The concept of beauty
In ancient Greece, Helen of Troy, a figure from Greek mythology, was considered the icon of beauty.
She was celebrated not for her kindness or her intellect, but for her physical perfection. But why did Greek men find Elena so intoxicating?
There were many philosophers who tried to answer this.
Some defined the so-called “golden proportions”, where there are proportions in the various parts of the face that make it beautiful.
Plotinus, a Greek philosopher, instead wrote: “Everyone says that visible beauty arises from the symmetry of the parts, one in relation to the other, and each in relation to the whole; therefore the beauty of all beings is their symmetry and their measure ”.
Then, subsequently, the belief was born that the symmetry of the face was a fundamental feature to fall within the canons of beauty.
Today we no longer speak of proportions, but rather of a mutual similarity between the right and left side of the face.
Hence, the belief of the Greeks was only partially correct.
Today, applying the strict conditions of the scientific method, researchers believe that symmetry is the real answer that the Greeks sought.
In a recent study, a group of children had been shown a series of images of people with symmetrical and asymmetrical faces. What resulted was that children spent more time staring at images of symmetrical individuals than the latter.
Is beauty useful for the evolution of the species?
Scholars believe that preference for symmetry is a highly evolutionary trait also present in the animal world. For example, female swallows prefer males with longer, but symmetrical tails, and zebras mate more frequently with the male who has stripes in the legs positioned symmetrically.
The rationale behind the preference for symmetry in both humans and animals is that, according to the researchers, symmetry is equated to a strong immune system.
Thus, the beauty given by symmetry is indicative of more resistant genes, improving the probability that an individual’s offspring will survive in unfavorable conditions compared to species that do not respect these characteristics.
This evolutionary theory is supported by research which shows that the standards of attractiveness are similar in all cultures.
Further confirmation emerged, according to a study by the University of Louisville, when they showed images of different individuals, including Asians, Latins and whites from 13 different countries, and all had the same general preferences in evaluating symmetrical faces attractive.
How important is beauty?
When making new acquaintances, the first impression is fundamental, the physical appearance and above all the face.
Only later, characteristics such as personality, intelligence and character begin to take on importance, meaning.
According to a study by economist Daniel Hamermesh, by collecting data from different countries and cultures, he discovered that beauty, in addition to facilitating relationships, is also linked to success. (Learn more about the psychology of famous people)
The companies, companies that hired, according to this study, very attractive people, in addition to having appropriate skills, had, on average, higher economic revenues than similar companies that had not hired staff with criteria based also on physical appearance.
In conclusion, this study reports that the public rewards companies where there are beautiful faces more.
The expectations of beauty
A recent study says that whoever is beautiful hides a selfish streak.
Consciously – or unconsciously – use beauty to your advantage in any way possible.
Having a beautiful appearance, especially for women, makes you receive kindness, attention, favoritism in everyday life.
This leads to having “demands” from others.
He begins to expect others to always do favors and that everything is due, a kind of “princess syndrome”.
It is the center of attention and all the others are of little importance.
Physical beauty, nowadays, is considered a “luck” and those who own it are considered by the “less beautiful” as the equivalent winner of the “genetic lottery”.
In society, attractive people tend to be perceived initially as more intelligent, better suited and more popular.
This has been described as the halo effect – derived from the perfection of beauty associated with angels.
Beauty and the halo effect
Beauty generates in others the so-called “halo effect”: when someone makes a good first impression, we are led to believe that other traits, characteristics of that person, which we do not know, are equally good.
We could summarize: “what is beautiful must also be good”.
Analyzing the results of various studies on beauty for decades, social psychologists, Lisa Slattery Walker and Tonya Frevert of the University of North Carolina, have found a large amount of research showing that the most beautiful students, university and non-university, tend to be judged by the teachers to be more competent and intelligent – and this was possible to verify on the basis of the marks that were given.
This, according to Frevert, leads these subjects to have high self-esteem, positive self-convictions and therefore to have more opportunities and possibilities to demonstrate their skills.
In the workplace, facial beauty can really be a good card to take advantage of.
All else being equal, beautiful people tend to earn higher wages and rise higher in the company than people considered less attractive.
A study found a 10 to 15% difference in earnings between the most beautiful and least beautiful people in a group, which resulted in a difference of about $ 230,000 over a lifetime.
“Beauty offers benefits from school desks at work,” says Walker.
But being beautiful only brings advantages?
As we well know, “not all that glitters is gold”.
If beauty pays off in most circumstances, there are also situations where it could be a problem.
Being beautiful and trying to remain beautiful in the eyes of others can, as has been seen in many cases of show business characters, confining to a real obsession.
Contrary to what one might think, low self-esteem is more common in particularly beautiful women than in women considered to be “of common beauty”.
There are various types of beautiful women: the one who is neither attractive nor beautiful, and be wary of the compliments received believing that she is surrounded by fake people and therefore does not trust anyone.
Or there are those who are beautiful, but very shy, and to protect themselves from constant attention, they tend to isolate themselves.
Unfortunately, however, this attitude could make them appear snobbish, arrogant, superficial.
Often, however, by deepening the knowledge, it can be discovered that they are kind, nice people, only a little shy and reserved.
The refusal of beauty
Probably one of the most difficult consequences that a beautiful woman has to face is social rejection.
The beauty of others can generate fears, insecurities in people of common beauty.
When it comes to members of their own sex, the woman / man of particular beauty is often marginalized.
As it is listed in the Top Ten of what are the factors that make a woman beautiful as “threatened” by other women, in the first place, there is beauty.
Many women perceive another woman’s beauty as a threat to steal their partner.
Not trusting their partner, when they are in the presence of a beautiful woman, they prefer to simply refuse her, away from the possibility of becoming a friend, an acquaintance.
In the meantime, men, on the other hand, think “but what chance do I have with such beauty? He can have any man he wants, who has money, success and a good presence … “and this leads them to be intimidated and to watch from afar rather than trying to approach them to get to know them.
Another study has shown that being beautiful also affects your bank account, and not only positively.
Particularly beautiful women and men spend about a third of their salary on beauty and personal care products, as well as on diets, cosmetic surgery, gym, etc.
This obsession with having to remain beautiful at all costs is further confirmed by the photographs that appear in the various magazines, creating even more pressure.
Paradoxically, focusing too much on your physical appearance and on abstract ideals of beauty can be disadvantageous, unnecessarily fueling anxiety and insecurities, even in those who are already beautiful!
Focusing too much on appearing attractive can alter relationships with others.
Health and beauty
Another worrying aspect is that external beauty can endanger medical treatment.
In fact, a recent research has revealed that there is a tendency to associate beauty with good health.
This means that the onset of disease symptoms are often taken less seriously when they belong to people of particular beauty.
Doctors tend to be less scrupulous when visiting someone with good looks.
So, being beautiful is not a “passport to happiness”, although, it cannot be denied, it helps. No beauty can compensate for a lack of personality.
Beauty, therefore, has its positive and negative sides.
The real question is: what exactly determines that beauty leads to happiness or its “dark side”?
The answer is quite simple.
Beauty is a positive quality, just like physical strength, charisma, intelligence … ..
The key, like any gift you have, is in how you use it.
Beauty does not define you as a person. Rather, it is a quality to be considered as only a small part of who you are.
Elliot Aronson, a social psychologist from Stanford University suggests that people who feel attractive – though not necessarily classified as such – are just as successful as people who are objectively considered beautiful, getting the same type of feedback from other people .
And how do you see yourself, do you feel, beautiful or ugly?
What do you think of you when you look in the mirror? How much does it affect your being and your relationships, not feeling beautiful, attractive, charming?
Young women today see more pictures of exceptionally beautiful women in one day that our mothers have seen in all their years of youth.
It is no wonder that 8 out of 10 women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
Standards of female beauty have become progressively more unrealistic and unattainable. We need full-time hairdressers, make-up artists, personal trainers and dieticians to try and keep up.
The truth is, most of us are not “beautiful” as defined by the current media standards of beauty.
Even models and actresses, when photographed in everyday situations, are not so perfect.
Even though this beauty standard is known to be unrealistic and unattainable to achieve, most of us spend a lot of time, emotional energy and money trying to achieve beauty that respects certain standards.
How can you feel beautiful?
Not everyone is born with the gene of beauty, but there are precautions to be able to feel beautiful and consequently, to look beautiful to others.
If we are not the first to like and feel fascinating, with greater difficulty we will be able to transmit this to our interlocutors.
Here are some ways to start feeling beautiful and consequently to make others see us beautiful:
- Smile often. A smile illuminates the face. It triggers happiness and transmits brightness to others.
- Remember posture: Straight back. High head. Having a posture that makes you seem confident, energetic.
- Pay attention to the strengths and not to the defects. Stop staring or stubbornly concentrating on some wrinkles, slightly broad hips etc., but rather enhance your qualities, because you have more beautiful than ugly characteristics.
- Appreciate your flaws. Each of us has flaws, nobody is exempt from them, so observe them, accept them and that same flaw could become your strong point.
- Be expressive, communicative. The facial expressions, natural, do nothing but externalize the splendor inside.
- Don’t be afraid to be enthusiastic when something makes you happy, also express it with your body.
- Practice a sport (swimming, tai chi, dance, yoga …) or simply take a nice walk every day. Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin that improve mood.
- Recognize your inner beauty. Take a pen and paper and write down all the qualities you have, all that is beautiful … Can’t find anything? Look better and you will be amazed at how much beauty you carry with you and you could pass on to others.
- Show kindness. A kind person wins everyone over. It shines and gives positive emotions.
- Don’t go overboard with make-up or too flashy clothes. You do not need it. You are already beautiful like this, you just have to find out and recognize it.
- Don’t rely on the passing years. Your age does not define your beauty. Each passing year gives you one more year of beauty, not less as most of us mistakenly believe.
- Dedicate yourself to your passion, creating something. Creating leads to positive inner energy.
- Stop the negative thoughts you have about yourself. When they arrive, look at them and direct them to constructive thoughts.
The influence of negative and positive thoughts on beauty
Our negative thoughts “make us ugly”. If we think we are ugly, our mind will be convinced of this.
When a negative thought comes, mark it as such. Example: “The nose is horrible”. Say to yourself, “I have a negative thought that my nose is horrible.” Remember, you are not your negative thought. Replace it with a positive thought, and you will come to believe that it is so.
- Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. It makes no sense to wear skirts or stilettos if you feel inappropriate, uncomfortable.
- Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Lack of sleep, the small hours, stress our body. The body needs good sleep to be relaxed and regenerated.
- Avoid smoking, or at least initially, limit the number of cigarettes. Smoke ages the skin, the color is dull, a bad smell gives off. Eliminating or at least partially reducing this bad habit will allow you to feel better and consequently to like yourself.
- Take care of the health of your teeth. At least once a year mark on your agenda to go for a dentist check, and why not, do a dental cleaning. This will make you smile even more easily.
- Create beauty in your habitat: Cleanliness, order, fresh flowers make the environment in which you live comfortable, healthy and pleasant.
- Get yourself a good lunch / dinner. Self-care also comes during meals. A good dish prepared with the right calmness and thought, gives pleasantness not only to the palate, but also to the soul.
- Reduce the accumulated stress. Find the cause of your stress and do something to alleviate it.
- Don’t judge other people. Whenever you think of someone negative, these negative thoughts will affect you, and in a negative way. So try to see the positive things of others, and this will reflect on yourself.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. This will cause you to lose confidence.
- Take a part of the day, even a minimal one, where you do something just for yourself, which creates pleasure. And once a month take a whole day where you can get away from the usual routine, doing only pleasant and peaceful things. Your body and mind will benefit greatly.
- Learn to meditate. Meditation can help you regain, regain possession of your mind by letting go of negative thoughts.
- Surround yourself with people “beautiful inside” who love you.
- Do something for others – this will make you feel better.
- Set feasible goals and achieve them. When one achieves a set goal, one’s self-esteem grows.
- Look at yourself in the mirror, in the morning just getting up, wash your face, smile and repeat “I am beautiful, I am attractive, I like myself”. This will lead to creating positive emotions in you to the point that you will see yourself with different eyes and begin to appreciate yourself.