Is Beauty a Biological Selection?
“Beauty surrounds us, but we choose not to see its beauty.” This is an old saying that speaks to the power of beauty. Beauty is often defined as a subjective quality of objects which makes these objects aesthetically pleasing to see. These objects may be nature, landscapes, beautiful sunsets, beautiful humans and great artistic works. Beauty, along with personal taste and aesthetics, is the most important topic of aesthetics, among the various branches of science.
Beauty can be seen in the natural world in all its forms. Many artists work on creating environments that are appealing to the eye while conforming to aesthetic theory, which suggests that each object is suited to a certain aesthetic experience. Different cultures around the world also agree on what beauty is, with some cultures considering certain cultural norms as standard beauty standards. Beauty, however, can be defined as the aesthetic experience that any beholder will have when viewing any object.
Aesthetic theories on beauty hold that beauty exists in the brain of any person. When viewing a beautiful object, the brain processes information in a different way compared to when viewing an object that is ugly in appearance. For aesthetic beholder, symmetry is a key factor in determining beauty. symmetries are elements that make up the composition of an object in a certain pattern. Beauty then is determined by symmetry.
According to beauty beliefs, women are attracted to faces that appear to have high levels of facial symmetry. Women who have a high degree of facial symmetry have been found to have higher self-esteem, which is associated with happiness. Facial attractiveness is also a key factor in determining the physical attraction of a woman towards a man, as research has shown that the physical attractiveness of a woman is linked to her level of sexual attraction.
While facial symmetry and the presence of a related trait – emotional balance – are believed to be the two key factors that determine beauty, researchers have begun to wonder whether there is a connection between beauty and the functional capacity of the human brain. In a study published in Psychological Review, researchers examined the relationship between facial symmetry and three key components of face-reading, namely mentalizing, bodily representation, and cognitive processing. The results showed that there was a significant link between the presence of the perretticula and the right side of the orbitofrontal cortex (a region of the brain known to process emotion) and the rightness of facial expression. In other words, the more symmetrical a face, the more symmetrical its corresponding facial expression.
Researchers concluded from their study that the evolution of beauty is not completely based on genetic factors. They suggested that humans may use the good genes of their parents to enhance their chances of survival when trying to find partners. Beauty may not have a genetic component, but it may be influenced by ecological advantages – the ability to hunt and gather food and to live in a socially acceptable and safe environment.