Aesthetic is often colloquially equated with beautiful. The noun aesthetics comes from the Greek word “aisthesis” and means perception. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (1714-1762), a German philosopher, founded aesthetics as a study of the laws of beauty (Aesthetica, 1758).

Aesthetics is the perception of beauty, elegance, grace and sensuality. Scientists distinguish between two models of the perception of beauty. On the one hand, there is the very different individual perception of beauty, shaped by society, culture, age, experience, memory and what has been learned.

The aesthetics learned relate primarily to art (poetry, novels, music, theater, painting, sculpture and architecture, clothing fashion). Aesthetic and moral values are combined here, from which good taste and good behavior are derived.

Aesthetic appreciation and evaluation is very complex and involves several regions of the brain. In addition, there is an intuitive or innate universal perception of beauty. Harmony, proportions (golden number) and symmetry are perceived as aesthetic at first glance. These characteristics signal health, youthfulness and fertility.

In the course of our evolution, people who have favored these characteristics have been more successful. These attributes are therefore subconsciously perceived as beautiful in a fraction of a second.

Depending on ethnic origin, there are slight differences in terms of the most preferred proportions. In general, the attractiveness of the face is just as important as the beauty of the human body when choosing a partner. A person’s beauty cannot be reduced to a universally valid formula. One reason for this is that human genetic diversity is the driving force of evolution.


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