Watching TV and observing media, one notes that different ideals of beauty are exposed. From the orientation of social-structure representatives of the two primary paradigms, media offer a unique perspective of matrifocal and patrifocal beauty points of view.

Neoteny is physically represented in specific facial features. A matrifocal social structure encourages the selection of males exhibiting neotenous characteristics, which would include smaller jaw, bigger eyes and possibly a more lanky build. The male would be altogether more gracile than robust. Females would tend to be less neotenous than their patrifocal counterparts, with a more square jaw and stocky presence.

In a patrifocal social structure, macho men are choosing demure women for their neotenous tendencies. Western female beauty frames are engaged. The woman has smaller jaws, seemingly bigger eyes, a more petite frame and features of the young. Blonde hair and blue eyes are often characteristics of infants that fade with time. As a neotenous feature, blue-eyed blondes are classic patrifocal female beauty markers. But for hair and eye color, Asian females exhibit many of the features of a beautiful patriarchal woman. The classic handsome patrifocal man has a square jaw and robust build, which are non-neotenous characteristics.

Media expose us to actor examples of these two paradigms, often staging stories that provide the facial/body types the opportunity to represent the orientations of these two social structures.

Facial symmetry has emerged as a variable that suggests where beauty reposes. It has also been hypothesized that facial asymmetry reflects cerebral asymmetry. For example, extreme right-handedness may reflect a left hemisphere more exaggerated and larger than is normal relative to the right hemisphere. This exaggeration may also be reflected in two sides of the face diverging more in look than a less extremely right-handed person. For women, where the two brain hemispheres exhibit less difference in size than a right-handed male, there would be less facial asymmetry. Normally, women would exhibit less facial asymmetry than men and so seem more beautiful.

In a patrifocal society, the characteristics of male extreme right-handedness–hierarchical orientation, status consciousness, male control of female procreation–are more engaged. Perhaps male facial asymmetry is a marker for a desirable mate in patrifocal social structure.

In a matrifocal social structure, where the features of left-handedness are positive characteristics in the males–males perform, males cooperate, females control their own procreation–both male hemispheres are closer together in size with an exhibition of relative male facial symmetry.

Autistic males, the extreme representatives of matrifocal social structure males, males that are often left-handed, are often noted as particularly beautiful as children. This appearance may have a lot to do with the autistic brain featuring two hemispheres that are the same size, the right side never having been pruned by testosterone surges in early childhood. Same-sized hemispheres produce facial symmetry, which is a marker for beauty if you are a matrifocal female seeking a mate (or a patrifocal male searching for a patrifocal female).

Convention suggests it’s a mystery what attracts us to our mates. Behind mystery is pattern. Pattern reveals connections that make our origins clear. Observe media for how the entertainment structure represents beauty and the social structure archetypes that beauty portrays. Because these representations of beauty are all unconscious–beauty is determined by how beauty “feels”–media is almost oracular in the quality of its constructions. Oracular in that media interpretations of beauty are true, subtle and far deeper than what they seem.


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This entry was posted on Saturday, September 20th, 2008 at 6:33 am and is filed under 10-Most Visited, Biology, lefthanded, Neoteny, Sexual Selection, Social, Social Structure, Society. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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  1. What - Q&A Wiki on December 20, 2008 12:44 am

    […] sexual … Blonde hair and blue eyes are often characteristics of infants that fade with time. … Symmetry : Neoteny, sexual selection, cause of autism, human evolution, social transformation, left … Gene Expression: The myth of the brown-eyed baltic blonde? – May 2, 2005 … In contrast, Ireland […]

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