Beauty – What Is It?

Beauty is frequently defined as a subjective quality of objects which makes these objects enjoyable to see. Such objects include sunsets, landscapes, beautiful humans and other works of art. Beauty, along with beauty and art, is the subject of aesthetic philosophy, one of the largest branches of applied philosophy. It is also a major component of psychology and in many ways is considered to be an ethical principle.


A number of philosophers define beauty according to their personal or theoretical ideals, or according to a universal standard. According to the majority of philosophers, beauty is the product of the mind, and it is the idea of beauty which give a human being his or her sense of worth. For example, the French philosopher, Sartre, has stated that beauty is nothing else but the state of becoming accustomed to the object, to the condition in which one finds oneself at the time of viewing the object. The philosopher Aristotle, in his view, defined beauty as the conformity of the soul to the ideal, as determined by the mind.

In most cases, people, when asked what they consider to be beauty, will answer that they feel beautiful in whatever situation they find themselves. However, when asked to define beauty, most people reply that they like beauty in others, rather than in themselves. In fact, most people do not even know how to define beauty; they actually feel beautiful only when they look at someone else and not when they look at themselves.

When a person looks at himself in the mirror, he will be able to determine what is beautiful to him. If he finds it disturbing that his face is not clean, or that his neck is slender, he will try to alter these conditions. It is a fact that everyone feels beautiful, even if he cannot explain why he feels so. When a man sees his reflection in the bathroom mirror, he will be able to see what kind of a man he really is. He may think that he is ugly, but if he is able to accept himself for who he is, he will feel beautiful in that moment.

The beauty we see in ourselves is a product of the mind, and not a product of our body. This makes it easy for every one of us to feel beautiful; however, the problem is that most of us judge beauty according to our own standards. We have been conditioned by society, by our parents, by our teachers, and by our peers to think that the beauty standard we observe is the correct standard for everyone. Beauty is judged by the standard of our culture, and this standard does not take into account the individual beauty of a human being.

Every culture has its own definition of beauty. For example, some cultures believe that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. If a person cannot see beauty in his eyes, he does not possess it in his mind. This may be true in some cases, such as for the blind. However, when a person looks in the mirror and sees his reflection, he knows that he is beautiful.