The beauty industry is big business. Hoover’s states that in the United States, the cosmetic, beauty supply and beauty store industry includes about 13,000 stores with combined annual revenue of around $10 billion. Our media bombards us with good looking people and Hollywood stars dominate much of our attention – however, is it all because our brain chemistry wires us to love beautiful people?
Although our society seems beauty obsessed, Daniel G. Amen’s book, The Brain in Love, sheds light on our brain chemistry. Amen explains how our brains produce attraction chemicals when we see people that turn us on. “Fifty percent of the brain is dedicated to vision, so how people look, how they move, how they smile, and how their eyes appear are critical to the process of attraction. When a man or woman sees an attractive person, the visual areas of the brain spark with activity, and he or she occupies a large portion of the brain. Attraction works very much like a powerful drug.”
Our brain sets off chemicals when visually attracted to someone, chemicals like testosterone, estrogen, nitric oxide and pheromones. These chemicals become an intoxicating cocktail making us feel drunk with attraction and cause us to pursue sexual gratification. Amen says, “Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta found that the amygdale, an area of the brain that controls emotions and motivation, is much more activated in men than women when viewing sexual material for thirty minutes, even though both sexes reported similar levels of interest in the images. This may be one of the reasons men are much more interested in pornography than women. It is also no mistake that women spend more time caring for their physical appearance. How they look has much more impact on a man’s brain than the other way around.”
So guys, the next time you get annoyed about how much time your lady spends in front of the mirror getting beautiful, remember she is doing a favor for you and your brain. Those extra touches of visual delight will set off your chemical cocktail and activate your amygdale, perhaps setting the stage for a sexy, romantic evening – or at least you can hope!
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