Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Is beauty a measure of effort?

I read an article called the The makeover trap, and one of its quotes,

“What is valorised in makeover culture is not the finished look but the willingness to undertake the neverending process of beautification”

got me to wondering why we would spend so much of our limited resources (time, effort and money) to look good in general.

It’s well known that like the peacock’ oversized tail, many in the animal kingdom have elaborate courtship rituals and/or have fancy features to prove the superiority of their genes, essentially advertising “I can survive and thrive and even have extra energy for unnecessary (and sometimes even hindering) features/actions”.  Is it the same instinct in humans, trying to demonstrate their superiority by proving that they can succeed in life AND have the extra resources to keep themselves looking beautiful?  Many aspects of what we find beautiful is directly related to how much effort it takes, from a well-toned body (daily workouts) to hairstyle, make-up, home furnishings, etc.. Even in fashion, clothes that look like a lot of effort went into creating, are often considered more beautiful.

How much of your time and resources is spent on looking good?  Would you be happier if you could spend even more resources?

 

January 28, 2017 Posted by | anthropology, behaviour, evolutionary psychology | | Leave a comment

Beauty and friendliness

Breeding experiment with silver foxes showed that friendliness and facial features are correlated — the friendlier, the more “beautiful”, and it seems, the more “highbrow”.  From The Economist, November 16th, 2013:

The evolution of beauty:  Face the facts

What makes for a beautiful visage, and why, may have been discovered accidentally on a Russian fur farm

February 18, 2014 Posted by | evolution | , , , | Leave a comment