Is There Such a Thing As a Beauty?

Beauty is commonly defined as a subjective feature of things which makes these objects enjoyable to see. These objects may be humans, landscapes, sunsets and works of art. Beauty, along with beauty, is the basis of aesthetic art, one of the most important branches of art history. Many theories have been formulated on beauty and its definition. However, the results vary according to who you ask.

According to the character-expressionist theory, human beauty consists of an internal symbolic system. This system consists of a combination of physical appearance, personal qualities and the need to belong to a group. In essence, the idea behind the character-expressionist theory is that beauty is a “social” trait. The empirical research on this matter, however, indicates that many people share a common physical appearance but different personal qualities; hence, there is no universal meaning for beauty.

According to the psychoanalytic theory, beauty exists deep within the mind/body system. According to this belief, beauty is experienced when an object strikes a balance between the conscious and unconscious mental systems. Furthermore, the orbitofrontal cortex receives a positive signal when an object meets certain basic criteria such as color, shape, size and symmetries. According to this belief, these standards are programmed in the human brain while the physical attractiveness received through the five senses operates only on a subconscious level.

According to the symmetrical thinking theory, beautiful people have symmetrical facial structures and body shapes. It also states that the face is more often than not represented by at least one visible landmark. Thus, these are the landmarks which the brain uses to determine whether an object is an attractive face. This school of thought believes that the orbitofrontal cortex receives information on physical attractiveness from faces which possess symmetrical characteristics, regardless of whether these characteristics are viewed via the five physical senses or not.

According to the other school of thought, beauty has evolved through time through the use of facial expressions which mirror the needs of survival. Facial expressions are unique to each individual and therefore mirror how humans portray their emotions, whereas other characteristics are present in all humans. In this case, it is believed that humans without exception have the capacity for beauty. Facial expressions are most commonly used to attract others to a person or establish some kind of affiliation or alliance. The purpose of facial expression is not necessarily to reveal beauty, rather, it is to show a state of emotion or mental state which is needed by others to interpret the message.

Some of the most prominent arguments in support of beauty are the results of research conducted on twins. It was found that identical twins, who were found to have very similar facial structures, exhibited very little facial asymmetry. However, when identical twins were separated, it was found that they had highly significant facial asymmetry. This research supports the theories of Prakis and Skocsi that beauty is a product of genetic coding and is independent of behavioral elements.