The concept of Beauty can refer to a particular person, a special place, an object of interest or even the concept of an idea, all of which can provide a perceptual experience related to pleasure, meaning or satisfaction. The study of beauty is intrinsically a part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology and culture. In the form of a cultural creation, beauty has become extremely commercialised.
The characterisation of an “ideal beauty” is represented in a person who is admired, or possesses features widely associated with beauty in a particular culture. There are many historical figures that have come to personify beauty itself, such as Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, and Marilyn Monroe. The subjective experience, which refers to the sensory buzz and awareness associated with a perceptive mind, related to “beauty”, often involves the interpretation of some entity as being as one and in harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being.
Beauty, as expressed by the popular saying, is in the eye of the beholder. In its most profound sense, beauty may engender a salient experience, which refers to a state or quality of standing out relative to neighboring objects, of positive reflection about the meaning of one’s own existence. Something that reveals or resounds with personal meaning may indeed be regarded as an object of beauty.
In classical Greek mythology, beauty was associated with the idea of “being of one’s hour”. Accordingly, a ripe fruit, which is “of its time”, was considered beautiful, whereas a young woman trying to appear older or an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful.
History of Beauty
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It was in the submissions of the ancient Greek philosophers, such as Pythagoras, that the earliest Western appreciation of beauty was to be found. The school, personified by Pythagoras, discovered that there was a strong connection between mathematics and beauty.
In particular, they noted that objects proportioned according to the golden rule, which can be expressed as a mathematical constant with a value of 1.618, seemed more attractive. In fact, this view of symmetrical structures that were in proportion is based on ancient Greek architecture.
It has been found that people whose facial features are symmetric and proportioned, in accordance with the golden ratio, are considered more attractive than those whose faces are not. Another important factor is that of symmetry since it suggests the absence of any hereditary or acquired defects. In fact, one of a number of aesthetic characteristics, including being average and that of youth, which are associated with the health, physical attractiveness and, ultimately, the beauty of a person, is associated with the concept of symmetry, especially that of facial features.
Even though there may be significant changes in image and fashion, it has been found that people’s interpretation of beauty may be defined in a number of ways. In this respect, eyes that are large and a complexion that is soft and clear, are especially desirable. Further, such features are most certainly considered beautiful, irrespective of gender, and certainly regardless of culture.
Interestingly, the features of a newborn baby are inherently attractive, and youthfulness is a timeless characteristic that is always associated with beauty. Early in child development, there is evidence to suggest that an affinity for beautiful faces emerges, and this definition of attractiveness is regardless of their gender or culture.