Albert Scheflen, author of Body Language and the Social Order, found that, when a person enters the company of the opposite sex, certain physiological changes take place.
He found that high muscle tone became evident in preparation for a possible sexual encounter, 'bagging' around the face and eyes decreased, body sagging disappeared, the chest protruded, the stomach was automatically pulled in, pot-bellied slumping disappeared, the body assumed an erect posture and the person appeared to become more youthful in appearance.
He noted that both men and women walked with a livelier, springier gait as a display of health and vitality and to convey their suitability as a partner.
A man will stand taller, protrude his jaw and expand his chest to make himself appear dominant.
In the majority of mammals, it's the male that 'dresses up' to impress the less than colorful females. For centuries, women have done most of the sexual advertising by decorating themselves in colorful clothing and jewelry and painting their faces.
The exception to this was during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe when men adorned themselves with beautiful wigs and colorful clothing and out-dressed the average woman.
The changes take place when they are close enough to meet each other's gaze and will continue until after they have passed each other, at which time their original posture returns.
Body language is a fundamental part of courtship because it reveals how available, attractive, ready, enthusiastic, sexy or desperate we are.
Today we see the re-emergence of the self-obsessed male who is again beginning to decorate himself like a peacock.A woman who is interested will respond by emphasizing her breasts, tilting her head, touching her hair, exposing her wrists and thereby making herself appear submissive.The ideal place to observe these changes is on a beach when a man and a woman approach each other from a distance.While some courtship signals are studied and deliberate, others, such as those just mentioned, are completely unconscious.
It is still unclear how we learn these signals but research now shows that many may be inborn.
We see soccer players having facials and manicures, and wrestlers tinting their hair.