If you are seeking a universal way of explaining on how is beauty defined then you might have a hard time seeking the answer. The fact is that there is definitely no one way of explaining or defining beauty. Each and every culture has their own standards as to what is beautiful. Now I am only referring to beauty as it applies to persons, because when judging beauty of other things the variations are still innumerable across cultures.
Beauty across Time and Culture- While various cultures have different ways of defining beauty the ideal of beauty has also changed greatly across time. For example some ideas about what is beautiful in 18th Century Europe is not going to apply to the people who inhabit the same geographical area today. The way of seeing things that are beautiful is influenced greatly over time by different factors. Despite this change there are some things that remain constant. There are certain qualities that are considered to be beautiful no matter what culture it is. Here are some of those qualities:
Youth– Beauty has always been associated with youth in the same way that old age is associated with other undesirable things. This is the reason why a person who looks young is admired in any culture and that the aim of many beauty products is for a person to appear younger.
Bodies That Are Well Proportioned- Another quality that is considered to be universally is a well-proportioned body. It does not matter what color or race you are if you have a well-proportioned body then people can appreciate that.
Good Skin- A person with a smooth and good looking skin is most likely to be considered as a beautiful no matter where he or she is in the world.
Regular Features- This is another quality that is thought to be universally beautiful. Sometimes a striking feature can be attractive but sometimes the attraction is more due to the novelty of the appearance than anything else.
Averageness- This might be something that you are not familiar with as a concept for the ideal beauty, but it is generally agreed that that the more the appearance of a person approaches the average or the composite look of most humans the more beautiful it seems. This was discovered when researchers superimposed photographs of different people on top of each other. What they got was an image that was more attractive than any of the original images. Thus they were able to conclude that the ideal person or at least the person with the ideal look is one with the averaged appearance.
Attaining Beauty- You have seen the factors and the qualities that determine whether a person is beautiful or not. You might have noticed that you can not do anything on most of those qualities. They are largely determined by the genes that you got from your parents. That is true except with having good skin. While the quality of your skin is in some degrees determined by your genes you can still do something about it with all the methods that are available right now.