An Introduction to Beauty Theory

Beauty is an ascription to a human characteristic or possession which gives a subjective experience of satisfaction or happiness to the person who sees it. Beauty is studied as a part of sociological, psychological, cultural and aesthetic science. Psychology attempts to explain how and why people are attracted to each other, including their sex and mate selection. Sociology studies the association between human behavior and group memberships and societal roles. Aesthetic science deals with beauty as a product of culture. Beauty has been associated with the concepts of beauty in literature, theater, photography, fashion, music and television.

Beauty is not just the subjective experience of seeing or feeling beautiful but also has a subjective definition in the scientific community. According to some psychologists, beauty is defined as the value that we assign to a physical feature. Others define beauty as the quality of being able to identify with the object of desire. The definition may also be the quality of having an attractive appearance, the ability to tolerate unattractive physical traits or the ability to accept differences in physical attractiveness.

Beauty is experienced during the visual experience. According to the majority of psychologists, beauty encompasses the visual components of the aesthetic experience, such as perception of visual patterns, texture and light, and the ability to recognize and discriminate between different kinds of visual patterns and colors. Beauty can be defined in terms of elements such as form, color, shape, light and spatial relationships. Beauty includes the qualities of emotional and spiritual satisfaction derived from seeing or knowing that something exists in the world that one has come to see as beautiful. Beauty is considered art by some.

There are several theories about what makes a beautiful face, body or whole structure. The theory of universal causation states that beauty is a matter of perception independent of personal characteristics, which are referred to as attributes. According to this theory, there is no such thing as beauty, as every aspect of the human body and face is perceived the same in all aspects of life. The theories of aesthetics suggest that there are four basic types of beauty, namely, physical beauty, psychological beauty, aesthetic beauty and meta-beauty.

Aesthetic Beauty is often thought to refer to the physical aspect of beauty, but it also includes the mental view of beauty. People who consider themselves beautiful have high self-esteem. However, those who do not consider themselves beautiful have low self-esteem and similar levels of physical attractiveness. The term beauty contains several other meanings, such as attractive, appealing, and thus, the meaning varies for each person. In general, beauty standards are culturally based, and physical appearance varies across cultures.

Psychological Beauty on the other hand, refers to how you think about and evaluate yourself, and is related to cognitive and emotional processes. Beauty criteria vary across domains, and are not static (like standards of physical beauty), but are flexible (like our attitudes towards clothing, makeup, hair, etc.). Beauty theories are primarily based on the personal experiences of people but also extend to other dimensions of their lives. Beauty-judging is more complicated than a straightforward aesthetic appreciation; however, attractive people tend to have higher levels of mental and emotional beauty, which is associated with increased levels of confidence and positive affect.

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