Beauty Is In The Mind, Not The Eye, Of The Beholder, Or Is It?

What do you see when you look in the mirror, or better yet, what do you feel when you look in the mirror?

It seems that beauty is more in the mind of the beholder than in the eye of the beholder. Studies show that attractive people benefit from more advantages than unattractive people. For instance, we know newborn babies respond better to attractive faces, or at least faces that are pleasant looking. People use the common expressions, "pleasant to the eye" or "easy on the eyes" when describing someone with good looks, meaning the person is attractive.

Studies from the journal "Emotion" a publication of the American Psychological Association, have found that underlying processes "prime" our brains to respond differently to good looks. For instance, after viewing an attractive face our brains produce more positive thought, than viewing an unattractive face. It seems that faces have the particular power; objects do not produce the same effect.

Obviously, we would not buy an unattractive house, or ugly clothes, but objects do not "prime" our brains the way faces do. Studies show that after viewing an attractive face, our brains react to stimuli with happy or positive thoughts. We associate an attractive face with a positive emotion. Also, people are more likely to trust a nice looking person, as opposed to an unsightly individual. People trust serial killers who are nice looking, because their brains are "primed" to believe they are also kind. For example, the murderer looked "nice,” or was "attractive," as if this is some kind of testament to the killers character and disposition. People get into murderers cars, open their doors for them, and speak to these people in the first place, because of how they "look" or appear. The biological priming is part of a natural selection going back to our very beginnings. We naturally seek out people who share common characteristics with us.

It seems that background and cultural diversity, can influence how we judge beauty, or what is pretty, but the biological responses are the same. For instance, it does not matter what background or culture we belong too, we are still "primed" by a pretty face. In other words, we are ready to trust, listen, and respond better to a person we find appealing, as opposed to someone we do not find pleasant looking.

Consequently, do you feel good after you look in the mirror? You should, since it appears that beauty is in the mind of the beholder. If you feel good about yourself, or how you look, you will manifest this feeling, thereby projecting positive emotion. Since we naturally seek out people who share our characteristics, it stands to reason that if we feel good about ourselves, we are more likely to attract others who feel good about themselves as well.

Little babies and animals naturally feel good about themselves, since their mind and natural instincts instruct them too. We may think of different things as beautiful, but what we think is attractive, makes us feel good, and so it seems beauty is in the mind, not the eye of the beholder, or is it?


Christy said...

Wow, what an amazing post! It is so true, it doesn't seem fair. Growing up I was overweight and I went virtually unnoticed until I lost weight around the age of sixteen. It was like too different worlds with the exact same person inside. Dr. Phil did a show about this too, and sent out people undercover (as uglier versions of themselves). Of course their beautiful versions received much more attention, and even help. This is an interesting topic you brought up! :)

writtentale said...

Thanks for visiting, and the comment, I'm glad you liked it. Interesting, how your were treated differently, when you were the same person all along. I hope you dejected the people who were unkind.


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