And the debate continues…nature versus nurture. In his first chapter Robert Saplosky uses People’s “The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World” edition as a center for the debate. Many of the celebrities credited being given their parents good genes and were simply beautiful from the beginning. Others however, gave credit to various lotions and lifestyle choices, such as Jacklyn Smith who claims her beauty has been “preserved with good habits.”(Sapolsky 2005). However, as Sapolsky, and I think it’s safe to say the majority, if not the entire class, agreed that just if someone uses the same face cream as a celebrity, does not automatically mean they will become, or are beautiful.
The whole discussion on physical attractiveness reminded me of the BBC miniseries on the human face. Just as Sapolsky uses sarcasm, the host, John Cleese uses his humor to look into how people determine beauty and if beauty is really in the eye of the beholder. In this particular episode, they go behind the scenes of a modelling agency, interview a plastic surgeon on the quest to find the universal rule for beauty, as well as touch on the nature side of the debate by interviewing a psychologist who looks at human mating behavior. One part I felt was particularly relevant to the class discussion was the episode talked about anatomical symmetry of faces, which was brought up by Tory and Alessandra. I would highly suggest watching if you have a free hour or so. The whole episode is on youtube, but it’s broken down into six sections, so I’ll post the first part on here and then it should be easy to navigate from there.