A post recently shot up to the top of this subreddit called "Brutal redpill that no one here ever talks about, how physically attractive you REALLY are, as judged by science and women"
From the title, one would expect it to actually contain science. Instead, it's a bunch of cherry picked photos pitting bathroom selfies by uggos with muscular bodies against professional shots of celebrities and male models with less muscular bodies, leading to the conclusion that muscularity doesn't matter and chicks will always want to fuck the pretty boy with a cute face.
Now, I shouldn't have to say why the comparison as presented is bullshit. You take your average gym rat and, I guarantee, from the 2000 flexing bathroom selfies in his camera roll there won't be a single one where he focuses on his face. Not a single one. All his concentration is on highlighting that new feature he worked so hard to bring out and define, because that's what the gym rat cares about. Meanwhile, the celebrity and the male model have professional stylists slavishly curating every detail of their appearance, as well as professional lighting and pro photographers with pro equipment. You also only see the good shots where they had the best angles and expression. Of course they're going to look better, they have entire crews of people and tens of thousands of dollar of equipment dedicated to just that.
So what does science actually say about physical attraction?
The topic is not exactly new to TRP, but given how quickly that other post shot up it's clear a refresher is in order.
Attraction changes with the menstrual cycle and the purpose of mating
There are multiple studies on this (see here for a surprisingly comprehensive review), and the results are concordant:
masculine men (as indicated by overall body muscularity, facial masculinity and body shape) are preferred by women at the time of peak fertility during their cycle, as well as by women looking for short-term flings, and women who perceive themselves as attractive
feminine men are preferred by women at the bottom of their fertility, women looking for long-term relationships, and women on hormonal birth control
This shouldn't be a surprise: at peak fertility, a woman will want to maximize her chances of passing on good Alpha genes to her children; when infertile, she can more safely invest her time in securing the long-term commitment of a reliable Beta. Self-perception as attractive means a woman can take greater risks in shooting for an Alpha instead of settling for a Beta.
Facial preference is multi-factor
We can rely on this extremely comprehensive review:
symmetry: facial symmetry is universally correlated with increased attractiveness
facial masculinity: traits like a large jaw and prominent brow (which are masculine secondary sexual characteristics in humans) are reliably found to be attractive
health and color: traits that indicate overall health (such as the absence of blemishes and a full color) are reliably found to be attractive
In short (and not surprisingly), indicators of good genetics, masculinity and health are universally preferred in faces, on top of and regardless of other preferences.
There are a number of physical traits that factor into women's preferences, which themselves vary with a woman's stage in the menstrual cycle.
Traits that generate sexual attraction are invariably related to masculinity and health: large jaw, prominent brow, total body muscularity, body shape.
Traits that generate "relationship attraction" are the opposite: gentler facial features, gynoid body shape.
A fundamental TRP teaching is Alpha Fucks / Beta Bucks: women's dual mating strategy. Mountains of evidence point to what is a surprisingly common sense behavior once you let go of BP "women are wonderful" conditioning: select the mate with the best genetics for reproduction, if you can, and gain the companionship of a less-genetically-awesome but more reliable provider otherwise.
People here who are interested in generating sexual attraction ought to maximize their masculine traits. Do note that the converse is not true: people here looking for LTRs should not maximize their feminine traits, not unless they want to be in a sexless relationship. While a woman might prefer her main partner to be a pliable beta while she gets plowed by strange Alpha dick, your interests in an LTR (if you want one in the first place) is to have a balance of Alpha and Beta traits that keeps the relationship in the state you want it. Again, basic TRP concepts, but clearly there was a need for a refresher.