The olfactory senses are almost always invisibly active when a familiar face or scene suddenly strikes us as beautiful. There is something in the air at sunrise and sunset, under a full moon, in bright sunshine, in soft morning fog … in love.
Some aspects of beauty are subjective, but it is mostly objective, which is why there are certain types of people who end up on the front covers of beauty magazines. Interestingly, people tend to think other people who have a similar level of looks are attractive. So who you think is attractive is entirely dependent upon how attractive you are.
However, when polled in studies, most people usually pick the exact same people to be the most attractive, regardless of their own attractiveness. What this tells us is that there is a standard of beauty that is not dependent on the observer, but there is also a standard of beauty that is acceptable when picking a potential mate. And one has nothing to do with the other.
But I have few problems with this statement:
- I think attractiveness is not the only measure of beauty, and even if it was the only one, it can clearly be wrong as I have seen so many attractive girls in my life; that has changed dramatically when we had a chat for five minutes.
- People can agree that models, actresses, cheerleaders are all attractive. But the majority of people will have no chance in dating them as they will not waste their time over the poor or the ugly.
- You can see the beauty in people without being attracted to them. Just like the mother who sees her kids beautifully even if the world disagree.
Knowing beauty is a form of intelligence. The ability of the mind to distinguish between different concepts. In this case, the attractive and unattractive, physical or mental. Intelligence changes from day to day, year to year. So does our concept of beauty. It is as natural as the mind is natural. That's the best answer I have.
The fact that difference races and people from across the globe share the same basic concept of what is physical attractiveness would indicates that it is to some degree genetic. But things get complicated where the brain is concerned.
So, beauty is knowledge. The knowledge of ourselves and others. All things come down to a material cause. All knowledge is just an algorithm of elaborate code in your brain, fed by your senses. Real beauty is just looks and an equation.
If humans lost their ability of hearing then all will lose the ability to be attracted to those who have a great voice. All humans will be the same from the perspective (soundless). Or, if all humans lost their ability to see, then all we treat the fat, the ugly and the beauty alike from the appearance point of view.
Therefore, the more tools of knowledge we have, the more we appreciate what's around us. Moreover, we can discover the true meaning of words such as "beauty." We truly discover the meaning of the words when we discover ourselves and the world around us. Without that in mind, we will be lost and fully understand the meaning of words.
Saying that beauty is in the (knowledge) of the beholder is the romantic way of seeing beauty, not the realistic. It is the model of idealism.