Why we find high cheekbones and full lips attractive

Updated: May 7, 2020

It is surprisingly easy to decide if a person is attractive or not, regardless of our heritage or personal scrutiny, that entitles us to determine handsomeness. Beauty is a characteristic of any kind of entity, that provides us with some kind of pleasurable, perceptual experience. In humans, high cheekbones and full lips have interestingly remained a crowd favourite, and in this blog post I explain why.

why we find high cheekbones attractive


Lets talk cheeks. The cheekbone is located at the widest part of the face – if you have a high cheekbone, the line will appear below your eye or the upper part of the nose and if you have a low cheekbone, the line will be located towards the bottom of the nose or below it.

Why do we find high cheekbones attractive?

High, prominent cheekbones have been considered an attractive facial feature ever since Neanderthal women began favouring their mates with wider faces and more pronounced features.

A high cheekbone is actually linked to high oestrogen levels in women, associated with growth and maturity. In the male sex, the cheekbone equally determines if the man has reached a reasonable age to engage in intimacy.

High cheekbones

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The decision of knowing whether a person is a trustworthy or not, happens within seconds and some studies have shown that a person with a higher cheekbone are more likely to be trusted. 

Some cultures hold specific views on high cheekbones – some Asian communities consider it to be a sign of courage and power. Abraham Lincoln had prominent cheekbones, effectively portraying the idea that the facial feature resembles the smart and the successful.

Why do we find full lips so attractive?

Fuller lips have always been regarded as an attractive feature, way before Kylie Jenner decided to use Juvederm to plump her pout. This is because lips are a neotenous feature, meaning it’s a facial characteristic that reminds us of babies. Big lips (and eyes) in an adult, resemble the vulnerability of a small child which contributes to the likelihood of other adults’ desire to take care of them. We are more likely to feel warmth and hold good assumptions towards adults who bear infant-like attributes, over those that have harsher features.

Kylie Jenner

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Full lips also show signs of good health and proper orthodontic development.

From a nature’s perspective; when female apes are aroused, blood rushes to the lips and causes swelling and a red sheen appears. This could be why the bigger the lip, the more sensual one is considered, as it portrays a sense of willingness to the seeking partner. 

In contrast, thin lips are often associated with ageing.


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