Beauty, physical attractiveness and sexual attraction, according to theories of beauty, are determined by the prevailing culture, i.e. each group within a society will have its own consensus of ideas, beliefs, and behaviours and it is constantly changing over time. Children quickly learn who among them is considered attractive, although this will change as the peer group ages. More often, insists beauty theories review, these evolving judgements are based on appearance, personality and behaviour. Those who win friends, enjoy popularity and achieve high status through sport or employment will be associated with qualities that may match the forms of virtue, beauty, nobility, etc.
Beauty in different cultures
may depend on those, who inspire fear and loathing, and who often is characterised as unattractive or ugly. But, if they nevertheless wield power and accumulate wealth within society, they may be considered sexually attractive. It depends on the qualities the partners wish to see in their children. Theories of beauty reveal, that people use signs to associate themselves with the most successful groups within their society. Beauty theories
review shows, that in cultures where pale skin is valued, people modify their behaviour to avoid acquiring a tan or use face paints and whitening creams (e.g. in Europe in the Middle Ages and in China, the only people who had dark skin were the poor peasants; the aristocracies therefore valued pale skin as an indicator of their wealth and often relied on lead or other poisonous ingredients in cosmetics to create the lustrous white complexion seen in portraits from the sixteenth-century onward).
Beauty in different cultures, where being fat is considered a sign of success, health, beauty, - people modify their diets to achieve a body image reflecting the consensus of thought among those within the social group they aspire to join. Theories of beauty reveal, that e.g. in China, the fat male belly symbolises happiness, luck, wealth, and generosity; in Europe, the Dionysian aesthetic associates fatness with cheerful and relatively innocent decadence; in modern Ghana the popular view is that "the thicker and heavier, the richer and more attractive a woman is.").
Theories of beauty show, that
in cultures where certain body parts or athletic forms are desirable, clothing is modified to enhance or disguise a feature (e.g. ancient Greek men exercised in the nude in the gymnasium following the Apollonian ideal, Minoan dresses were usually topless in this matriarchal society, and padded codpieces ensured a European man's reputation appeared intact). Beauty theories review shows that a large number of theories of beauty treat it as a form of genius stating that beauty is even superior to genius. Some of the theories of beauty state that beauty actually has the right of sovereignty. Many beautiful people admit that maintaining the pleasant appearance is worth tremendous efforts and great costs. In some of the most popular theories of beauty lies a belief, that the real mystery of the world is the visible and not what is hidden and invisible.