On the different theories of beauty and the role of perception in the judgment of beauty.
The psychology of beauty is complex not just because the concept of beauty is as yet undefined but also because it is largely true that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder or how individuals perceive other people or things. Beauty can be attributed to everything that appeals to our senses and all objects compatible with our personal preferences. Beauty as we perceive it is largely a projection of our needs. Beautiful objects or persons cater to our idealizations or fancies and reflect our natural need to appeal to all. The senses control human beings, and we tend to repeat processes or experiences that appeal to the harmonious senses, and have structure and form. Beauty appeals to our sense of sight, so there is a preference for repeating the experience of beauty.
But how do we perceive beauty, and why are some people or objects considered more beautiful than others? Psychological tests have considered symmetry and proportion as extremely important in the perception of beauty. Beauty is also more holistic than specific as a beautiful object is judged as a whole package that is appealing rather than judged based on its parts. Freudian or psychoanalytic explanations of beauty are scarce. Still, psychoanalytic concepts could be used to consider our judgment of beauty as a projection or wish fulfillment. Hence, people attractive to us are typically ones who we admire or who in some way represent our own desires and fancies.
Psychoanalysis can also be compatible with the idea that beauty is a preferential perception when there are similarities with a parent. Most people are also considered beautiful when they have baby-faced features or a particular innocence on their faces. Beauty can also be culturally motivated, so in certain eastern cultures, women with beautiful feet are considered attractive. In contrast, in the Victorian era in England, women with elegance and grace were the ones with smooth necks and tiny waists, and modern western women are judged based on their breasts, bottom and lips. The perception of beauty can change, and studies have found that women may prefer softer features of men during particular times and more masculine features at other times, depending on the stage of their reproductive cycle. So there are actually several theories of beauty which are discussed here one by one.
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