What does being beautiful really mean?

Being beautiful - what does that actually mean?

Being beautiful - what does that actually mean?

Sport, healthy nutrition, adequate sleep, outfit, styling and cosmetics: they should all contribute to making someone look healthy, well-groomed and simply good. Very few would like to appear as ugly duckling or gray mouse, but rather emphasize their advantages and present themselves attractively.


But: being beautiful - what does that actually mean?


Beauty from a science point of view

The first scientist to propose a theory about the importance of beauty in the development of living things was Charles Darwin. He had noticed that in the animal kingdom the males are mostly more beautiful than the females.

The males often have colorful plumage, magnificent antlers, make distinctive sounds, perform courtship dances or attract attention in other ways. The females, on the other hand, often look simple and inconspicuous and their behavior is also rather inconspicuous.

But the females are the ones who look after the offspring. Darwin deduced from this that males must stand out because of their beauty. Otherwise they would not be selected by the females and consequently would not be able to reproduce. Darwin based his theory of beauty on the voting behavior of females and thus on female power.

However, this theory only seems to apply to humans to a limited extent. It is true that in humans, too, the woman is the one who carries the children and usually also looks after them. But at the same time, the woman should be the one in the relationship who makes herself up pretty and looks good.

Science does not agree on whether this can really be said across the board. There are scientists who confirm that a certain look can open the door to social life. Other scientists recall that in earlier times it was the man who embodied the ideals of beauty. There was a change only through the distribution of roles in the modern age.

So the man became the one who went to work and made a living. The woman, on the other hand, ran the household and represented the family. This in turn also meant that the woman dressed up nicely.

The sense of beauty

Basically, beauty is subjective. What one person finds extremely attractive can at best be average for another person or not at all correspond to his or her taste. But nevertheless a person has to know from somewhere what is beautiful for him and what is not. Science has dealt with the question of whether there is such a thing as a sense of beauty.

In one experiment, researchers took babies as test subjects because they assumed that babies judged impartially. The researchers showed the babies photos of attractive and less beautiful people.

It turned out that the babies looked at the photos with the people who had also been rated as good-looking by adults for much longer. However, it cannot be deduced from this that a person is given in the cradle what they think is beautiful. Instead, the human sense of beauty develops through a learning process. People observe their surroundings, find out what they like and what they don't, and receive praise or criticism for certain things.

In the course of time, people learn how to define beauty and beauty for themselves. However, this learning process is also influenced from outside and the media play a major role in this context. Celebrities set trends and magazines, TV shows and advertising set the current ideals of beauty.

At the same time, the media urge you to work permanently on yourself in order to come as close as possible to these ideals of beauty. Physical beauty is therefore always defined to a certain extent by how a person believes that they are seen by others. But that is not only the case now, it was no different in the past.

The ideals of beauty through the ages

What corresponds to the ideal of beauty depends on the zeitgeist and culture. In the Stone Age, for example, lush curves and voluminous bodies were popular, while in ancient Egypt, bodies that were as narrow and delicate as possible were considered beautiful. In addition, the ancient Egyptians attached great importance to the careful removal of body hair.

2000 years later, body hair came back into fashion, for example in the form of artistically braided beards among the Assyrians. In ancient Rome it was nice to have blonde hair. Blonde hair stood for bravery, strength of will and a particularly noble, graceful appearance. Those who weren't naturally blonde helped with urine and corrosive liquids as bleach. In the Renaissance, the child pattern with large eyes, an elegant pale complexion, a high forehead and long, curly hair became the ideal of beauty.

Since this applied to women and men, both styled themselves similarly. In the Baroque period, fullness was popular again and, above all, a thick, round bottom was considered particularly beautiful. This image of beauty was short-lived and tightly laced corsets and narrow wasp waists soon became fashionable. Femininity was out in the 1920s. Instead, short hairstyles and hardly any curves were considered beautiful.

From the post-war period onwards, the media began to set ideals of beauty. Celebrities such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Romy Schneider or Elvis Presley and James Dean have been declared role models for beauty.

The ideals of beauty today

Even today, a slim body is considered beautiful. But there is also another big keyword, namely naturalness. However, naturalness does not mean that everything has to be real. There is nothing wrong with correcting and bleaching your teeth, squirting away wrinkles, enlarging your breasts or having small rolls of bacon suctioned off.

There is also nothing wrong with artificial fingernails, hair extensions or a thick layer of make-up. At least not if the techniques and tools help create an appearance that is real and natural. Ultimately, however, it is true then as now that what you like is beautiful. After all, beauty is not just about outward appearance.

Inner posture is also part of beauty. No matter how beautifully made up and styled someone is - if they don't like themselves that much, their styling will only look like a mask.

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Topic: Being beautiful - what does that actually mean?

Owner at Artdefects Media Verlag
Sabine Scheuerhagen, 52 years old, owner of a beauty salon, Karina Michewski, 38 years old, chemist and Laura Bochte, 35 years old beauty and wellness specialist, as well as Christian G├╝lcan, operator and editor of this website, write useful information, instructions and advice on the subject of cosmetics , Health and wellness.