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Biracial people like Keanu Reeves, Zoë Kravitz seen as more attractive, intelligent and likely to be successful: study

Racial bias isn’t just black and white.

There could be a psychological reason behind the global popularity of A-listers like Keanu Reeves and Zoë Kravitz, new research suggests.

Biracial people are on average perceived as more intelligent, attractive, and other favorable characteristics, a breakthrough new study published in the journal “Evolutionary Psychology” revealed.

Singer Zayn Malik is of mixed Pakistani-British heritage. TikTok/@samfisher98

“Biracial images trigger more positive social judgments via enhanced trustworthiness and attractiveness,” the Hong Kong-based team wrote.

Many of the researchers confessed to noticing this phenomenon on an anecdotal level.

“I grew up with a biracial friend. While others were curious about his foreign origin, he gained popularity partly due to his biracial looks,” study author X.T. (Xiao-Tian) Wang, a professor and the director of the Applied Psychology program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told PsyPost.

The team set out to see if “biracial facial cues” indeed “affect racial perception” by testing how Asian-Caucasian countenances were perceived by both Chinese and caucasian people.

To accomplish this, they gathered 227 Caucasian US college students and 116 Chinese participants from Beijing and Shanghai.

They then showed them 196 graphically-generated composites depicting faces with varying gradients of Caucasian and Asian features ranging from 100% Caucasian to 100% Asian and several degrees in between.

Participants were asked to rate each visage based on attractiveness, trustworthiness, intelligence, health, and likelihood of achieving success.

Zoë Kravitz is of mixed descent. Getty Images

On average, both Chinese and Caucasian participants perceived biracial images far more favorably in each category than their mono-racial counterparts. These findings were consistent with previous studies suggesting that mixed faces were more appealing than homogenous ones.

Interestingly, Caucasians tended to regard the biracial composites as more Caucasian than they actually were, while Chinese participants tended to see them as more Chinese, suggesting a propensity to lump the racially ambiguous into their respective groups.

In other words, every one wanted the folks of mixed-ancestry on their team.

Actor Keanu Reeves’ father is Keanu’s father was born in Hawaii, of British, Portuguese, Native Hawaiian, and Chinese ancestry, while his mother is originally from Essex, England. TheImageDirect.com

The reason for this facial bias may seem unclear, however researchers claimed it could be rooted in evolution.

“We proposed a novel hypothesis that biracial facial cues reveal the ancestral history of intergroup alliances between members of two races or ethnic groups,” posited Wang.

Specifically, these features indicated “that two parents from different biological groups could interbreed successfully” and “probably cooperated in raising offspring together,” per the study.

To put it plainly, they felt that these hybrid children received the best of both worlds when it came to parental care.

And, because these features suggested a successful genetic collaboration between parental generations, they’re seen as markers of “trustworthiness and cooperative potential” today, Wang theorized. In accordance, findings challenge traditional notions of one-race tribalism.

Of course the study is not without its caveats, namely that the images did not capture the complexity and scope of real world racial identities.

Not to mention that using only US and Chinese participants perhaps preclude these results from being universally applicable.

Nonetheless, the findings reflect a growing fascination with interracial relationships and their effect on society, PsyPost reported.

Despite historical discrimination against mixed race relationships, the number of interracial marriages have been on the rise in the US, reportedly tripling from 1980 to 2015.

Meanwhile, approval of these interracial unions reached an all time high of 94% in 2021.

Written by New York Post