A History of Beauty
Beauty is commonly defined as a subjective feature of objects which makes these objects enjoyable to see. These objects include sunsets, landscapes, art and humans. However, beauty, with art and beauty, is also the prime concern of aesthetics, another of the important branches of psychology. The discipline of aesthetics concentrates on the visual aspects of life in all its forms. This includes how an object relates to the physical, psychological and sociological reality.
The study of beauty has given rise to the term ‘glamour’. It can be described as the product or the end result of beauty, with glamour being the most attractive aspect of beauty. For instance, when we see ugly faces we comment that they are ugly. However, the very opposite happens when we watch beautiful women on screen. In the study of glamour, we find that beauty is not the creation of beauty but of beauty imitating or complementing other attributes of beauty.
A study made by a famous French doctor, Sausau, shows that we can alter our appearance by applying certain kinds of cosmetics on our skin. He says that it is possible to change the face shape, lips tone, height and structure, by using these products. He goes on to say that it is not the face itself that constitutes beauty but the combination of facial structures. Similarly, according to him, the use of cosmetics plays an important role in giving us the confidence to gain popularity and hence influence others. He goes on to define beauty according to the 16th century as the natural beauty of a woman, or a man, which is determined by her hair, eyes, skin and nails.
According to Sausau, beauty comes from the combination of Greek qualities. He says that a Greek woman should have soft pleasant features, long hair, big breasts, large lips, pale skin and dark eyes. Conversely, he argues that Greek men should be vigorous, strong, well muscled, and well hung. Sausau goes on to say that a Greek male has to be fair-skinned, clean-shaven, well balanced and with dark eyes.
The use of cosmetics during the 16th century had undergone a drastic change. For instance, Greek women used to wear a thick wavy hair tied back using flowers. However, by the time of the Persian invasion of the 16th century, women wore their hair completely exposed and long and straight cut.
Beauty is defined by the Greek physician, Hippocrates as the balance between body and soul, and the resultant beauty being reflected in the face, body and soul. Other factors which contribute to the beauty include the temperature of the skin, hair color, complexion, the color of eyes, the length of hair and the thickness of nails. Other things which contribute to beauty are the physical aspects, such as height, weight, symmetry and the position of the body. However, the most significant factor that contributes to beauty is a person’s attitude. A person with an attitude of beauty is a person who takes good care of himself, has high intellectual ability, and who is beautiful inside and out.