.. already the old greeks (3rd century BCE) knew that beauty is subjective, and lies in the eye of the individual perceiving it …
Even whatever that in the picture above is: a monster from the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons franchise, incidentally named “Beholder”, and actually quite dangerous in the context of the game - and I even consider this depiction of it somewhat beautiful, as it has a certain terrifying, unsettling aesthetic, while at the same time demonstrating a painstaking, skillful attention to detail.
But, what do we need beauty for? What’s the evolutionary use of a feeling like beauty? Why waste energy on evaluating it, why invest energy in attaining it?
It seems to me like the key aspect is a certain “fitness for its environment” of something - or someone - we consider beautiful, i.e. if or whether what we see (or hear, or perceive otherwise, or even abstractly imagine, like a mathematical proof) can succeed in its environment. The environment seemingly doesn’t matter, i.e. if we have a look at art, the purpose of evoking thoughts or emotions can be attained beautifully by something horrible to look at; if we look at mathematics, the undeniable elegance of some solutions has a beauty of its own; etc etc …
So, what about changing human beauty standards? Why are certain body types considered more beautiful in different decades? Probably also because economic circumstances changed - so either attributes signifying reproductive attributes, or financial stability, or fitness for conflict etc etc were more relevant …
But, what does that mean for the average human? When is he or she - objectively - beautiful?
Considering that we humans are all storytelling, social apes - I’d say if you manage to live in a story that includes others and where others include you - you’re beautiful .. because you’re fit to fulfill that essential aspect within your environment.
Then I guess there are more lessons to be learned, more stories experienced, more solutions your brain suggests not just considered, but applied!
Then maybe - just maybe - you just haven’t understood your story enough, or are not embodying enough, and have to solve a few more riddles to do so?
You’re living and learning, and I consider that beautiful.
– count 29.12.2019, 21:36, Leipzig