I don’t remember how the conversation started, but a few days ago I found myself explaining to my children that, amongst all human beings, regardless of their race or culture, there is one common denominator for beauty: symmetry. This means that whether a culture measures beauty by fair or dark skin, light or dark hair, wide or narrow faces, big or little eyes, short or long noses, or whatever other physical markers that culture values, the one thing that each culture prefers within those norms is symmetry. And because symmetrical people tend to be better athletes, it’s no surprise that within each culture, we tend to find athletes attractive. (I think this picture of David Beckham nicely makes my point.)
My children, especially my son, clearly absorbed this lesson well. Yesterday, he stopped and looked at my contemplatively. Then he said, “You know, Mom, since you began martial arts, you’re much more symmetrical. You look good.” My daughter chimed in with a hearty “He’s right.” I was charmed.