What defines beauty? Most cultures will tell you that Beauty is defined as anything likable. But Science defines beauty as symmetry in nature. Genes define everything. With the Human Genome project being completed in 2003, we take a look at all the data. scientists have come up with genes that define beauty.
Why do we find certain faces more likable than others? Conversely, we despise people on their looks. Data confirms that our social norms dictate a mere 10% of our perception. Whereas, genetics define our perfection of beauty by about 70-80%. The rest stays with our personality.
The map of Beauty
Olay the global fashion and skincare brand conducted an analysis. They studied over 20000 genes of the possible 20500 and came up with 200 genes that map our ageing (Also read our article on fox genes and how they control ageing). Additionally, they concluded that women have a certain fingerprint in their skin which is responsible for how their skin glows, and how they age.
This is in stark contrast to beauty products that endorse better skin. Sometimes, we just have to accept the fact that we are born that way.
The factor of age
Attractiveness is a complex concoction of hormones, genes and social norms. A few players which dictate this are tabulated as below
Antioxidants are killer substances for cells. A cell can rapidly age if antioxidants are in excess. The skin in humans is no exception. There comes a tipping point in every individual where Oxidation will catch up with the glutathione contained, and start breaking down the cells. Every tipping point is determined genetically. Hence, it is impossible to determine when the ageing will start. Consequently, considerable efforts are taken by professional fashion models. However, in regular parlance, this is highly impractical.
Also known as heterozygosity. Heterozygosity has played major parts in developing the MAC or Major Histocompatibility Complex. The protein that defines our individuality. MHC has largely been linked to mate preference.
The lek paradox
Nature selects the best mating possibility, as it all comes down to survival at the genetic level. If every female selected a male without preference, then it would lead to something called as genetic stagnation. In other words, there would be no diversification, and consequently, no evolution.
For the simple reason of evolution, we are genetically hardwired to select mates based on what we deem fit.
Marion Petri of Newcastle University affirmatively sums it up as, “If you had no variation at all, you wouldn’t get evolution”.
Does it really matter?
As we have seen, genetics define whom we consider beautiful and whom we do not. At the end of the day, however, it comes down to sustainability. Every animal, notwithstanding their species, is coded to sustain, to live. We choose our partners which have the highest index of sustainability. Family and other complex social interactions formed as a result of man’s quest to sustain, and evolve. And, we continue to do so, even in the 21st century.