Women in Red

The iconic red lip. The iconic red lip was worn by Marilyn Monroe, one of the world’s most famous sex symbols. Men were swooned by her in the 50s, perhaps it was her unbelievable body, or maybe it was her red lips and her desirable red dress. This leads me to ask an interesting question. Does the color red enhance a man’s attraction to women? The answer is yes.

Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta, University of Rochester psychologists, led a study in 2008 testing men on their behavior towards the color red. During these experiments, evidence revealed that men became more attracted to the same woman wearing the color red, and they did not even realize it. In the first study, men looked at a woman in a photograph framed by a variety of colors. Of course, the woman framed in red was at the top of the men’s charts. For the other part of the experiment, the woman in the photographs wore different color shirts, such as red and blue. This time around, the men were asked about their intentions regarding dating, rather than attraction alone. Men responded that they would pay more on a date with a woman in red (ladies, start wearing red on your dates). Ultimately, the experiment led to the conclusion that the woman framed in red and the woman wearing a red shirt  were rated significantly higher than the other pictures that were not affiliated with the color red.

The “red” effect only changes male perceptions towards females, not female to female. This study shows that red enhances positive feelings towards women, making the women become more attractive and sexually desired.

So the next time you ladies decide to wear a red dress out in public, be sure to look at the men’s jaws drop as you walk by.

Picture: here

8 thoughts on “Women in Red

  1. Jovian Ebony Osborne-pantlitz

    This is interesting because I am an Advertising major. In my intro to advertising course my professor spoke about how much advertising has an impact on society. If every time a person see’s the color red, it’s on a commercial for valentines day symbolizing passion, seduction and confidence then people will compare it to that as well. So, does the eye really attract to red or is it due to media influence? The link below elaborates more on advertisings impact on society and human behavior.

  2. Jessy Severino

    I definitely enjoyed reading this article. I didn’t know that a simple color can change the way a female is perceived by men. The study that was done in this article really had me shocked because the fact that the men were looking at the same female the whole time and only thing that changed was the colors of the shirts; but when it came to her wearing red it made her more desirable is very eye opening.

  3. Samantha Francesca Sichenze

    Having red hair, I always stayed away from the color red thinking it would clash. However, the color red always stands out the most. In this article, http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-red.html, it says that red is the color of sexuality. Red also symbolizes the feelings of love and even anger. Society can also play a huge part on why the color red attracts men’s attention. If famous models or actresses are wearing red then that could stimulate the reasoning behind it, just like Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was seen as someone that had a great deal of sex appeal, which caused men to give her plenty of attention. Marilyn could have easily started the “red phenomenon” due to her red lips. After reading this article I will be sure to wear red if I am trying to impress someone.

  4. Meredith Herndon

    After reading this article, I can say I definitely understand why men find women in red attractive. But for me, when I wear red, I definitely feel kind of empowered and more confident. I googled this to see if wearing red made women feel more powerful in the sense and even though there weren’t any scientific studies proving women feel more confident in red, a bunch of sites popped up stating that this feeling of empowerment is true for many women. Not only that, wearing different colors give people different moods; green can cause someone to feel more at peace, while yellow can make someone feel happier! Fun fact, in some cultures women wear red wedding dresses!


  5. Corbin Kennedy Miller

    As a man, I never consciously gave much thought to what colors made a woman more attractive, so this post was really interesting. I wonder if this would work for men and not just women, that could be useful information for me going forward. I’ll definitely have to keep this rule in mind going forward next time a date wears red.

  6. Grace Ellen Leibow

    Especially as a girl who’s made it all the way through 12 years of school, I definitely went through the stress of what color dress I should wear to dances. For some reason, I always stayed away from red because it always felt so bold and mature. I wonder why it is that certain colors make people feel different emotions? I found an article that talks about the psychological properties of different colors… it’s really interesting if you wanted to give it a read: http://theweek.com/articles/448643/how-flirt-according-science

  7. Ashley Elizabeth Day

    Wow I found your blog very interesting. I always knew red was a “sexy” color but I never knew how much men found it attractive. The fact that the men did not realize they were more attracted to the same woman wearing red was surprising. The strong effect that the color red has on men really intrigued me. I found this article which furthers your conclusion and states that men tipped more to waitresses wearing the color red compared to waitresses wearing the color black, white, green, blue or yellow. But the color also had no effect on female costumers. I guess that just shows that men are more attracted to looks! I now know red is the color to pick from now on regarding attractiveness.

  8. dnp5145

    Personally, as much as I love the color red I sometimes feel like I could never pull it off. Whenever I think of red, I think of how it’s considered to be a sexy and bold color. I found this post to be interesting because it demonstrates that there are studies that prove this to be true. I wonder if it is society’s influence that have led men to become more attracted to women in red versus any other color. Like you said, the red lip was first truly noted by Marilyn Monroe who is considered as a classic sex symbol today. Perhaps this is where society first became transfixed on the color red. Is it this association with Marilyn Monroe and the color red that drives this fascination today?

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