Is Beauty an Independent Quality?
Beauty is the aesthetic quality that a person finds attractive in things. Beauty is commonly defined as the pleasing visual aspect of objects which makes these objects enjoyable to see. These objects could be landscapes, sunsets, beautiful humans and artistic works of art. Beauty, along with beauty and aesthetics, is perhaps the most important theme of aesthetics, among the various branches of applied philosophy. The word ‘beauty’ is derived from a Latin phrase which means ‘appealing to the eye’.
The concept of beauty, like the concept of fashion, is subjective. It is largely influenced by cultural and personal preferences and is not static or unchanging. Modern artists, whose works may seem ugly to some, have put themselves in front of the camera, attempting to make their works attractive enough to appeal to the millions of eyes which gaze upon them every day on the world wide web. Even if beauty is defined according to physical standards and not based on human emotions, there is a still a kind of beauty that can be defined as the overall quality of a human being, an aspect of his or her personality that increases enjoyment and improves the quality of life.
In the light of empirical research on beauty, the definition of beauty varies across different disciplines. For instance, in psychological science, beauty is defined as the mental and emotional aspects of a person that are reflected in his or her external physical appearance. Empirical research, however, on the other hand, indicates that beauty is subjective, with each person presenting different qualities of beauty to others.
One of the factors that define beauty is personality, with characteristics such as facial symmetry, body symmetry, hair texture and skin tone being considered as beauty standards. However, it is also possible for people with less desirable traits to still look beautiful. For instance, physically attractive people may have been born with features that make them attractive but their overall personality may make them less attractive to other people. This type of beauty is most evident in celebrities who have been blessed with great facial features but have been criticized for their weight, shape or weightless bodies because of their low self-esteem.
In research on beauty, the idea that beauty is defined by physical appearance is not new. The debate on beauty has been going on for years because ancient Greek philosopher Plato believed that beauty was a quality of a person’s soul, whereas beauty was a property of the body. Moderns have reached a conclusion that beauty is a subjective quality that is dependent on personal choices and social judgments that rely on physical attributes of a person’s body shape and hair and skin tone.
Most people do believe that beauty is a natural quality that is found only in human bodies and in the attractiveness of faces of those who are considered to be beautiful. As a matter of fact, physical attractiveness has been measured over centuries and it is evident that some cultures do consider an individual’s beauty as a sign of societal achievement. Thus, the debates on beauty will continue until empirical research provides conclusive evidence that beauty is something that is independent of human biology. Until then, beauty remains a dynamic and ever-changing concept that continues to impact our daily lives from the media to fashion.