Perhaps our love for shapes, forms and proportions is rooted in the human body — the most beautiful human body, shape, and form.
What makes a beautiful body?
For now let us talk about the female form.
It seems the optimal beautiful human female is a lower bodyfat percentage, more perky breasts, and a curved body. Also ideally has more muscular mass.
What makes a beautiful face?
I (as an Korean-American) generally find Asian faces the most beautiful. Why is this? Perhaps something in my DNA.
I have discovered beautiful female faces in all races, but personally I’m only attracted to Asian female faces. I’m not sure how much of this is sociological vs biological, but let me essay some of my thoughts.
Below are some cropped photos of beautiful women by Araki:
It seems that I prefer fuller lips, more chiseled facial features, and a higher and more pointy nose. I also prefer generally bigger eyes.
Beauty and sexual fitness
Is our notion of “beautiful” associated with our sexual attraction to that individual, in terms of “sexual fitness”?
We are attracted to an individual who we believe would help us make great offspring.
From an evolutionary perspective this makes sense— we want to mate with individuals who we believe has “good genes”or “good resources”. We want children to be maximally intelligent, maximally physically strong, and also with enough food-resources to help them thrive.
Heterosexual male preferences in a woman
Then the basic notion is:
As a heterosexual male, I would prefer my women to be maximally fertile (not above the age of 40), wide hips to give birth well, and healthy breasts to breastfeed.
Also, to have a beautiful face to make healthful children. My theory is a face with “beautiful proportions” is a sign of physiological health. And of course these things are highly subjective.
Also it seems we prefer women who have proportionally longer legs:
I love Matisse and his abstracted cutouts of the human form:
Why does the human body matter?
Helmut Newton photos:
The human body is the most real thing we got.
The mind is metaphysical. We cannot really observe a mind or judge it.
As artists, the human body is real — embodied real. And the human body is the root of our mind. In this sense:
The body is superior to the mind.
Also as artists, we delight in shapes, forms, and tones. What more delight can we get than the human form?
Delight in human form as a sign of health and strength
A strange trend I see in modern times (perhaps a sign of degeneracy):
We delight more in objects, things, and fashion than the human body.
This is why I have so much faith in fashion photographers:
They beautify and put the human body on a pedestal, as it should be.
The great human form photographers thus far include Richard AVEDON, Araki, Helmut Newton.
More Newton photos:
Photos which strengthen us, motivate us, and uplift us
Why philosophy of aesthetics — the philosophical quest towards beauty? This is the root of humanity, art, and life.
It can be simple
Simple focus on body parts.
Fill the frame with abstracted human forms:
Body integrated into the environment
The portrait doesn’t need to be super closeup. It can be the body in the context of the environment.
Focus on shapes and repetition of shapes
Human body and eye contact
Curves in the human form are generally more interesting and dynamic:
Groups of people
Macro and human body
Get insanely close, like the eye: