetry is perceived as less attractive.

Masculine Proportions

Faces with a longer lower half and more prominent nose, brow, and jaw are considered more stereotypically masculine. Women tend to prefer more masculine faces for short-term relationships.

Clear, Smooth Skin

Facial skin free of blemishes, scars, and other imperfections suggests the man is in good physical health. Acne or scarring could indicate poor health, lifestyle, or genes.


The eyes play an important role in facial attractiveness and social signaling:

Widely Spaced, Prominent Eyes

Widely set eyes with a prominent brow are considered attractive in men. They indicate higher testosterone exposure and a more “mature” face.

Positive Canthal Tilt

A slight upward tilt to the outer corners of the eyes makes a man seem more awake, alert, friendly, and approachable. Down-turned eyes appear less attractive.

Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Dark undereye circles can age a man’s appearance. They indicate poorer health and lifestyle habits. Concealer can help minimize their unappealing effect.

White Sclera

White sclera (the whites of the eyes) stand out against darker irises, making eye expressions more visible. This helps social communication and attractiveness.

Long, Dark Eyelashes

Long, luscious eyelashes are seen as sexually dimorphic and more feminine. Shorter, lighter eyelashes indicate higher testosterone.


Research consistently shows that women find taller men attractive. However, height preferences vary individually and culturally.

6 Feet Tall or More

Being over 6 feet tall is considered ideal for men in Western cultures. Shorter men may be seen as less dominant. However, many women are attracted to men under 6 ft.

At Least a Few Inches Taller than Her

Most women prefer a romantic partner who is taller than them by several inches because it makes them feel more feminine. Shorter men are not necessarily seen as undateable though.

Height and Dominance Linked

Biologically, taller men likely had more access to resources, so women evolved to associate height with ability to protect and provide. Height can also enhance perceptions of social status.

Shorter Men Can Offset With Confidence

Men who are short may be seen as less facially masculine and dominant. But displaying confidence and attractiveness through personality can offset the height disadvantage.

Cultural Trends Differ

In some cultures where average height is shorter, women may not prioritize tall height as much. Shorter men do not necessarily fare worse in all mating markets.

Body Composition

Women often find physical markers of health, fitness, and strength to be attractive in men. However, excessively ripped or bulky muscle can be perceived as obsessive or unattractive.

Moderate Muscularity

Lean muscularity with broad shoulders and chest combined with a narrow waist is attractive. It suggests physical fitness without intense bodybuilding.

Athletic Build

An athletic physique implies the man exercises regularly but does not overdo it. Balance is appealing; low body fat paired with some toned muscle suits most tastes.

V-Shaped Torso

A torso that naturally tapers from broad shoulders to a narrower waist gives a masculine V shape. It indicates higher testosterone and developmental stability.

Lean Midsection

Visible abdominal muscles are found attractive, but a pronounced six-pack may signal vainness or trying too hard. A flat, toned stomach is most ideal.

Moderate Body Hair

Body hair signals testosterone levels but extremely hairy backs or chests can look unkempt. Well-groomed moderate body hair is attractive for most women.

Voice and Scent

Nonvisual cues like voice and natural scent also influence judgments of attractiveness.

Low-Pitched, Resonant Voice

A deep, rich voice signals higher testosterone. Women rate men with lower-pitched voices as more attractive for short-term flings.

Pleasant Natural Scent

Natural pheromones influence attraction on a chemical level. Men’s scents give clues to genetic compatibility for mating and reproduction.

Scent Compatibility

Women perceive men’s scents as more attractive when they differ genetically from their own scent. Scent may signal genetic immune system compatibility.

Grooming and Style

Good grooming and style demonstrate attention to detail and care about appearance.

Neat, Well-Groomed Hair

Hair should be clean and well-kept. Style is not as important as making sure it is neat and not unruly. Many women like some hair length.

Good Hygiene

Smelling clean, using deodorant and having fresh breath demonstrate good hygiene. Chapped lips or dirty nails are turnoffs.

Fitted Clothing

Clothes that are the proper size and flatter your body type show care about appearance. Ill-fitting clothes seem sloppy.

Classic Styles

Clothing in classic masculine styles works for most men. Avoid overly trendy looks in favor of timeless wardrobe staples.

Nice Footwear

Shoes that are clean and in good condition complete an attractive look. Opt for leather over athletic sneakers.

Personality Traits and Confidence

Physical appeal is only part of the equation. Personality, behavior and confidence also influence attractiveness.

Masculine Personality

Dominance, ambition, courage, independence and decisiveness are stereotypically masculine traits women may find attractive, especially for short-term relationships.

Social Intelligence

The ability to pick up on social cues, make witty conversation, and put others at ease can boost attraction. Awkwardness is not appealing.

Good Listener

Paying close attention when a woman speaks signals caring. Being distracted gives the impression you lack interest in her thoughts and feelings.


Displaying an adventurous spirit and varied interests and hobbies makes men seem passionate about living life fully. It’s more appealing than being boring.


Confidence is universally attractive. Men who seem comfortable and secure with themselves give off appealing energy. Insecurity is a red flag.

Smiling and Laughing

Flashing an authentic smile and laughing naturally boosts attractiveness exponentially. Brooding or stone-faced men seem closed off.


A little bit of mystery can be alluring. Completely laying your personality out on a first date may kill intrigue. Let her slowly get to know you.


Male physical attractiveness is multifaceted. While visual cues like facial features, height, and body composition play a role, personality, grooming, and confidence also influence hotness. The most appealing men demonstrate genetic fitness, health, and masculinity combined with charm, humor, and self-assurance. However, different women have individual preferences based on their own traits and tastes. Rather than obsess over attractiveness, men should focus on feeling confident and finding a compatible partner.

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