Elliot et al, looked into the effect of the color red on female attractiveness in a group of culturally isolated (from outside cultures) men in Burkina Faso and found that here, too, the color red augmented female attractiveness. It appears to be a universal phenomenon.Part of the problem with the analysis of beauty seems to be with how it has been historically treated. In the Classical Western tradition, beauty has been associated with the act of contemplation and thus its abstract nature has tended to be emphasized. Beauty became an intellectual pursuit. On the other hand, more recent left-wing thinking on the subject has tended to emphasize the blank-slate aspect of human nature, seeing beauty as a social construct.Both views in my opinion are wrong, though as usual, the traditionalist version is less wrong than the leftist one.
The traditional Western view of man tended to divide the intellect from the body, philosophically cleaving the two and habituating men to the notion of a rational mind distinct from from the body. Reality, however, does not allow this distinction. The response to color is not only an observed psychological phenomenon but an example of a cognitive bias generated by an external effect. Why a woman wearing red should appear more attractive than one wearing yellow is not a rational phenomenon but a predetermined biocognitive effect. And it would appear that we are “hard-wired” towards certain aesthetic preferences as a result of our biology.
The rational mind operates in a biological milieu which affects the way that it processes information. Or to put it another way, in computer science terminology, we have an inbuilt “operating system” which has direct influence on the nature of our rationality. Woman+ Red= favorable cognitive bias generated at a subrational level. And in many respects what we perceive as beautiful may have a predetermined genetic basis. Symmetry, rhythm, fractality, scale, and the color emotive response is hard wired into our DNA and manifest as very high order reflex type response.
Looking at beauty this way changes it from being a moral inquiry or status-whoring contest and instead, channels the discussion to what is visually “ergonomic.” A waist to hip ratio of 0.7 is pleasing because it is ergonomic in the same way that a chair is comfortable when designed to meet human need, instead of other reasons. Discussions about beauty, then, revolve around what people like on a biological basis, instead of what people should like. This isn’t to say there is no beauty-normativity, just that normativity has its foundations in biology. It’s a restricted set, one not amenable to the far-left program of obesity and grotesque piercings.
Part of the reason the modern world is so ugly is because it has been designed without this visual ergonomic aspect in mind. We design our cities without any reference to what people have found to be pleasing and instead focus on novelty, utility, or cost. This state of affairs has come about from the notion that beauty is purely subjective and therefore, since there is a wide range of opinion on the matter, there are no objective standards. Modern science is showing this to be wrong-headed.