On beauty

Appreciation of beauty/aesthetics is something innate [and I’m beginning to suspect cultural influences tend to carve a certain image as ideal from the original raw unprocessed “instinct”.]. Remember that Emirates commercial that’s been airing recently?

“We all speak one language. Football.”?

Well the first statement is true [in one way or another] but the object in the next ought to be beauty! There’s a lot of references I can quote, including that documentary The Human Face, hosted by John Cleese and Liz Hurley [the hotness]. According to that one, the human brain is hotwired to recognise aesthetics when it sees it. A young impressionable child is given lotsa portraits and asked to arrange them in order of increasing beauty and for the most part, the normal and disfigured and [what’s worse than disfigured?] mutated faces were right on top. [No offence to the disadvantaged! I’m trying to be as objective as possible!] This was the ranking by a child and it almost perfectly mirrors how an adult would’ve ranked it. Howzat.

Recall the golden ratio? Well it’s intimately connected to human beauty. [Almost makes you instantly accept the possibility of divine design, but some people can be hardcore skeptics.]

Beauty: the property, quality, or state of being “that which pleases merely by being perceived” (Aquinas). Hence is attractive, pleasing, fine, or good looking, and hopeful comeliness. So if we re-define beauty from how we “see” to how we -perceive-, then there’s a whole host of other senses waiting to be described. Music is beautiful, massage is beautiful, sweetness [a taste attribute] is beautiful, some esters smell beautiful and last but not least, the culprit that determines all these things, the mind finds just about anything that pleases it beautiful. Maybe beauty is the ideal version of anything that does not distress, which would explain why it is hardwired into our brains. Another take at survival of the fittest. Avoid anything that distresses you; stress/distress is the no.1,228 cause of all caveman deaths.

But let’s get back to physical beauty. The cause for marvel is that beauty is not a single trait. It’s not affected by a single allele that would then mean similar phenotypes in the majority of the human population. It’s a host of alleles, from skin/eye/hair colour to facial anatomy [chiefly cheekbones and chin shapes], the distribution/existence of [visible and widespread] vellus hair [rrrruff], ear and nose shapes, eye orientation and size [upturned or not], thickness of eyelashes, fullness of lips and this is all just still hovering around facial features. For me, this takes most priority [I collect portraits!], but there’s still the whole body to consider [fat distribution, muscle definition among other things] but I’m not really interested, hmmm. Anyway I’ve digressed too much. I was trying to highlight that the probability of achieving the perfect face [if there’s even such a thing; see previous post on truth] is nil, and not only because the two halves that make up one zygote are probably never going to be perfect in the first place. [Must…promote…eugenics…or…mass….genocide…]

But that doesn’t mean we should lose heart, really, every face is unique. Even comparing two beautiful faces, the ratio of distance between the bottom of the nose and the top of the upper lip to the max width of the nose may be the same but there may be nothing else similar and yet they’ll be beautiful faces. And that’s not to say a face has to have beautiful features to be beautiful! A smile is beautiful. Greenish flecks in an otherwise blue iris, naturally perfect teeth, unusual teeth that makes one look playful and cute, braces [fetish?], spectacles!! [definitely a fetish!], double eyelids or even lack thereof, slitty eyes, snub noses, parrot noses [hahaha that reminds me. Is it insensitive that nose surgery is called rhinoplasty?], elfin ears, short hair, long hair, shaggy layered with nape exposed [DEFINITELY a fetish!], baldness, clean-shaven, stubbly chin [you get the point already?]: none of these features are desirable or not by themselves. It is the unique synergy of all of them combined that makes any face unique and good in its own way. Nope, sorry to disappoint you, this isnt the sarcastic ‘I wanna be unique, just like everyone else.” argument.

Faces, ah!…and critics hail abstract art, ha! Sometimes I wonder if deep inside, everyone thinks life’s a impromptu movie and they’re the star with a LOT of co-stars. Can you imagine? 6.5 billion movies and each assumes it’s the next big blockbuster. [I know I know, my analogies suck. Working on it…]

Even a decidedly less attractive face can smile and be more jovial than a beautiful face with cruel looks and downcast eyes. The possibilities are endless! And eyes, how can one not appreciate the beauty of an eyeball? That I’ll discuss later in some post that I’m planning as a tribute to the Corinthian from Sandman.

There was this [indian] movie that mentioned there are types of beauty as well; broad categories. For example, there’s beauty that just inspires plain lust. Beauty that’s homely and pleasant to look at. Beauty that’s divine and makes you want to protect and worship it. How true! There’s probably more. Beauty that inspires creativity, and conversely beauty that just makes you forget about everything else. Unusual beauty [unlikely features coming together and although they suck individually, the synergy is amazingly good], artificial beauty [thai trannies? made-up faces], natural beauty, flawed beauty, am I allowed to keep crapping forever?

Try this facial perception quiz. It’s not quite along the lines of my argument, but it might be relevant. Haha my results were 50-50. I think that’s pretty unusual. Hmmm.

And yes, the reason for this blog: I just watched Malena. Monica Bellucci is a man-made miracle! sigh..

P.S: There’s levels of beauty too. Just because a face is attractive doesn’t mean it’s beautiful. Linguistically speaking, beautiful is the ideal definition of attractiveness. So there must be and are other similar words that describe attractiveness to varying degrees. Cute, gorgeous, callipygian [lol!!!], comely, foxy, elegant, divine, enchanting, glamourous, pretty and all those words taht you can easily get out of a thesaurus definition of beautiful. They’re there for a reason [most of them anyway] and it’d be good if people took the time to trecognise the distinction and use them correctly. I know I’m going to try with renewed interest.


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