Beauty and Its Changing Standards



Symmetry is the correspondence in size, form, and arrangements of parts on opposite sides of a plane, line, or points (Dictionary.com). The ancient Greeks had a fascination for symmetry, finding its presence in the human body indicative of beauty. Similarly, Renaissance artists attributed beauty to symmetry, standardized by Leonardo da Vinci’s “formula” for the perfect human body. Studies have confirmed that both humans and animals find proportionality attractive, but despite this innate preference, perfection has taken on different meanings over time. Popular culture affects standards of beauty, drawing attention to specific body parts rather than to the whole. Everybody wants to look like the people they see on TV and in magazines, which leads to highly specific standards regarding skin color, hair color, eye color, height, weight, hair length, lips size, and more. Ultimately, trends in beauty are fleeting and highly subjective across cultures, times, and individuals. Trends will continue to change and affect perceptions of the self and others, but according to human nature, symmetry is a universal standard for beauty.




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