So a thought occurred to me, completely out of the blue: how has our relationship & perception of age & beauty been affected by our sources of ambient light? For most of human history, we have been lit only by the sun & firelight. In the past 150-odd years, suddenly we have been lighting ourselves with incandescants, flourescents, etc. These lights cast a vastly different glow than firelight and sunlight. All sorts of new details of features are exposed in these lights. In the art world, specifically photography & cinematography, this has been exaggerated: because film cannot soak up light as well as the human eye, film & studio sets are bathed in harsh, massively powerful lights that blanche things out to the human eye, but caught on film raise every feature, every line, every shadow to prominence. Has this had a direct correlation on the quest for smoothe, youthful skin? Do we take far more detail into consideration when defining beauty?
I obviously don’t have any answers to this (the question really did just occur to me), but I wonder if there are theories out there? Does anyone know of any books on the subject?