The Concept of Beauty

From Plato’s philosophies to modern neuro-psychological studies, the concept of beauty has been the subject of many adamant debates and passionate thoughts. It has been argued that beauty is subjective, whereas others argue it is an objective standard that can be measured and replicated. However, the truth is that it seems to be a combination of both – a mind-set as well as a physical attribute.

The Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, viewed beauty as an objective ideal that can be identified and replicated. Their concept of beauty involved a set of principles that could be used to evaluate works of art or other objects. This was referred to as the “classical conception” of beauty. It was based on the principle that an object’s beauty depended on the right proportion of its parts and the harmony of their arrangement. This could be achieved by using mathematical ratios such as the golden section.

It was also believed that beauty can be derived from the combination of an object’s individual parts. For example, the Mona Lisa’s smile can be perceived as beautiful due to the symmetry of its features. Similarly, the colors of the sky can be considered beautiful because they all blend together to create a harmonious whole. In addition, Aristotle believed that an object must possess certain properties such as integrity, proportion and clarity in order to be deemed beautiful.

Our conflation of beauty with worth has created divisions between human races and cultures for centuries. For instance, the European standards of beauty were used as a justification for colonization of non-Western nations. This distorted the meaning of beauty, which was once seen as an inherent quality that transcended cultural norms. The symmetry of the western body became the standard by which all other bodies should be judged.

Today, our notions of beauty are in need of rehabilitation as an impulse that can be just as liberating as it was deemed enslaving. Rather than trying to achieve the unattainable goal of a size ‘0’ model, we should focus on loving and accepting ourselves just as we are. This can be done by surrounding ourselves with positive family and friends and by refusing to use sunbeds that can lead to skin cancer.

We can also find beauty in those who are different from ourselves, such as people with disabilities. This is a great reminder that beauty is not about what we can see but about the things we can’t. We should appreciate the beauty of a person’s character, spirit and inner peace rather than just their outer appearance. This will help us to stop judging others and instead, look at how they can benefit our lives. The world is full of beautiful people such as Bill Gates, Martha Stewart and Jack Welch, who have been able to succeed despite not meeting society’s expectations of beauty. So the next time you walk past a person, think about their unique qualities and what makes them beautiful inside and out.