How do you define beauty? Is it the latest make-up trend, or picture perfect face and body dimensions? Is it youth? Is it the latest collection straight from the Parisian catwalk by Dior?
Perhaps you feel beauty is an aura or a feeling, or maybe even what mass media shouts it is? Could beauty be defined as an act or way one conducts themselves in life?
Beauty is multi dimensional and can be attributed to art, a state of mind, ways of living and being, as well as how one looks, and all are perceived or even distorted within the eye of the beholder.
Beauty is such a difficult topic to define as it’s perceptual and subjective. It’s also forever changing over time and across cultures. Defining beauty can be a two edged sword: by celebrating society’s collective perception of beauty as a status symbol we can breed conformity and hinder more people than it helps. It does this by creating misguided judgments for those that sit outside of what we are being told, denotes beauty.
Just because someone tells you someone or something is beautiful, does not necessary make it so to the individual.
From an aesthetics point of view, cross-cultural surveys on beauty found that all groups had the same perception of facial beauty, referring to the mathematical Golden Ratio (Phi) equation. This ratio created by Greek sculptor and mathematician, Phidias (490–430 BC) appears in beautiful things in nature and is used in art and architecture to produce pleasing outcomes.
According to this theory, beautiful faces must conform to this perfect proportion and is what plastic surgeons refer to when performing cosmetic improvements. Interestingly when we smile, our faces will display even more of the Phi elements.
Variations of skin colour and tone, structure and all the emotions our faces display make us unique, surely our worth can’t be reduced to a simple ratio.
When we delve a little bit deeper than skin however, we can experience beauty in many other ways, which I’ll share more in next month’s article.