The Science Of Beauty: What We Deem Desirable

Poets and artists have attempted to describe beauty practically since the beginning of recorded history. Some would argue that some of these folks managed to pin down the nature of beauty, while others maintain that true beauty is indescribable. Even today in our allegedly “sophisticated” society, many of us are at a loss when we’re told to explain the concept of beauty. After all, what may be beautiful for one person may not be for someone else. Beauty isn’t objective; it lies in the eye of the beholder, or so people have said.

On the other hand, is beauty truly beyond definition, or can it be defined through science. Some people would say so. If not, we probably wouldn’t have things like cosmetic dental that gives people perfectly straight, white teeth. So, if there is a science behind true beauty, how does it work?

The Purpose Behind Beauty
Not surprisingly, scientists say that the evolutionary purpose to beauty is all about sex. Simply put, certain people are beautiful because natural selection that they look like good mating partners and who will provide the genetic material necessary to give us good children. On our most primitive levels, we desire to propagate and ensure the survival of our species, and we seek out people who will help us do that.

With that being said, what is it that supposedly look for in our potential mates? Science says that symmetry is very important in determining what we find attractive. A symmetrical face suggests that a person has strong DNA that can be replicated without errors. This translates to stronger offspring and a stronger species overall. To see this theory in action, consider what celebrities are considered the most attractive. Chances are that they appear with very symmetrical faces, either naturally or through makeup or cosmetic surgery.

Health is another aspect of true scientific beauty. Obviously, if we picked our partners based solely on whether or not they can give us good children, we all would gravitate towards those who look healthy. By “healthy,” we mean that a person has good-looking skin, good teeth and healthy hair. Good teeth in particular are important since it indicates that a person is both healthy and has a good diet. This is why the cosmetic dental field is such an important part of dentistry. Crooked, yellow or missing teeth indicate poor health and a poor diet, while beautiful white and straight teeth convey the opposite.

The ideal mate will also look young, which both explains our culture’s obsession with looking young and fits into the idea that we look for people most likely to give us children. Other factors that suggest healthiness and fertility include large breasts and large “birthing hips” in women.

So, what does this mean for our previously abstract concept of beauty? After all, it all seems to fit in with our society’s standards of beauty. However, some would argue that beauty is more subjective than that. In the end, perhaps beauty is still subjective and indescribable.

Written by Brionna

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