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Fellow IBians

I am doing my TOK Presentation this Saturday on the idea of beauty and how we know what beauty is.

As part of this could you please take a minute out and answer - What is beauty?(according to you)

Thank you so very much!


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Beauty is a combination of factors that makes something aesthetically pleasing. The specific factors and in what combination they are in depends on each individual. What I think of as "beautiful", might not necessarily correlate to what you consider "beautiful".

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This is a fascinating question, and there are many directions to go in with it. I'll limit my answer to the concept of human beauty.

I think there's two different people within us - the primal side, and the civilized person. I'm no sociologist (anthropologist? Who deals in this stuff?), but I think the concept of beauty is very simple to the primal side. It is whatever our ancestors thought signified the ideal mate. As a woman, I can tell you that even in the 21st century, even in our civilized society, I still feel a little twinge of something when I see a man with strong shoulders, a square jaw, muscular thighs and calves and rugged hands. It's involuntary. I think that's one way of looking at what beauty is - what attracts us.

The "civilized" side however, seems to change it opinions at will. My amateur way of looking at it is that this side picks up more on "signs" of attractive qualities - a flamenco guitarist is passionate, the man who doesn't freak out when I offer to pay shows that he's open minded and also respectful of me, the deep brown eyes of a man sometimes draw me to him more than any six pack, huge pecs (or smth else:D) and massive biceps can ever hope to do.

That was all an unnecessarily long way of saying that one of your points could be to talk about what we already "know" as beautiful, and what we have learned to be beautiful. You could also consider what beauty is - in this case its nothing more than a tool for finding the ideal partner.

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