Why Are Eyes So Beautiful

Eyes are the window the soul; they strike us with beauty, wonder, and depth of feeling. Eyelash extensions are exciting because they beautify and draw attention to our eyes; something we all want. Eye contact is key to flirting, deep conversation, excitement; our eyes relay passion, sadness, joy and everything in between. We use our eyes so much that even dogs are accustomed to looking to our eyes for guidance; they themselves are prone to using puppy dog eyes to get what they want, as the pet owners among you will know all too well.

Why, then, are the eyes such a focal point of our interaction? There is a theory called the cooperative eye theory that tries to explain their importance. The theory was derived in part by a study where scientists evaluated how great apes and human infants followed gaze; the study showed that great apes were more likely to follow motions in the head, whereas human infants followed eye motions with more interest.

The theory posits that we developed the ability to use our eyes to indicate threats, resources and emotional states, perhaps because it is a subtle, unobtrusive method of gesturing that wouldn’t alert predators or prey of your awareness of their presence. The use of eye contact to convey information is also incredibly useful for infants and their caretakers; babies can’t speak, so transmitting their needs through eye contact can have a positive impact on their welfare and safety. This may be of particular importance to humans, whose babies have a long span of defenselessness.

This may be why our eyes have developed such striking characteristics; it’s easier to follow someone’s eye movements when their eyes are distinct. Our eyes come in a wide array of colours, yes, but what’s most striking about them is their size compared to the rest of our face, as well as the white sclera. Our eyes are elongated and quite sizable compared to those of other primates, which makes tracking the eye a breeze. The sclera being white provides a sharp contrast between it, the iris, and the rest of our face; given that humans seem to be the animals that most rely on eye movement to convey information, this contrast is advantageous for us, but not for any of our potential predators.

Eyes looking at you are not just advantageous for the looker; they’re advantageous for an altruistic society. We are aware when someone else is looking us in the eye, and our behaviour may match; we tend to be kinder and more careful when we know someone else is watching us, perhaps in part because we know they’re deriving information about our intent and emotional state when they’re looking at us. This helps create an atmosphere of trust between large social groups; even when there’s strangers among us, we can look them in the eyes to see if they’re honest and good-intentioned. Beautiful and useful; who doesn’t love eyes?

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