How do you define human beauty.

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Reply Sat 1 Nov, 2008 11:10 am
Hey guys. I was wondering because my sis and I get in to arguments because I think someone is beautiful and she doesnt agree and i try to convince her that there is a universal conception of beauty that involves symmetry. What do you think.:brickwall::poke-eye:Laughing
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 1 Nov, 2008 11:28 am
@zolasdisciple,
Is it symmetry of the face a certain figure for men ...beauty is in the eye of the beholder....at my age i can admire certain beauty in a young women without the desire..well not too much desire...I think it is certain personel preference...the voice has to be just as good so does the character... a warm ready smile twinkling eyes a cheeky disposition..not to skinny well rounded ...I think ive described my dear wife..
 
nameless
 
Reply Sat 1 Nov, 2008 01:40 pm
@zolasdisciple,
zolasdisciple;30732 wrote:
i try to convince her that there is a universal conception of beauty that involves symmetry.

No, there is not.
I, for instance, find age and wisdom beautiful.
I find one who has gracefully lived through life's 'speed-bumps' and 'pot-holes' and yet remain 'centered' and all the more wise, beautiful.
I find the 'compassion' that can only come from 'age' to be beautiful.
Empathy is beauty to me.
I find honesty that isn't used as a bludgeon, beautiful.
I find aged paper-thin skin beautiful, as I can see the meandering wonders of nature therein.
It's a long list...

But, what I find beautiful is a relic of this (ego)Perception, solely. That which I find 'beautiful' can also be seen as 'ugly'. Both solely in the mind of the perceiver, and neither inherent in nature;

"For every Perspective, there is an equal and opposite Perspective!" -The First Law of Soul Dynamics

Both concepts of 'beauty' and 'ugly' are relics of egoPerspective. Without 'ego' there would be no divisions of 'beauty' and 'ugly'.
What is, is.
Peace
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 03:23 pm
@nameless,
There is no universal concept of beauty, as such.

But as far as physical attractiveness; there's quite a bit to support that individuals with more physical symmetry are found 'attractive' by more people.

But I think it important to make the distinction here; Beauty and Attractiveness are two very different concepts.

I think you're gonna have to concede this one. I have a sister, and I know THAT isn't fun to do Smile
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 03:40 pm
@zolasdisciple,
Zolasdisciple,Smile

Yes, certainly there is a conception of what is beauty in women at anyrate, but, it varies from one culture to another, in North America it certainly involves order, form, proportion, and symmetry. I suppose those same qualities would apply to the male, but he doesn't seem to get anywhere near the attention. Beauty is power!! As to how the individual defines beauty, well in fact it is done for you in your physiological response, how do you put that into words--HEY GOOD LOOKING-- WHAT YOU GOT COOKING!!Very Happy
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 05:27 pm
@zolasdisciple,
zolasdisciple wrote:
Hey guys. I was wondering because my sis and I get in to arguments because I think someone is beautiful and she doesnt agree and i try to convince her that there is a universal conception of beauty that involves symmetry. What do you think.:brickwall::poke-eye:Laughing

False, mostly ... Symmetry is a reflection of good health, but it is good health which is beauty because beauty has a survival rather than a pleasure factor... We find pleasant that which supports survival... Truth is beauty and beauty is truth, youth is beauty and beauty is youth; and all because each facet of beauty supports life...
 
musicman1
 
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 09:40 pm
@Fido,
Beauty has no set symmetry that appeals to all, one variation my appeal to most but that could change based on environmental factors say if 60 percent of all men in the U.S find a specifically proportioned woman attractive there will be deviation at the point of race, facial features, height etc. Now take race as an environmental factor say you grew up around a lot of black women and you were and outcast,as an adolescent you may favor the same proportion as the 60 Percent of males but you would probably favor paler women over darker ones even when presented the same proportions and a cute face. Cute face is also defined by the individual preference. In short there are so many physical and mental factors that determine your judgment of attractiveness that there can be no set "attractive" body type. Mental factors can mean the personality of the woman your judging (sorry to put it so harshly... personality is in the eye of the beholder also) or it could also mean your own predispositions and general perception of the world, some people find fat women attractive, skinny women, somewhere in the middle and so on. The percentage of people that like a certain proportion are not equal and never will be but they will always vary. You also can not as a human isolate one factor when making such a judgment, we perceive skin tone, color personality , facial structure, attitude, and a host of other things all at once based on all of our senses and mental processes therefore the individual always perceives a bit differently than the next.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 09:50 pm
@zolasdisciple,
We need to discuss photos here, not just ideas. I think human beauty can entail such vastly different things. Symmetry has been formally studied and it is indeed well correlated with attractiveness, but that is not necessarily synonymous with human beauty.

Here are two photos I've taken -- the first is my son a month or two ago. The other is a photo I took in Senegal a few years ago. Beautiful in entirely different ways.

http://www.pbase.com/drpablo74/image/105516551.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/drpablo74/image/60697691.jpg
 
Khethil
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 08:10 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
We need to discuss photos here, not just ideas. I think human beauty can entail such vastly different things.


Yes... completely, and/or specific aspects of human beauty. There are so many! One could almost loosely-categorize these as expression, form, motion, aura, gender-specific, sexual, health, pain & suffering, etc.,etc.

The photo of your son, *very* nice! Ahhh... such memories. When my two sons were babies, and actually throughout their growing (and to today!) there's a special significance of each view, each pose, expression and look. The parent, I think, experiences a deeply-attached sense of "beauty" in their children. But aside from this ownership-aspect, that photo is awesome! Unabashed happiness, freshness, health, grace of form. Very nice indeed (I miss my kids :crying:)

Thanks
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 08:21 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;33863 wrote:
The photo of your son, *very* nice! Ahhh... such memories. When my two sons were babies, and actually throughout their growing (and to today!) there's a special significance of each view, each pose, expression and look. The parent, I think, experiences a deeply-attached sense of "beauty" in their children.
Absolutely true. I look at him and I just shake my head, unable to imagine a human being more beautiful or perfect.

Quote:
But aside from this ownership-aspect, that photo is awesome!
Thanks! Smile


Here is a somewhat different example of human beauty. This is another guy from Senegal whom I managed to get a candid snap of (lighting was perfect, which is difficult with skin so dark). I don't know that he's beautiful in the aesthetic sense, but he's ridiculously authentic -- and the fact that we know he's from just a different world than ours kind of magnifies our interest in it.

http://www.pbase.com/drpablo74/image/60697705.jpg
 
Deftil
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 08:27 am
@zolasdisciple,
Shana Hiatt and Shandi Finnessey.

Yeah, totally.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 09:26 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Here is a somewhat different example of human beauty. This is another guy from Senegal whom I managed to get a candid snap of (lighting was perfect, which is difficult with skin so dark). I don't know that he's beautiful in the aesthetic sense, but he's ridiculously authentic -- and the fact that we know he's from just a different world than ours kind of magnifies our interest in it.

http://www.pbase.com/drpablo74/image/60697705.jpg


Another good photo, and yes, beautiful image.

This one's appeal is a little harder to nail down, but I'd say it lies mainly - for me - in the classic sense of the Strong-Elderly; somewhat akin to a rough-yet-pure elderly respect. I pick up no overtones of pretentiousness, narcicism or materialism. Another excellent example.

And yes, that "alien" appeal I can see.

Good stuff
 
Icon
 
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 09:51 am
@zolasdisciple,
This facinates me a great deal because I seem to have a different view of beauty than any one I know. Children have an innate sense of someone. Whether they can be trusted, are dangerous, friendly, so one and so forth. It seems to me that I never lost this sense, or that it is at least stronger in me than in anyone I know.

Just because someone is visually appealing to most people, does not mean that I can find them attractive. For me, it is in the eyes and the smile. If someone is faking a smile or hiding something behind their eyes, I can immediately tell and that directly affects how attractive I find them. I cannot find a fake person attractive and I cannot trust someone who is hiding something behind their eyes.

So I guess, for me at least, that attraction is based solely on my ability to trust and enjoy an individuals company and has only a little to do with physical appearance. Physically, I think that certain unique qualities are what we look for.
 
duif72
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 08:32 am
@zolasdisciple,
For me Symmetrie is beauty, and so is Order and Quality.

- Symmetrie takes away the fear of the unexpected throughout predictable patterns. Symmetrie is also honesty/integrity in the sense of alignment of reality and perception.
- Order brings a sense of wholeness (connectedness) where otherwise there would be chaos which feeds the same fear as above.
- Quality (or my interpretation of it..) as a result of attention to detail, care and devotion. However, if Beauty is Quality or the way to Quality I leave in the middle.

One way or the other all seem to source from fear. If above 3 are not universal it may just say something about me. Share your thoughts!
 
Khethil
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 09:45 am
@duif72,
Great topic, I move that it be bumped monthly (if not sooner).

Another point though: I find that over time, my personal definition on what Human Beauty is seems to be changing. Its becoming increasingly harder to define. Typically, what's come to mind is feminine beauty (but this is only half - perhaps even less - of the equation). What I - an adult male with overactive testosterone - consider feminine beauty is tainted with my own sexuality. Over time, I think I'm becoming more perceptive of many types and flavors and this makes my own personal definition less clear, more contingent and therefore harder to nail down.

This is one thing that struck me seeing the photo of the man from Senegal. Perhaps all this "human beauty" is but an echo of humanity's propensity for self-admiration; I don't know. I would very much like to understand it more. It's not enough to just "feel" beauty, I wanna understand it... dernit!

Thanks
 
duif72
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 12:17 pm
@Khethil,
Interesting comment Khethil.
I experience the opposite. Eventhough as the years pass my definition of what I 'like' broadens (due to breaking through old barriers I guess), my true definition of beauty seems to narrow down. I like your 'women' example as I use it myself to get a grip on my thoughts about beauty.

But maybe the other angle is just as triggering: What is ugly? For me ugliness is about inconsistenties in created perception and reality. Either physically or mentally. Though for me, mental inconsistenties overrule the visual ones. Example: physical beautifull people can be incredibly 'ugly' when their inner story is not aligned with the outside. I think this is why the pic of the senegal man is beautfull. The guy shows purity, sincerity, truth. Perception and reality are one.
 
hammersklavier
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 03:07 pm
@duif72,
I keep thinking human beauty is extremely subjective. What one person perceives as beautiful another must necessarily not. This is the case with supermodels: while their bony skinniness must doubtlessly get some rocks off, they do not do so mine. Nor does the Mona Lisa. Nor does just about any Western depiction of human beauty (Goya's Maya desnuda being the main exception).

What I go in for is beauty of the East Asian variety.

Since I was raised in a Western mind-set, and therefore my cultural models of sexual excellence ought to be inherently Western, the fact that I do so is either a random aberration, an element of an emergent trend, or something that in some way is inherently nonconformist with the status quo. In short, if Western beauty were a truly objective de facto standard, then why should any Westerner not like Western models of excellence? If not for a subjective reading of beauty the conclusion of my tastes as being aberrant is inescapable...

Yet this only holds for sexual connotations of beauty, connotations more rife among younger populations--such as mine--than older. What could we learn from older, non-sexual connotations of beauty? And not merely Western, either...
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2008 10:04 pm
@hammersklavier,
Well, I think the main problem is the variations in defining "beauty" (Actually, it's not a problem at all; it's beautiful that it does vary). Every single post here suffers from semantics when we refer to this idea. Though we seem to all perceive, and assuredly assume, that when another says "beauty" they mean the same as us, they most likely do not. The mere fact that that baby picture, the dark man posted, and a supermodel can all be a connotation for this same word "beauty", means something. It seems clear to me that our perception of beauty is defined by our particular emotional stimuli - to be frank, it depends how we feel. To me, none of the photos posted I perceived as beautiful, but I can understand how they may be. I just do not feel the beauty within them.

I did want to inquire further concerning the idea of symmetry being tied into physical attractiveness (again, not necessarily synonymous with beauty). If a woman isn't completely symmetrical, to me, this does not seem to be a deterrence. For example, if the woman's ears, breasts, or arms are slightly disproportionate, it does not seem to affect my judgment of attractiveness. Now, I'm sure there are a multitude of reasons why I would think one woman is more attractive over another physically, but symmetry doesn't seem to be at the forefront. Am I the only one that feels this way, and how common is this idea of symmetric attractiveness?
 
Padawan phil
 
Reply Mon 22 Dec, 2008 01:17 am
@zolasdisciple,
I'll play devil's advocate here and disagree with everyone, and hopefully help you win your arguement zolasdiscipline.

The "golden ratio" has been around for millenia and a long line of mathematicians, artists and architects amongst others have believed it to be aesthetically pleasing. Da Vinci and Dali are among the artists to use the ratio in their paintings.

Modern studies on infants suggest that they find faces that conform to the ratio more attractive than those that don't. My opinion is that while this holds up on a superficial level there is much more to individual perceptions of beauty than merely shape and symmetry. Especially when more than just physical beauty is taken into account.

Anyway here's a few links, I'd be interested to hear others thoughts.
Golden ratio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Math Behind the Beauty
Human Face
Human Body
Can Human Beauty Be Defined? - Associated Content
 
Vanya
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 11:54 am
@zolasdisciple,
Just having a little scan through the replies, I'd say emotion, resentment and prejudice might have something to do with it?
 
 

 
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