Little is known about mate choice preferences outside Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic societies, even
though these Western populations may be particularly unrepresentative of human populations. To our knowledge, this is
the first study to test which facial cues contribute to African perceptions of African female attractiveness and also the first
study to test the combined role of facial adiposity, skin colour (lightness, yellowness and redness), skin homogeneity and
youthfulness in the facial attractiveness preferences of any population. Results show that youthfulness, skin colour, skin
homogeneity and facial adiposity significantly and independently predict attractiveness in female African faces. Younger,
thinner women with a lighter, yellower skin colour and a more homogenous skin tone are considered more attractive. These
findings provide a more global perspective on human mate choice and point to a universal role for these four facial cues in
female facial attractiveness.
Conceived and designed the experiments: VC DP. Performed the
experiments: VC. Analyzed the data: VC JMG DP DR CL SF.
Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: VC DP DR CL SF. Wrote
the paper: VC. Revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual
content: VC DR JMG DP SF CL.
Text S1 Alternative GLM analysis using CIELab values
measured directly from the face images.
Text S2 Instructions for post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation