Physical beauty is a measure in which the aesthetic traits of a human being are similar to those features that society attributed as beautiful. While, as it is widely said, beauty is a matter of taste, tastes are matters of perception which is highly influenced by the social system of values. This means that beauty, as well as pretty men and women, are before any other place, created inside our brains.
Beauty and Society – How Tastes Are Created?
Tastes are created through modifications of the ways we perceive things which means that mechanisms used for it must be capable of affecting our mental map. According to the definition, a mental map is a first-person perspective of an area that an individual possesses. This type of subconscious map shows a person what a place looks like and how to interact with it. The concept of this perception factor can be applied to every experience a human being has. Observing someone as beautiful or ugly is no exception. The shape of that observation is an estuary of an individual’s personal traits and effects that come from the extern environment. In modern times, many environmental factors encompass the process known as instrumental conditioning.Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out
Fatal Beauty – The Princess Who Caused 13 Suicides
Believe it or not, the lady on a picture above is the Persian princess responsible for 13 suicides committed by men who were incapable of accepting her refusal. Her name was Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh and she was the beauty symbol in Iran during the 19th century.
When we take a look at the famous actress from the picture below, Phoebe Tonkin also known as Haley Marshall from the popular vampire series Originals, it is very likely that the level of pleasantness we feel is higher than it was with the Persian princess. Naturally, a curiosity regarding discrepancies between beauty criteria became present on a wide scale.
Truths and Secrets Regarding Beauty
Examining large discrepancies between various cultures and their observations of beautiful revealed truths behind the secrets of beauty. In earlier times of human civilization when every day included fighting for survival, traits very different than today were the focus of admiration. Things associated with high survival abilities and basic biological functions were considered of a high value which allowed them to expend their influence in the area of beauty observation.
The Beauty of Women – Capability of Giving a Birth
In the old times, the highest function woman could achieve was giving birth to healthy kids and surviving it so it could give birth once more. The greatest achievement of a queen was to give a strong heir to her king. Therefore, it was important for a woman to be strong which resulted in observing all strength-related attributes such as big bones, fat neck, strong face with blush cheeks, round hips as beautiful. In Persia, for example, ladies even nurtured mustaches and were supposed to be big and fat while the man was expected to be slim. It was not a rare case that women and men could not be distinguished. However, together with the emergence of Hollywood, American standards of beauty conquered most of the world.
Tool Which Commercial Makers Use to Create Beauty – Instrumental Conditioning
Development of civilization and release from surviving tension allowed tastes to develop in a direction freed of nature and biology. People’s subjective perceiving of reality became the main tool in creating beauty. However, as a social being, every individual is more or less, part of a community in which he/she lives. Communities have standards that, to a certain degree, influence the way we perceive reality. Sometimes promoted values may lead to opposition and focus our admirations on the things with very different and even completely opposite features. In other cases prompted criteria may integrate into our psychological mechanism in charge of the decision of what are we going to like. This applies to the question of beauty. Since appealing look attracts attention and willingness to pay the price in order to consume or associate with the individual that holds the attribute, in modern societies, marketers and commercial makers play the most prominent role in the creation of beauty standards. Their best tool is instrumental conditioning.
What is Instrumental Conditioning?
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov is considered for a pioneer of instrumental conditioning. Abbreviated story is that his experiments proved the power of association which can be built in a short period of time through the connection of some completely irrelevant entity with something already known and pleasant. Maslov fed dogs, but before giving them a meal, he would blow in his whistle. A test tube set in the mouths of dogs was used to measure the secretion level of saliva. Before the experiment, the whistle blow made no change. However, after several days in which every meal was preceded by the sound, the connection of whistle blow and food happened. Before seeing any traces of their meal, on the sound of the whistle, the secretion of saliva would rapidly increase. This experiment proved that when occurring in short sequences, two completely irrelevant factors can bind and stimulate one another. It is how commercials induce us to stay loyal to a certain type of product. Now, you might ask yourself, what does this experiment with dogs have to do with beauty?
Can People be Maneuvered Like Dogs and Modified to Observe the Beauty on the Places Marketers Want?
The brief answer is yes. In order to better understand how is that possible, down below, we have included one perfect example of the sweet commercial that actually highly works for the sake of the beauty industry.
As you can see, the lady chosen to eat Kinder Bueno is, according to the social standards and tastes of most of the men, very pretty. Although, when you are a kid, the mainstream of your focus goes to sweet and its chocolate cream, all other details are observed. Her well-polished nails, a thin figure, soft skin, silky clothes, certain face contours are all entering our mind and when occurring repetitively, conduct instrumental conditioning over us. It is no secret that kids worship sweets. Therefore, a child’s mind will literally absorb everything that surrounds it in a context of high positivity. Those motives are going to remain in their subconscious until puberty. Then, during puberty, when visible part of sexual development starts to take place, the features of females teenagers are going to observe as attractive are going to match at least some of the features that were absorbed. The emphasis is set on the word “some” because how Kinder Bueno creates beauty is not the only factor as all marketers and mega-corporations, with or without attention, participate in instrumental conditioning. In addition to all of the mentioned facts, unique traits of personality will also take their part in the process of taste development.
When Did Process of Beauty Transformation End?
It did not end. After deeper analysis, it is inevitable to conclude that physical beauty is a stage in the ever-lasting evolution of mass observation. While we have the model of a perfect female that comes from the west and is widely accepted across Europe, Asia, and Australia, there are parts of India in which the fatter means nicer. Today, those are very poor areas in which overweight is associated with having possession over large amounts of food and therefore wealth. The same applies to Nigeria. There, pubescent girls were conducted over a special treatment of gaining weight before being married. Special huts were built in which ladies would stay up until two years having only one goal, to gain weight. However, when it comes to obesity, Renaissance is what gave the crown to ladies with weight surpluses. Painters would depict chubby males and females in the context of ideal body example.
Why Is Beauty so Important?
The beauty is important because it is the object of desire many people have. You will often hear statements claiming that physical look is absolutely irrelevant and that what we carry inside is what truly matters. However, the harsh reality teaches us differently. If beauty is irrelevant it wouldn’t play such an important role in almost every part of our life.
Life Periods Affected By Beauty
Besides the earliest childhood, there is no stage of life in which the effect of beauty possessed by an individual is omitted. In school, being too different from the social aesthetic standards will often make your outer appearance to be observed as ugliness. This will be followed by different kinds of bullying which will in one way or another, affect your self-esteem. It may lower it down and leave consequences that will remain for a lifetime or induce the “ugly” individual to fight for himself and achieve mental toughness. On the other hand, being beautiful may provide a boy or a girl with many astonishing moments and memories especially when it comes to love life. While the last statement can be the point of debate and disputes it is important to note that there are exceptions for everything. Yet, no one can deny that being a beautiful woman has way more benefits than being an “ugly” one. The beauty, especially in the world of ladies, is usually followed by many negative prejudices:
- Pretty women are shallow.
- Pretty women are stupid.
- Pretty women are evil.
- Beautiful women have no soul.
- Beautiful women end up alone.
This is due to a fact that for millennials, after being capable of giving birth, the greatest quality lady could possess was the beauty. Since the title of the prettiest lady goes to the winner of competition it is no wonder that so many negative emotions are involved when females compare their aesthetics. Not much has changed in the present times, although the capability of pregnancy is not so important.
Ways of Achieving Physical Beauty
If an individual, regardless of sex, had no luck being born with physical features similar to the ones glorified by on-going time and society, medical discoveries provided ways of changing outer traits of face and body. This topic is bound to the question of an identity crisis as there are people who, pursuing their visions of beauty, attempt to transform themselves into other beings.
Human Ken Doll
Justin Jedlica is over 30-year-old male with one life goal – to become Ken. He had over 100 surgeries which, according to his words, are far from over. When it comes to money, his strange inclinations cost him around 200 000 dollars. He started with chest modification followed by biceps and triceps improvement and continued making changes on his face. Justin believes that ken is a representation of an ideal male body. Justin found the inspiration that pushed him into this way of living watching the lifestyles of celebrities. Since almost every one of them had at least a couple of procedures Justin decided to follow their steps and have one of his own. His dream is to have a mansion and a private jet.
Identity Crisis – Michael Jackson
While a certain amount of modifications might seem acceptable, when we see people transformed into dolls, a question of ethics and mental health occurs. The famous Michael Jackson was born like a healthy black male. However, it seemed that he wanted to be someone else from the earliest days. He was prone to wearing masks. In the video spot of his famous hit “Thriller”, Michale showed the transformation into a werewolf. After breaking his nose on dancefloor he had his first plastic surgery. The outcome of physical modifications led to the transformation into a pale white man. These facts allowed many theories to develop – from the explanation that Michael Jackson wanted to become a vampire to the assumption that he sought a way to make his face timeless. Whatever the reason, there is a completely logical foundation for the assumption that the legendary singer, as well as Justin the ken, was/is burdened by serious mental problems.
How Pursuit For Beauty Affects Psychology?
While putting more make-up, going to the gym, or even performing some surgical procedure of augmenting breasts or lips can give a boost in the areas of self-esteem and self-confidence, the line which, when passed, leads to deviation and self-destruction is thin. Getting near the aesthetic criteria proclaimed by society or those in your head is one thing, but constant attempts to achieve a perfect match can result in high frustration. If that frustration has no end, eventually, besides transformation like Justin and Michel had, it can even lead to suicide.
Dark Sides of Beauty
Whether it is achieved or received, great beauty has its dark side. The temptation is the word that could unite many of-roads under a single banner. If you chose to observe the oldest craft as an evil thing, then the opportunity of achieving the conditions for high life through selling body is one of the worst places the beauty can take one lady. History of prostitution had shown us that the pretty women were always at a high price. In the ancient eras, nice ladies in brothels were merchandise, but in modern times, with freedom and right to even chose whether they want to satisfy a potential customer or not, there are almost no limits for a good looking prostitute. But it is not only the prostitution that lurks from the bushes of immorality. There are egoism and narcissism as well, threatening to become the main features of someone’s character. But the darkest of all is time.
Time is the Darkest Part of a Great Beauty
Three words are enough to describe the existence – it will pass. Everything passes with time. So does the beauty. Maybe the hardest obstacle for ladies that used to be beautiful is slowly decreasing from the breathtaking phenomenon which draws everyone’s attention where ever it appears, to unnoticeable wrinkled granny who just tinkers around. While this is not a rule, there are many cases in which youth left together with mental health.