Monday, January 22, 2007

In The Eye Of The Beholder

They say that beauty is a ticket to an easier life, that if you are handsome or sexy people will treat you better than someone considered homely or ugly. Much to my disappointment, this is true in life, at least to some degree.

Aesthetics are said to be both subjective and hereditary. In other words, we are both born with a certain attraction to a certain type of person and we also have our own individual attraction that we create either through action in our childhood or random fetishes that spawn through our subconsciousness. Either way, there is a trend that can be seen in these attractions. This trend is not a random occurrence, it is directly linked to Darwinism. To name some examples, men prefer women with large breasts to women with smaller breasts because having large breasts is a sign of fertility. Another example is how women prefer tall men to shorter men because tall men are generally stronger than shorter men. But this is only half the story, the other half is a bit more....complicated.

Beyond this first explanation of attraction, there is another version in which attraction is formed through peer pressure, tradition, and ritual. In modern day society, you can easily see how a perception of beauty is thrown on to us from the media. You see it in magazines, television, Internet, basically anywhere advertisement permits. It is this constant input onto us that almost brainwashes us into thinking that this type of person is beautiful while this type isn't. To name other forms of this, Chinese foot binding was once an act that was considered extremely beautiful. The smaller the foot, the more attractive the women. While this idea is less accepted today in modern society, it was once very prominent. What makes this type of attraction more complicated than the former type is the fact that this type of attraction is not procreation oriented. The fact is, the attraction between the sexes was originally for the sole purpose of begetting offspring and reproducing, but as these examples have shown, this type of attraction is in some cases harmful to reproduction.

That's about all I have to say about the aesthetics between the genders, I will cover the philosophy of beauty another day. Sorry if that was a bit wordy.

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