Definition Paper- Beauty Is Not in the Eyes of the Beholder

Topics: Beauty, Aesthetics, Science Pages: 3 (853 words) Published: November 26, 2012
31 October 2012
What does it mean to have beauty? What is beauty really? Questions like these can be explained through the definition of beauty. The problem is that beauty in today’s society has acquired multiple meanings. How many times has one heard the phrase, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, or how about, beauty is on the inside? These happen to be common misconceptions. The true definition of beauty is ironically hidden behind a mask of deception. Glancing through history brings to light the harsh reality of what beauty was and still is today. Individuals need to look beyond the common myth that beauty is merely subjective. Beauty is a perceptual quality that is a product of innate human design. Love it or hate it, from the moment you opened your eyes, beauty was already defined.

Going back in time and reviewing the evolution of beauty demonstrates the definition, as well as disproving beauty is merely subjective. The Darwin theory of beauty is scientific evidence that there is a reason for universal aesthetic pleasure. Dennis Dutton, a scientist and philosopher states, “Beauty is an adaptive effect in which we extend and intensify in the creation of works of art and in the identification of human beings.” Dutton pronounced this statement after studying the universality of beauty across a wide range of topics. It is impossible that humans all perceive the same qualities as unique and aesthetically pleasing when we live in such diverse places. Sexual evolution plays an important role in defining beauty as a product of innate human design. The peacock for example contains beautiful feathers that in no way help with basic survival. However, the peahen is extremely attracted to the peacock because of its feathers, they are aesthetically pleasing. The peacock proves that mammals are born with qualities that bring about pleasure rather than survival. Humans are in this category with mammals. Humans contain symmetrically pleasing...

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Denis Dutton: A Darwinian Theory of Beauty. Perf. Denis Dutton and Andrew Park. TED Conferences, LLC, n.d. Seminar. TED: Ideas worth Spreading. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <>.
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