Five Traits of Female Attractiveness

by James R. Lyons M.D.

A good plastic surgeon may be able to create physical beauty, but he or she can’t create something that’s far more important and appealing: attractiveness. In fact, all women are born with the potential to be attractive, and that attractiveness doesn’t depend on a woman’s physicality. It comes from within.

Some women are lucky enough to be born attractive, and that’s great. But all women can develop the skills they need to become more attractive. Here are the top traits that make people attractive:

1. Self-esteem. Feeling good about yourself on the inside shows on the outside. Looking as though you’re comfortable in your own skin — rather than appearing to be edgy, nervous, fidgety, or self conscious — gives you a radiance and an air of self confidence that we all find appealing. So develop a realistic (and not an inflated) sense of your own worth, and a positive self image. It will show!

2. Focus. A guy can go dinner with a beautiful woman, but within 20 minutes, the date will be over if there’s no real sharing between them. For any woman — beautiful or not — to be attractive, she has to focus outside of herself. She has to be fully present in the moment with the people around her to exchange energy with them. If she focuses outside of herself, she will attract others. If she’s self-absorbed, it’s a complete turnoff, and regardless of what she looks like, people won’t remember her as soon as she leaves the room.

3. Kindness. Attractiveness truly does come from within. A woman who is compassionate, giving, and caring trumps a woman with a pretty face every time. A genuinely kind woman with a big heart draws others to her, and she makes them feel good when they are with her. Her positive energy, which she shares so willingly with others, is the key to her attractiveness.

4. Grace. The movie star and princess, Grace Kelly, was appropriately named. She had grace. That is, she had the posture, movement, gait, and stance that men find so attractive. Audrey Hepburn had it, too. Women can have a beautiful physique, or a great nose, or wonderful cheekbones — but, without that regal poise, it’s all meaningless. Grace is the attribute that allows women to be attractive with every move they make — or even when they sit still — because of the way they carry themselves. Proper exercise and a high-quality diet are integral components of developing the grace that makes women attractive.

5. Social intelligence. Women don’t need a degree from the “right” school, or a genius-level I.Q., to attract others. They do, however, need good bantering and mingling skills. Any woman — however introverted she might be — can show real curiosity about matters that interest others, and can learn to ask the right questions. If she listens mindfully to the answers, and can “bounce” off a vast array of personalities and types to create meaningful social interactions, she’ll be as attractive as anyone could hope to be.

If physicality were all that mattered, then all women would visit plastic surgeons, and they’d all be beautiful. Plastic surgeons would control the attractiveness of women and decide which of them gets to be the most attractive. But that’s not the way it works. A plastic surgeon can create a human “doll,” and can move fat from one place to another to create beautiful roundness and curves, but he or she can’t create attractiveness. That’s something a woman has to do for herself.

The best plastic surgeons help women understand that cosmetic medicine is about far more than just “going under the knife.” In fact, plastic surgery should be a last resort — something women can do to add beauty on top of the attractiveness that, hopefully, they already possess or are learning to develop.

(James R. Lyons, M.D., is a plastic surgeon and author of The Brown Fat Revolution (St. Martin’s Press, 2009). Visit him online at www.thebrownfatrevolution/.)

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