Thanks to romantic comedies and crappy comedians, we know that men are crude, shallow boors that only care about sex, and women are weepy sensitive hippies that only care about poetry and what's on the inside.
Like everything else in romantic comedies, this is bullshit. Some men are shallow and so are some women.
The stereotype persists because women usually aren't shallow in the same way. When you think of a superficial man, you think of a guy who stares at boobs or butts and has rules about no fat chicks. So you'd assume the equivalent woman would be all about ogling men's packages. So if they don't, then it must all be about personality, right?
We don't usually get as drooly over pecs as this Diet Coke commercial implies.
No, women are shallow in completely different ways, and it involves things like...
The Color Red (and Other "Power" Indicators)
Chauvinists have been pointing out for YEARS that women are attracted to power. We shouldn't be surprised that science backs up the stereotype somewhat. But what's interesting is that our theoretical hussy here can't go around getting resumes from every man she meets, so she's got to size most of them up at a glance. So what makes a man look powerful?
Other than a radioactive glow?
Obvious things, like wearing red. I mean, that's so logical I hardly need to explain it, but basically what they did there in that study was show pictures of men to 288 women, Photoshopping some of the men's outfits to red. When women saw the guys in red, they rated them higher in terms of power and sexiness, but not in likability, kindness, or social skills, because who cares about that. Tying red to power and success even crosses cultures, having that meaning in places as diverse as China, Japan, Africa, and ancient Rome.
How is that any different from men, you might ask, since we all know that men are also attracted to women in red? Well, in that study, seeing a woman in red caused men to ask the women sexier questions (or plan to ask them -- the researchers made sure to keep the test subjects well away from the women), which implies they find her more attractive, or more receptive, or both. But not more powerful.