Is it the genes? Beauty is a mysterious cocktail whose ingredients vary according to time, dominant cultures, and fashion. What can be said with certainty is that physical beauty is, in any case, a secret aspiration of each one of us, a unique bond that unites feelings, intelligence, and body.
Can this state of grace be transmitted to our children? Are there families of “beautiful people” just as there are families of “intellectuals” or “musicians”? The doctors we have asked to answer these questions have given different opinions. One fact remains certain: observation of the reality around us very often holds surprises.
We can even find in a family of beauties, the classic “ugly duckling” can, just as in a family of uglies, a delicate flower can perhaps bloom.
The one who writes recalls the case of two young people, who got married in 2001.
He was tall, dark, with brown eyes, broad back, and square facial features, a kind of cowboy stuffed into a blue suit. She’s small, thin, blonde, big blue eyes.
“You’ll have beautiful children,” sighed the young woman’s mother.
When nature is dismissive
The son didn’t take long, a girl of 3.8 kilos, beautiful, round cheeks, soft skin. But she didn’t have her mother’s delicate hair and even her blue eyes “only” vaguely brown eyes, brown hair.
As the years passed, the little girl became a lady. The relatives began to speak of the “ungrateful age.”
Also, they talked about the “transitional period” of “green fruit” of “chrysalis” that is about to become a butterfly.
But the miracle never happened. The young woman today has the features of her father, the same square jaw, the commanding look, and also the thinness and small height of her mother.
Fate prepared for her a cocktail in which the characteristics of the father and the mother combine, giving a very unpleasant result.
In the V. family, the game of similarities has been even more delicate. The father, a doctor, is a man, a charming man: harmonious features, elegant body. A kind of Apollo that the nurses of the hospital where he works adore.
The mother is small, thin, and ugly. With a good dose of intelligence, the woman has been able to create a captivating personality using the weapons of elegance and class.
They have two daughters. The youngest, Matilde, is 20 years old. She is like her father but a portrait made by a cartoonist. All the features of the father are in her excessively unbalanced.
The eldest, Carolina, looks like her mother, but she is gorgeous: she has inherited the line of her mother’s face, but it is clean, redrawn, and transfigured.
Genetics in women’s beauty
If each one of us could admire the gallery of the portraits of our ancestors, we would undoubtedly have the surprise of undertaking an extraordinary journey through the fantastic games of the family resemblances.
Professor Antonine Vilain, a well-known Parisian plastic surgeon, was very interested in this problem. When he talked about the subject “the beauty of women,” he became a poet:
“The woman’s silhouette is a symphony. That melody is built by genetics and by the chorus of hormones.”
This genetic melody arouses the great enthusiasm of the supporters of the theory of heredity. “We have known for a long time,” explains Professor Charles Roux, professor of embryology and genetics at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris, “that heredity comes from chromosomes.
These are composed of the interconnection of a large number of functional units, the genes. The gene is the part of the chromosome that has an important function: it determines a particular hereditary character.
We estimate that there are probably tens of thousands of genes distributed over the 23 pairs of chromosomes. The totality of the genes of an individual distributed constitutes the genotype.
Alongside this genotype is the phenotype, which is nothing more than the set of visible characteristics of an individual.
Inherited physical features
“Let’s take as an example and consider the Californian population of Japanese origin. Well, we now know that individuals born in California to Japanese parents are taller than Japanese born and raised in their country.
We can see the reason for this phenomenon in the diverse type of food that the Japanese give to children in the first months of life.
To better understand the meaning of genetics, the whole argument needs to be further developed.
Two genes carried by two chromosomes determine each hereditary character. The latter can be identical, and in this case, the individual is called “homozygous.””
It can be the opposite that the two genes are diverse: the person with this characteristic is called heterozygous. Homozygous has no way of salvation: hereditary characteristics will necessarily manifest themselves.
On the contrary, when the individual is heterozygous, that is when he has two different genes, he will only see the characteristics of one gene manifest.
It will be the so-called “dominant” gene. The other, although present, will remain silent and is defined by the specialists as “recessive”.
Color of the eyes
“Let’s take into consideration the two characters’ “black eyes and “blue eyes,” adds Professor Roux.” We can find the genes that have the function of transmitting eye color on two pairs of chromosomes.
At this point, we have three possibilities: if the individual has two “black eye” genes in his cells, he will have black eyes. If he has two “blue eyes” genes, his eyes will be blue.
If he has one “black eye” gene and one “blue eye” gene, the individual can be born with black or blue eyes. Only one of the genes manifests itself, “the dominant” gene.
These notions of recessive genes and dominant genes are fundamental, but they alone don’t explain everything.
“Indeed,” stresses Professor Charles Roux, “the mechanism I have explained works in some instances and not in others. Take, for example, the color of the skin.
If we apply the theory of “recessive” and “dominant” and also Mendel’s law, when a white woman marries a black man, in the first generation, all the children should be born with black skin (and be left carrying recessive white genes).
In the second generation, both white and black children should be born. That is the law of “all or nothing. But in reality, things are not exactly this way.
How the genes are transmitted
We all know that mulattoes have neutral skin color, that when they marry each other, they can have children who are not black and not even white, instead of with skin whose color can vary from dark brown to light brown.
Maybe there’s an explanation for this phenomenon. In this case, it could be a so-called polytechnic inheritance. That means that our bodies need more than two genes (it is not yet known how many) to determine the color of the skin.
Thus, a pure-bred Senegalese is a carrier – let’s say – of 20 genes of black pigment. If he marries a white woman who carries 20 genes of white pigment, in the course of generations, through their children, the genes will mix according to the variable relationships.
A child may receive from the mother ten white genes and the father ten black genes and will have skin with a perfectly neutral color. Another child may inherit five black genes and 15 white genes and will have white skin.
The same mechanism is probably also valid for the color of the eyes, the hair, or the structure. The “fabrication” of a human embryo is thus determined by a high number of genes and by their combinations.
The combinations are responsible for the final result.
There are so many degradations in the color of the skin, eyes, or hair: because the possible combinations are infinite.
Dominant genes in our body
Contemporary science can classify “dominant” genes and “recessive” genes.
When a dominant gene and a recessive gene combine, it is always the dominant character that appears, the other will be present but remains hidden.
What are examples of hereditary traits?
According to biology:
- The brown color of the hair is dominant over the blonde color.
- The black eyes “dominate” the blue ones.
- Curly hair is more dominant than straight hair.
- Obesity is, unfortunately, dominant to thinness.
- Thick lips are dominant to thin lips.
- Long eyebrows are more potent than short eyebrows.
- Blood groups A and B are dominant in blood group 0.
Physical defects are better inherited
Inheritance in the face
For the same reason, one face never perfectly resembles another. Its lines, its oval, its dimensions are the fruit of a new and unrepeatable cocktail that is never predictable.
The curves, the pits, the prominence of the cheekbones, the nose, the face (square, round), etc.
Jean Grignon, one of the most famous plastic surgeons in history, said:
Genetics does not program the individual by itself. Indeed, every feature of the face, every element of the body can be inherited, but this is a possibility, not a necessity.
Factors that modify the hereditary code of genes
We have already said it about the Japanese living in California: every morphological characteristic is also the result of an “external aggression” to the body.
- At the beginning of life, the first cells of the embryo exhibit a genetic code. But already during pregnancy, the mother’s conditions and the environmental situation can interfere.
- A lack of food, a change in metabolism, or a bacterial attack can later complicate the course of events.
That is another reason to state that it is impossible to establish with certainty which morphological elements are hereditary.
However, we can make a further observation analyzing hundreds of different cases scientifically, some constants come to light, and the most important one is the hereditary transmission of aesthetic defects.
Surprisingly, the familiarity of the “ugly” characteristics of the body is more frequent than the transmission of beauty.
There are fat pads on our bodies that are certainly inherited generated by the FTO gene. When a girl’s face resembles her mother’s, it is because the two women have areas of fat tissue distributed in the same way in that part of the body.
These cushions are called steatomaceous; they appear during puberty and are not modified anymore.
When a woman decides to lose weight, she will lose weight throughout her body, but not in her steatoma. Steatomaceous cushions can be numerous, from the head to the ankles:
- The bags under the eyes.
- The fattened knee and neck.
- Breasts and the inside of the thighs fat.
- Belly fat (high or low).
- The fat of the buttocks.
Only surgery can radically correct these.
Most physical defects can be corrected
The arrangements for the grease pads are, ‘naturally, not always the same:
- Some women have the lower half of their body thicker than the upper: these have thick buttocks, thick legs, thick bellies.
- Other women present the opposite phenomenon.
- Others, finally, have gained only a third of their body weight.
In any case, no young woman should be afraid to observe her own mother’s defects to appreciate the first signs on her body as well.
Each of us inherits a morphological “predisposition” and not a morphological “fatality.” And it is necessary to start working immediately.
Modifications in diet, lifestyle, body hygiene, understanding the unique requirements of each organism will allow each of us to intelligently redistribute the biological “charts” received at birth.
- Physical exercise will provide the right muscles for the daughters of mothers who are too weak.
- Gymnastics will correct the daughters of rigid or curved fathers promptly.
Each young girl will gain in physical beauty, in seduction, in charm, if she knows how to promote her innate qualities.
What conclusion can we draw? The “genetic melody” is a refrain that we can sing in many different ways:
Loudly or in a low voice or piano.
It’s up to us to decide how.