So a while ago, a friend linked me to this website that showed the 'averaged' faces of different cultures, that is, a program took photos of a large number of people from a specific country and performed some averaging function over them, for several countries. I'm not sure about the specifics, but the interesting thing (to me) was that all of the faces would definitely be considered to be above average in 'beauty'.
Which got me thinking: what is 'beauty'? It definitely seems to be something that is, like, 'greater than the sum of its parts', and it seems to apply to many fields, in differing ways.
The 'beauty' of a sunset over the Grand Canyon is different than the beauty of a poem, which is different than the beauty of Monet's Waterlilies, which is again different than the beauty of, say, Henry Cavill *whistling*, which is different than the beauty of an elegant math proof.
Yet, to me at least, the term 'beauty' seems to be apply equally well, and, more interestingly, seems somehow 'consistent' in being applied to all these very different things. Why is that? What exactly is beauty? Is it quantifiable? (I mean yes, it's "in the eye of the beholder" to some degree, but there does seem to be general consensus on the 'beauty' of many things) Is it something that is inherent, or that can be developed? Is it something that is merely a concept, or is it somehow tangible? Is it a weapon, a tool, a strength, or a weakness? What is it?