human physical appearance
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Human physical appearance is the outward
phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of petal color in pea plants. The letters B and b represent genes for color, and the pictures show the resultant phenotypes. Thi ...

phenotype
or look of human beings. There are infinite variations in human phenotypes, though society reduces the variability to distinct categories. The physical appearance of humans, in particular those attributes which regarded as important for
physical attractiveness up Xi Shi (西施), born 506 BC, was one of the Four Great Beauties of ancient China">Four_Great_Beauties.html" ;"title="Xi Shi (西施), born 506 BC, was one of the Four Great Beauties">Xi Shi (西施), born 506 BC, was one of the Four Great Be ...
, are believed by
anthropologistAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Society, societies. Social anthropology, cultural anthropology and philosophical anthropology study the norm ...

anthropologist
s to affect the development of personality significantly and
social relations In social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer t ...
. Humans are acutely sensitive to their physical appearance. Some differences in human appearance are
genetic
genetic
, others are the result of
age
age
,
lifestyle Lifestyle often refers to: * Lifestyle (sociology), the way a person lives * ''Otium'', ancient Roman concept of a lifestyle * Style of life (german: Lebensstil), dealing with the dynamics of personality Lifestyle may also refer to: Business and ...
or
disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting ...
, and many are the result of personal
adornment 150px, The principal adornment of these girls from the Bundu tribe in Sierra Leone is the adornment of bodies and faces with markings produced by the smearing on by the fingers of a substance called "wojeh," composed of white clay and animal fat. ...

adornment
. Some people have linked some differences with
ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, ancest ...
, such as skeletal shape,
prognathism Prognathism is a positional relationship of the mandible or maxilla to the skeletal base where either of the jaws protrudes beyond a predetermined imaginary line in the coronal plane of the skull. In general dentistry, oral and maxillofacial ...
or elongated stride. Different cultures place different degrees of emphasis on physical appearance and its importance to social status and other phenomena.


Aspects

Various aspects are considered relevant to the physical appearance of humans.


Physiological differences

Humans are distributed across the globe except for Antarctica and form a variable species. In adults, the average weight varies from around 40 kg (88 pounds) for the smallest and most lightly built tropical people to around 80 kg (176 pounds) for the heavier northern peoples. Size also varies between the sexes, with the
sexual dimorphism Sexual dimorphism is the condition where the sex Sex is either of two divisions, typically male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in ...
in humans being more pronounced than that of
chimpanzee The chimpanzee (''Pan troglodytes''), also known simply as chimp, is a species of Hominidae, great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and t ...
s, but less than the dimorphism found in gorillas. The colouration of skin, hair and eyes also varies considerably, with darker pigmentation dominating in tropical climates and lighter in polar regions. *Genetic, ethnic affiliation, geographical ancestry. *
Height 200px, A cuboid demonstrating the dimensions length, width">length.html" ;"title="cuboid demonstrating the dimensions length">cuboid demonstrating the dimensions length, width, and height. Height is measure of vertical distance, either vertical ...
,
body weight Human body weight refers to a person's mass or weight. Body weight is measured in kilogram The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), the current metric system, having the unit symbol kg ...
,
skin tone Afghan children with fair skin Human skin color ranges from the darkest brown to the lightest hues. Differences in skin color among individuals is caused by variation in pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly i ...
,
body hair Body hair, or androgenic hair, is the terminal hair that develops on the human body The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ syste ...

body hair
,
sexual organ A sex organ (or reproductive organ) is any part of an animal or plant that is involved in sexual reproduction. The reproductive organs together constitute the reproductive system. In animals, the testis in the male, and the ovary in the female, ar ...
s, moles,
birthmark A birthmark is a congenital A birth defect, also known as a congenital disorder, is a condition present at birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as parturition. In mam ...

birthmark
s,
freckle Freckles are clusters of concentrated melaninized cells which are most easily visible on people with a fair complexion. Freckles do not have an increased number of the melanin-producing cells, or melanocytes, but instead have melanocytes th ...
s,
hair color Hair color is the pigmentation of hair follicles due to two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Generally, if more melanin is present, the color of the hair is darker; if less melanin is present, the hair is lighter. The tone of the hair ...

hair color
,
hair texture Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Phy ...
,
eye color Eye color is a polygenic phenotypic character determined by two distinct factors: the pigmentation of the eye's Iris (anatomy), iris and the frequency-dependence of the scattering of light by the Turbidity, turbid medium in the Stroma of iri ...

eye color
,
eye Eyes are organs of the visual system The visual system comprises the sensory organ (the eye) and parts of the central nervous system (the retina containing photoreceptor cells, the optic nerve, the optic tract and the visual cortex) which ...

eye
shape (see
epicanthic fold An epicanthic fold or epicanthus is a skin fold Skin folds or skinfolds are areas of skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate animal, with three main functions: protection, regulation, and ...
and eyelid variations),
nose A nose is a protuberance in vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few excepti ...
shape (see
nasal bridge The nasal bridge is the upper, bony part of the human nose The human nose is the most protruding part of the face. It bears the nostrils and is the first organ of the respiratory system The respiratory system (also respiratory apparatu ...
),
ear The ear is the organ of hearing and, in mammals, balance. In mammals, the ear is usually described as having three parts—the outer ear The outer ear, external ear, or auris externa is the external part of the ear, which consists ...

ear
s shape (see
earlobes The human earlobe (''lobulus auriculae'') is composed of tough areolar and adipose connective tissue Connective tissue is one of the four basic types of animal tissue (biology), tissue, along with epithelial tissue, muscle tissue, and nervou ...
), body shape *Body deformations, mutilations and other variations such as amputations, scars, Burn (injury), burns and wounds.


Long-term physiological changes

*Senescence, Aging *Hair loss


Short-term physiological changes

*Blushing, crying, fainting, hiccup, yawning, laughing, stuttering, sexual arousal, sweating, shivering, nose bleeding, sun tanning, skin color changes due to Sunlight, sunshine or frost.


*Clothing, including headgear and footwear; some clothes alter or mold the shape of the body (e.g. corset, support pantyhose, bra). As for footwear, High-heeled footwear, high heels make a person look taller. * Style and colour of haircut (see also Mohawk hairstyle, mohawk, dreadlocks, braids, ponytail, Wig (hair), wig, hairpin (fashion), hairpin, facial hair, beard and moustache) *Cosmetics, stage makeup, body paintings, permanent makeup *Body modifications, such as body piercings, tattoos, scarification, subdermal implants *Plastic surgery *Decorative objects (jewelry) such as a necklaces, bracelets, finger ring, rings, earrings *Medical or body shape altering devices (''e.g.'', tooth braces, bandages, Cast (orthopedic), casts, hearing aids, cervical collar, crutches, contact lenses of different colours, glasses, Grill (jewelry), gold teeth). For example, the same person's appearance can be quite different, depending on whether they use any of the aforementioned modifications. *Exercises, for example, bodybuilding


Other functional objects, temporarily attached to the body

*Capes *Goggles *Hair ornaments *Hats and caps *Headdresses *Headphones/Bluetooth, handsfree phone headset *Jewelry *Masks *Prosthetic limbs *Prosthetic genitals *Sunglasses *Watch, Watches


See also

*Beauty *Biometrics *Body image *Dress code *Human variability#Common human variations, Common human variations *Eigenface *Face perception *Facial symmetry *Fashion *Female body shape *Hair coloring *Nudity *Sexual attraction *Sexual capital *Sexual selection *Social role of hair *Somatotype and constitutional psychology, Somatotype *Vanity


References

{{reflist Human appearance, Aesthetics Biological anthropology