Eye love you

We all know the cliché that eyes will lock across a crowded room when you feel an immediate attraction to someone. The eyes are said to be windows to the soul and if you really want to connect with someone you will look into their eyes. Most of us though when thinking of looking into the eyes would be thinking of looking into the coloured portion of the eye, the iris, but now new research shows that in fact it is the white of the eye that has a major impact on how attractive you find someone.

While the whites of your eyes appear white in their natural state if the blood vessels, that supply the normally transparent conjunctiva membrane on the surface of the eye, become congested with blood then that can give a red tint to the sclera (white); hence the phrase bloodshot eyes.

Since the white of the eye is therefore giving a clear, if sometimes unconscious, window into blood flow it can be an important indicator of someone’s emotional or physical status. Someone with bloodshot eyes could have been crying or may have allergies or an infectious disease.

To see how people are influenced by the whites of a person’s eyes researchers asked men and women to look at 200 images of eyes; half of them with a sclera that was digitally tinted red and half with a clear white sclera. The subjects were asked to rate how attractive, healthy, and sad the owners of the eyes were.

People with reddened eyes were consistently rated as less attractive, less healthy, and less happy.

It seems to be true then that the whites of your eyes provide even casual acquaintances with a quick snapshot of your emotional and physical state which adds up to an assessment of how attractive they will find you. True, whitening your eye “whites” won’t make up for expressing support for the social vision of Sarah Palin but it is a handy first impression creator. While beauty may well be in the eye of the of the beholder it is also in the whites of the eye of the beheld.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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