Beauty is widely defined as a subjective quality of particular objects that make those objects pleasurable to see. These objects could be sunsets, landscapes, beautiful people, works of art and many other objects. Beauty, along with personal taste and art, is the most important theme of aesthetics, among the various branches of psychology. The word beauty itself comes from the Greek word “silly” which means foolish or silly. So, beauty then is something that is not only pleasing to the eye but also something that is not only foolishly conceived but also ridiculously realistic.
Therefore, aesthetics is an aspect of human experience that can be subjective, imaginary or even based on scientific principles. Beauty is a highly social concept, as much as it is an aesthetic one. This is why we find in modern society numerous beauty trends and fads such as body shape, hair color, makeup and fashion. In the contemporary world, beauty has become a highly profitable industry, as it has become largely dependent on what is considered to be beautiful. Therefore, we find that celebrities continue to join beauty contests to improve their public image, as well as make more money in the process.
However, some theories question the very basis of beauty, its place in our social reality, and the ability of certain objects to affect an aesthetic experience. For instance, some theories maintain that beauty is something that only certain types of people will find appealing, such as healthy, slender and young women. Others hold that beauty depends on the ability of an object to attract sensory attention, which would include the eyes, nose and mouth, among other things.
Beauty therefore, depends on the social construction of beauty, on the beliefs and desires of the beholder. Aesthetics are considered to be subjective, for each person is held to be beautiful by their own standards. These standards are personal and individual, and may not necessarily conform to cultural norms. However, the beauty sought by some people is subjectively considered to exist independent of other factors such as economic class or political affiliation. The desire to conform to societal ideals of beauty is therefore present in all cultures, even if these cultures differ greatly.
Aesthetic preferences can also be determined by physical features. For example, a certain aesthetically-pleasing body shape may become unattractive or unappealing to some people when exposed to the sun. Similarly, people with an attractive body shape may not feel comfortable going to a beach if they have to expose themselves to the sun. Therefore, beauty is not necessarily a product of one’s own making, but is instead a product of their expectations and choices. Beauty therefore is not necessarily tied to the body shape or size of a person, but depends on the beliefs of the beholder.
The issue of beauty becomes especially significant in modern societies, in which beauty is associated with success, beauty with social status, and beauty with sophistication. When we examine these concepts in light of beauty research, it becomes clear that the meaning of beauty varies greatly between societies. In some instances, beauty is defined by cultural norms, while in other instances it is given purely on the basis of a person’s own wishes. Regardless of which definition is used, beauty has a significant place in the lives of everyone, regardless of culture or religion. Ultimately, it is a subjective state that has to be defined according to each individual.