July 1, 2016

What is beauty?



Beauty is a psychological concept which is rather individual than universal. We call something “beautiful” when we feel aesthetic appreciation towards any object or person. The precise reason why various nations and cultures argue on which image of beauty is the most wonderful lies in the fact that this concept is not only individual but also culturally biased, thus, to some extent, collective. We can say that every nation of the world has its own realization of “beautiful” physical proportions which frequently do not coincide with ideas of any other nation.

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Aesthetic appreciation has closer connection to perception of visual images which all people like and dislike according to their own models of perfection. These images in our mind form in course of personal development. Visual perception is predetermined by pictures a child has observed since their early years, and it strongly depends on views and standards adopted from parents. Social environment is the major producer of norms which pass to all members of the community, that is why every child’s definition of beauty strongly depends on views of the community.

Another approach towards dividing creatures into beautiful and ugly is based upon the rate of similarity with human beings and regularity of features. For example, people consider other creatures ugly when they have nothing in common with us, like spiders do. On the other hand, creatures possessing regular features have high chances to look appealing and beautiful, for example butterflies.

Beauty is a category according to which we judge most human and non-human beings. It is one of the basic human feelings, as since the ancient times a mankind tried to remain close to appealing things and escape from ugly and scary objects associated with danger.

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