When men look at Angelina Jolie, they see legs. Women see shoes. A man might, however, look directly at Brad Pitt's shoes - or his three-piece from Tom Ford (another celebrity who always dons a near-perfect appearance, as in this best-dressed Oscars gallery). (Or wonder which brand of razor he used to shave that beard.) Turns out men's brains aren't that different from women's after all... (Maybe the secrets of the female brain, revealed in Esquire's 75 Things You Don't Know About Women, aren't so secret, after all.)
Dutch neuroscientists recently released a study that more or less confirmed the obvious: not only do women love examining celebrity fashion, their brains actually light up when Julia Roberts is wearing a pair of Louboutins as opposed to, say, a single mother on a check-out line. Clothes officially don't make the woman; the woman makes the clothes. But when Esquire's daily Style Blog asked the researchers on Monday whether men transfer the same kind of "positive emotions" toward famous people's clothes, we got a surprising answer.
"There's no reason to think it would be different for men, and it's not gender-related in the sense that only male celebrities appeal to men or vice versa," said lead scientist Mirre Stallen, a doctoral student at Erasmus University.
LeBron James playing in Nikes (learn everything you need to know about his rise to super-stardom in our guide to the athlete) has the same effect on our side of the species, she insisted, as Sarah Jessica hawking a pair of heels - "but it would make no sense for her to sell cars" because of the mental connection. Same goes for Tiger Woods these days, since his "image is negative - so he wouldn't be a good endorser for anything." (Except maybe for philandering. Take a quiz to see how much you know about Tiger Woods's many mistresses and other famous paramours.)
But don't feel too bad, guys. Just because you'd never flip on Inside Edition doesn't mean you can hold back memories that are "activated automatically." Brad Pitt is, after all, a handsome man (he's even useful for learning how to wear a tuxedo), and we don't blame men for liking those shoes, either. "It's unconscious, not a choice," Stallen said. "We already knew that celebrity works in advertising - now we just know why. And it affects everyone the same way." (It works so well, in fact, that some celebrities even make good role models.)
Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/FilmMagic
PLUS: 5 things you can learn from the world's oldest shoe.
Do you spend too much time looking at Angelina's heels? Which celebrity's clothes do you care about the most?
MORE FROM ESQUIRE:
- Funny Jokes from Gorgeous Women
75 Things You Don't Know About Women
- Movies Everyone Talks About and You Need to See
- What the First Bikinis Looked Like
- Get or Give More Esquire. Subscribe Here
Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.