The Science of Beauty and the Price We Pay to Be Beautiful

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Holly Parrish Prof. Brand ENC 1102 17 October, 2012 The Science of Beauty and the Price we pay to be Beautiful Jane Martin’s “Beauty” is a play about how society distinguishes the “smart” and the “beautiful,” and how we seem to treat the two very differently. I find it interesting how Carla, the beauty, admits that being very attractive is “no picnic” (Martin 753) while Bethany, who has personality and intelligence, is willing to give it up just to be beautiful. Is there a science to being beautiful or is it up to pure chance? Is being able to recognize beauty something that is hardwired in our genes or is it something that we are taught from birth? All women want to be beautiful, but what extremes have they gone through throughout the centuries to achieve it? You may find out that it would be far easier to just work with what we have rather than try to change it. Believe it or not, there actually is a science to being beautiful. It has a lot to do with pathogen, parasite and toxin exposure during development. All these factors determine whether or not a person will have better facial symmetry. This is why so much importance is placed on choosing an attractive mate. With environments so full of these pathogens and parasites “it is especially important to avoid individuals who have been afflicted with them…” (Kanazawa). Even studies have shown that “babies spend more time looking at pictures of symmetric individuals than they do looking at photos of asymmetric ones” (Feng). I don’t think babies are shallow. It is obvious that being able to recognize beauty is hardwired into our brains from birth. “Scientists say that the preference for symmetry is a highly evolved trait seen in many different animals. Female swallows, for example, prefer males with longer and more symmetric tails, while female zebra finches mate with males

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