Clapham Common was a grassy wasteland of pheromones on Sunday. It was like someone gave schoolchildren a few more wrinkles and set them loose with a stomach-full of cider.

Watching the masses running around fuelled by hormones got me thinking. We all know everyone looks better when the sun’s out. This is a universal fact, verified by scientists at CERN (it isn’t).

I’ve been hypothesising why:

Hypothesis 1
When the sun is shining, it causes an excess of UV rays to hit your retina.
This isn’t good.
So to control the levels of light that the eye has to deal with, our pupils dilate massively. When this isn’t enough, we squint. But wait! Squinting causes WRINKLES!!!! And we all know wrinkles make you look old and bitter. So we wear sunglasses. The sunglasses trend means they are getting bigger and bigger – conveniently hiding larger proportions of our faces. Ergo, we look better than usual, because people can see less of our ugliness than usual.

Hypothesis 2
When the sun is shining, it causes an excess of UV rays to hit your skin.
This isn’t good.
So to protect our skin cells from damage, melanocytes secrete melanin which forms a barrier. This gradually turns us a darker shade of pale, slowly diluting the appearance of cellulite, acne, and enormous ears. A subtle sheen of perspiration – a ‘glow’ if you will – usually comes with a freshly tanned face too, meaning for those amongst us who aren’t of the ginger variety, we tend to look better than usual.

Hypothesis 3
When the sun is shining, the UV rays heat up the earth’s atmosphere. Our bodies heat up accordingly.
This isn’t good.
To counteract this, and keep us at the right temperature for vital chemical reactions, our bodies have a number of mechanisms, e.g. sweating. Aside from these autonomous events, we can also proactively cool ourselves. Plunging in a pool or swigging an ice cold pint helps, but shedding clothes is priority number 1. The minute the temperature rises above 20 degrees we start seeing much more flesh than usual. Unless we want to wear jeans and drown in a pool of sweat, we have to unsheath our wobbly jiggly bits. This is great for those with minimal wobbly jiggly bits. Less so for those made up almost entirely of WJBs – the sunlight exposes our flaws. This results in less ‘summer-ready’ folk sticking to the shelter of walled gardens, while the fit and beautiful parade in public.

Whatever the reason behind the increase in childish flirting tactics, I’m going to sit behind large dark shades and enjoy watching it all.

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