The History of Human Beauty

opinion Essay
1329 words
1329 words

Throughout history, civilizations have admired the beauty that the world has presented, but isn’t beauty held in the eye of the beholder? The word can be used to describe a variety of things. It can describe places, animals, objects, people and even ideas. However, the one beauty our society embraces today is human beauty. Because the perception of beauty differs from person to person, different ideas of beauty developed throughout history, which in turn formed standards for human beauty, and these standards have had a massive impact on today’s society. History of Beauty Beauty has long since been an important part of history. It’s been fought for, envied, and been reshaped over and over. The Greeks found beauty fascinating and so the philosophers of the time dedicated their time attempting to define what made a person beautiful (Feng). Plato was able to come up with “golden proportions” which stated that in order for someone to be considered to have beauty, the width of an ideal face would be two-thirds its length and a nose should not be longer than the distance between the eyes (Feng). The Greeks were very close to finding the answer that symmetry is inherently what attracts the human eye (Feng). Plato attempted to use proportions, but science today proves that it is the symmetry between the left and right side of the face that shapes our perception of someone (Feng). Although Plato could be considered the true originator of aesthetics, he also believed that beauty held on to a meaning deeper that skin and bone. (Feng). He thought of beauty as an ideal beyond human perception, such as truth or goodness and was therefore eternal (The Arts). To him, visible beauty that could change over time and eventually decay was a reflect... ... middle of paper ... ... Works Cited "THE ARTS." World History International: World History Essays From Prehistory To The Present. Ed. R.A. Guisepi. Web. 24 Nov. 2011. . "Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty | Teachable Moment." Media Awareness Network | Réseau éducation Médias. Media Awareness Network. Web. 25 Nov. 2011. . Feng, Charles. "Looking Good: The Psychology and Biology of Beauty." The Journal of Young Investigators: Dec. 2002. Web. 25 Nov. 2011. . Saltzberg, Elayne A., and Joan C. Chrisler. "Beauty Is The Beast: The Psychological Effects of the Pursuit of the Perfect Body." Women: A Feminist Perspective. Mayfield Publishing Company, 1995. Web. 25 Nov. 2011.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that beauty is held in the eye of the beholder. the perception of beauty differs from person to person, which in turn formed standards for human beauty.
  • Analyzes how plato's "golden proportions" were used by philosophers to define what makes a person beautiful, and explains that symmetry is inherently what attracts the human eye.
  • Explains that symmetry preferences in humans are equated with a better immune system, which makes beauty an indicator of stronger genes that will help improve offspring survival.
  • Opines that beauty is an ideal, which by definition can only be reached by a minority of those that strive for it.
  • Explains that women who reach the ideal standard of thinness or beauty do so by exercising excessively and compulsively looking for ways to remold themselves.
  • Opines that beauty has been stretched, touched-up, plucked, and reshaped an unimaginable amount of times. humans will find different ways to standardize beauty.
  • Explains how feng, charles, and elayne a. saltzberg authored "beauty is the beast: the psychological effects of the pursuit of the perfect body."

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