Is it just us, or did everyone get better looking when the sun came out?
Have you ever wondered why we find people wearing sunglasses more attractive than those uncouth shlubs walking around using their hands to shield their ugly eyes from the sun? Well, the folks at The Science of Us have the answer, and it's multi-faceted.
They sat down to have a chat with Vanessa Brown of Nottingham Trent university, who decided to do some research into this area and write a book about it, and she's come up with three major reasons as to why we prefer the cool, shades-wearing daredevil to the bog-standard normal person on the street.
Firstly, the shades help to give the wearer's face a sense of symmetry, which people inherently find attractive, and there's plenty of research to back that up. There's even a website where you can give your face the symmetrical treatment and see what you look like, though it kinda looks like one of those halls with mad mirrors to me.
Apart from that, they also lend you an air of mystery, which people also find more interesting. The eyes give us a lot of information about someone, and eye contact is of huge importance in communication. But when someone is wearing sunglasses, we don't have any information on that front, which makes them more difficult to read. And shur, we all love a bit of mystery.
Finally, the origins of sunglasses themselves come in to play. For generations, we've seen movie stars, sports stars and daring types wearing sunglasses, and that makes us associate them with those cool activities. In the early days, they were used by pilots and people doing extreme water sports, before eventually being used by celebrities to protect their eyes from the paparazzi snapping photos with large bulbs, and ever since then, we thought they were cool.
Of course, we also just look really cool all the time anyway, so our sunglasses just enhance that effect.
Add to that the fact that they can help keep fine lines at bay if they are of good quality and help with the dreaded dry eye (you can read all about that terrible affliction here).
So what do you reckon? Are the boffins just telling us what we already know or is there some intangible feel-good factor about slipping on a pair of sunnies?