Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, orsatisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology, and culture. An "ideal beauty" is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.
The experience of "beauty" often involves the interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this is a subjective experience, it is often said that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." In its most profound sense, beauty may engender a salient experience of positive reflection about the meaning of one's ownexistence. A subject of beauty is anything that resonates with personal meaning.
The classical Greek noun for "beauty" was κάλλος, kallos, and the adjective for "beautiful" was καλός, kalos. The Koine Greek word for beautiful was ὡραῖος, hōraios, an adjective etymologically coming from the word ὥρα, hōra, meaning "hour." In Koine Greek, beauty was thus associated with "being of one's hour."
A ripe fruit (of its time) was considered beautiful, whereas a young woman trying to appear older or an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful. In Attic Greek, hōraios had many meanings, including "youthful" and "ripe old age."[
The characterization of a person as “beautiful”, whether on an individual basis or by community consensus, is often based on some combination of Inner Beauty, which includes psychological factors such as personality, intelligence, grace, politeness, charisma, integrity, congruence and elegance, and Outer Beauty, (i.e. physical attractiveness) which includes physical factors, such as health,youthfulness, facial symmetry, averageness, and complexion.
Standards of beauty are always evolving, based on what a culture considers valuable. Historical paintings show a wide range of different standards for beauty. However, humans who are relatively young, with smooth skin, well-proportioned bodies, and regular features, have traditionally been considered to be the most beautiful throughout history.
A strong indicator of physical beauty is "averageness", or "koinophilia". When images of human faces are averaged together to form a composite image, they become progressively closer to the "ideal" image and are perceived as more attractive. This was first noticed in 1883, when Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, overlaid photographic composite images of the faces of vegetarians andcriminals to see if there was a typical facial appearance for each. When doing this, he noticed that the composite images were more attractive compared to any of the individual images.
Researchers have replicated the result under more controlled conditions and found that the computer generated, mathematical average of a series of faces is rated more favorably than individual faces. Evolutionarily it makes logical sense that sexual creatures should be attracted to mates who possess predominantly common or average features.
A feature of beautiful women that has been explored by researchers is a waist-to-hip ratio of approximately 0.70. Physiologists have shown that women with hourglass figures are more fertile than other women due to higher levels of certain female hormones, a fact that may subconsciously condition males choosing mates.
People are influenced by the images they see in the media to determine what is or is not beautiful. Feminists and doctors have suggested that the very thin models featured in magazines promoteeating disorders, and others have argued that the predominance of white women featured in movies and advertising leads to a Eurocentric concept of beauty, feelings of inferiority in women of color, and internalized racism.
The black is beautiful cultural movement sought to dispel this notion. Mixed race children are often perceived to be more attractive than their parents because their genetic diversity protects them from the inherited errors of their individual parents.
The concept of beauty in men is known as 'bishōnen' in Japan. Bishōnen refers to males with distinctly feminine features, physical characteristics establishing the standard of beauty in Japan and typically exhibited in their pop culture idols. A multi-billion-dollar industry of Japanese Aesthetic Salons exists.