Beauty is something that has tried to be defined for centuries.
It used to be said of beauty, that it is something that is easy to recognize
but hard to explain.
The earliest Western theory of beauty can be found on
Ancient Greek works from the pre-Socratic period, like Pythagoras, who saw a
strong connection between mathematics and attractiveness. He noted that objects
that were proportioned with the golden ratio were perceived as more beautiful.
Indeed, these mathematical functions were also featured on the many studies of Leonardo
da Vinci and other Renaissance artists. While Aristotle actually found a link between
the beautiful and virtue, arguing ¨Virtue aims at the beautiful¨.
Beauty standards have changed significantly over time, based
on changing cultural values. Historically, paintings show a wide range of
different standards for beauty. However, people who are relatively young, with
smooth skin, well-proportioned bodies, and regular features, have traditionally
been considered the most beautiful throughout history.
But in the 18th century, these mathematical researches
relating to beauty started to cease. when philosophers like Edmund Burke and
David Hume stated that beauty was subjectively-defined. For Hume, beauty was
“no quality in things themselves; it exists merely in the mind that
contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.”
The idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that
people have different ideas of beauty, thus they are not able to agree on who
is beautiful and who is not, was for long a dominant view in much of philosophy
Nonetheless, psychologists have argued that there might be objectively
defined criteria of attractiveness. Theorists highlight the impact on judgement
of beauty of social and cultural norms and emphasize the idea that social
stereotypes like the ¨attractiveness is good¨ bias create their own reality. Another
idea that is actually really popular in scientific circles is that beauty Is a
reliable indicator of fertility and health.
These is a long list with several factors that play a role
on what men desire on women, but there is one thing they all have in common; they
are an index of health and youth. Men like smooth skin, long shiny hair and small
waists. And they are most likely interested in symmetry.
Young women are