One morning, you might notice a small, pink flower blooming outside your window. It’s so simple, yet there’s something so beautiful about it.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” they say, and yes, Beauty is exactly that. It is something that can only be perceived. It is all in our heads. It is an opinion. It is an idea. It is a concept. Most importantly, It is a way to look at the world.
Without the perception of beauty, that little pink flower outside your window would just be a flower — nothing else.
Humans have always felt the need to make the world beautiful. We want to surround ourselves with beautiful things. From the sparkling sunlight on a dewy lawn to a diamond ring, Beauty makes us happy. It appears that we describe something as “beautiful” if it’s texture, shape, color, size or form is pleasing to us. Typically symmetrical shapes, geometric ratios or tessellated patterns, are perceived as beautiful to the human eye. These patterns, such as the spiral, and the golden ratio found in a triangle, all stem from nature. It is believed that understanding nature’s patterns allowed our ancestors to survive. For example, a symmetrical face or body usually meant a creature was healthy. Fruits that were fully rounded and colorful were usually ripe, and trees with smooth, symmetrical leaves were strong and healthy. Therefore, detecting nature’s patterns and being able to perceive things as beautiful, helped us survive.
Although our society has grown beyond the era of hunter gatherers, Beauty still plays a large role in our everyday lives. Architecture, art, and fashion are not the only things dependent on our idea of beauty. Many studies have proven that when surrounded by aesthetically pleasing environments, people’s moods improve and their heart rate slows slightly, putting them in a more relaxed state. This may explain why people find so much happiness and serenity when viewing beautiful landscapes or art. In another study, taking place in a hospital, it was noted that patients in more colorful and attractive environments showed an increase in both their mood and recovery. In comparison, patients with ‘ugly’ or ‘dull’ environments were observed to have lower moods, and recovered slower than the others.
Our ability to perceive beauty is hardwired into our brains. It is one of the unique things that makes us human. As of right now, there is not enough evidence to determine if other species have any perception of beauty. This unique ability has been useful in helping our ancestors survive and still continues to impact society today and the way an individual interacts with the world.
Beauty isn’t something that can be grasped, weighed, held, or measured. Beauty is really just a concept, all in our head. But, it’s that concept that makes the world go round. Humans will always keep trying to make the world more beautiful. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, and without it, the world wouldn’t be the way it is today.
Because of the perception of beauty, that little pink flower outside your window, isn’t just a flower; it’s so much more than that.