Some people prefer orange skin

Having or making your skin be orange-colored can help make some persons more attractive than other persons, to certain persons, for mating purposes, suggests this study:

perrettFruit over sunbed: Carotenoid skin colouration is found more attractive than melanin colouration,” Carmen E. Lefevre and David I. Perrett [pictured here], Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 68, no. 2, 2015. (Thanks to Neil Martin for bringing this to our attention.) the authors, at Leeds University, Northumberland University, and the Unviversity of St. Andrews, UK, explain:

“Skin colouration appears to play a pivotal part in facial attractiveness. Skin yellowness contributes to an attractive appearance and is influenced both by dietary carotenoids and by melanin. While both increased carotenoid colouration and increased melanin colouration enhance apparent health in Caucasian faces by increasing skin yellowness, it remains unclear, firstly, whether both pigments contribute to attractiveness judgements, secondly, whether one pigment is clearly preferred over the other, and thirdly, whether these effects depend on the sex of the face….

“We show that carotenoid colouration is consistently preferred over melanin colouration when levels of colouration are matched. In addition, we find an effect of the sex of stimuli with stronger preferences for carotenoids over melanin in female compared to male faces, irrespective of the sex of the observer…. Taken together, our findings provide further support for a carotenoid-linked health-signalling system that is highly important in mate choice….

“In Western countries, tanning is popular and tanned skin is seen as attractive (Smith, Cornelissen, & Tovée, 2007), perhaps because it indicates status and wealth (ability to spend time tanning and holidaying; see Etcoff, 1999).”

BONUS (possibly unrelated): A new way to amplify narcissism