Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 35

Thread: Why Doesn't Evolution Get Rid of Ugly People?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by IanTPoulter
    definition of beauty or ugliness can also be cultural specific, in many relatively poor countries obese people can be considered attractive. Some Africans use scarification as a beauty technique. Many Asian people consider brown or dark skin unattractive whereas in western countries it is quite often considered the opposite.
    Ian, I agree. Many Chinese would recoil at a "George Hamilton" tan but such a tan elicits compliments in the United States. What you point out raises the question whether there is such a thing as "universal" or "objective" beauty and ugliness. There are some people who claim that objective beauty exists, such as youth, smooth unblemished skin, a child's innocence, health, cleanliness, etc. There may also be objective ugliness, qualities that universally elicit "yuck" feelings in all people, such as unsanitary appearance, terrible smell, sick, unhealthy, etc.

    However, almost every characteristic that I can imagine to be "objectively" attractive may be repulsive to some people or that may seem ugly to me may be attractive to others. So, clearly, it is possible to learn or to develop opposite feelings. There are some who might want to use children's perception of what is ugly or beautiful, saying that such perceptions are not tainted by culture. On the other hand, from the moment of birth, we are being taught what is beautiful and what is ugly. Thus, for example, the bonding that occurs between mother and child immediately establishes in the child what is "beautiful". So, I am not so sure any more that objective beauty exists.

    Wise.

  2. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    5,197
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    Ian, I agree. Many Chinese would recoil at a "George Hamilton" tan but such a tan elicits compliments in the United States. What you point out raises the question whether there is such a thing as "universal" or "objective" beauty and ugliness. There are some people who claim that objective beauty exists, such as youth, smooth unblemished skin, a child's innocence, health, cleanliness, etc. There may also be objective ugliness, qualities that universally elicit "yuck" feelings in all people, such as unsanitary appearance, terrible smell, sick, unhealthy, etc.

    However, almost every characteristic that I can imagine to be "objectively" attractive may be repulsive to some people or that may seem ugly to me may be attractive to others. So, clearly, it is possible to learn or to develop opposite feelings. There are some who might want to use children's perception of what is ugly or beautiful, saying that such perceptions are not tainted by culture. On the other hand, from the moment of birth, we are being taught what is beautiful and what is ugly. Thus, for example, the bonding that occurs between mother and child immediately establishes in the child what is "beautiful". So, I am not so sure any more that objective beauty exists.

    Wise.
    also what intrigues me, why in some cases do physical opposites attract?
    If it is the bonding that occurs in childhood that establishes to the child what is attractive or beautiful what would lead some people to choose mates that are physically dissimilar to themselves?

  3. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Placerville, CA
    Posts
    8,259
    Quote Originally Posted by IanTPoulter
    also what intrigues me, why in some cases do physical opposites attract?
    If it is the bonding that occurs in childhood that establishes to the child what is attractive or beautiful what would lead some people to choose mates that are physically dissimilar to themselves?
    There are those instances where the child never bonds with the mother/parent and may seek a mate that is both at a polar extreme from the parent and, due to genetic simularities to the parent, himself or herself.

    A few studies presented on a TV special that showed photos and drawings of various full-faces to western men found "universal" perferences for a fairly "movie star" stereotypical look that is displayed by such celebrities as Jennifer Lopez.

    FWIW, I first saw Jalo in the fun 1995 stinker Money Train and was instantly infatuated.
    Last edited by Juke_spin; 07-15-2007 at 05:47 PM.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

  4. #24
    Perhaps nature's selection is like the yin & yang concept where good & bad must exist but have a balance.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    Ian, I agree. Many Chinese would recoil at a "George Hamilton" tan but such a tan elicits compliments in the United States. What you point out raises the question whether there is such a thing as "universal" or "objective" beauty and ugliness. There are some people who claim that objective beauty exists, such as youth, smooth unblemished skin, a child's innocence, health, cleanliness, etc. There may also be objective ugliness, qualities that universally elicit "yuck" feelings in all people, such as unsanitary appearance, terrible smell, sick, unhealthy, etc.

    However, almost every characteristic that I can imagine to be "objectively" attractive may be repulsive to some people or that may seem ugly to me may be attractive to others. So, clearly, it is possible to learn or to develop opposite feelings. There are some who might want to use children's perception of what is ugly or beautiful, saying that such perceptions are not tainted by culture. On the other hand, from the moment of birth, we are being taught what is beautiful and what is ugly. Thus, for example, the bonding that occurs between mother and child immediately establishes in the child what is "beautiful". So, I am not so sure any more that objective beauty exists. Wise
    .
    RE. "objective" beauty - this is part of what has been attempted, by looking at what babies are likely to respond more positively to (my earlier ref. to facial symmetry). But it's seen how adults continue to respond positively, or be more inclined towards regarding as beauty standards, similar symmetry of features -- and features that are more youthful (bigger eyes, fuller lips, etc) -- seen in models, celebrities, etc. But then again, we can debate how much we shape those standards, and what direction is stronger - eg. media influence on the public and imposing ideals, or the public/society shaping/directing media (I don't think they're independent of each other - media is WITHIN society).

    I think some of this is consistent across cultures. Even with strong western influence on many cultures, youthfulness is one constant. In Asian cultures, Western standards have become more and more popular and the ideal, especially in the more modernized/industrialized regions. Plastic surgery for eyes (#1) and noses are the top 2 procedures in S. Korea (and other Asian countries), where it would be difficult not to see any celebrity without their eyes done (particularly women). Society can make physical/environmental changes conforming to ideals of beauty it establishes, but in some areas genetic will still win out at the end of the day -- as Asians cut and slice their eyes to create bigger, rounder, more "doe-like" eye(lid)s, their offsprings will still be have their pre-altered Asian eyes. There's a joke about how guys may marry a woman thinking one thing, only to find out once they produce a completely different looking baby.

    I think this obsession to look change an integral physical feature among a people, is unhealthy and harmful. But it's those similar within cultural debates and struggles many minority/ethnic peoples have.
    Last edited by chick; 07-15-2007 at 11:52 AM.

  6. #26
    Chick,

    Let's take a current dichotomy: long slim legs versus short muscular legs. I don't need to show pictures because everybody knows what I mean. Why is the former aesthetic preferred over the latter in women? Is it really preferred? Do all men prefer long slim legs? What about women? Do they prefer long slim legs in other women? What about men? I would venture to say there is attraction to both kinds of legs and people can form attachments to either.

    I also wonder how much self-love plays a role in one's esthetic sense. When my kids were young, I use to help with the dog shows in Gramercy Park, in New York City. On Clean & Green day, lots of the kids would come out and owners would proudly bring their dogs out. One of most prizes that the kids gave out was the dog that most looks like its owner. It was amazing how many dogs truly looked like their owners. Did the owner select the dogs because of this?

    Wise.

  7. #27
    Wise, medium of communication is important, as it's drastically expanded the people we are able to contact and have relationships with. We no longer have to be in the same physical space (at least not initially, to "meet" or to maintain that relationship). Geography is still important, but the number and type of people available aren't limited to geography (this relates to the idea of "soul mate" by proximity) . Seems like the computer and the internet has been around a while, but it really has only been less than 2 decades where the internet has become more accessible to a greater number of people. So, the availability of people has increased and people's attraction and mates not confined locally or culturally. Same as the case with telephone, cars, etc., but now the Internet enables much more global and much more immediate, than ever.

    I don't think beauty, in the traditional or mainstream sense, change too much with medium. They may be the same, but, what aspect of that beauty concept takes precedence may be changed (at least initially and/or temporarily). When people communicate through words, certain senses are triggered as one is stimulated more mentally, as opposed to being more visually stimulated, or sensory. But, it's also visual on the internet, in the images seen on the net and the type of fonts used to express and convey meaning. But this isn't very different from letters used to communicate, as one's penmanship and stationary stimulate visual senses as a person reads those beautiful words/thoughts written on them. These stimulate imagination, which then helps to create a mental/visual image of the other person, even if one has never seen them. I think those images of beauty people create can reflect those same standards and expectations of people/society (thus, what the individual brings into the new medium); ideals that may still be unrealistic, and maybe even more so, if much is dependent on one's imagination of the other and limited to only having some/particular senses stimulated, even if they seem more meaningful. But I think "meaningfulness", can also be contrived or created to fulfill some desire/want/need and possibly subconscious expectations (of beauty ideal), where one might stress the importance of mental/intellectual stimulation being much more important than any other (more physical).

    So then, along the same lines you previously stated - beauty changes with communication -- once the medium changes back to the more traditional in-person mode, how much and how quickly, do those beauty ideals shift back to the more typical concepts, and how much does that over-ride, if at all, anything they accepted as beauty just prior via the other(newer) medium?

    Such a capricious bunch, aren't we.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    Chick, you bring up yet another incredibly important point. Not only do concepts of beauty and ugly change with time but the concepts change with the medium of communication. For example, it matters not what you look like at all a long as your words bespeak a beautiful mind on this website or what people imagine that you are beautiful. We know hundreds, perhaps thouands, of people that we have never met but yet feel remarkably close to. You or I could be the humpback of Notre Dame and, from the Darwinian perspective, it wouldn't matter except when it is time to mate. Now, with advances in our technology, we should be able to email our genes to each other for procreation. After all, it is only a 4 Gb file.

    Wise.
    Last edited by chick; 07-15-2007 at 01:49 PM.

  8. #28
    Wise, no, I never like to say ALL, so no, all men don't prefer long slim legs over short. I think though, that whether long/slim or short/muscular, we tend to lean toward proportion. So, one with a more proportionate body shape, tend to be more appealing to most people - be they short, tall, thin, or heavy.

    I think it's funny about animals and their humans resembling. I think in some ways, my Golden and I resembled a bit. But I think there's probably a few different reasons for this - eg. from owners selecting certain dogs that share similar disposition and personality traits with them; to the 'idea/concept' of shared features itself, that may influence our perceptions and the attributes we might look for between human owners and their dogs (possibly to help reinforce/confirm that concept).

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by DougM
    Why Doesn't Evolution Get Rid of Ugly People?

    I dunno. I guess you could ask my parents....
    LOL. That is the best answer so far!
    Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.

  10. #30
    What I find interesting (and tragic) is how bulimia and anorexia have developed as humans become more and more exposed to technology and the media. Humans need food to survive, we don´t have the feeling of hunger for nothing. But it is disturbing how social pressures, intense media exposure and technology can effect the human psych to such an extent as to cause someone to barf their binge or just not eat at all. As more human cultures are exposed to western media, the incidents of anorexia pop up and spread.


    The opposite is of course obesity, but the history, as well as the social status of obesity varies (somebody said this already), yet it goes back hundreds if not thousands of years.


    Obesity was a status symbol in
    European culture: "The Tuscan General"
    by Alessandro del Borro, 17th century.

    Germany has contemplated outlawing violent videogames to those under 18. Some people laughed, saying it built up motoric skills and the like, but the mental healthcare professionals were not. The media is very powerful. What kind of effects technology and media exposure will have on future generations is a real hard guess.

    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

Similar Threads

  1. FACTS ON FARTS:)
    By Max in forum Life
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 01-27-2011, 10:02 PM
  2. phd thesis chapter 1
    By all buggered up in forum Life
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-07-2004, 06:26 PM
  3. 4 AP
    By sci-co-pilot in forum Cure
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-02-2003, 04:28 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-11-2002, 09:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •