"The big eyes and lips said: I'm young and vulnerable. I can't hurt you, and you want to protect me. And the rest said: I'm healthy, I won't make you sick. And no matter how you felt about a pretty, there was a part of you that thought: If we had kids, they'd be healthy too. I want this pretty person . . ." Scott Westerfeld, "Uglies"
Every time you look at a new face you subconsciously analyze all their features in one glance and classify them into one of three broad groups: pretty, ugly, or in-between. And most often we find ourselves in the third group. Why is it that we do this? It is human nature to strive for excellence, beauty, perfection. And no matter how much they deny this, no matter how much a person says that they only look on the inside, not the outside and all those other cliche terms, every single one of us has that little part of your brain that says, "He/She's pretty, I wish I could look like that person." Or "He/She's so ugly." Sorry to break it to you, folks, but we're all human being and there's no arguing with that.
So what do you see when you see a pretty person? Well, usually we look for the full lips, the big doe eyes, the pristine clear skin. We look for perfect symmetry, and a healthy figure. The Greeks believed that there was a ratio for beauty called Phi. Phi is 1.618 to 1. It actually appears in places all over the body of beautiful people such as the distance from the feet to the belly button and then the belly button to the head, or the ratio between the height and width of the head. Phi can be found in nature also. Although I'm not sure that beauty has all to do with math, I know that it plays a role in the way things are laid out and the way we see them.
There is no ideal beauty that everyone likes and no specific kind of prettiness that everyone finds attractive; there are some basic features that most of us perceive as beautiful. We look for the luscious, full lips because it signifies that you are young, you haven't reached that certain age in your twenties that means your body has stopped producing collagen, which makes your lips plump. The big eyes say, I'm young; the rest of me hasn't caught up yet with the size of my eyes yet. Since acne can, in some cases, be contagious, the clear, smooth skin says I don't have acne; I won't infect you. I eat healthy, and I don't get stressed very easily.
And then there's the symmetry theory. People everywhere, in all countries around the world have been tested, and people just seem to like symmetry better, even babies and animals. I reason why, we assume is just because it shows that you've got a good immune system. If you get sick when you're younger, it messes up the way you grow just a little bit, thus causing your features to be slightly uneven. So when you look at someone who is asymmetrical your natural instincts say somewhere in the back of your brain, "Ew, I don't want to get sick!" Of course, we hardly ever listen to this instinct very well because a majority of us are asymmetrical and have asymmetrical friends, but it's still there.
So what have humans done to take action and resolve this problem of imperfection? Well, I'd like to introduce you to a little thing called cosmetic surgery. Some common examples of cosmetic surgery are Abdominoplasty, Breast Augmentation, Liposuction, and Rhinoplasty. Someone I know has described to me a type of cosmetic surgery they saw, which was the Breast Augmentation. It was slightly graphic, but basically they washed the woman first, cut her open, inserted a prosthetic, and stapled and sewed her up. The woman was on the older side, so I could understand why she would want to look younger, but I don't think that people should go to such extremes to improve their looks. Will we ever reach the day when it's common for everyone to get plastic surgery at least once, if not multiple times in our lives and it will be accepted in our society? Our culture has already become so obsessed over looks and appearances, I wonder what will happen if the trend continues. What will it be like one day when the world is run on pretty faces? When it becomes more common to be drop-dead-gorgeous than normal looking?
Planet Earth is a place with multiple varieties of species, some smarter than others, so what happens when one of the smartest species becomes crazed on prettiness and perfection of the body? Is this where centuries of improvements has gotten us? All I can do is ask questions, and do a poor job at providing answers. The world is full of beautiful faces and pretty people, but it's really hard to find the pretty personality. Maybe if we worked on improving our character and integrity, then perhaps the world would be a truly better place.
Pretty faces or not.