Beauty is defined as a mental quality of things which makes these things aesthetically pleasing to see. Such things as nature, humans, landscapes and artistic works of art are the main area of aesthetics, among the many branches of contemporary philosophy. In philosophy, beauty is often regarded as the main factor in determining the value of things.
Philosophers disagree on exactly what beauty is. Some regard beauty to be an objective quality, while others adhere more to a subjective ideal. According to some philosophers beauty is merely the product of human mind and its ability to perceive the physical world around us. According to this school of thought beauty is a mind-dependent quality, something that one adds to or takes away from according to their own subjective ideals.
According to the subjective idealist philosophers, beauty is something that one adds to or takes away from, based on their own personal preferences. For instance, if one prefers bright colors, then they would deem someone who has pale skin to be ugly. On the other hand, someone with very dark skin may deem someone with fair skin to be beautiful. Because beauty is primarily a subjective quality, it can only be felt by the beholder. Therefore, how one feels about something cannot be considered to be beauty.
Philosophers who support the subjective viewpoint of beauty argue that beauty is an internal feeling that one has to get into, rather than something one is stuck with out of choice. For example, some may feel beautiful when they walk through a forest or listen to the sound of running water. Others may feel beautiful when they are happy or relaxed. Beauty then, according to them, is something that one experiences, rather than something that they are stuck with due to external factors. However, there is a tendency for people to use beauty to make judgments of others. Whether beauty is an inner feeling or an external trait used to make a judgment is up to the beholder.
Those who believe in objective views, such as those found in The Seven Secret Steps to True Wealth concur that beauty is something that is not determined by outside sources such as appearance, but is inherent in all humans. They therefore argue that those who question whether beauty exists are really just looking at the outward expressions of beauty and not taking a look inside themselves. This may worry those who want to look like models or other Hollywood celebrities, but these people shouldn’t worry too much about whether they look like a model because, after all, beauty is always an internal experience that can be discovered through personal growth.
Beauty therefore, according to both philosophy and common sense, is something that is not defined. It is something that is inherent in each and every person, so it is pointless to try to change that. What is important, though, is that each person allows beauty to define him or herself rather than trying to change that which is already present. Those who think that they need to change something that is already true are only fooling themselves. One way that many people feel beautiful is to strive to look like one. If that is something that is done out of love for one’s self, then that is truly beautiful.