"The myth of eternal beauty": you would be considered beautiful in a different era?

Who and why driving us umaDon French, British TV presenter and comedy aktirisu curvaceous unlikely someone would have called "se * with symbol", but maybe it just was not born at that time? "If I lived in the time of Rubens, I would be incredibly beautiful model - one day she noticed - and Kate Moss would be a maximum of brush».


French, of course, said it as a joke, but in her words lies an interesting question. Whether to change standards of beauty, depending on the era? Alternatively, certain features of appearance been considered beautiful at all times and in all cultures?

There are evolutionary arguments in favor of "timeless beauty". For example, some biological features indicate health, strength and fertility of man, which makes it a lo * sualno attractive to the opposite of * a. However, the more biologists and psychologists are studying the issue, the more inclined to believe that biology can not be the basis of the perception of human beauty.

Consider the widespread assertion that people prefer symmetrical faces pronounced. The scientific explanation is approximately as follows: diseases and stress borne in childhood subtly affect the development of the organism, that leads to the "skewed" in facial structure. That is unbalanced facial features can signal the physical weakness of man and make it less attractive for breeding and producing offspring.

The problem is that most experiments have revealed the preference for subjects symmetrical persons had too few participants. When Stefan Van Dongen at the University of Antwerp gathered all the results of such research in the framework of a meta-analysis, he found that the effect of symmetry almost disappeared. In fact, the symmetry of the face can not say anything about your health. Although previous studies have supposedly proved the existence of such a connection, large experiment in 2014, which was attended by nearly 5,000 teenagers, found no evidence of a correlation between the symmetry of individual and fizieskoy strength of their respective owners.

Biologists have also suggested that we prefer persons who have expressed "masculine" or "feminine" traits: broad chelyus Jon Hamm men, thin lines of Miranda Kerr in women. Again, the rationale for this idea sounds very scientific: bone structure reflects the number of * ovyh hormones in the body, and this is going to "advertise" the fertility and lo * sualnoe human health with the help of his appearance.


However, most studies proving this, considering only the western type of individual. Isabelle Scott of the University of Brunel, took for his experiment, a sample of all races and types of appearance: Asian, African, Eastern European, South American ... As a result, researchers have found many preferences. For example, residents of urban areas preferred to "brave" men and "feminine" women, and in regions more distant focus shifted in the opposite direction and "feminine" men received more attention, as well as a woman with a "male" Physical persons.

The same is true for the shape of the body. In the West, prefer, for example, long-legged women, but in Namibia tastes exactly the opposite. Even Western sympathy seems to be transformed over time, such as Botticelli's Venus - one of the western ideals of beauty - pretty kortkonogaya compared to current standards. Although the figures of the "hourglass" for women and broad-shouldered man admired in most countries, the preferred degree of their severity depends on the tastes of a particular society.

Perhaps nature is not endowed people no flavor to the exterior, as our selection of the partner should be flexible and depend on the current situation. "For example, in cultures where hunger occurs frequently, most of sympathy on the side of a heavy-weight people, as they are resistant to food shortages, - says Anthony Little of the University of Stirling - This seems to be the thing. If any nation has a higher risk of developing certain diseases, the symptoms are not the propensity to this illness, encrypted, for example, in the symmetry of the face, make a man "beautiful" others. Men with square chin - a sign of high testosterone - are appreciated by women in cases where the representatives of the male * and are forced to compete with each other, that is, when men more than women, and so on ».

Thus, although our concepts of beauty may seem to us something immutable and objective, rather, they merely a consequence of circumstances. It is also worth noting the presence of the effect: if you hear or see that some type of appearance attracted the majority of the representatives of your floor, you will also find these features attractive. That is the taste of individuals affect the taste of the entire population, thus reducing the time to choose: you do not have on their own to explore all existing types of appearance, to form an opinion on each of them and bring your own preferences. So social media can shape the taste of the whole nation.

Consider a recent experiment Business School in Baltimore. The researchers used the dating site that allows you to put estimations random people. After the subjects put their assessment, they showed an average score of the views of other visitors. Although the experiment had no conditions "correctness" of someone else's opinion, to find out what type of appearance was popular, started inadvertently shift the focus of its own preferences on the holders of such individual traits. Their taste has changed (and unbeknownst to them) - just using a single Web site.

We come to the conclusion that the universal concept of beauty does not exist: we are subject to the opinion of the environment, the influence of the media, even the choice of partners of our friends is important to us. In view of the beauty of fashion influences, but the opposite is true: we can shape the fashion of a certain type of beauty, it is enough to make an effort to ensure that this type met all on television, on billboards and in glossy magazines as often as possible.

via www.bbc.com/future/story/20150622-the-myth-of-universal-beauty


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