What is Considered Beautiful? Essay

What is Considered Beautiful? Essay

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What is considered beautiful? Why is something beautiful? The nature and definition of beauty has been one of the most hotly debated and controversial themes in philosophy. There are many different theories and perspectives even since the earliest time of history like the Greek philosophers like Plato. Plato believed that there was a universal truth. He claimed that there was a perfect form of beauty which was “imperfectly manifested in what we call beautiful” (Costandi, 2008). However, he could not support his claim with evidences. David Hume, on the other hand, argued that beauty exists not in things but in the mind that contemplates them (Costandi, 2008). He believed that “Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty” (Sartwell, 2012). This is well summarized in the well-known, common quote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” So many aspects of the nature and the definition of beauty has been debated. One quote by Edgar Allan Poe says that “there is no exquisite beauty...without some strangeness in the proportion”, and this claim, among many other claims, is one of the ones that can be well supported with different evidences in the world. Beauty exists in the uniqueness or the unique features of an object or idea. If everything conformed to one standard, then nothing would stand out. Nothing would be considered special or beautiful. Beauty is quality that can be attributed to unique features that will stand apart from the conformity.
Despite many examples in the world that support this definition of beauty in uniqueness, the perceptions of beauty in different cultures are changing. Westernization and the impact of popular cultu...


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...any other forms. Although seemingly ephemeral, beauty is long lasting, and despite the changing views, the true definition of beauty still remains. Beauty is not just ephemeral or temporary sense of awe but quality that can be attributed to unique features that will stand apart from the conformity for a long period of time. Beauty lies in the unique features and comes from the way a person absorbs in that unique features. If one is accustomed to only one image of so-called beauty, then it will not be considered special to his or her eyes, therefore not meeting the standard of the subjectivity of beauty or beautiful to the beholder. So although the standard image of beautiful woman or beauty in the society is changing and urging people to change themselves in order to fit into this conformity, true beauty lies in the uniqueness that comes from that natural beauty.



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