We are bombarded everyday with beauty contests like Miss Universe and shows like Extreme Makeover, as well as People Magazine featuring the most beautiful people in the world, all trying to answer the question “What is beauty?”. Furthermore, advertisements abound that offer the definition of beauty, selling products by selling hope of either making oneself more beautiful or maintaining ones beauty. We have taken for granted what the definition of beauty is according to society, but have you really stopped to ponder what is beauty, really? It might surprise you.
Anyone in the streets can tell you their personal definition of beauty: who they think is beautiful and who isnt. And the surprising thing is that despite the common saying that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, people will come to roughly the same conclusions of what is beauty. Suffice to say, there are common definitions to what the definition of beauty is, which is much determined by society as a form of survival of the fittest.
In a recent paper entitled “What is beauty anyway?” came to the following conclusions: when asked what is beauty, men would say that a beautiful woman boils down to two characteristics: 1. Happy. 2. Healthy. Notice in the characteristics description, there is no specific mention about bums and boobs; perhaps they fall somewhere in the healthy category! Is this answer to “What is beauty” too simplistic? Lets take a close look. There is more to the definition of beauty than meets the eye.
Babies are naturally attracted to happy faces. This is why when you smile they would smile too. They are natural reflectors of how you feel, and they help define what is beauty. When we are happy, our brain let off adrenalin, there is light in our eyes, we walk with vigor, and we have hope for living. When we are down, our eyes are naturally downcast, our face tense up, we slouch and our mind is elsewhere. We tend to wear darker colors too, so as not to bring attention to ourselves. Happy people attract others, while sad people tend to pull people away.
Being healthy doesnt mean that we have to have the figure of Tomb Raider to meet the definition of beauty. Looking healthy means having good skin, being energetic and having no obvious disability or disfigurement. We all know the ways to achieve healthiness to various degrees–Eating right, sleeping well, exercising regularly and learning to manage stress in a appropriate manner.
Multiple studies done by researchers independent of one another show that an overwhelming amount of what is considered beautiful also correlates to how symmetric the face and body are. Humans seem to have a natural averaging selection when determining the definition of beauty.
Most of us are born more symmetric than we are right now. As we grow older, we pick up bad habits unknowingly, like tilting our head to our side, holding tension on one side of the shoulder, which causes imbalances with our bodies. However, the good news is that we can change our bodies by being more aware and through stretching and strengthening exercises.
What is important is that for these characteristics of beauty, we can make positive changes to them. True, all of us might wish that we have the eyes Milla Jovovich and the body of Madonna; however, there are a lot of things that we can do to be happy and healthy and to offer the answer to what is beauty for ourselves. The major deterrent to becoming beautiful is the poor self images that we have of ourselves and the fact that we look outward for the definition of beauty. When we think ourselves poorly, we wish to be somebody else and looking for a quick fix when really we have the capability within ourselves for better change. You are beautiful, you just need to get it out.