09/19/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Are You a Beauty or a Beast?

Beauty attracts, beast repels. The fact is, all the universal things we term beauty, that we deem attractive, can be traced to survival.

When fruit is immature and useless as seed, it is green and inconspicuous against the foliage. When it ripens, it colors and gives off a sweet fragrance to attract birds and insects that will transport its seeds to fertile soil.

While the fruit tree was evolving its color and sent signals, we were evolving the response that the contrast of red or peach against the green was beautiful, and the sweet scent told us it would be ripe and juicy.

Beauty's evolutionary function is to pull living things toward it. A fruit tree evolved to attract pollinators. We evolved to notice and appreciate fruit when it is ripe so we could feast on it.

Symmetry, too, is a universal component of beauty. Symmetrical dwelling is a sturdier dwelling and a more attractive dwelling. People with symmetrical facial features and bodies are more beautiful than those with asymmetrical bodies, so it is only natural that those who preferred symmetry had healthier children and lived longer in their safe shelters.

At the biological level, beauty serves a natural selection sexual function. If members of a species were not attracted to each other, there would be no sexual behavior, and extinction would be swift and final.

More broadly, the evolutionary idea behind our attractive instincts contemporized is to present ourselves/work/organizations in such a way that others re drawn toward us/our work/our organizations and help secure our ecological niche, our place in the world. Deftly applied, the genius of your attractive instincts helps you do this.

All things being equal, the more attractive job candidate makes the score. More to the point, if you don't want the job, make yourself as unattractive as possible. Presentation using the latest technology is typically rather higher than the same content presented in a less eye catching format. It speaks to primal likability.

For example, during a cutback, your boss it told to eliminate 20 percent of the staff who are performing the same level. You can bet the ones to stay on the payroll are the ones when likes the most. Thus, check your likability quotient.

The ability to beautify, maximize one's attractiveness, gives us an edge, whether it is in a job interview, at a party, during a presentation, or while building a business.

How do we connect with our attractive instincts? Start wtih your personal best.

Your Personal Best. Silverback gorillas, both male and female, spend a good amount of their day in grooming activities to look and smell good. They bathe in the river, clean and polish their teeth with their nails, and spend hours grooming their pelts.

The clear message from nature is that maximizing your attractiveness begins with your physical grooming. Forget about looking like movie star-few of us do. But you can all present yourself in the best light possible-your physical best.

You might be significantly overweight, but you can still tuck in your shirt and wear clothes that flatter you. You hair might not be like Goldilocks' but you can still style it so it looks less beastly.

You might not have to attend a meeting with your staff or see a client, but when you walk around the office, you might be smart to ask yourself how others perceive your appearance--is it the professional image you want to project? Be like the financial advisor who told me that every time he goes out, he asks himself, "If I bumped into a client, would I look successful?"

From this point on, begin to structure some "beauty up" time into your day, even if it is brushing your teeth in the afternoon before a meeting or having a shoe shine at least once a week.

Help your kids develop attractive habits by making sure they have enough time to beauty up before school. And when you see your partner making the effort to dress and style his hair , praise him for doing so, unless you want to be with a partner who lets himself go. When you see one another attempt to make the home more beautiful, also praise, unless you want to live in a pig stye

Spending time and effort (it requires both) is mandatory to being your physical best. Silverback gorillas spend the time and make the effort, and this is a good lesson to take from them.
It is true that, "all that glitters is not gold," but it is also true that the glitter makes us look for the gold.

In Part 11, I will share 4 more Mother Nature tips for helping you beautify so that you can get others to desire you!

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