What is beauty?

This is a philosophical question rather than a medical question. Although the science of aesthetics has come to the focus of attention particularly in the twentieth century, but the aesthetics definition subject has been discussed since the time of Plato, and answers such as the proportionality on the subject, the ability to create pleasure, good feeling, peace and joy in the audience have been given for defining the beauty. However, these definitions also need further explanation. Currently, even philosophy does not seek to provide a definitive and final definition of beauty. In defining beauty, Kant refers to its durability. This means the real beauty should remain attractive over time and despite the changes in fashions and tastes, and its attractiveness should not by influenced by fashion and cultural changes of the audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In modernism times, the beauty is known to be affected by the person’s relationship with the subject, and cultural, economic and advertising influences have been considered effective on appreciation the beauty and its defining. Thus, we can see that through global advertising, the standards of beauty have become uniform, and fashion and populism in tastes have been intensified even in non- populist classes. Herbert Reed says that beauty is the sense of detecting delightful relations that affect people in dealing with the surrounding world.

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Aristotle’s answer to the question that why humans tend to physical beauty says: No one can raise such a question unless he is blind. Simply put, he considers the desire for beauty something that does not need any explanation and reason. In other words, the beauty may be everything that we like it. However, the tendency to beauty is such that in some tribes of the Kalahari Desert, the people use oil for the beauty of their skin even in times of famine. In U.S, the money spent on matters related to beauty is more than the money that is allocated to social services and education. We all know by our heart that beauty is a desired thing.

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Probably, attention to physical beauty, including body and face of the people, is caused by a natural mechanism to help the reproduction and survival of generation. This mechanism helps that a little and incapable baby seems lovely in our eyes to help her protection and maintaining. Mating with a nice appearance mate (which indicates the good health and proper ability to reproduce) takes place so that the sexual energy would not be in vain and is not wasted with a mate that cannot help the reproduction. Perhaps that is why despite all these diversity of fashion and taste, in almost all cultures, large eyes, shiny hair, smooth and supple skin without wrinkles and blemishes or waist slenderness in women and thick and muscular

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chest in men generate attractiveness. Indeed, these are signs of personal health, and nature directs people into appropriate pairs for mating and reproduction with higher chances. In fact, the desire for beauty is genetically embedded in human nature and is a way to help the survival.

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Although this mechanism has functioned greatly, but it has also been associated with some mistakes. Since the start of civilization, and especially in modern times, this mechanism has been manipulated so much that it has lost its diagnostic value as the past. The above description may explain only a part of the problem. However, this seems not to be true that the beauty and tendency to beauty is a cultural phenomenon, and fashion and advertising are its original roots. Although fashion and advertising are effective, but the main roots are in human nature.

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More addressing the root causes of aesthetics and its relationship with facial beauty is more complex than the subject of this book. For example, the answer to the question of why usually larger nose lowers the facial beauty is not so simple. However, from a time when painting and sculptors artists such as Leonardo da Vinci made efforts in realistic depictions of human face and organs, they achieved the ratios between different facial organs and even the human body, like the ratios of 1/3 in the face, and so on.

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Although the correctness of these ratios in the face of a person helps him/her to seem more beautiful, but the beauty of a face is not only the result of observing these geometrical proportions. A pretty face also depends on the contours of cheeks, chin, jaws angles, quality and distribution of soft tissue and fat in face, form of lips, growth of eyebrows, eyelashes, form and color of teeth, etc. Another important factor is the overall quality of skin, since its forms the final cover the facial skeleton. Then, a rough skin may cause a face not looking so much pretty while it is beautiful in terms of the rest beauty criteria, and vice versa, a beautiful skin can prevent the attention to mild defects of the facial skeleton.

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Another important factor often overlooked is the role of facial mimic, and in other words, the function of the facial delicate muscles, which are greatly influenced by person’s emotional and spiritual conditions. You may have noticed that when you are not in a good mental and psychological state or are nervous and tired, your face does not look as beautiful as when you are joyful and have proper nutrition and sleep. This changes in beauty is mostly due to the function of fine muscles in the face affecting the facial components, such as eyebrows, forehead, cheeks, eyes, lips and so on, which are directly affected by individual mood and emotional states. Thus, the term of “facial language” can be sometimes used. For example, you can easily understand the emotional states such as anger, anxiety, fear, joy, mischief, depression, etc. from a person’s figure. Sometimes, continuity of a sense or prolonged periods leaves lasting effects in the face that can be caused by strengthened (becoming hypertrophic) of its certain muscles of that feeling or creation of skin wrinkles caused by constant muscle contractions related to that emotion. This can partially determine one’s personality at the first sight.

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