Study Confirms: Beauty Is In The ‘Eye Of The Beholder’



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Written by: Kirsten Cowart

With the health and beauty industry heavily influenced by celebrities, it is important to approach the topic with a grounded and well-rounded perspective and also understand that feeling healthy is much more important than meeting someone else’s standards of beauty.  

The Eye Of The Beholder – Study

According to a recent study in the Cell Press Journal Current Biology, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many people disagree about who is pretty or handsome all the time and that is where these researchers focused. In the study, they actually compared the opinions of twins on beauty to rule out beauty ideals being biological.  

What the researchers found was that personal experiences determined what you find to be beautiful rather than genetics. Even though the twins were similar in many ways, their ideas about beauty in the world were often quite different.  

Past researchers have found some similarities in the history of who we find attractive.  For example, the majority of people prefer a face that is mostly symmetrical. However, the rest of the equation is as unique as the person forming the opinion.  

“We estimate that an individual’s aesthetic preferences for faces agree about 50 percent and disagree about 50 percent, with others,” writes research authors, Laura Germine from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University and Jeremy Wilmer from Wellesley College.

“This fits with the common intuition that on the one hand, fashion models can make a fortune with their good looks, while on the other hand, friends can endlessly debate about who is attractive and who is not.”

In the past, researchers have measured how people respond to attractive people based on universal features of attraction. These new authors threw that concept out and focused more on understanding why we disagree instead of agree.  

35,000 volunteers went to the researchers website in order to answer questions about face preferences. These insights were used to develop a highly efficient test that focused on the uniqueness of each person’s individual preference.

The researchers then found out the preferences of 547 identical twins and 214 pairs of non-identical same-sex twins by having them view and rate 200 different faces.  

The researchers used both identical and nonidentical twins to see if your preference for attractiveness was genetic. They found, through the results of the tests, that even identical twins disagreed. The ‘eye of the beholder’ argument found that each individual’s experiences determined their unique preference for attractive faces.

“The types of environments that are important are not those that are shared by those who grow up in the same family, but are much more subtle and individual, potentially including things such as one’s unique, highly personal experiences with friends or peers, as well as social and popular media,” Germine says.

In other words, your opinion is based on your experiences.

Your Own Experiences Determine Your Perception

So, if you had a bad experience with someone, you may find that everyone who looks similar to that person now look ugly to you. Conversely, if you meet someone that you really like, you will find others like him/her to be more attractive to you. Your preference is uniquely based on your own experiences.

In the end, just because someone may not find you attractive, do not take it personal, that is completely a perception issue on their part. The most important thing is to focus on is taking good care of your health and being kind to everyone around you. When it comes down to it, your inner beauty will far outshine the outer anyways.

Source- Cell Press. “Is beauty really in the ‘eye of the beholder’? Yes, and here’s why.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2015. <>.


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Kirsten Cowart

Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!



Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

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