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Beauty Defined

The idea of beauty is an interesting thing. I've heard many studies over the years claiming theories about what constitutes beauty in a society. Some of these theories you may have heard yourself. One of them is based off of symmetry. A study showed that faces that measured to be more symmetric in photos were given a higher approval rating from the people who were picked to rate the photos by beauty. This theory also is carried into architecture. Most buildings are built as symmetrically as possible. Look at virtually every Capital Building in every State. County Courthouses, skyscrapers, Eiffel Tower, White House, the Taj Mahal. All these buildings seem beautiful to us. People take pictures of them not only for their size but because they're beautiful. Maybe they wouldn't be quite as beautiful if they weren't so symmetrical? It's a thought.

Another idea is that beauty is seen in reproductive capabilities. It's been said that men are subconsciously attracted to hourglass shaped women because the hips would suggest a better chance at birthing healthier babies. When googling about this subject for a little more content I even ran across there being a specific waist-to-hip ratio that according to physiologists accurately indicates women's fertility levels. On the women's perspective, I once saw a 20/20 report that was all about how a new study showed that almost 70% of women will pick a man to be her partner that has the "strong" facial features like wide jaws, over set brow, small mouth, and set apart eyes. These same women with almost the same majority pointed out that in their opinion these men that they would choose as a mate also have most of the undesirable qualities in behaviour like they tend to not be good fathers or caring husbands. The men's chances of abandoning the relationship at any point were greater.

This study clearly showed that the 1000 women polled would choose a mate based off of "desirable" appearances despite everything else being "undesirable". The other men were overwhelmingly seen as safer bets, but remained unchosen by the majority of the women polled. So, could women, too, be just as shallow as the men whom they accuse of the same? Sociologists claim that this study shows that these women like all women simply want healthy, strong, "desirably featured" children and are willing to take the chance on the man in order to get the desired baby.

For whatever reasons beauty is defined, the results of beauty have a profound effect on society and always have. A casual stroll through a shopping mall, a few minutes of commercials between tv shows, even something as simple as logging in to MySpace can find you seeing ads about how to be more beautiful with some skin care product, hair conditioner, or weight loss program. It was these ads on the internet that sparked this blog in the first place. I captured three of them and created two of my own. I'm sure that there's no misunderstanding as to which two I made, but for disclaimer purposes let me say now that both the Clearasil and Olay ads are indeed not ads ran by either company. After seeing these funny ads you should watch the YouTube video of the Dove commercial if you haven't already seen it. It's a great demonstration of how beauty is perceived and how the beauty product industry has raised the bar to an almost unreachable level.

Do you have any theories that relate to the subject of beauty? Let us know and comment below.


As I have grown older (mind and body) I have learned that beauty is something that comes from the inside. The most "beautiful" man or woman can be the most ugly person on the inside.

I absolutely love the Dove commercials and ads. They are very empowering to all women...big and small, young and old and so on and so forth. If all media would use that approach I bet they would be quite surprised at the outcome. :)

Loved what you had to say, Levi!!

I actually don't like most of the Dove ads just because it shows women their underwear. Having kids changes your perspective on everything that is if you are trying to raise them right. Seeing the dove ads and the Victoria Secret ads both make me want to frantically find the remote and change the channel before Jacob locks eyes on the screen.

However, I do really like the concept and the whole idea of their campaign. I find that even though fakeness can be exciting and fun to look at (i.e. cartoons, computer animated movies, commercials with lots of stuff popping up on the screen, etc.) it's the simple "real" programming that I like the best. A perfect example of this is the Sonic commercials. It just seems that most people are way more engaged in something the more real it is. This would explain why people will pay a hundred dollars to see a band live when you can buy their CD for a tenth of the price. The CD even has better sound, but it never matches the live concert does it?
Reality has a value. People can relate to it. Some advertising agencies have caught on to that little fact and are profiting from it. I say, "good for them."

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