Beauty is based on what the viewer feels on a conscious and base-instinct level. Most of what we consider to be beautiful is based on our genetics and our environment. This essay defines beauty and its influences when it comes to sexual attraction between humans. This essay focuses on beauty in human terms and takes no account of how this may work in the rest of the animal kingdom.
Beauty is genetic
A person becomes beautiful if they win the genetic lottery and grow to be viewed as sexually attractive to other humans. How you grow and develop does depend on your genetics, otherwise identical twins would not grow to look the same.
How we view beauty is also based in genetics. Humans are given instincts in order to further their race, and one of those instincts is a lust for sex. This is driven by sexual attraction. How attractive a person is will be (on some level) based on your sexual drive and base instincts.
Base instincts and survival
Beauty is often determined by your own base instincts and the survival of your offspring. A person that is sickly is not attractive because your base instincts tell you to avoid sick partners because they make for less productive parents. Pink and red lips in men and women suggests good health, as do red cheeks, white eyes and good hair–all of which are therefore attractive qualities in a potential sexual partner.
A strong and large body on a man is sexually attractive because those are traits that parents want in their kids (on a base instinct/biological level anyway), in the same way that large breasts and wide hips are a sign of good health and a potentially better parent; i.e. a parent that is the most likely to have a child survive to adulthood.
Even is better
How even and balanced a face is, is also a sign of good health and is therefore more attractive. If a face is the same on one side as it is the other, then people tend to be viewed as more attractive. Tests were done showing two pictures, one with a person with an unaltered face, and one that was made from a face with one half mirrored on the other side (competently done so that people couldn’t tell). Most found the mirrored version to be the most attractive because both sides of the face were more even.
What is available?
Due to our base instincts, it is again possible to find beauty in what is there. The Eskimo people at the North Pole are possibly the most unattractive race on the planet, but because they all grow up around each other with few outside influences, they find some members of their race to be incredibly attractive and some to be less attractive.
Beauty is a matter of opinion, and does not take attractiveness into account because people are often attracted to personality too. A lot of what we consider to be beautiful is based in genetics and in our base instincts. It also has a lot to do with how well each person may raise a child to survive to adulthood, and how even a face is. There is also an element of finding what is available to be beautiful.