Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $24.37

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

A provocative and thoroughly researched inquiry into what we find beautiful and why, skewering the myth that the pursuit of beauty is a learned behavior. 

In Survival of the Prettiest, Nancy Etcoff, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a practicing psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, argues that beauty is neither a cultural construction, an invention of the fashion industry, nor a backlash against feminism - it's in our biology. 

Beauty, she explains, is an essential and ineradicable part of human nature that is revered and ferociously pursued in nearly every civilization - and for good reason. Those features to which we are most attracted are often signals of fertility and fecundity. When seen in the context of a Darwinian struggle for survival, our sometimes extreme attempts to attain beauty - both to become beautiful ourselves and to acquire an attractive partner - suddenly become much more understandable. Moreover, if we understand how the desire for beauty is innate, then we can begin to work in our own interests, and not just the interests of our genetic tendencies.

©1999 Nancy Etcoff (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Survival of the Prettiest

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 0 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 0 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for LeanneK9
  • LeanneK9
  • 24-06-2019

An intriguing read

Despite being published originally 20 years ago, the science of “why” there’s “survival of the prettiest”, still remains firm over millennia ... an excellent performance and compilation of everything from why we curl our eyelashes, to the color and style of fabric that’s chosen - based on displayed signals explained in selection through survival of the most appealing conditions across the planet. Explaining the features fluctuating and correlating with environmental conditions like sunlight reflecting off snow (causing fatty pads around the eyes) or cooler climates supporting the longer, warming nasal passages in comparison to warm areas with wider, open nostrils seen in varieties of the human race.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 23-02-2021

Immersive

Filled with evidence, humorous and intriguing anecdotes from notable figures, and written in a way that gracefully captures your attention. Donna Postel does an amazing job.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 14-01-2020

who is this lady?

this book deals with it all..... political influences racial influences geographical influences, societal influences, Anatomy, physiology, biology. The amount of statistics and evidence used to support her argument are amazing. She also seems to have some genuine insight into various ethnic groups. It is a straightforward and clear read but yet loaded with thought-provoking ideas! You have to read and reread it to be sure to capture everything she is trying to communicate. best read of the year so far!

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.