What is beauty? People have always attempted to find, create, and pursue it. A quick checkout at the grocery store will reveal a plethora of magazines devoted purely to what they call beauty and the proper pursuit of it. Most have an idea of what they might personally define as beauty, but not as a general, sweeping definition. That which one might label ugly another might call absolutely stunning. Some find beauty in cats, others in dogs, just as some favor early morning mountain ranges over a sun setting over the plains. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is the favorite adage quoted by many to explain for this discrepancy, but what does that quickly-spat out phrase even mean? In reality, while the adage is partially true, beauty is not relative or subject to our human whim - it is an ideal created and truly attained only by God, which as His children we are to reflect in love.
The concept of beauty can be hard to define, as it is an ever-evolving notion. What people perceive as beauty has varied through time, across cultures (Fallon 1990) and can also vary based on individuals. To a culture, beauty can be its customs and traditions, and to an individual it can include physical appearance (outer beauty) or personality (inner beauty). However the word beauty can also defer according to gender, Ambrose Bierce (1958) once wrote, “To men, a man is but a mind. Who cares what face he carries or what he wears? But a woman’s body is the woman.” Despite the societal changes achieved since Bierce’s time, this statement still holds true. Attractiveness is a prerequisite for femininity but not for masculinity (Freedman, 1986).
But I have come to the conclusion that it is more of a personal understanding rather than straight examples. Another common phrase associated with beauty is, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". This statement holds so much truth because not everyone sees the same beauty. The definition of beauty by dictionary.com is, "the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)". (dictionary.com) Beauty appeals to an individual's senses, therefore, creating a personal preference. Due to the fact of this term being so vast, the state of beauty changes. Associated words include charm, allure, grace, style, and many others. Clearly, the definition and synonyms together mean that beauty is not strictly appearance, but how one
At an essential human level there is recognition of beauty and creation, as Plotinus believed. There is potential for subjectivity in art and personal preference, but the principles of universality and the ability to incite emotion set apart fine art. Beauty, in the traditional concept, is irrelevant to fine art. What is beautiful changes and is subjective, so the artist does not have to capture what is beautiful in the traditional sense, but rather an idea or concept that possesses merit. Art may not be beautiful but can still possess meaning, such as Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” Though the subject itself may not be objectively pretty, capturing the expression and mystery makes the painting itself valuable and meaningful. Beauty in fine art is not a matter of the physical image as much as the expression, message, or emotion it incites. For that reason, beauty can be frightening or sad, as well as happy and peaceful. In fine art, the artist seeks not to capture the beauty of an object or item, but the feeling that viewing this brings. This is the concept of experiencing what the artist feels and thinks, beyond the physical work
So beauty is something that is pleasing to the senses. Perhaps music that is pleasing to the ears, or art that pleases the eyes. But again, there is a problem. If we follow this definition, beauty is subjective. What is beautiful and what is not beautiful will change according to the person being asked. What is pleasing to one’s senses may be different to another’s.
What is beauty? Beauty is defined as “the quality of being physically attractive or the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind” (Merriam-Webster dictionary, 2014, para. 1). Heine (2012) has found that beauty and attractiveness can vary across cultures. Although, there are specific features of a person that seem to be considered as beautiful and attractive across all culture spectrums. These features are: complexion, bilateral symmetry, average sized facial features, and biracial faces. However, weight in regards to attractiveness and beauty varies drastically across cultures. Through this discovery, there may be a correlation between the perception of beauty and attractiveness in each culture and its effects of body dissatisfaction and eating disorder rates. Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? We will examine how what is considered to be attractive and beautiful can have both similarities and differences across cultures. In addition, we will examine eating disorders, and how they are influenced by the beauty standards that are set in specific cultures.
Obviously, it is not a term applied to outward appearance in cases such as this. From this, one must ascertain that "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.” (Keller) So, is beauty a physical characteristic? Is it a state of mind? Each person has their own idea of what beauty is and what it entails. Each individual must measure their values of others and themselves, their ideas of what true beauty is to determine what beauty they wish to be and to bring into their worlds. While a person can be pleasing to look at, it is what they do, how they treat others, how they treat us that determine how we will continue to feel about
What is Beauty? Is it the figure of the woman we see? Why do we think that someone is only beautiful if they have make-up and other false beauty enhancers to make themselves feel more impeccable to others. Dove the company behind all the natural shampoos and gels want to know what people of today think real impeccable beauty is.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary- Eleventh Edition, beauty is “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.” (page 108 of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary) But what is beauty really? How does one rationalize its complexity?
Beauty has differed through time, different cultures and perceptions of the world. It’s not easy to define beauty, you could say that there are “a thousand” definitions of beauty. And there are numerous degrees of each. “Beauty depends on the eye of the beholder”. This saying is correct because what one individual considers beautiful is not necessarily what another individual may consider beautiful. Someone “beautiful on the outside” can be “ugly inside”. The media and the society are constantly using the conception of “beauty” to show us what we should strive to be. They assert that we have to appear a certain way to be viewed as beautiful. This is wrong, so what is beauty, really, and what different ways of looking at beauty are there?
Variations of this question are timeless, and without ever defining beauty, we are constantly attempting to achieve it. Hundreds of years ago the essence of beauty was a philosophical question. Plato was one of the first to conjecture that beauty may be due to what he called the "golden proportions." Plato went on to describe that the "width of an ideal face would be two-thirds its length, while a nose would be no longer than the distance between the eyes." (3) Although all of Plato's ideas were not entirely defendable, it was the first recognition that symmetry might play a part in what humans deem attractive.
To determine what it means to posses beauty, one must keep in mind that the appeal of the flesh will always leave people with the desire for something more. “Western women have become pre-occupied the with concepts of beauty, image and appearance” (Shabaat 6). Society has caused many individuals to believe that the main characteristic of beauty is physical appeal, causing inaccurate interpretations of beauty to become globally accepted. “I concluded that beautiful and perfect women are on the increase and so are the women who feel ugly on the inside” (Gale 1). In order to break free from all misleading exemplifications of beauty, one must always remember that the person in the mirror is not what defines self-worth.
Be you. Do you. Beauty can be defined in many different ways, it just depends on the person. Something that makes a person beautiful is not only looks the most important is having a great personality. Confidence, wisdom, and kindness are some of the examples of a beauty personality.
What is beauty? What are the qualities that are included in the definition of beauty? “Generally, beauty refers to the characteristic or characteristics of an object that entail human pleasure to one or more senses. Beauty cannot be negative or ugly.” (Beirnet)However, there are various concepts of beauty across the globe. “In Nigeria, big and heavy women are considered beautiful and admired. In Burmese traditional view, women with long neck are considered beautiful.” (Plotnick 603). So if there are different concepts of beauty around the globe, how can we hail the most beautiful girl in the world? Thus, beauty pageant comes in.
Throughout history, civilizations have admired the beauty that the world has presented, but isn’t beauty held in the eye of the beholder? The word can be used to describe a variety of things. It can describe places, animals, objects, people and even ideas. However, the one beauty our society embraces today is human beauty. Because the perception of beauty differs from person to person, different ideas of beauty developed throughout history, which in turn formed standards for human beauty, and these standards have had a massive impact on today’s society.