Aesthetics: What is Beauty and Ugliness?

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posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 08:12 PM
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I considered placing this post at BTS (and believe me, I have a new appreciation for BTS over the past few months!) But I think it is an appropriate topic for this ATS forum, because it deals with something quite mysterious and preternatural, which is the connection we have with our feelings and the real world. Certain things fill us with attraction, revulsion, sexual desire, disgust, hatred, and fear.

These emotions (or "qualia", to be specific) do not necessarily have any root explanation, although anyone can rationalize their feelings. They drive everything we do in one way or another, from politics, to procreation, to our economy, to war.

By way of simple example, consider the following link, which shows some the ugliest sites on the web (at least in the opinion of the site owner).

www.ugliestwebsite.com...

Now consider this link, which shows some of the most beautiful people in the world. (Not sure who selects the people, but it is a solid example of what people consider aesthetic.)

us.beautifulpeople.net...

If you want further examples of beauty, try googling "porn", although there may be some argument there as to what is beautiful vs. ugly.

If you want to fill yourself with revulsion you can visit many disturbing and sickening websites. I will omit any links. But you can easily find the absolute ugliest and shocking of ugly. (Strangely, it appears to be much easier to find ugliness than beauty.)

#

There is actually a full-blown philosophy on this subject of beauty; it is the "Philosopy of Aesthetics". You can read about it at Wikipedia and other places. One of the things that this philosophy has discovered is that beauty is not linked necessarily with pleasure. For example, something can be so beautiful as to be painful. Likewise, something that is very ugly can actually bring pleasure, and perhaps make us laugh. But generally, beauty pleases us, and ugliness repulses us.

Is this some sort of evolutionary force?? I don't think so. I think the appreciation of aesthetics is one of the closest links we have to supernatural and spiritual forces that lie outside of evolution. Something "whispers" to us that this is pretty, and that is ugly.

And for those who think that all beauty is strictly relative, I will suggest doing a web search again, as before. There may be some gray areas to this, but there is definitely a beauty and ugliness we can agree upon universally.

Anyone with illuminating examples of either beauty or ugliness are invited to post them here. I am sure I will have more to say about this topic.




posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 08:19 PM
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Good thread. I don't think of "ugly" as the opposite of "beauty". I think of ugly as the opposite of goodness. Beauty is such a subjective thing, and as I grow older, I measure it as much with my heart as my eyes, perhaps more. Beauty is the collection of things that make your spirit swell, that make you smile and feel wonder. Where art is concerned, beauty is (for me) something that is elegant and evocative and makes me feel awe. I see this sometimes when I'm taking photographs of people, especially when viewed through the constraints (or freedom?) of black-and-white. You see an old man or woman, their faces lined with furrows and a human geography that almost tells tales on their own, their teeth sometimes less than perfect, perhaps an errant facial hair or two.... and yet...... there's that glint, that rheumy eye-sparkle that speaks volumes, and they turn to you and smile...... and they're beautiful.

Of course, I've been known to characterize my own plumbing arrays as elegant, so take that for what its worth



posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 08:25 PM
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As a female, I have my own ideas, a far cry from the arian eugenics by the way. These are my favorite looks of all time:
1. From Penicillin: Hakuei


2. From Penicillin: Gisho



3. From Penicllin: Chisato



4. From Acid Black Cherry: Yasu



For me: Jrockers forever!!


[edit on 28-7-2008 by mystiq]



posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 08:38 PM
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Aesthetics is more related to cosmetics rather than beauty IMO.

What is beauty? The desire to love others unconditionally more than the self. Ugliness is more unconditional external hate. I rarely come across ugliness nowadays due to being able to see the person for their values and capabilities, rather than their physical appearance. Ugliness is when people hate for no reason - emotional waywardness, street gangs and mob rule, power without accountability. It is a million miles away from physical appearance.

With this, we all see what we want and would like to see - websites (for example) are pixels not people.

Judging along these lines should make our own judgements clearer.

Good thread.

Breifne



posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 08:44 PM
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With the eugenics program going strong amongst the elite, and also, I might add amongst greys, via reading many abductee reports, I really feel for the absolute magnificent diversity of the human gene pool should these psychos have their way. Beauty is not found in one prototype, so to speak. It is found in diversity.



posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 08:46 PM
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Aesthetics is definitely an interesting branch of philosophy.

Personally, I think the concepts of beauty and ugliness ARE relative.

These concepts may seem universal in nature only because we fail to take into account that we only really compare our personal opinions of beauty to the opinions of others within our species.

There is little question that SOME aspects of beauty are shared with MOST of the human species. However, this only establishes that beauty is (nearly) universal within each species.

For example, we would definitely NOT find a goat peeing on his face enticing what-so-ever. But, that is what some species of goats do to help attract a mate.

I think that one's perception of beauty is complex.

It is determined in part by one's species and the preferences genetically encoded in the species (useful in finding an adequate mate).

Another factor in determining beauty lies with one's culture. Take, for example, the tribal practice of elongating the neck with rings. Horrific and strange to one culture...beautiful to another. The same can be said for many piercing and tattoo practices.

The determining factor that I find most interesting though, is the one that I believe to be the most abstract. Once the cultural and genetic factors have been examined, there is STILL something that pulls an individual to call something "beautiful". I believe (through experience) that it varries from person to person and that it is the expression of that person's soul.



posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 08:58 PM
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a site like beautiful people is a good idea. But Im sure the people that are on it are full of themselves, and I would only use that site to network. Maybe hire some secretaries or hire some models for a carwash or something to that effect.

as soon as I saw beautiful peoples website I immediately closed the window due to the ''ugliness'' I saw in that website, on a larger scale.

I consider myself devilishly handsome, however I couldn't join a site like that because of the obvious shallowness that would come along with it.

Ive met a lot of beautiful women who would probably belong on a website like that, and the ones I enjoyed the most were ones who would not consume themselves with such utter nonsense and egotism at its finest.

Our genetics obviously has a lot to do with physical beauty, and I sure am attracted to every beautiful woman I see, but to me, beauty is a lack of ego.

I enjoy experiencing the finer things in life and would rather gain the friendship of and have a connection with a woman who isn't obsessed with what they look like.



posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 10:13 PM
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Beauty is chaos to some. It's all perception.

What's very odd is that, while I am not nearly the consensus perspective's image of what is beautiful, I find myself quite interesting and unique looking. Others consider me ugly. It has definitely affected my self esteem, but lately I have found beauty in the look I have.

Problem is that I look at a super hot girl with an awesome personality to boot, and I just WISH with all of my being that I could be with her... for at least a week. I think, by then, she will have grown attached and it would be annoying. Maybe it would stick, I dunno. I've had my bout of clingy relationships, and I've had my bout of horrid relationships where I was used beyond belief to get to my friends who were I guess more aesthetically pleasing. I've never had the perfect balance of good looks and kind nature. I am shallow sometimes, yet I wish a girl would be attracted to me for at least one round of how do you do for my uniqueness...

I figure, the chances of it happening are better than the chances of it never happening. So I don't worry at all about it anymore. This is just me responding to your good point, Buck.

Lucky I am a musician. I guess that makes me a little more pleasing to the perception than if I was not a musician, but I've really only used it as a benefit once.



posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 10:27 PM
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"Beauty is chaos to some."

Expanding on that little sentence I uttered previously... take a look at the "bad boy" image. It has been all the rage with young women, and some slightly mature women, for a few generations. Why? There are good natured, balanced, and nice guys out there. Why do many women feel attracted to absolute train wrecks who will most likely either use them or make their lives way more complicated and dramatic than someone of a more laid back and calm demeanor?

I figure many women are playing fantasy. They like drama and they like attention and they like when people talk about them, whether it be positive or negative. Women are OBSESSED with image.

Where is a laid back interesting looking girl that doesn't feel the need to wear make-up or do her hair up or wear frilly glitzy glamour fashion? Where are most girl's personalities? I feel like women are mostly all about image and fantasy, and the real person inside can never really be known because it's a constant game of manipulating her own fantasy world or at the worst playing the victim to get attention.

I have rarely ever met and been actively engaged in some sort of meaningful communication with a girl who wasn't either extremely shallow and manipulative, or extremely crazy and devoid of their own thoughts and personality. If I have, I was too shy and didn't have the self esteem at the time to pursue her.

I met this one really awesome girl when I was forced to go to NA meetings, but I was like frickin a mental case at that time... so I had no clue about anything until years later in hindsight, I was like "OHHH damn, I should have said something!"



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 07:07 AM
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i think it is often very difficult when people call you objectively attractive. i would consider myself as a passably attractive girl. of course everyone thinks something else is attractive but from the reactions i would say ppl think i am cute. but that brougt so many difficulties along the way. most of the people who just see me think i am stupid, superficial and shallow. i always struggled with that, because i am far away from superficial and shallow. i also studied law, maybe to show everyone that i am not stupid. i always feel to have defend myself you know.
people see beauty in general often as somethig distrustful i think.
so beauty can bring ugliness along very often.

[edit on 29-7-2008 by allyna]

[edit on 29-7-2008 by allyna]

[edit on 29-7-2008 by allyna]



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 07:21 AM
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Ugly= nope dont find you attractive

Beauty=Yip i do find you attractive

Variable on who's looking of ourse...but the vast majority of beatifull looking people stick with other beatifull looking people and vice versa...small majority may stray from the path because you have a *Nice* personality...but dont hold your breath...society is getting shallow..but atleast we know our place!



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 07:23 AM
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beauty is in the eye of the beholder or so i am told.

I'm sure that people's perceptions of beauty can change and be manipulated so...

do what you will.



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 07:25 AM
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Beauty and ugliness in our society is dictated by social standards, they are the ones that inundate us with what its meaning and portrait it on big billboards showing Victoria secret under ware.

The ugliness is part of society tabu.

But as we all know we have personal views base in part of what is shown and shove to us of what we can consider beautiful or ugly.

Falling between the lines of what society dictate.

Like my avatar said, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and as usual it falls under personal interpretations.



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by marg6043
 


totally...it's like i find all people and things beautiful in their own way. I can even find the repulsive quality of such object/thing to be beautiful in it's own right.

but... i am considered, at least i think i am, to be quite a deviant. even in such a free and tolerant society i find myself having thoughts that are considered questionable. I say and do things that some would surely disapprove of.

look at what happened to max mosley!



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 07:44 AM
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Is nothing wrong with been different I think that ATS population is full of people that wants to be different and that do not support entirely what society considers the norm.

But as we get older we take our deviant behavior with applied experience.

Nothing to worry about its just human nature wanting to be different and outrageous.


Never change because is people like you that keeps things exiting and questionable.



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 08:06 AM
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What is beautiful to someone could be ugly to another.
To me this dog is ugly, but I'm sure the owner would disagree with me.




Beauty will get you higher up the ladder in my opinion. I've seen it to many times, big girl applies for job and skinny just perfect girl and who gets the job? I really don't need to answer that do I? It honestly is in the eye of the beholder. Just like art. Some art just looks like stupid paint thrown on a canvas and people will pay thousands for it. Beauty to me is seeing beyond face value and looking into the eyes and heart of an individual.



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 08:40 AM
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"Beauty to me is seeing beyond face value and looking into the eyes and heart of an individual."

absolutely...so perfectly said....

[edit on 29-7-2008 by allyna]



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 09:35 AM
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I think when you love yourself fully, and not in a narcisisstic way but in a self-accepting and self forgiving way, then, you come to feel that no one is ugly. Some people you may look at and perhaps not feel physically attracted to. But physical attraction is a bodily condition. If you don't prejudge someone based on looks, it is quite often the case, for me, that they turn out to have a beautiful heart and personality.

It reminds me of some clichés that exist, dumb-blonde etc. All preconceptions. I think sometimes people who are not aesthetically pleasing are merely working off karma from a previous life. It occurred to me the other day whilst I'd let my eyes fall upon a young ladies pert backside.... she could have been a homeless old man in a previous life. Then I came to my senses.

Ugly , beautiful ? If it's the aesthetic body then it's false beauty. Just my opinion of course, real beauty comes from within. Even a so-called average looking woman can be breath takingly beautiful if she conducts herself in a gentle and caring manner. Whereas I used to sometimes see "hot" girls puking up in the street late at night, actually in my front garden... unattractive.

Eyes do it for me, I want to see eyes full of love and kindness. I try to look inside. You can tell when you look into someones eyes whether they are beautiful or not. To finish what I started to say about narcisissism, I find people that hate themselves are sometimes the first ones to try and make others feel bad/ugly. Whatever you feel, you will give off that in appearance.

Hope this info is helpful. Best Wishes.



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by argentus
Good thread. I don't think of "ugly" as the opposite of "beauty". I think of ugly as the opposite of goodness. Beauty is such a subjective thing, and as I grow older, I measure it as much with my heart as my eyes, perhaps more. Beauty is the collection of things that make your spirit swell, that make you smile and feel wonder. Where art is concerned, beauty is (for me) something that is elegant and evocative and makes me feel awe. I see this sometimes when I'm taking photographs of people, especially when viewed through the constraints (or freedom?) of black-and-white. You see an old man or woman, their faces lined with furrows and a human geography that almost tells tales on their own, their teeth sometimes less than perfect, perhaps an errant facial hair or two.... and yet...... there's that glint, that rheumy eye-sparkle that speaks volumes, and they turn to you and smile...... and they're beautiful.

Of course, I've been known to characterize my own plumbing arrays as elegant, so take that for what its worth


argentus, you've said it so well, i agree with you completely. of course beauty and ugliness is all in perception... technically neither really exist, we have created beauty and ugly ourselves.

I did see an episode on discovery health (my favorite channel which no longer exists) where they were speaking about primal attraction. It said that people with basically symmetrical faces are generally considered attractive.

Beauty and ugliness ABSOLUTELY comes from within. Perfect example, this guy I work with...very pleasing to the eye, akin to a male model. As I've gotten to know him, he has become much less pleasing to the eye, because of the personality he posesses.

You can find beauty in everyone. Ugliness as well. But its much nicer to find beauty



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 02:12 PM
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Apparently we are hard wired from birth to respond to the Golden Ratio 1.618 in proportions dimensions facial and otherwise. There was a fascinating documentary on the Discovery Channel a few years ago about this, I did a quick seacrh on Google vid and could not find it -- if anyone else does, please post it. It is fascinating.

In the mean time I did find this article that describes it in sime detail - still not as compelling as the doc. The Math Behind Beauty





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