Instigator / Pro

Human Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder


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con: beauty is most likely in the eye of the beholder and not very universal.
pro: beauty is most likely not in the eyes of the beholder and more universal.

Round 1
 it would be odd or perverse for any person to deny that a perfect rose or a dramatic sunset was beautiful. And it is possible actually to disagree and argue about whether something is beautiful, or to try to show someone that something is beautiful, or learn from someone else why it is. On the other hand, it seems senseless to say that beauty has no connection to subjective response or that it is entirely objective. My goal in this debate, is to argue that most of human attraction is genetic and innate. Objective preferences are genetically inherited, so everyone mostly agrees on them, whereas subjective preferences are acquired through emotional experience.

In-born nature of human beauty

  • Objective beauty is mostly about mathematical/geometric simplicity, which includes symmetry, smoothness, averageness, repetitions and elegance. It has been proposed many animal brains have a natural preference for this because simplicity is easy to process, which is called the processing fluency theory of aesthetic pleasure
cases of typically "unattractive" features being viewed as beautiful
  • I imagine Rational Madman will bring up the fact that some people can be attracted to things such as acne. Maybe he will bring up the fact that not all women prefer tall men. Maybe he will bring up the fact that despite the fact that most blind-men prefer hourglass figures, this doesn't mean all men do. Truly, I would have to concede he's right. How then can i still claim objective beauty standards exist?

Steelman argument

  • Rationalmadman will point to time when more plump women were preferred. He will point to people who preferred skinny girls. The difference between an objective beauty standard and a subjective beauty standard is not that everyone prefers it, but that no one would ever turn you down for said trait; no one would ever see it as a negative quality. To use an example: if a woman prefers a man with acne (as unusual as it is, they exist), she wouldn't turn a guy down if he didn't have acne. Men with well developed jaws will never be seen as ugly even in a society with a preference for weaker jaws. That's the difference.
    In times where plump women were preferred, women who were of a healthy weight still wouldn't have been viewed as undesirable, even if it became secondary to big women, just like a tall man, even if less preferable, would never get turned down for his height, even in a society where short men are preferred. This is the difference between an objective beauty standard and one that is not. Even if the culture shifts completely, the said trait is never a turn off, even if it becomes less desirable.

  • Women with big hips would never be seen as a negative, even in a society that places a preference on women with small hips. It would simply become a neutral trait. Something that doesn't matter
    Therefore, objective beauty standards do exist. Some human qualities (such as symmetry and clear skin) will never be seen as a turn off, even in a society with a preference for something that is the opposite of these qualities. Women will not be turned off by men who are tall with broad shoulders, even in a society with a preference for short men. When a society has the opposite preference, the traits become ugly.
 Some traits will simply never be ugly, or drop below neutrality in their sex appeal, even if the culture sways in the complete opposite direction of them. Examples of this are clear skin, tall men, women with an hourglass figure, broad shoulders on men, well developed jaws and full hair.
Please observe and listen to this prior to reading my debate (my love and appreciation of beauty go out to all involved and last but not least my fine opponent Ehyeh):

The blind man's first feel of a face...

Let's start literal as it gets, your blind brother and non-blind mother meets your girlfriend for the first time.

Her voice his his ear, her face hits your mother's eye, her body, her dress, her way of moving and being... It is perceived completely in different orders and your mother remarks "Lawd you are stunning aint ya?" while your brother grabs you by the shirt and whispers "Ehyeh, I must agree but brother I worry, she has not the best skin... it is rather dry and I noticed that you are smelling a little off quickly rinse your armpits and balls and get some antiperspirant on before proceeding. Invite her to use the skin cream while you are there."

We cannot explain the beauty the blind man received in all reality to the mother and brother but much less so can the inverse be explained.

If beauty weren't in the eye of the beholder, the blind man would need absolute correlation with the 'standard' of eye-judgers every time, how often does my opponent propose that holds true?

How literal is this resolution being defended?

There's more to beauty than sex, take music for instance.

I get it, this debate is about 'human beauty' but that includes their voice. It also reminds me of music. The same song, the same artist, can be seen and heard so beautiful and authentic to some and jarrying, nasal, offputting, generic etc to others. 

Don't believe me?

Take any massively popular artist, I bet they have passionate haters who find them revolting and perhaps devoid of depth, music included but personalities too.

How is that possible? How is it possible for two people to find some attractive that others find ugly? It just is. It is natural variance at play, different genes, brain structure, memories of 'beauty' from childhood and adolescence, hormones, all kinds of things are at play and the thing is it's not just about sex.

Do you find your grandmother 'ugly' because she's so wrinkly? Did you (if she's passed away)?

What about your favourite teacher? Were they 'ugly' to you (yes I mean their looks). This 'bias' is how we are able to find some more and less beautiful on a genuine level based on our vibe around them and impression.

'Steelman against RM'

What is this steelman cutiepie stuff? Why would I need to point out that in different eras different bodies were held as desirable? That makes it seem like the objective standards merely moved up and down, left and right etc. I am telling you that even if everybody agreed on beauty standards within a vicinity, that is still because every individual there had in their 'eye' so to speak, the same individual standards beholden to their subjective take.

There is no such thing as objective beauty standards, instead you can objectively estimate based on survey results and people's reactions to things, what most will happen to find appealing vs offputting and work around that.

There isn't some strict logic or code to it. My opponent didn't begin to form one. Maybe my opponent is alluding to 'health' being the beauty standard but what is healthy?

Some like big, some like slender, some like (yes I had to go there) dark, some like lighter, some like hairy, some like more bare, I mean there's so much to it, voice included. 

Even smell.

Body odour of those closer related to us is meant to be taken as more disgusting by our noses, it's an evolutionary measure against incest that those who lacked had their genepool deteriorate etc. Females that are heterosexual (or leaaning towards preferring men) in particular have been proven to oddly find male pheromones attractive, especially if he's particularly far from them genetically (racially). The inverse with men to women sort of works but it has not been proven to be as strong (he just finds it less stinky not directly attractive).

I'll provide proofs in next round.

Cheers to my opponent, much love, Wing Chun for life (jk there's a lot more to Kung Fu, why'd you think I only like Wing Chun?)
Round 2
All the studies involving children and beauty (including Pro's) assume fear is akin to disgust and that finding something beautiful is the same as finding it familiar and safe.

The reason children may respond with fear to a person with a highly assymetrical face is because the face of their parents so far have been relatively symmetrical. This study forgot many aspects about picking out children of varied parental-face types and then testing it out. I bet all the parents looked fairly symmetrical, explaining why there was an initial aversion.

Women who are white can find black men scary the first time they see them or... very intriguing.

These chinese people find it interesting: 

There is a whole fetish dedicated to white women seeking out black cock and even terms like queen of spades for women with that preference. 

What the sources Pro used for adults and not children fall short of is selecting people with very niche tastes. Imagine you're a weirdo who knows you have a stigmatised fetish/kink (and black women into white men who even enjoy some raceplay kink with genuine pleasure, raceplay is real and consensual) do you think people into weirder things (such as furries who fantasise fucking wolves and such) are going to turn up to a survey on human beauty? Of course they are not! That is why the people who turned up to the studies from Pro were generally confident enough to have their tastes explored as they know they are ordinary enough in tastes.

It's all subjective, all of it.

All Pro is proving is that we can objectively derive data and find trends in the subjective beauty standards of people at any given time. That's also why they can vary from culture to culture and era to era, it's based on entirely subjective preference.

How is a blind person even going to understand visual beauty in front of them (especially if they've been blind all their life)? It quite literally has to be in the eye of the beholder.

Round 3
I've lost interest in this debate so im not going to respond to any of your arguments. Although through looking at your recent posts RM, i cant help but feel like you've become a lot more right leaning, at least socially in recent times.
Thank you for looking through my posts, I am pretty sure the Con side of this debate leans socially left but if you want a chat, PM me or something.