How do we know what is beautiful? How can we say, that tom cruise or Megan fox are good looking, That Taj Mahal is a beautiful monument or That Fiji is the most beautiful place in the world?
What is in common? – Symmetry (tall, sharp features), aura, feeling (eg.smell), stands out
So are these the agents used to find out or judge whether something is beautiful or not? This leads us to the questions- How can beauty be measured? Is there a definition for the word ‘beauty’ or does it differ from person to person?
‘Beauty: A quality that gives pleasure to your senses or your mind’- Oxford English Dictionary
Helen of Troy, the Greek mortal, in spite of being plump, was considered to be the most beautiful mortal in the world. Why did I use ‘in spite’? – Because in the modern world, only being extremely slender is considered beautiful. Isn’t the change in perception drastic?
In Koine Greek beauty was defined as “being of one’s hour”. Thus, a ripe fruit (of its time) was considered beautiful, whereas a young woman trying to appear older or an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful.
And again, in modern society, older women who look young are appreciated much for their beauty, what an irony.
‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’’- 3rd century BC in Greek
Like I mentioned earlier, one of the common objects in all that is considered beautiful is symmetry. It goes without saying that many celebrities strive for it- And so get their surgery done. Three important aspects seem to be symmetry, clear skin, and averageness. The more symmetrical a face is, the more attractive it seems to us. Thus this strongly disagrees with the idea that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
And even if all these aspects and definitions were to be considered absolutely perfect considering what beauty really is, then here’s another saying:- ‘’beauty is imperfection’’; A simple example is of Pisa tower in Italy being slanted, and yet (was)considered one of the wonders of the world. There was no symmetry while consideration of beauty here.
This creates a difficulty with judging beauty. It also shows that perception of beauty continues to change, which leads us to considering the factors that might have changed the perceptions of beauty- To what extent has media and culture affected the definition of beauty?
In my opinion, media has the greatest influence on the humankind. It is more powerful than any government that exists. For ages it has shaped what we think or do. The work of Flemish artist Paul Peter Rubens in the early 1600s displayed women as pale and plump- this was considered attractive; And now, having waist sizes less than 0 are considered attractive. It’s hard not to be able to guess that even this trend will soon change. Thus, all people start chasing what is said to be perfect in their generation but is actually never perfect. This throws light on the fact that perfection doesn’t exist.
But why is being beautiful SO important? To what extent can your beauty influence the way people behave around you and your surroundings? How would you be treated if you are beautiful?
A research survey said that it was observed that people who look beautiful, got 5% more Salary than the others in a workplace. As soon as I read this, the saying that flashed through my mind was that ‘Happier people are always more successful.’ Then I thought—could the connection between these two sentences mean that ‘’happier people are more beautiful’’? (Using the formula a+b=c and a+d=c then, B=D)
Thus a part of beauty comes from happiness, and a happy person carries himself well—Your personality, how you carry yourself, confidence etc also plays a big role—And this affects how you make others feel which in turn affects their bias-or the way they judge you and decide whether you are beautiful or not. Although even this concluded theory has holes, so in one sentence the conclusion—‘Beauty is infinite.’