What Is Beauty?


Beauty is a subjective experience that can be interpreted as a combination of factors including the shape, colour and form of an object. This can be a person, animal, place or object of art.

Philosophers have debated the idea of what makes something beautiful for millennia. Some have argued that a universal standard exists, while others have asserted that it is entirely arbitrary. This debate has continued to this day as the concept of beauty continues to evolve.

The classic conception of beauty is that an object is beautiful when all of its parts are in proportion to each other, forming a harmonious whole. It is a concept that is most prominent in classical philosophy and was later developed by the Renaissance. This idea was the basis for a variety of aesthetic movements such as classicism and Neo-Platonism.

However, it is important to note that beauty is also a very complex phenomenon. A person’s appearance may be influenced by a variety of cultural, social and historical factors. Even the same person’s facial features can change with age, disease or injury. These variables are why it is so difficult to pin down exactly what is considered beautiful.

It is no wonder that people are constantly striving to improve their physical attractiveness. This can be seen in the vast array of products available for sale aimed at beautifying the face or body. The truth is that our sense of beauty evolved deep within our psyches for reasons related to survival. It involves irrational guesswork at the subconscious level about what will repay our involuntary attention.

For example, men have been shown to prefer women with masculine features. They also tend to choose a woman who is at or close to their time of ovulation, as they are most likely to be able to reproduce with her. A woman’s height is also important in determining her perceived beauty. She is perceived as more beautiful when her face and body are symmetrical and she has clear skin.

In addition, the brain responds differently to beauty when a person is in a state of sadness or happiness. When a subject is happy, the part of the brain associated with reward and pleasure is activated. When sad, the same region is stimulated but the response is less intense. This phenomenon is referred to as the hedonic paradox and is why it is so hard to determine what is truly beautiful.