Attractiveness is an interesting subject. Just what does make one person more attractive than another? How much is it driven by media representations of perfection? How much by nature, and how much by nurture? Do we share a sense of attractiveness with our peers? Our parents? How and why do our tastes change over time?

Yes, it’s an interesting, but very complicated, subject. Sometimes I wonder if it’s any simpler in the animal kingdom – where desires are (to the dispassionate scientist, at least) driven solely by evolutionary changes. With no media-driven sense of perfection, it’s evolution that has guided the development of peacocks’ flamboyant tails, or apes’ colourful bottoms. Now to me all peacocks look the same – and although I can see differences between apes, I couldn’t tell you which are more “attractive”. Similarly with cows, sheep, horses and dogs – given two animals of the same breed, I’d be hard pressed to tell them apart, let alone give them a sexiness rating.

All of which leads me to wonder if sheep do actually look at each other and think “cor, she’s fit.” Or if wild populations of other animals are as discriminating in their choice of mate as humans are. If they are, then presumably they can see something in their species that I can’t.

Perhaps this comic is a joke about people’s need for assurance and validation from their partners. But perhaps, just perhaps, The Greys can see something in their species that we can’t.

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This comic is also available in French

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↓ Transcript
Two greys are pictured in front of a photograph of five other greys. All of the greys look essentially identical.

G2: Yes, of course I think you're prettier than your sister!