BOOKS: Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty

Robert J. Bradbury (
Thu, 9 Sep 1999 02:07:32 -0700 (PDT)

I noticed this book showing up in the Science News book list on Aug, 28th. Given my perspective that a huge amount of what currently goes on with humans is unconscious genetically motivated behaviors, and perspectives that others may have that ultimately the human mind has "control" over things, I thought it would be useful to draw attention to this book.

I *have not* read the book (only the abstract in Science News). I have glanced at the reviews on and they have a very wide range (which I would guess implies some very controversial material).

However, the Science News review says -- Etcoff formulates a thesis that binds physical attractiveness to our evolutionary roots and the survival of our genes.

As such, whether it is true or not, it is probably worth reading for people who envision "self-selection" of their own attributes
(physical, mental, emotional, etc.).
The self-selection of
attributes presumably depends to some degree on how one perceives those attributes will be received by those around you. From my perspective, a more significant question is, what attributes will individuals select, when anyone can select them? Will they select the putative biological "norms" that have been most successful, or will individuals attempt to distinguish themselves from the "norm" in creative, unusual or even freaky ways?