Marta Kowal, University of Wrocław
Piotr Sorokowski, University of Wrocław
Katarzyna Pisanski, University of Wrocław
Jaroslava V. Valentova, University of São Paulo
Marco A.C. Varella, University of São Paulo
David A. Frederick, Chapman UniversityFollow
Laith Al-Shawaf, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Felipe E. García, Universidad de Concepción
Isabella Giammusso, University of Palermo
Biljana Gjoneska, Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Luca Kozma, University of Pécs
Tobias Otterbring, University of Agder
Marietta Papadatou-Pastou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Gerit Pfuhl, UiT the Arctic University of Norway
Sabrina Stöckli, University of Bern
Anna Studzinska, Icam
Ezgi Toplu-Demirtaş, Mef University
Anna K. Touloumakos, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
Bence E. Bakos, Elte
Carlota Batres, Franklin and Marshall College
Solenne Bonneterre, University of Paris Nanterre
Johanna Czamanski-Cohen, University of Haifa
Jovi C. Dacanay, University of Asia and the Pacific
Eliane Deschrijver, University of New South Wales
Maryanne L. Fisher, Saint Mary's University
Caterina Grano, Sapienza University of Rome
Dmitry Grigoryev, National Research University Higher School of Economics
Pavol Kačmár, University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice
Mikhail V. Kozlov, University of Turku
Efisio Manunta, Université De Toulouse
Karlijn Massar, Maastricht University
Joseph P. McFall, State University of New York College at Fredonia
Moises Mebarak, Universidad Del Norte
Maria Rosa Miccoli, University of Konstanz
Taciano L. Milfont, University of Waikato
Pavol Prokop, Comenius University
Toivo Aavik, University of Tartu
Patrícia Arriaga, Iscte-university Institute of Lisbon
Roberto Baiocco, Sapienza University of Rome
Jiří Čeněk, Mendel University in Brno
Hakan Çetinkaya, Yasar University
Izzet Duyar, Istanbul University
Farida Guemaz, Univerity of Setif
Tatsunori Ishii, Japan Womens’ University
Julia A. Kamburidis, Sofia University
Hareesol Khun-Inkeeree, Mendel University in Brno
Linda H. Lidborg, Durham University
Hagar Manor, The Open University of Israel
Ravit Nussinson, University of Haifa
Mohd Sofian B. Omar-Fauzee, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Farid Pazhoohi, University of British Columbia
Koen Ponnet, imec-mict-Ghent University
Anabela Caetano Santos, Universidade de Lisboa
Oksana Senyk, Ukrainian Catholic University
Ognen Spasovski, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava
Mona Vintila, West University of Timisoara
Austin H. Wang, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Gyesook Yoo, Kyung Hee University
Oulmann Zerhouni, Université Paris Nanterre
Rizwana Amin, Bahria University
Sibele Aquino, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio De Janeiro
Merve Boğa, Ege University
Mahmoud Boussena, Univerity of Setif
Ali R. Can, Hatay Mustafa Kemal University
Seda Can, Izmir University of Economics
Rita Castro, University of Porto
Antonio Chirumbolo, Sapienza University of Rome
Ogeday Çoker, University of Pamukkale
Clément Cornec, University of Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne
Seda Dural, Izmir University of Economics
Stephanie J. Eder, University of Vienna
Nasim Ghahraman Moharrampour, University of Melbourne
Simone Grassini, University of Stavanger
Evgeniya Hristova, New Bulgarian University
Gözde Ikizer, Tobb University of Economics and Technology
Nicolas Kervyn, Université Catholique De Louvain
Mehmet Koyuncu, Ege University
Yoshihiko Kunisato, Senshu University
Samuel Lins, University of Porto
Tetyana Mandzyk, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Silvia Mari, University of Milano-Bicocca
Alan D.A. Mattiassi, University of Florence
Aybegum Memisoglu-Sanli, Middle East Technical University
Mara Morelli, Sapienza University of Rome
Felipe C. Novaes, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio De Janeiro
Miriam Parise, Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore
Irena Pavela Banai, J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek
Mariia Perun, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Nejc Plohl, University of Maribor
Fatima Zahra Sahli, University of Mohammed V
Dušana Šakan, Union University
Sanja Smojver-Azic, University of Rijeka
Çağlar Solak, Manisa Celal Bayar University
Sinem Söylemez, Manisa Celal Bayar University
Asako Toyama, Senshu University
Anna Wlodarczyk, Universidad Católica Del Norte
Yuki Yamada, Kyushu University
Beatriz Abad-Villaverde, Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña
Reza Afhami, Tarbiat Modares University
Grace Akello, Gulu University
Nael H. Alami, Modern University for Business and Science
Leyla Alma, Middle East Technical University
Marios Argyrides, Neapolis University Pafos
Derya Atamtürk, Istanbul University
Nana Burduli, University of Georgia
Sayra Cardona, Del Valle University of Guatemala
João Carneiro, University of Porto
Andrea Castañeda, Del Valle University of Guatemala
Izabela Chałatkiewicz, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Wiliam J. Chopik, Michigan State University, East Lansing
Dimitri Chubinidze, University of Georgia
Daniel Conroy-Beam, University of California, Santa Barbara
Jorge Contreras-Garduño, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Diana Ribeiro da Silva, University of Coimbra
Yahya B. Don, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Silvia Donato, Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore
Dmitrii Dubrov, National Research University Higher School of Economics
Michaela Duračková, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University
Sanjana Dutt, Nicolaus Copernicus University
Samuel O. Ebimgbo, University of Nigeria
Ignacio Estevan, Universidad de la República
Edgardo Etchezahar, University of Buenos Aires
Peter Fedor, Comenius University
Feten Fekih-Romdhane, Razi Hospital
Tomasz Frackowiak, University of Wrocław
Katarzyna Galasinska, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Łukasz Gargula, University of Wrocław
Benjamin Gelbart, University of California, Santa Barbara
Talia Gomez Yepes, University of Buenos Aires
Brahim Hamdaoui, Université Ibn Tofail
Ivana Hromatko, University of Zagreb
Salome N. Itibi, Busara Center for Beahvioral Economics
Luna Jaforte, University of Palermo
Steve M.J. Janssen, University of Nottingham Malaysia
Marija Jovic, University of Belgrade
Kevin S. Kertechian, École supérieure des sciences commerciales d'Angers
Farah Khan, Women University Mardan
Aleksander Kobylarek, University of Wrocław
Maida Koso-Drljevic, University of Sarajevo
Anna Krasnodębska, University of Opole
Valerija Križanić, J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek
Miguel Landa-Blanco, National Autonomous University of Honduras
Alvaro Mailhos, Universidad de la República
Tiago Marot, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio De Janeiro
Tamara Martinac Dorcic, University of Rijeka
Martha Martinez-Banfi, Universidad Simón Bolívar
Mat Rahimi Yusof, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Marlon Mayorga-Lascano, Pontificia Universidad Católica Del Ecuador-Ambato
Vita Mikuličiūtė, Vilnius University
Katarina Mišetić, University of Sarajevo

Document Type


Publication Date



People across the world and throughout history have gone to great lengths to enhance their physical appearance. Evolutionary psychologists and ethologists have largely attempted to explain this phenomenon via mating preferences and strategies. Here, we test one of the most popular evolutionary hypotheses for beauty-enhancing behaviors, drawn from mating market and parasite stress perspectives, in a large cross-cultural sample. We also test hypotheses drawn from other influential and non-mutually exclusive theoretical frameworks, from biosocial role theory to a cultural media perspective. Survey data from 93,158 human participants across 93 countries provide evidence that behaviors such as applying makeup or using other cosmetics, hair grooming, clothing style, caring for body hygiene, and exercising or following a specific diet for the specific purpose of improving ones physical attractiveness, are universal. Indeed, 99% of participants reported spending >10 min a day performing beauty-enhancing behaviors. The results largely support evolutionary hypotheses: more time was spent enhancing beauty by women (almost 4 h a day, on average) than by men (3.6 h a day), by the youngest participants (and contrary to predictions, also the oldest), by those with a relatively more severe history of infectious diseases, and by participants currently dating compared to those in established relationships. The strongest predictor of attractiveness-enhancing behaviors was social media usage. Other predictors, in order of effect size, included adhering to traditional gender roles, residing in countries with less gender equality, considering oneself as highly attractive or, conversely, highly unattractive, TV watching time, higher socioeconomic status, right-wing political beliefs, a lower level of education, and personal individualistic attitudes. This study provides novel insight into universal beauty-enhancing behaviors by unifying evolutionary theory with several other complementary perspectives.


This article was originally published in Evolution and Human Behavior, volume 43, issue 6, in 2022.

The repository metadata page can only display the first 150 authors. Please see the full author listing in the article.

1-s2.0-S1090513822000472-mmc1.docx (736 kB)
Supplementary material


The authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.