Grooming to attract a mate

Have you ever gotten up five minutes before class on a morning after a big night, only to decide that wearing sweats and an old high school T-shirt was as good as it was going to get today? I mean, let’s be honest, who are you trying to impress? They’re just clothes.

Graphic by Elizabeth Ropp/Old Gold & Black

Yet, studies have shown that what you wear changes others’ perceptions of you, especially those of the opposite sex. That seems pretty obvious, right? However, psychologist Jeremy Nicholson discovered that “by far, the most attractive features fell under the category of ‘self care’.”

He goes on to state that “These features were changeable aspects like good grooming, neat hair, nice fitting and quality clothing, good posture and healthy weight. Essentially, the most attractive features about a person (male or female) is that they put forth some effort to shower, groom, select some nice clothes, stand up straight and manage their diet a bit…”

This seems to be pretty bad news to those of you who are anything like me — just way too lazy to try half of the time because being attractive just isn’t a priority. But further studies have shown that not only does being well-groomed and well-dressed affect the opposite sex’s attraction towards you, but it affects your peer’s perception, your professor or leader’s ideas about you and your overall attitude about yourself.

There are five really simple and time conscious ways to make you as attractive as possible every day:


Nicholson claims that the number one most important thing to keep in mind is being clean. Just brush your teeth and shower once in a while, you frat bros. I guarantee your “chill to pull ratio” will increase exponentially.


It doesn’t matter what you are wearing — to an extent. Ladies, obviously no crop tops and see-through leggings for pants. What matters to the opposite sex is how you wear your clothes. Be neat and well-maintained. Nicholson also says that, “when it comes to attracting someone, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.”


Good posture is hot! You will gain more respect when you stand up straight like the confident Wake student that you are.


This one seems a little time consuming, right? But Nicholson states that just going to the gym two to three times a week will make you infinitely more attractive to others and will boost self-confidence.

Plus, it will get those endorphins pumping, which is never a bad thing.


Last but not least, how you present yourself is key to being as attractive as possible. Some people think being mysterious, brooding or sarcastic is sexy, yet studies show that people are more attracted to those who are happy, energetic, and friendly. It’s just a fact: Putting a smile on your face makes you more beautiful — even if you have three papers, two tests  and no time to eat on that Monday.

So, listen: if you weren’t nominated for TFM sweetheart, you heard that someone rated you a five out of 10 or you are just having a bad face day, don’t worry about it. Those things are not what really matters!

Put a smile on, put your favorite jeans and boots on, sit up straight and people will notice how awesome you look today.

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