This evidence suggests that female beauty depends upon specific highly visible hormonal markers that indicate high fecundity. In other female primates, fecundity signals such as labial swelling, chest blisters, or face reddening are quite common and males who are attracted to such cues enjoy clear reproductive beneits. However, in contrast to the pronounced cyclical fecundity signals exhibited by non-human primates, a woman's physical beauty is continuously displayed throughout her entire reproductive years, although some subtle changes in attractiveness at ovulation have been observed. This continuous display of attractiveness might be an adaptation to the large parental investment that arises from prolonged human infant immaturity. A continuously attractive woman can choose from a larger number of high quality males, secure a male's support for a long period of time, and replace him if necessary. Her choice, however, is influenced by the attractiveness of her male suitors.
(Victor S. Johnston, "Mate choice decisions: the role of facial beauty", in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 10, Issue 1, January 2006, p. 10).
From the amorous point of view Véronique belonged, as we all do, to a sacrificed generation. She had certainly been capable of love; she wished to still be capable it, I'll say that for her; but it was no longer possible. A scarce, artificial and belated phenomenon, love can only blossom under certain mental conditions, rarely conjoined, and totally opposed to the freedom of morals which characterizes the modern era. Véronique had known too many discothèque, too many lovers; such a way of life impoverishes a human being, inflicting sometimes serious and always irreversible damage. Love as a kind of innocence and as a capacity for illusion, as an aptitude for epitomizing the whole of the other sex in a single loved being rarely resists a year of sexual immorality, and never two. In reality the successive sexual experiences accumulated during adolescence undermine and rapidly destroy all possibility of projection of an emotional and romantic sort; progressively, and in fact extremely quickly, one becomes as capable of love as an old slag. And so one leads, obviously, a slag's life; in ageing one becomes less seductive, and on that account bitter. One is jealous of the young, and so one hates them. Condemned to remain unavowable, this hatred festers and becomes increasingly fervent; then it dies down and fades away, just as everything fades away. All that remains is resentment and disgust, sickness and the anticipation of death.
(Michel Houellebecq, L'Extension du Domaine de la Lutte).
She says, “But in contentment I still feel
The need of some imperishable bliss.”
Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams
And our desires.
(Wallace Stevens, "Sunday Morning").