They have a word in Japanese to describe a person for who physical appearance matters (more than your average person) — migui or 身食い, derived from the Chinese characters for “body” and “eat”. Just leave it to the Japanese to concoct rich words like this. Theirs is a culture where appearance really matter, maybe. (apologies if you clicked on that link. I’m afraid the damage is permanent)

The context within which I hear this word used is when speaking of male/female attraction. I have a hunch I might be migui, but how would I know? It would depend on how much appearances matter to the average person, and the average person isn’t telling it straight, or are they?

While both males and females claim in self-report that physical attractiveness is not of primary importance when choosing a partner (Buss, 1989), the single best predictor of satisfaction with a “blind date” is facial attractiveness for both men and women (Walster et al., 1966).

Consistency and Individual Differences in Facial Attractiveness Judgements: An Evolutionary Perspective

Actually, there is a consistent explanation for this apparent contradiction. Can you figure it out?


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