Beauty is often defined as a subjective aspect of human things, which makes these things enjoyable to see. These things include sunsets, landscapes, beautiful people and exquisite works of art. Beauty, along with personal taste and aesthetics, is the foremost area of aesthetic philosophy, among the most developed branches of science. It is the view of things as having greater importance than any other part of reality which is why it dominates aesthetic research.
The beauty of the twentieth century was, as its name suggests, beauty in its classical form, that is, the idea of beauty is a subjective state, independent of any other factor. In this conception, beauty depends largely on the aesthetic sense of the beholder. However, an emerging view of beauty underlies both the classical and twenty-first century views of beauty.
According to the first view, the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. We are born with all the faculties to feel beautiful; sight, touch, hearing, smell and even the emotions are the basis of our personal beauty. When we find ourselves in the presence of others, our sense of beauty depends mainly on the emotions that are triggered by the subject matter of our encounter. However, with the rise of culture and mass communication, our perception of beauty has also begun to change.
According to the second view of beauty, on the other hand, beauty is determined by the need that we have to satisfy. This means that beauty is not a subjective state, as the first view maintains, but is a necessary objective to which we must direct all of our attention. Beauty then is nothing but the end result of what we need to satisfy, therefore it can never be for ourselves. Beauty is therefore not something that we feel in the inner sense, but rather something that we seek externally.
This difference between the two views concerning beauty makes it important to carefully choose one another’s view when you meet and form an impression of beauty with another person. A common mistake of beauty-seekers and beauty-detractors alike is to base their judgments on outward appearances. But this is only one mistake: beauty is a subjective state, and each person has their own way of looking at and feeling beautiful. According to one view of beauty, a certain woman is beautiful if her skin and hair are perfectly tamed, her perfume smells of expensive chocolate, and she always smiles with a radiantly beautiful face. Meanwhile, another may view as a young girl with soft features and perfect skin as beautiful because her smile is wide and her skin is supple.
These are only some of the definitions provided by various philosophers and aestheticians. In general, however, the word ‘beauty’ refers to some quality or trait that a person finds attractive in himself or herself. And beauty, according to one school of thought, is subjective and unique to each person. It therefore differs from beauty, which they believe is found in things that exist objectively. This emerging view of beauty, combined with the emerging view that all people are created in the image of God, gives rise to a new understanding of who and what beauty truly is.