The evolution of feminine beauty

Jeanne Bovet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


If you enter the word "beauty" in a search engine, almost all the pictures you will see appear on your computer screen are of attractive young women. In Western society, the concept of beauty is closely associated with physical attractiveness and especially feminine physical attractiveness. Beautiful women are everywhere: on the walls of our cities, on the screens of our movie theaters, on the glossy paper of our magazines. But is this phenomenon restricted to contemporary societies? It does not seem so, as women's beauty has occupied the minds of painters, poets, philosophers, musicians, and writers for centuries. Indeed, in arts, depictions of idealized female beauty far outweigh those depicting ideals of male beauty. Why are human beings so fascinated by female attractiveness? The aim of this chapter is to show how evolutionary theory can help us to understand this passion for women's bodies and their beauty, and explore what the arts can teach us about human beauty while addressing the question of its universality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring Transdisciplinarity in Art and Sciences
EditorsZoï Kapoula, Emmanuelle Volle, Julien Renoult, Moreno Andreatta
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9783319760544
ISBN (Print)9783319760537
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


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