FOREVER PRETTY – The pursuit of the beauty ideal

Mirror, mirror on the wall: Who is the fairest of them all? A question that plays a relevant role not only in fairy tales. For as long as humans have been thinking, the pursuit of beauty has been present in both women and men.

But who and what is actually beautiful? And why? And when we look absolute beauty in the face, do we perceive it as beautiful at all?

Beauty in the ancient world

The aspiration of youthful beauty is ancient. Aspects such as a symmetrical face or an overall youthful appearance were considered beautiful even in ancient times. What our present-day billboards are, statues used to be. If you look at them, you can see that powerful bodies and youthful faces were already popular in Plato’s time. Aphrodite, the undisputed beauty ideal of ancient Greece, is still one of the most famous female beauty icons of our time.

Beauty in the Middle Ages

Even in the Middle Ages, the aspect of beauty was not neglected. In this age, there were even very precise specifications on how one had to look in order to be beautiful. Thus, the shape of the body, the texture of the skin and the color of the lips were of great importance. Women in particular had to adhere to defined specifications in order to be perceived as particularly attractive by their fellow men. In contrast to today, at that time not only white, porcelain-like skin was in “trend”, but also red lips, blond curls and a corpulent figure. This is because a slim, petite body was a sign of poverty and illness at the time. A solidly built body, on the other hand, was associated with wealth and youth.

Beauty today

To this day, beauty is (and remains) en vouge. Even today, the question arises perhaps even more succinctly than in the eras described above, what is beautiful? Researchers try to define beauty with the help of formulas like 90-60-90 or the golden ratio. But is beauty really so easy to calculate? No. Even if symmetries in the face are perceived as particularly attractive, one hundred percent symmetry and immoderate perfection do not always equal beauty. Studies show that perfectly symmetrical faces are perceived as bizarre and unnatural. One aspect that makes our understanding of beauty different from the past is artificiality. The appearance perceived as beautiful is increasingly shifted to an unnatural appearance, which can only be achieved with the help of various beauty interventions. In plain language, it can be said that “flawless” beauty, as presented on social media platforms such as Instagram, is increasingly shaping humanity’s understanding of beauty.

Since too many interventions can quickly lead to an alienation of one’s own face and thus defeat their actual purpose, the same should apply in this area: Keep moderation. Those who want to emphasize or visually highlight certain parts of the face through targeted treatments should place themselves in the hands of an experienced physician. In a personal consultation, you can receive advice on your desired treatment. In the end, however, the rule always applies: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!