A Class of Beauty

What is the standard of beauty? Is it evolution, race, or class? It’s hard to say, but I’d wager the answer is something in between. Let’s look at some of the major categories of beauty: Physical appearance, Race, Class, and Evolution. Then consider how these categories impact each other. Which is the most important? What do we really value in beauty? And why do we value these things? What are the consequences of our standards of beauty?


The evolutionary psychology of aesthetics suggests that beauty may not be the same as health or advantageous genes. Many animals, including humans, display features that appeal to their mates and may even drive their evolutionary development. Although personal tastes may vary from environment to environment, the underlying factors of beauty remain the same. According to evolutionary psychologist Denis Dutton, we are not so different from grassy fields dotted with animals. Our own sense of beauty is also shaped by our experiences in our environment.

Throughout history, society has tried to reframe its definition of beauty. The post-war era saw the appearance of Hollywood stars like Debbie Reynolds and Doris Day. In the 1960s, social protest and feminist decorations began to dominate the fashion scene. Meanwhile, the ‘punk’ look became popular, which evoked images of the 1930s German cabarets. Although it is now considered “beautiful” by some, it is still the minority standard.


If you have an eye for beauty, but aren’t sure where to find it, look no further. This class, presented by Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, is a great place to start. In addition to exhibiting the best in modern design, the class is also an excellent source of inspiration for budding graphic designers, creatives, and enthusiasts. Listed below are a few of the things you need to know about A Class of Beauty.

Physical appearance

Many societies have standards for beauty, which vary based on physical characteristics. In societies that value fertility, full bodies and ample breasts are considered desirable. In some countries, such as Fiji, being overweight is considered desirable. In some countries, physical attractiveness has little to do with age or sex, but it can affect social status. Here are some reasons why we have different standards for beauty. Despite the widespread acceptance of physical attractiveness, a poor body image affects people from all walks of life.

In general, physical attractiveness is an important factor in attracting mates and achieving social inclusion. Depending on the culture and the societal values of the person, attractiveness can be a passport to social inclusion. A higher physical appearance can even lead to better evaluations and better treatment from adults. While physical attractiveness is important for achieving success in social and academic life, it can also be a source of social discrimination.


In Western culture, the Standard of Beauty is often based on skin color. Its appeal is derived from what people see around them. People form standards based on the positive traits and characteristics of others. The societal structures and the architectural features can also influence the standard of beauty. A common phenotype is associated with desirable traits associated with lower criminality. The racial standards that have been set by Western societies have been influenced by colonialism.

The concept of beauty is deeply ingrained in our society. People tend to associate white people with thinness, blonde hair, and blue eyes. This creates a binary beauty standard, which sculpts people into perfect forms and erases the diversity of people. Despite this, people who are non-white, with brown hair or dreadlocks, uphold the privileges of whiteness. Similarly, if a person is black and has brown hair, she is considered beautiful by the standards of Western society.

Social media

In this digital age, social networking sites have greatly influenced the perception of beauty, and have contributed to a variety of negative health effects. Whether it is the unrealistic images of beauty that are shared on the web or the social pressures of self-presentation, social media affects an individual’s self-esteem and body image in ways both positive and negative. Here are some of the negative effects of social media:

Body image is one of the most significant effects of social media use. Many images of perfect bodies posted online are highly unrealistic and overly idealized, setting unrealistic expectations about beauty. They are often manipulated with airbrushing or digitized applications that remove imperfections or alter body sizes. These images often cause dissatisfaction with the appearance of the real world, leading to body modification and low self-esteem. Furthermore, unrealistic images are linked to eating disorders.

Body type

Across cultures, standards of beauty differ. In cultures that place high value on fertility, women with ample breasts and a full figure are considered beautiful. In cultures that place high value on aesthetics, such as in Fiji, being obese is considered desirable. Despite the diversity of society’s standards, some countries view obesity as an attractive attribute and have a standard of beauty based on body type. To understand this issue, the first step is to look at the cultural history of this issue.

This obsession with the ideal female body shape and size is deeply damaging to women. Studies show that women are less satisfied with their own body weight and appearance when exposed to thin models. Fortunately, mainstream media has begun to introduce a more diverse body shape and size into advertising. In recent years, major brands such as Dove and Victoria’s Secret have made strides to diversify their ads. These efforts are a positive step towards changing society’s standards of beauty.