Definition Paper- Beauty Is Not in the Eyes of the Beholder
UC-110 31 October 2012 Beauty What does it mean to have beauty? What is beauty really? Questions like these can be explained through the definition of beauty. The problem is that beauty in today’s society has acquired multiple meanings. How many times has one heard the phrase, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, or how about, beauty is on the inside? These happen to be common misconceptions. The true definition of beauty is ironically hidden behind a mask of deception. Glancing through history brings to light the harsh reality of what beauty was and still is today.
Individuals need to look beyond the common myth that beauty is merely subjective. Beauty is a perceptual quality that is a product of innate human design. Love it or hate it, from the moment you opened your eyes, beauty was already defined. Going back in time and reviewing the evolution of beauty demonstrates the definition, as well as disproving beauty is merely subjective. The Darwin theory of beauty is scientific evidence that there is a reason for universal aesthetic pleasure.
Dennis Dutton, a scientist and philosopher states, “Beauty is an adaptive effect in which we extend and intensify in the creation of works of art and in the identification of human beings. ” Dutton pronounced this statement after studying the universality of beauty across a wide range of topics. It is impossible that humans all perceive the same qualities as unique and aesthetically pleasing when we live in such diverse places. Sexual evolution plays an important role in defining beauty as a product of innate human design. The peacock for example contains beautiful feathers that in no way help with basic survival.
However, the peahen is extremely attracted to the peacock because of its feathers, they are aesthetically pleasing. The peacock proves that mammals are born with qualities that bring about pleasure rather than survival. Humans are in this category with mammals. Humans contain symmetrically pleasing elements that have little to do with survival. These elements are what prove that beauty is innate. Beauty may have scientifically evolved into what individuals perceive it as today, but the aspect of science has been removed from the concept itself.
Confidence is another concept that finds itself in the same position as beauty. Confidence, by society has been changed to be a quality in which anyone can radiate through their “swag. ” In reality, just like beauty not everyone can radiate confidence. Christopher Cardoso reported, “Confidence and positive self-image is just a balance of hormones. Oxytocin is responsible for what a lot of us think is confidence around our peers. ” Beauty is the same way, “It turns out standards of beauty are not only the same across individuals and cultures, they are also innate.
We are born with the notion of who’s beautiful and who’s not” (Satoshi Kanazawa). In fact studies have shown that infants (who have had no environmental exposure) stare at the faces of adults that are considered beautiful by other adults longer than those who are not considered beautiful. An infant is incapable of developing perceptual knowledge based on its environment about what is aesthetically pleasing. Without determining the effects and causes of this definition, it would be unjust to define beauty as a perceptual quality that is a product of innate human design.
Models starve to be perceived as beautiful, while others make a living on determining who will be considered aesthetically pleasing. The society in which we live in from Australia to the United States all puts beautiful people and items on a pedestal. Unfortunately, because beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder, people will search their whole lives to become roles in society that require beauty. Devoted to a lost cause, some will never be successful. Beauty has become an industry of manipulators that try to prove to those who were not born with the innate quality of beauty that synthetic things can get them there.
In societies that can sometimes over look individuals’ feelings and emotions, a scientific definition of beauty might appear harsh. This explains why alternate definitions have shown prevalence, with beauty as a subjective concept. As it can be useful to define beauty in terms of the “beholder,” it is more important to recognize a definition that is scientifically proven. It is important that individuals can accept that beauty is in fact a perceptual quality, but one that is a product of innate human design. Works Cited Cardoso, Christopher. “Hormone Oxytocin Nasal Spray Makes People More Sociable and Confident. IsaA? de. N. p. , 5 Oct. 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. <http://www. isaude. net/en/noticia/23466/general/hormone-oxytocin-nasal-spray-makes-people-more-sociable-and-confident>. Denis Dutton: A Darwinian Theory of Beauty. Perf. Denis Dutton and Andrew Park. TED Conferences, LLC, n. d. Seminar. TED: Ideas worth Spreading. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <http://www. ted. com/talks/denis_dutton_a_darwinian_theory_of_beauty. html>. “Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness Find a Therapist. ” Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness Find a Therapist. N. p. , n. d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://www. psychologytoday. com/>.