Over the years, people have been discussing about the concept of beauty. Every day, we hear people talking about beautiful places, beautiful things, and beautiful people. People have different notions about what beauty is, and what makes something, somebody, or a place beautiful. At times, what may seem or look beautiful to one person may appear ugly to another person. There is a common saying, which says that, ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.’ Indeed, beauty depends on how one views things, and how one experiences attraction.
According to Dilworth, the concept of beauty lies behind our neurological experiences. An object, a place, a situation, or a person, may be perceived to be beautiful, if the sight of that object/place/situation/person generates some kind of physical reaction within our bodies, which is agreeable with what we have seen (Dilworth). This kind of physical reaction to stimuli is very powerful because it controls our emotions towards objects and other people. Dilworth explains that, neurological experience forms the basis of the science of art. According to neurologists, human response to art is evoked by humans’ neurological experience. For instance, an individual, whom during his /her childhood, experienced many colors: perhaps his/her bedroom was painted with different colors, may grow up with a notion that a beautiful piece of art is something, which is filled with different colors. Therefore, whenever this person sees a piece of art, say a painting, done in different colors, the first word that comes to the individual’s mind is ‘beautiful.’ This is because the sight of such an object evokes some childhood memories in that person, which are in agreement with what the person is seeing. For this reason, neurologists say that many artistic works are direct emotional responses of different people, of which, many of them are usually emotional expressions of beauty (Dilworth).
People have different views concerning what makes a person beautiful. For instance, studies indicate that the North Americans identify beauty differently from the Brazilians (Jezebel). To North Americans, beauty of a person depends on the facial physical appearance. North Americans define a beautiful woman as one who has a high nose, long chin, relatively sharp chick bones, and blue eyes. On the other hand, Brazilians view beauty not only from the facial-physical appearance, but also from the physical appearance of the entire body (Jezebel). They define a beautiful woman as one who has a round face, a low nose, and one who has a curved body. These two perceptions of beauty provide evidence that beauty depends on how an individual views things and the way he/she experience attraction.
The concept of beauty is sometimes influenced by the physical surroundings in which we live (Meyer). Researchers observe that our perceptions of beauty are products of cues that we take from our families, our cultures, our peer groups, and our religious believes (Meyer). For example, in many societies, young girls are made to believe that they should always look smart in presence of boys. That is, they should dress smartly and decently. In such a society, women grow up knowing that, they should always dress decently while in presence of their male counterparts. Therefore, many women in such a society would define beauty as being decent. Peer groups play a vital role in developing our perceptions of beauty. Many people tend to associate beauty with their peer groups’ definition of beauty. What a group of teenagers may associate with beauty may be different with what a group of adult may perceive to be beautiful.
Beauty depends on how an individual views things, and the individual’s neurological experiences to attractions. Different people have different perceptions of beauty. What may appear beautiful to a certain group of people may appear ugly to another group of people. Certainly, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.