I read an article in Psychology Today entitled, Is a Sexy Voice More Attractive Than a Pretty Face? My question with the statistics and the studies is not whether a sexy voice is more attractive than one’s face but how they judged their findings.
There is no doubt that women find men with a deep voice both sexy and attractive – the late great Barry White had not only an incredibly rich, warm sensual singing voice but his speaking voice was just as alluring. We women swooned over this man.
However, I disagree about part of the information regarding the female voice. The article said that “men prefer women with higher-pitched voices. Women with higher-pitched voices are perceived to be younger—as well as thinner.” In all my years of teaching voice, I have not found that men prefer women with high-pitched voices. Quite the opposite. Of all the great roles in the movies where a sensual voice was warranted, the movie companies did not select Fran Drescher, Wanda Sykes or Anna Kendrick!
There is a wonderful scene in the movie Victor/Victoria in which the lovely and sexy Lesley Ann Warren is trying to seduce James Garner. Garner has recently switched his affections from Warren to Julie Andrews. You can see by his expression that Warren’s high-pitched whiny voice is turning him off.
[Incidentally, for comedy, a high-pitched annoying voice is a bonus. Listen to Jane Curtain’s nasal whine when she is playing a comedic role; then listen to her speak in an interview. Curtain’s ‘real’ speaking voice is wonderfully resonant.]
What makes a voice attractive is its warmth. A voice which is being powered by the chest cavity has warmth. Unfortunately, most people (99%) are not using their cavity in this manner; therefore, their voices lack warmth. Add the chest cavity to the placement of voiced sound, however, and you have voices like that of Scarlett Johansson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Angelina Jolie, Felicia Rashad, and Kathleen Turner.
The question I have for the statistics which were cited in the article from Psychology Today is whether they were questioning the men about their motives:
Were the men judging the female voice as to whether they just wanted to hook up with her or whether they really wanted to listen to what she was saying?
A high-pitched female voice may signify thinner and younger but let’s be honest about the motive. A 50-year-old man looking for a 20-year-old is not looking for intellect! He’s looking for a face without wrinkles, breasts that are firm, and legs without cellulite! If she sounds like a bimbo, oh well.
On the other hand, a deep, rich, resonant female voice sounds not only more sensual but much more confident. Whose voice would you recommend for a company’s board of directors? Kelly Ripa’s or Julia Ormond’s?
Yes, you can sound more confident. Yes, you can sound sexier; however, you must first discover your ‘real’ voice – the one that’s hiding inside your chest just waiting to be found.