Beauty – Is There Anything As Good As It Seems?
Beauty is often defined as a subjective feature of things which makes these objects enjoyable to see. Such objects can include sunsets, landscapes, humans and creative works of art. Beauty, along with personal taste and aesthetics, is still the most popular topic of aesthetics, among the largest branches of applied philosophy. In fact, some consider beauty to be a form of religion, with certain religious sects especially devoted to preserving and enhancing beauty.
According to some, beauty is defined by a single criterion, namely the emotional response one has towards beauty. Others believe that beauty exists objectively, without any reference to the human response one has towards it. Still others subscribe to the belief that beauty is a matter of personal choice. A third group believes that beauty is a power to be perceived, with no reference to the physical being. The other three categories seem to reject all forms of subjective valuation, with exception of the artistic beauty which is a purely personal valuation, as explained in the following article.
What about beauty then? Some may worry that they are not beautiful, because they do not possess certain physical traits that others seem to enjoy, such as fair skin or blonde hair. Fair skin and blond hair, it is argued, are generally considered to be attractive, though unattractive people may sometimes desire to change their appearance for a variety of personal reasons. Beauty however, according to those who adhere to the subjective view, is something which can be measured, and is therefore inherently worth having. If you have blue eyes and black hair, then you are, in the eyes of some, beautiful.
It is the eye of the beholder, then, that defines beauty. The object of desire, in this case, must also be judged objectively, in terms of attractiveness. Some may say that physical appearance is what truly makes a person beautiful, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. The truth is that beauty encompasses much more than physical appearance. A face full of freckles is much less attractive than a face that has no freckles.
For some, beauty is found in the curves and lines that make up a person’s body, rather than in the specific features of one’s face. A thin body, with an attractive shape, will most likely be considered to be attractive by most. Yet if that same thin person were to have large hips and large breasts, that would probably not be considered to be attractive, even if those aspects are part of the body’s structure. Thus, beauty in general may be defined through the combination of parts rather than on the basis of the overall form.
Beauty then is a subjective quality, one that may be difficult for some to define. Physical appearance, while it certainly affects the way we feel about a person, cannot be considered to be a definitive measure of beauty. While a person’s outward appearance may serve as a starting point for defining beauty, the journey to beauty may actually begin with a person’s inner beauty. It is through this journey that true beauty is found, and it is through this journey that true beauty can ultimately be attained.