In the eye of the beholder?

Sooner or later every discussion about beauty reaches the point where someone shouts out passionately : „But after all we all know that beauty is relative.“ The objection is not unjustified. Doesn’t each civilization, each historical epoch, every single person have its own idea of beauty? On the other hand: If beauty was indeed only a matter of taste, why do top models earn such a tremendous amount of money? Perhaps our judgements of beauty do converge more than we want to admit.
In search of an answer we take a look at the laboratories of attractiveness researchers and set out on a little journey through distant times and countries.