A Short Introduction to Beauty
Beauty is often defined as an outward trait of objects which makes these objects beautiful to see. These objects include sunsets, landscapes, people and artistic works of art. Beauty, along with aesthetic sense, is the most significant part of aesthetics, among the various branches of natural philosophy. The word beauty originally referred only to things that are pleasing to the sight.
Most philosophers agree that beauty and the appearance of things are completely subjective and only dependent on how the person viewing the object sees it. There are two broad schools of thoughts on beauty. The first school of thinkers defines beauty as the end product or the aesthetic experience derived from the human eye. The other school of philosophers believe that beauty is the quality or the mark of a creature or a work of art.
What about beauty then? Does beauty in itself make something beautiful? Many object to beauty as being a subjective quality. We could say that seeing a hammer makes a clock or a table make a beautiful table or a hammer to make something beautiful because we personally look at it as beautiful. But how do you know whether a certain object is beautiful to you? How do you decide whether what you are looking at is beauty or not?
In the field of anthropology, the word beauty is used to define certain behaviors, characteristics or even physical traits that are seen as beautiful by the members of a group. The characteristics considered as beautiful vary according to culture and time. For instance, a certain stone carved into a certain shape could be regarded as beautiful in some cultures, but not in others. A certain kind of tree could be considered beautiful in some geographical locations, but not in others. And so beauty is a subjective concept.
The question of beauty though has great personal value. It matters to many how they look and to what extent they believe their physical attributes are appealing. As we all are aware beauty may be defined differently depending on culture and time, beauty also may be subjective. We all have our own ideas about beauty may concern us greatly when these notions are put into practical use such as what makes us attractive or unattractive.
However, beauty is an objective quality and beauty can only be measured objectively. To measure beauty a number of different aspects must be taken into account. The way a person looks should match his/her personality, while beauty should relate to what the person is capable of doing. And so beauty of the physical body should relate to ability and skill in use rather than how well the body looks. The idea of beauty is subjective because beauty may depend on perception and the social expectations of how a person physically looks like. Beauty should therefore not be seen as something we are trying to escape, but as something that actually connects us to others and to our world around us.