Beauty – What Does It Mean To You?
Beauty is often defined as a mental state of the senses that makes these senses pleasurable to experience. Such senses may be sight, hearing, touch, smell or an emotional response to things. Such things as nature, scenery, human faces and works of art are frequently thought to possess aesthetic beauty. Beauty, along with other aesthetic sensualism, is often the central theme of aesthetics, among the major branches of contemporary philosophy.
Beauty however, has become a highly charged word, with many contending with the very idea of beauty. The term ‘beauty’ has often been used to describe personal preferences and cultural norms. Aesthetic beauty however, is subjective and not dependent on the culture of those who perceive it. Thus beauty is not an object within a culture, but rather a subjective state of mind amongst the beauty seekers of the world.
The feeling of beauty is subjective and individualistic, arising from the innermost core of an individual. One person might feel beautiful while another may feel ugly, while still another person might feel that he/she is ugly but not beautiful. Thus beauty is something that depends on each and every beholder, and not on the universal standards of beauty that may be perceived by all.
The term beauty therefore, pertains to the subjective state of mind of each and every individual who has the desire to feel beautiful in his/her surroundings. Beauty therefore, can also mean different things to different people. For instance, in philosophy, beauty is defined as the supreme and most accessible quality, since it is independent of all others. This independence allows the beauty to be available to each and every beholder.
To a number of philosophers, beauty is defined in relation to objects of experience. For instance, if a beautiful tree falls over a cliff, the falling beauty will affect one who views it negatively, whereas, beauty in this context refers to the effect that the fall has on the beholder, and not necessarily on the object. For many philosophers, beauty also denotes a certain form or shape, such as the shape of the triangle mentioned earlier.
Nowadays, however, the concept of beauty has become vague. Some people still see beauty in terms of physical attributes, such as hair, face, skin, height and so on. Others may worry about cultural bias when they look like someone else. They may worry that what they do not have in physical form may make them ugly. However, beauty is a subjective state of mind, which can be learned, cultivated and developed. If beauty is within reach for a person, he/she should try to acquire it as much as possible.