Open access peer-reviewed Edited Volume


Martha Levine

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


Cultural Effects Sexual Differences Sensory Evaluations Types of Beauty Tattoos and Other Alterations Risks of Modifications Social Media Influence Challenging Expectations Standarizations Measurements or Scales Toxic Effects Quality of Life

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About the book

Justice Stewart is quoted as saying, “I know it when I see it,” in a ruling about pornography. Is that true for beauty as well? Do we know it when we see it? Is beauty an intrinsic quality of everything? In many species babies have certain physical characteristics to ensure adults find them loveable. This is a way to ensure compassionate care until the animal can become self-sufficient. For humans, the time of reliance on parents is much longer than for any animal species. Within the environment, as individuals grow, they develop value judgments about beauty-- expectations and characterizations. Does culture, family, peers and society at large define our perceptions about beauty?

In nature beauty can serve a beneficial role as animals use distinctive markings to attract their mates. In society beauty can have a positive role but can also lead to risky modifications as individuals try to live up to societal expectations. Can we challenge and change how beauty is defined and valued? For many, but especially women, society holds rigid guidelines of beauty, which can impact self-esteem and lead to dangerous alterations and even eating disorders. Within an eating disorder, individuals often have skewed perceptions of how they look. They struggle to assess how they compare to others and to societal values. One does not have to have an eating disorder to fall victim to misrepresentations and misperceptions. On social media individuals offer photo-shopped images or highlight only the beauty of their lives. The inability to live up to images portrayed in the media can lead others to experience loneliness, disconnection and a negative self-view. Does one feel even more bereft and lonely in the face of unachievable beauty?

Different cultures and decades of time influence the definition and perception of beauty. Tattoos and other body modifications have become more mainstream in certain geographical locations. Does this impact the view and delineation of beauty? What risks are individuals willing to take in the name of beauty? Does beauty offer a benefit or are there dangers in being seen as too beautiful? Does one's beauty affect expectations that others might have of one's competence or skills? Many old jokes hinted at blonde women not being smart. What biases and micro-aggressions influence how we define and react to beauty?

Understanding beauty leads us to contemplate the different ways that we experience beauty. Often beauty expectations rely on visual perceptions but how do the other senses get involved? Can we taste beauty? Smell it? Is beauty only physical? Can we understand it on an emotional or spiritual level? Does religion affect how we perceive and value beauty? Is beauty elegance, grace or sexiness? Do different qualities define specific aspects of beauty?

As we work to understand beauty, we need to find beauty in our own uniqueness. This volume is designed to understand the multiple facets of beauty and celebrate the diversity of thought. Clearly there is beauty in ideas as they are conveyed in carefully crafted words. This project welcomes new perceptions of beauty, which can take the reader to a deeper understanding of beauty or a offer a new perspective.

Publishing process

Book initiated and editor appointed

Date completed: September 30th 2019

Applications to edit the book are assessed and a suitable editor is selected, at which point the process begins.

Chapter proposals submitted and reviewed

Deadline for chapter proposals: October 21st 2019

Potential authors submit chapter proposals ready for review by the academic editor and our publishing review team.

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Approved chapters written in full and submitted

Deadline for full chapters: December 20th 2019

Once approved by the academic editor and publishing review team, chapters are written and submitted according to pre-agreed parameters

Full chapters peer reviewed

Review results due: March 9th 2020

Full chapter manuscripts are screened for plagiarism and undergo a Main Editor Peer Review. Results are sent to authors within 30 days of submission, with suggestions for rounds of revisions.

Book compiled, published and promoted

Expected publication date: May 8th 2020

All chapters are copy-checked and typesetted before being published. IntechOpen regularly submits its books to major databases for evaluation and coverage, including the Clarivate Analytics Book Citation Index in the Web of ScienceTM Core Collection. Other discipline-specific databases are also targeted, such as Web of Science's BIOSIS Previews.

About the editor

Martha Levine

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Dr. Levine is an associate professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Humanities at the Penn State College of Medicine. She teaches Humanities to students through all 4 years of their medical training and encourages them to consider how we perceive others and how this can affect the doctor-patient relationship. Through her work within the field of eating disorders, she often tackles the way women are viewed and the challenging expectations that they struggle against. Combining these interests, she has edited this volume that examines how we perceive beauty. As a psychiatrist, she challenges you to be open to new concepts and ideas. That is the only way to discover the world around you and challenge your own Perception of Beauty.

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Book chapters authored 1

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Introducing your Author Service Manager

Ms. Rozmari Marijan

As an Author Service Manager my responsibilities include monitoring and facilitating all publishing activities for authors and editors. From chapter submission and review, to approval and revision, copyediting and design, until final publication, I work closely with authors and editors to ensure a simple and easy publishing process. I maintain constant and effective communication with authors, editors and reviewers, which allows for a level of personal support that enables contributors to fully commit and concentrate on the chapters they are writing, editing, or reviewing. I assist authors in the preparation of their full chapter submissions and track important deadlines and ensure they are met. I help to coordinate internal processes such as linguistic review, and monitor the technical aspects of the process. As an ASM I am also involved in the acquisition of editors. Whether that be identifying an exceptional author and proposing an editorship collaboration, or contacting researchers who would like the opportunity to work with IntechOpen, I establish and help manage author and editor acquisition and contact.

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