The New Human Aesthetic
by Cheryl Swanson

The new human aesthetic is a combination of the masculine principle and the feminine principle, giving rise to new classifications, such as the “metrosexual,” the “alpha betty” and a rapidly growing acceptance of racial, physical, sexual and other differences, among youth.

The Feminine Principle:

  • Private Domain
  • Passive
  • Intuitive
  • Organic
  • Associative
  • Soulful Soft, pliable
  • Contraction/Inward (Home/Hearth)

The Masculine Principle:

  • Public Domain
  • Active
  • Rational
  • Geometric
  • Linear
  • Logical
  • Hard, unyielding
  • Expansion/Outward (Exploration/Discovery/Conquering)

The New Human Aesthetic

  • Empathetic (to our time pressed needs)
  • Simple
  • Sensory
  • Optimistic
  • Evocative
  • Biological, Natural form
  • High performance, high value
  • Help us unplug, keep up or go faster

Why did the human aesthetic evolve and where is it going?

In 1997, Toniq identified a trend that was a direct manifestation of being “tethered to technology” called Survival of the Fastest. Life increasingly became a sustained workout, we were processing information 400 times faster than our Renaissance ancestors and we moved from a strength paradigm (agrarian life 100 years ago) to a speed paradigm. We found ourselves living at the speed of technology and needed to downshift to the natural rhythms of our own biology.

One of the fallouts of “fast living” is sleep deprivation … currently two-thirds of Americans are sleep deprived (a trend also manifesting in Western Europe). As a result, not sleeping or living on six hours or less of sleep has become a badge of status in the “Survival of the Fastest” era.


Cheryl Swanson is a Principal of Toniq LLC, a brand strategy firm dedicated to building Brand Effervescence©. Visit www.toniq.com .

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