Attraction has always been a human characteristic, and it continues to play an important role in our selection of mates. However, it has also been exploited by various groups for political gain. As a result, society has created beauty standards. Beauty is defined by the characteristics that give pleasure and satisfaction. This includes colour, race, gender, body shape, and overall appearance.
The quest for perfect looks has been around for centuries. Today, the focus is on good health and youthfulness. In Europe, naturally flawless skin is a goal. Other factors include hair that is bouncy and tanned. In Brazil, a healthy, supple, and soft tan is desirable. Even in America, the goal is to be young.
During the Renaissance, artists like Leonardo da Vinci painted numerous faces, which helped to create an understanding of the human face. Some of his most famous paintings, like the Virgin, convey a sense of mystery and maternal tenderness.
In the 16th century, Parisian doctor Jean Liebault believed that an ideal woman should have a pale face, large eyes, and dimpled cheeks. He believed that these features would attract the attention of men. Similarly, in England, elegant women wore thick eyebrows, long hair, and mimicked the features of Queen Elizabeth I.
Beauty is a complex social process. It depends on the individual, the society, and the time period. The goal is to please the aesthetic senses, which includes the sight and the moral sense. Depending on these factors, the standards of beauty are constantly changing.
Many societies have different goals for beauty. For example, Africans consider larger figures beautiful. However, in most Asian countries, fairness is a goal. In Europe, a slender figure is the standard. Also, the waist-to-hip ratio has remained relatively constant.
While the concept of beauty has evolved over time, it remains a powerful means of power. Its objective and subjective aspects can be confusing. Therefore, it has been attempted to deconstruct its standards.
Although many experts agree that certain women are beautiful, the exact definition of beauty is still not clear. Some have even stated that it is in the eye of the beholder. Others claim that the quest for beauty is a natural consequence of human nature.
The ancient Greeks had the ideal of symmetry. They admired a perfect face. According to Antoine Mengs, an art teacher, a beautiful Greek face was defined by the distance between the eyes and the tip of the nose. Mengs devised a complicated formula to duplicate this feature. After determining the distance from the tip of the nose to the lips, he also determined the space between the eyebrows and the start of the hairline.
A person’s facial symmetry plays a key role in their attraction. The ideal face has a round chin, a slightly fuller mouth than the upper lip, and smooth skin. People who do not have these features are less attractive.
In the 1960s, counterculture emphasized the use of androgynous and feminine designs. Cosmetics became popular and companies began to market them as individualistic and empowering. Those who had money were the main consumers of these products.