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juspeachy's avatar

What does beauty mean to you?

Asked by juspeachy (5points) February 16th, 2010

I am writing an essay, and one of the topics is about the meaning of beauty.

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13 Answers

j3fr0's avatar

Beauty is like a passion to me.. I like to think things beautiful reflect me in some shape or form… =P

Just_Justine's avatar

A glorious saturation of the senses

CMaz's avatar

)when what hugs stopping earth than silent is
more silent than more than much more is or
total sun oceaning than any this
tear jumping from each most least eye of star

and without was if minus and shall be
immeasurable happenless unnow
shuts more than open could that every tree
or than all life more death begins to grow

end’s ending then these dolls of joy and grief
these recent memories of future dream
these perhaps who have lost their shadows if
which did not do the losing spectres mime

until out of merely not nothing comes
only one snowflake(and we speak our names

- E.E. Cummings

wundayatta's avatar

If you go to What does beauty mean? you’ll find answers people gave back in March. Perhaps that will be useful,

wundayatta's avatar

This is what I wrote back then:

I think beauty is amoral. Neither good nor bad. It’s just a word to describe our appreciation of something. We can appreciate all kinds of things: good, bad, indifferent.
I drive past a tank farm on the way to the airport. Just after it, there is a business that tears about cars for recycling. The city made the company put up a fence, so visitors wouldn’t see this blemish on the face of the city.

Personally, I really love that business. I love the piles of torn-up metal. I love the concept of recycling and aethetically, I find it moving. Do I want more of it? Well, depends what more means. I’d love to be able to walk through those piles of scrap and see the crushers at work. But I don’t want the city filled with the things.
I see beauty everywhere, in everything. My environment is an amazing and beautiful thing. Even trash blowing down the street can be beautiful.

I think beauty means appreciation. A particular kind of appreciation. Where you see things, and get this peculiar internal jolt that makes it impossible to pass it by without looking, and wanting to look more. Maybe even to live with it.

It means appreciation, and also, desire. You are so moved that you want it, to be with it more often. I think it actually has a bit of a consumeristic side. If it’s beautiful, you want to consume it in whatever way is appropriate. If it’s Yosemite, you want to stare; if it’s a painting, you want to take it home and live with it; if it’s a beautiful woman (or man), you want to possess her or him in that ultimate way of possession

Today, I think this:
I think beauty means good. When we look at something and find it good, I think we also consider it beautiful. It may not be beautiful in all it’s aspects, but at least part of it is beautiful. Beauty means desirable. It means I am attracted to that which I find beautiful. I want to gaze at it, or I can perceive it for a long time, in appreciation, or perhaps because the more I perceive it, the more I get out of it.

Beauty is instructive. I feel like I can learn from beautiful things. I can learn useful things. Ugly is also instructive, but as a warning about what not to do.

Since beauty means good, there is a natural preference for good over bad, It is a natural instinct to attribute malevolence to things or people who are not beautiful, such as those who are deformed or disabled in some way.

And yet, there is more than one way of perceiving beauty. There is physical beauty, of course, but there are other forms of beauty that are harder to perceive, because they do not appear on the surface of something or someone.

Beauty is also not universally perceived. It is possible to have differences of opinion on what is beautiful, so beauty can mean controversy and secrecy.

Since beauty can be faked, it can also be misleading. One needs to look carefully at beauty to make sure it is real. So beauty can mean treachery.

There is much meaning to beauty, some on the surface, but much underneath the surface. There is truth and falsehood to beauty. It is a mixed blessing. It can mean pretty but dumb. It can mean a beautiful thing, but I don’t need to pay attention to it. It can be a sign of insignificance.

Beauty means complexity because it is not at all clear what it means without further investigation.

Personally, I have always mistrusted beauty. Part of it was jealousy. I thought beautiful people had it easier. They didn’t have to try as hard because people wanted to be around them. People wanted them.

Later I heard that, for some, beauty is actually a stigma. Many women found they were taken less seriously because they were beautiful, or, if people liked them, it was only for their beauty, and not for anything else. I.e., people did not look beyond the surface.

I made it my job to look beyond surfaces—to see deep inside—deep as I could. I felt I did not have the beauty to be attractive on the surface, but perhaps I could develop my character or intelligence so that those who could see would perceive my inner beauty. Yet I always remained insecure, for I believe that in society, outer beauty always trumps inner beauty. I believe that most people are fooled by surfaces. Few know how to see inside, and this makes me sad, for if I have any beauty at all, it is inside, invisible to those who only look at surfaces.

I have always wanted to be a person who has it easy like those who have surface beauty. I wanted people to be attracted to me just by “looking” at me. I put “looking” in quotes because I see it as a metaphor—i.e., the kind of looking that can pierce the surface. It’s really a different kind of looking entirely.

So I have tried to create beauty—through dance, music and words. Through my art I hope that people can see the beauty inside me. I hope they will be attracted to that beauty, despite the package it comes in.

Despite that, even when people are attracted to that beauty, if I may call it that, I remain fearful. I wonder if they ever saw my outside, would they still think me beautiful? A lot of people say they can see beyond the surface, but can they? Can they? I know that I have a hard time doing that. I know I could fall in love with someone through their words and then, upon seeing them, not be attracted.

Which is why I think outer beauty trumps inner beauty. The surface trumps the depths. What is pleasing to the eye trumps what is pleasing to ear, nose, taste, touch or mind.

What an interesting thought! Is there a hierarchy to various modes of perceiving beauty?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Never having to double-bag ;)

le_inferno's avatar

You could take a Greek philosophical spin on it and reference Socrates and Plato, they had raging hard-ons for talking abstractly about the concept of beauty…read The Symposium.

MrsDufresne's avatar

Here, with them.

The people, places and times that make you feel present and thankful.

Berserker's avatar

Something that inspires me and that I feel a connection with.

Now one may think this to be corny, but really I’m just conceited.

mattbrowne's avatar

I like De Bono definition of the beautiful mind as one that can be appreciated by others on the basis that the beauty of the mind increases with knowledge and wisdom and experience.

priyasharma's avatar

According to me, Those girls and women are beautiful who have beautiful mind with good dressing sense.

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