When did the concept of physical attractiveness in terms of the social construct of beauty become an important characteristic in mate selection and as a useful, valuable commodity that human beings honor and cherish? Have you ever noticed that the more absolutely, gorgeous, and stylish your shoes are the more they hurt your feet? Have you ever worn a dress that was so drop dead gorgeous, that you could barely walk or breathe in it? I am sure that this is how the phrase “drop-dead-gorgeous “originated.
A fancy, expensive car such as the Lamborghini is nice to look at; but is it possible to pack your children and their bikes in it to take them around the corner to the park? The exquisitely, beautiful items in my home are not to be used or touched without permission because they are too fragile and delicate to be handled. The expensive, beautiful things that I own are only to be appreciated and admired from a distance. Beauty becomes more significant when a person or an object is not needed but desired.
Take a moment, go back in time 10,000 years ago and imagine yourself as a hunter and gatherer. Remember, you don’t have to get all dressed up to go to the market—you will hunt animals and collect plants such as berries, fruits, nuts or whatever you are lucky enough to find for dinner. Close your eyes and think about what you are wearing. Is your outfit comfortable? Do you look fat in your pants? Does your blouse bring out the blue in your eyes? Can you run after a buffalo comfortably in your heels? What about your hair? Is it in a fancy up-do, bouffant hairstyle, finger waves or a sassy short Bob cut? What about your eye shadow, lip-stick, and mascara did you remember to apply it perfectly before preparing dinner?
The evolution of beauty in terms of the comparison of physical attractiveness between human beings is a byproduct of a surplus of goods and resources and massive amounts of free time that led to gender inequality between men and women. When men and women truly needed and depended upon each other for survival, it didn’t matter what the other person looked like.
When humans were no longer preoccupied with the task of daily survival they stopped living through their bodies; but over thinking everyday life through their heads. As hunters and gatherers, they were lucky to have a mate. They didn’t think about where the relationship was going or how much money that person made. Each person was expected to contribute to the well-being of the group.
They didn’t have to live in their heads and toil over what to eat for dinner. They didn’t have to worry about what to cook for dinner because they knew that dinner would be whatever they were lucky enough to kill or collect – and it would be delicious.
Once humans became domesticated and they no longer needed to spend their time seeking shelter and food; they had the free time to create beauty. They had the luxury of carving beautiful designs on their bows. Beauty evolved from the reality of living in the moment-- to the illusion of creating perfection in the future.