Which face cut is less attractive

The daughter of our boss is called Paula. A pretty name for a very pretty little lady. With her big, blue eyes she has won the hearts of many a bachelorette party. Nothing serious so far, mind you, there is still time. The parents' sleepless nights go - still! - go back to other causes.

But maybe a foretaste of the future? Because: Not only with her bright, shining eyes, but also with the dark, full vowels of her name, she will bewitch men, according to Amy Perfors from MIT. Paula's parents seem to be there anyway - unconsciously? - To have shown a wise foresight: Brother Nick, incidentally the unofficial initiator of the sister's name, should one day have good cards with the fair sex. Women, according to Perfors, prefer a bright ringing in their ears: "E" s and "i" s make their hearts melt.

So, Christines and Lenis: rename yourselves to Carla or Lola - it doesn't have to be forever. If your beloved Mausi or Bunny whispers first, you can confidently reveal your real name to him. But exercise caution if Philipp only reacts to speech with a delayed ignition, who knows: maybe there is a Paul behind it. Men also use every trick.

But isn't it nice that after all the body-part-ratio-beauty-indices and feminine-masculine-face-cut features we finally have something in hand that we can influence ourselves? Even with our offspring, for whom we naturally only want to give them the best chances of flirting? Well, it's not that simple - and with it a consolation for all ungracious name-holders: if you are really attractive, you get a chance despite Hans or Lise. Beauty is also in the eye, not just in the ear of the beholder.

This article is included in Spectrum - Die Woche, August 13, 2004