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{{Expand Latin|Pulchritudo|date=June 2018}}{{about||beauty as a characteristic of a person's appearance|Physical attractiveness|other uses}}{{pp-semi-protected|small=yes}}{{Use mdy dates|date=June 2012}}File:Rozeta Paryż notre-dame chalger.jpg|thumb|260px|Rayonnant rose window in Notre Dame de Paris. In Gothic architecture, light was considered the most beautiful revelation of GodGodBeauty is a characteristic of an animal, idea, object, person or place that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, culture, social psychology, philosophy and sociology. An "ideal beauty" is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.Ugliness is considered to be the opposite of beauty.The experience of "beauty" often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this can be a subjective experience, it is often said that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."WEB,weblink Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, December 4, 2007, The Phrase Finder, 2007, Gary Martin,weblink" title="">weblink November 30, 2007, no, There is evidence that perceptions of beauty are evolutionary determined, that things, aspects of people and landscapes considered beautiful are typically found in situations likely to give enhanced survival of the perceiving human's genes.The Oxford Handbook for AestheticsWEB,weblink A Darwinian theory of beauty,, May 1, 2018, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 11, 2014, mdy-all,

Ancient Greek

The classical Greek noun that best translates to the English-language words "beauty" or "beautiful" was (wikt:κάλλος|κάλλος), kallos, and the adjective was καλός, kalos. However, kalos may and is also translated as ″good″ or ″of fine quality″ and thus has a broader meaning than mere physical or material beauty. Similarly, kallos was used differently from the English word beauty in that it first and foremost applied to humans and bears an erotic connotation.BOOK, Konstan, David, Beauty - The Fortunes of an Ancient Greek Idea, 2014, Oxford University Press, New York, 978-0-19-992726-5, 30–35, The Koine Greek word for beautiful was ὡραῖος, hōraios,Matthew 23:27, Acts 3:10, Flavius Josephus, 12.65 an adjective etymologically coming from the word ὥρα, hōra, meaning "hour". In Koine Greek, beauty was thus associated with "being of one's hour".Euripides, Alcestis 515. Thus, a ripe fruit (of its time) was considered beautiful, whereas a young woman trying to appear older or an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful. In Attic Greek, hōraios had many meanings, including "youthful" and "ripe old age".The earliest Western theory of beauty can be found in the works of early Greek philosophers from the pre-Socratic period, such as Pythagoras. The Pythagorean school saw a strong connection between mathematics and beauty. In particular, they noted that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive.Seife, Charles (2000). (Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea). Penguin. {{ISBN|0-14-029647-6}}. p. 32 Ancient Greek architecture is based on this view of symmetry and proportion.Plato considered beauty to be the Idea (Form) above all other Ideas.Phaedrus Aristotle saw a relationship between the beautiful (to kalon) and virtue, arguing that "Virtue aims at the beautiful."Nicomachean EthicsClassical philosophy and sculptures of men and women produced according to the Greek philosophers' tenets of ideal human beauty were rediscovered in Renaissance Europe, leading to a re-adoption of what became known as a "classical ideal". In terms of female human beauty, a woman whose appearance conforms to these tenets is still called a "classical beauty" or said to possess a "classical beauty", whilst the foundations laid by Greek and Roman artists have also supplied the standard for male beauty in western civilization.{{Citation needed|date=November 2009}} During the Gothic era, the classical aesthetical canon of beauty was rejected as sinful. Later, Renaissance and Humanist thinkers rejected this view, and considered beauty to be the product of rational order and harmonious proportions. Renaissance artists and architects (such as Giorgio Vasari in his "Lives of Artists") criticised the Gothic period as irrational and barbarian. This point of view of Gothic art lasted until Romanticism, in the 19th century.

The Age of Reason

File:Sandro Botticelli - La nascita di Venere - Google Art Project - edited.jpg|thumb|upright=1.2|left|The Birth of Venus, by Sandro BotticelliSandro BotticelliThe Age of Reason saw a rise in an interest in beauty as a philosophical subject. For example, Scottish philosopher Francis Hutcheson argued that beauty is "unity in variety and variety in unity".An Inquiry Into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue; In Two Treatises The Romantic poets, too, became highly concerned with the nature of beauty, with John Keats arguing in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" that
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, —that is all. Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

The Romantic period

In the Romantic period, Edmund Burke postulated a difference between beauty in its classical meaning and the sublime. The concept of the sublime, as explicated by Burke and Kant, suggested viewing Gothic art and architecture, though not in accordance with the classical standard of beauty, as sublime.{{citation needed|date=December 2012}}

The 20th century and after

The 20th century saw an increasing rejection of beauty by artists and philosophers alike, culminating in postmodernism's anti-aesthetics.The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture by Hal Foster This is despite beauty being a central concern of one of postmodernism's main influences, Friedrich Nietzsche, who argued that the Will to Power was the Will to Beauty.The Will to PowerIn the aftermath of postmodernism's rejection of beauty, thinkers have returned to beauty as an important value. American analytic philosopher Guy Sircello proposed his New Theory of Beauty as an effort to reaffirm the status of beauty as an important philosophical concept.A New Theory of Beauty. Princeton Essays on the Arts, 1. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1975.Love and Beauty. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989. Elaine Scarry also argues that beauty is related to justice.On Beauty and Being JustBeauty is also studied by psychologists and neuroscientists in the field of experimental aesthetics and neuroesthetics respectively. Psychological theories see beauty as a form of pleasure.JOURNAL, Reber, Rolf, Schwarz, Norbert, Winkielman, Piotr, 2004, Processing fluency and aesthetic pleasure: is beauty in the perceiver's processing experience?, Personality and Social Psychology Review: An Official Journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc, 8, 4, 364–382, 10.1207/s15327957pspr0804_3, 1088-8683, 15582859, 1956/594,weblink JOURNAL, Armstrong, Thomas, Detweiler-Bedell, Brian, December 2008, Beauty as an emotion: The exhilarating prospect of mastering a challenging world.,weblink Review of General Psychology, English, 12, 4, 305–329, 10.1037/a0012558, 1939-1552,, Correlational findings support the view that more beautiful objects are also more pleasing.JOURNAL, Vartanian, Oshin, Navarrete, Gorka, Chatterjee, Anjan, Fich, Lars Brorson, Leder, Helmut, Modroño, Cristián, Nadal, Marcos, Rostrup, Nicolai, Skov, Martin, 2013-06-18, Impact of contour on aesthetic judgments and approach-avoidance decisions in architecture,weblink Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, en, 110, Supplement 2, 10446–10453, 10.1073/pnas.1301227110, 0027-8424, 3690611, 23754408, no,weblink" title="">weblink June 28, 2017, mdy-all, JOURNAL, Marin, Manuela M., Lampatz, Allegra, Wandl, Michaela, Leder, Helmut, 2016-11-04, Berlyne Revisited: Evidence for the Multifaceted Nature of Hedonic Tone in the Appreciation of Paintings and Music, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00536, 1662-5161, 5095118, 27867350, JOURNAL, Brielmann, Aenne A., Pelli, Denis G., 2017-05-22, Beauty Requires Thought,weblink Current Biology, English, 27, 10, 1506–1513.e3, 10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.018, 0960-9822, 28502660, Some studies suggest that higher experienced beauty is associated with activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex.JOURNAL, Kawabata, Hideaki, Zeki, Semir, April 2004, Neural correlates of beauty, Journal of Neurophysiology, 91, 4, 1699–1705, 10.1152/jn.00696.2003, 0022-3077, 15010496, JOURNAL, Ishizu, Tomohiro, Zeki, Semir, 2011-07-06, Toward A Brain-Based Theory of Beauty,weblink PLOS ONE, 6, 7, e21852, 10.1371/journal.pone.0021852, 1932-6203, 3130765, 21755004, no,weblink" title="">weblink August 30, 2017, mdy-all, This approach of localizing the processing of beauty in one brain region has received criticism within the field.JOURNAL, Conway, Bevil R., Rehding, Alexander, 2013-03-19, Neuroaesthetics and the Trouble with Beauty,weblink PLOS Biology, 11, 3, e1001504, 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001504, 1545-7885, 3601993, 23526878, no,weblink" title="">weblink June 8, 2017, mdy-all,

Human beauty

File:Herkulaneischer Meister 002.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Fresco of a Roman woman from PompeiiPompeiiThe characterization of a person as “beautiful”, whether on an individual basis or by community consensus, is often based on some combination of inner beauty, which includes psychological factors such as personality, intelligence, (wiktionary:grace|grace), politeness, charisma, integrity, (wikt:congruence|congruence) and elegance, and outer beauty (i.e. physical attractiveness) which includes physical attributes which are valued on an aesthetic basis.Standards of beauty have changed over time, based on changing cultural values. Historically, paintings show a wide range of different standards for beauty. However, humans who are relatively young, with smooth skin, well-proportioned bodies, and regular features, have traditionally been considered the most beautiful throughout history.A strong indicator of physical beauty is "averageness".Langlois, J.H., Roggman, L. (1990). "Attractive faces are only average." Psychol. Sci. 1, 115–121Strauss, M.S. (1979). "Abstraction of prototypical information by adults and 10-month-old infants." J. Exp. Psychol.: Human Learn. Mem. 5, 618–632.Rhodes, G., Tremewan, T. (1997) Averageness, exaggeration, and facial attractiveness. Psychol. Sci. 7, 105–110.Valentine, T., Darling, S., Donnelly, M. (2004). Why are average faces attractive? The effect of view and averageness on the attractiveness of the attractiveness of female faces. Psychon. Bull. Rev. 11, 482–487WEB,weblink Langlois Social Development Lab – The University of Texas at Austin,, May 1, 2018, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 4, 2015, mdy-all, When images of human faces are averaged together to form a composite image, they become progressively closer to the "ideal" image and are perceived as more attractive. This was first noticed in 1883, when Francis Galton overlaid photographic composite images of the faces of vegetarians and criminals to see if there was a typical facial appearance for each. When doing this, he noticed that the composite images were more attractive compared to any of the individual images.Galton, F. (1878). Composite portraits, made by combining those of many different persons in a single resultant figure. J. Anthropol. Inst. 8, 132–144. Researchers have replicated the result under more controlled conditions and found that the computer generated, mathematical average of a series of faces is rated more favorably than individual faces.JOURNAL, 10.1111/j.1467-9280.1994.tb00503.x, Langlois, J. H., Roggman, L. A., & Musselman, L., 1994, What is average and what is not average about attractive faces?, Psychological Science, 5, 214–220, It is argued that it is evolutionarily advantageous that sexual creatures are attracted to mates who possess predominantly common or average features, because it suggests the absence of genetic or acquired defects.Koeslag, J.H. (1990). "Koinophilia groups sexual creatures into species, promotes stasis, and stabilizes social behaviour." J. theor. Biol. 144, 15–35Symons, D. (1979) The Evolution of Human Sexuality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.NEWS,weblink Highfield, Roger, Roger Highfield, Why beauty is an advert for good genes, The Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2012, 7 May 2008, Telegraph Media Group Limited, There is also evidence that a preference for beautiful faces emerges early in infancy, and is probably innate,Slater, A.M., Von Der Schulenburg, C., Brown, E., et al. (1998). "Newborn infants prefer attractive faces." Infant Behav. Dev. 21, 345–354.Kramer, S., Zebrowitz, L.A., San Giovanni, J.P., Sherak, B. (1995). "Infants' preferences for attractiveness and babyfaceness." In Bardy, B.G., Bootsma, R.J., Guiard, Y. (Eds.) Studies in perception and action III. pp. 389–392. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum Associates.Rubenstein, A.J, Kalakanis, L., Langlois, J.H. (1999). Infant preferences for attractive faces: a cognitive explanation. Dev. Psychol. 35, 848–855.Langlois, J.H., Ritter, J.M., Roggman, L.A., Vaughn, L.S. (1991). "Facial diversity and infant preferences for attractive faces." Dev. Psychol. 27, 79–84.and that the rules by which attractiveness is established are similar across different genders and cultures.Apicella, C.L., Little, A.C., Marlowe, F.W. (2007). "Facial averageness and attractiveness in an isolated population of hunter-gatherers." Perception 36, 1813–1820.JOURNAL, Rhodes, G., 2006, The evolutionary psychology of facial beauty, Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 199–226, 10.1146/annurev.psych.57.102904.190208, 16318594, A feature of beautiful women that has been explored by researchers is a waist–hip ratio of approximately 0.70. Physiologists have shown that women with hourglass figures are more fertile than other women due to higher levels of certain female hormones, a fact that may subconsciously condition males choosing mates.NEWS,weblink Hourglass figure fertility link, 4 May 2004, BBC News, 1 July 2018, WEB,weblink Barbie-shaped women more fertile, Bhattacharya, Shaoni, 5 May 2004, New Scientist, 1 July 2018, However, other commentators have suggested that this preference may not be universal. For instance, in some non-Western cultures in which women have to do work such as finding food, men tend to have preferences for higher waist-hip ratios.WEB,weblink Best Female Figure Not an Hourglass, December 3, 2008, Live Science, 1 July 2018, NEWS,weblink Did evolution really make men prefer women with hourglass figures?, Locke, Susannah, June 22, 2014, Vox, 1 July 2018, WEB,weblink Hourglass Figures: We Take It All Back, Begley, Sharon, Sharon Begley, 1 July 2018, People are influenced by the images they see in the media to determine what is or is not beautiful. Some feminists and doctors{{vague|date=March 2013}} have suggested that the very thin models featured in magazines promote eating disorders,NEWS,weblink BBC News, Models link to teenage anorexia, May 30, 2000, April 26, 2010, no,weblink" title="">weblink October 3, 2009, mdy-all, and others have argued that the predominance of white women featured in movies and advertising leads to a Eurocentric concept of beauty, feelings of inferiority in women of color,White Skin as a Measure of Beauty: The Impact of the Eurocentric Beauty Standard on Indian Women. WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2016-06-06, no,weblink" title="">weblink December 1, 2017, mdy-all, and internalized racism.WEB,weblink Key Issues in Postcolonial Feminism: A Western Perspective, December 4, 2007, Gender Forum Electronic Journal, Chris Weedon,weblink" title="">weblink December 6, 2007, no, The black is beautiful cultural movement sought to dispel this notion.WEB,weblink Dr. DoCarmo's Notes on the Black Cultural Movement, December 4, 2007, Bucks County Community College, 2007, DoCarmo,weblink" title="">weblink December 20, 2007, yes, mdy, Fatima Lodhi, a young diversity and anti-colorism advocate from Pakistan, claims that "Beauty comes in all shapes, shades and sizes".WEB,weblink Forget Fair and Lovely, Dark is Divine: Pakistan’s First Anti-colorism Campaign, SONIA WARAICH, India, West,, May 1, 2018, no,weblink" title="">weblink December 6, 2015, mdy-all, The concept of beauty in men is known as 'bishōnen' in Japan. Bishōnen refers to males with distinctly feminine features, physical characteristics establishing the standard of beauty in Japan and typically exhibited in their pop culture idols. A multibillion-dollar industry of Japanese Aesthetic Salons exists for this reason.

Effects on society

File:Jade ornament with grape design.jpg|thumb|Chinese jade ornament with flower design, Jin dynasty (1115–1234 AD), Shanghai MuseumShanghai MuseumFile:Striking Night Sky.jpg|thumb|The night sky in the Atacama Desert. The concept of noctcaelador describes an emotional attachment to, or adoration of, the night sky.WEB,weblink Academic Orientation, Academic Achievement, and Noctcaelador: Does Interest in Night-Sky Watching Correlate with Students' Approach to the Academic Environment?, QuestiaQuestiaBeauty presents a standard of comparison, and it can cause resentment and dissatisfaction when not achieved. People who do not fit the "beauty ideal" may be ostracized within their communities. The television sitcom Ugly Betty portrays the life of a girl faced with hardships due to society's unwelcoming attitudes toward those they deem unattractive. However, a person may also be targeted for harassment because of their beauty. In Malèna, a strikingly beautiful Italian woman is forced into poverty by the women of the community who refuse to give her work for fear that she may "woo" their husbands. The documentary Beauty in the Eyes of the Beheld explores both the societal blessings and curses of female beauty through interviews of women considered beautiful.Researchers have found that good looking students get higher grades from their teachers than students with an ordinary appearance.WEB, Sharon Begley,weblink The Link Between Beauty and Grades, Newsweek, 14 July 2009, 2010-05-31,weblink" title="">weblink April 20, 2010, no, Some studies using mock criminal trials have shown that physically attractive "defendants" are less likely to be convicted—and if convicted are likely to receive lighter sentences—than less attractive ones (although the opposite effect was observed when the alleged crime was swindling, perhaps because jurors perceived the defendant's attractiveness as facilitating the crime).Amina A Memon, Aldert Vrij, Ray Bull (2003). Psychology and Law: Truthfulness, Accuracy and Credibility. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 46–47. {{ISBN|047086835X}} Studies among teens and young adults, such as those of psychiatrist and self-help author, Eva Ritvo, show that skin conditions have a profound effect on social behavior and opportunity.WEB,weblink Image survey reveals "perception is reality" when it comes to teenagers,, no,weblink" title="">weblink July 10, 2012, mdy-all, How much money a person earns may also be influenced by physical beauty. One study found that people low in physical attractiveness earn 5 to 10 percent less than ordinary looking people, who in turn earn 3 to 8 percent less than those who are considered good looking.NEWS, Lorenz, K., 2005,weblink Do pretty people earn more?, CNN News, Time Warner, Cable News Network, In the market for loans, the least attractive people are less likely to get approvals, although they are less likely to default. In the marriage market, women's looks are at a premium, but men's looks do not matter much.WEB, Daniel Hamermesh, Stephen J. Dubner,weblink Reasons to not be ugly: full transcript, Freakonomics, 30 January 2014, 2014-03-04, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 1, 2014, mdy-all, Conversely, being very unattractive increases the individual’s propensity for criminal activity for a number of crimes ranging from burglary to theft to selling illicit drugs.WEB, Erdal Tekin, Stephen J. Dubner,weblink Reasons to not be ugly: full transcript, Freakonomics, 30 January 2014, 2014-03-04, no,weblink" title="">weblink March 1, 2014, mdy-all, Discrimination against others based on their appearance is known as lookism.Gough, L. (2011). C. Northcote Parkinson's Parkinson's law. Oxford, U.K: Infinite Ideas Ltd. p. 36. {{ISBN|1283147378}}

Writers' definitions

St. Augustine said of beauty "Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked."WEB,weblink NPNF1-02. St. Augustine's City of God and Christian Doctrine - Christian Classics Ethereal Library,, May 1, 2018, no,weblink" title="">weblink July 1, 2017, mdy-all, Philosopher and novelist Umberto Eco wrote On Beauty: A history of a Western idea (2004)BOOK, On Beauty: A historyof a western idea, Eco, Umberto, Secker & Warburg, 2004, 0436205173, London, and On Ugliness (2007).BOOK, On Ugliness, Eco, Umberto, Harvill Secker, 2007, 9781846551222, London, A character in his novel The Name of the Rose declares: "three things concur in creating beauty: first of all integrity or perfection, and for this reason we consider ugly all incomplete things; then proper proportion or consonance; and finally clarity and light", before going on to say "the sight of the beautiful implies peace".BOOK, The Name of the Rose, Eco, Umberto, Vintage, 1980, 9780099466031, London, 65,

See also



External links

{{Commons category|Beauty}}{{Wiktionary|beauty|pretty}} {{aesthetics}}{{Authority control}}

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