Beauty is a phenomenal concept that is as old as mankind. Yet, it is a concept that is very misunderstood. Different individuals listen to such diverse views of what beauty entails that many end up confused, frustrated, and frankly give up. What would you say if someone were to walk right up to you and ask you to define beauty? Would you start describing a cover model you saw in one of the popular magazines or colors of the rainbow? Or would you consider a soft melodious piece of music or even a romantic verse from a lover?
All these can be defined within the concept of beauty, but one clear thing, there is no clear definition of beauty. Beauty is something abstract and intangible. It is something about something. This something about something will vary from individual to individual. A popular definition of beauty is that it is a characteristic of something that gives pleasure and satisfaction. Therefore for beauty to be perceived, it must stimulate the senses to evoke a feeling of joy, pleasure, and satisfaction. From this definition, the judge of what’s beautiful is the person who receives or fails to receive the pleasure.
How is this sensuous beauty applicable among human beings? What makes one be considered beautiful? Is a person considered beautiful necessarily attractive? These are complex questions that do not have a direct answer. The way many factors influence the societies we live in view beauty. First of all, there are cultural factors. In the past, each culture had distinct criteria upon which they based beauty. There are those cultures that consider plump women to be beautiful. Therefore fattening of maidens before marriage was a common practice. Others considered small feet to be beautiful. These have, however, changed a lot in modern times.
With the advancement of technology and human interaction, the differences in cultural preferences have been minimized, and we now almost have a standard way of viewing beauty. This is greatly influenced by the parameters set by top fashion houses. The images they project to the public, from the dress, walking style, and physique, have increasingly become the trend that the remainder of the World is expected to follow. But is what we see on the Catwalk the true representation of beauty? Thankfully, no. Human beauty is so rich in variety that we can have no set parameters to define it. One cannot authoritatively say small is beautiful, blonde is beautiful, slim is beautiful, green eyes are beautiful, etc., and condemn other characteristics. There is no standard of beauty, and each individual is beautiful in her own way. There may only be prejudices as a result of the society around the individual. For this reason, you would find a man married to a blonde having an affair with a brunette or a lady of oriental or African descent. They are simply beautiful, and the man cannot resist!
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So, if we are all beautiful, what then is the big deal? Is there any reason to bother or care about how we look? Yes, there is! It would help if you certainly took the keenest interest in how you look. We live in a complex and highly socialized world. The image of beauty has become highly commercialized. Nonconformity is risking rejection. Studies have shown that what is considered beautiful has a halo effect. A beautiful person will receive more attention, score higher marks in class, get more assistance, get a better job, be paid more, and be trusted more. Coincidentally, people who are considered beautiful are better adjusted, confident, and appear more intelligent. Therefore, beauty plays a key role in how we relate with others and how we choose our mates.