For ages, people have been using the color red as a way to garner attention and stand out from the crowd. If people want to stand apart from the background, they wear red. A man who wants to exude a sense of power and confidence at a job interview might choose to wear a red power tie. Yes, a red tie is indeed called a “power tie.”
Red is a hot color that has been known to stir up a range of emotions from love and passion to rage and violence. Research has shown that the color red can affect metabolism, respiration, and blood pressure and even improve sports performance in athletes. But forget all that. Here’s something even hotter. A recent study conducted by the American Psychological Association is teaching us something new about the color, something sexy. Yes, we’ve known for some time that men find women in red attractive, but now we know that the reverse is true as well; women are attracted to men in red. Red is no longer just a sexy color for women.
In the study, 25 men and 32 women were shown black-and-white pictures of a man framed by either a white or red background. Then, subjects ranked the attractiveness of the man in the photo on a scale of one to nine. Subjects were asked how attractive they thought the person was, how pleasant he looked, and whether or not they would consider him attractive if they met him in person. Men on red backgrounds were rated more than one point higher on the attractiveness scale by women than the men pictured on white backgrounds. However, the different colored backgrounds had no effect on the male participants in the study.
In another part of the study, a man was depicted in a color photo wearing a green or a red shirt. In this experiment, women rated the man in red almost a full point higher on the scale than the man in green. The questions didn’t stop there, however. When the women were given five follow-up questions including answering whether or not they would want to have sex with the man in the image, the women thought the man in red was more desirable.
It should be noted that other studies support these conclusions. For example, one research study found that men in red T-shirts were perceived as holding a higher status than those wearing blue. The men in red were again considered more attractive and sexually appealing.
The results of the study get even more interesting when you consider that red means different things in different parts of the world. In some places it is used to mark joyous events and celebrations. In China, for example, red is the color of wealth, and it is often used to bring good luck. Red is also sometimes used to represent great courage. On the contrary, red is used in South Africa to represent sadness and mourning. Nevertheless, despite different cultural meanings for red, the study’s findings held true across multiple countries — men in red were sexier…in all countries. In other words, the fact that red is the sexiest color appears to be a universal truth.
So what does this have to do with health and nutrition? Well, in addition to making you feel better if you’re looking for the approval of members of the opposite sex, there’s a more subtle truism at work here. As I’ve often said, better health is a game of odds. Eating right doesn’t guarantee that you don’t get cancer or heart disease, and smoking and drinking don’t guarantee that you’ll get emphysema. They just increase the odds. And one of the primary reasons for this truism is that we can never know all the factors affecting us. Until today, you probably didn’t know that red made men sexier — just like the people living in Hinkley, CA never knew Pacific Gas & Electric was polluting the local water supply with hexavalent chromium until the rates of cancer and birth defects started climbing through the roof..,or until they saw the movie Erin Brockovich.
In the end, the best you can do is “the best you can do,” and although there are no guarantees, your odds are certainly better if you do it. And the wonderful thing is that even if you are one of those surprised by toxins in your water, if you’re doing all the right things — eating right, supplementing, filtering your water at the tap, and detoxing regularly — your odds of surviving the incident in tact are that much better.
For now, though, just go out and buy yourself a nice red sweater. Or as the “most interesting man in the world” might say, “Be sexy, my friends!”