Different Perspectives on Beauty
Beauty is defined as the beauty in things or in the soul/mind of an individual. Beauty is commonly defined as a subjective quality of particular objects, which makes these objects pleasing to see. Such objects may include sunsets, landscapes, beautiful humans, and creative works of art. Beauty, along with aesthetic appreciation, is the most important theme of aesthetics, among the various branches of natural philosophy.
A number of aesthetic and beautification theories have been developed over the years in order to explain the appearance and worth of a thing. According to some of these theories, beauty exists on the levels of human understanding and consciousness. For instance, aestheticians' theory says that beautiful objects are those which are understood and perceived by the human eye. Similarly, according to another school of aesthetic thought, beautiful people are those individuals who satisfy aesthetic desires in their own personalities. According to yet another school of aesthetic theory, beauty is nothing but the harmony between the parts of an object that generates its value.
In aesthetic terms, beauty standards refer to the general or universal standards of beauty, which a society has established for the normal recognition of the status of persons, groups, ideas, goods, and services. Beauty standards differ from culture to culture and even nation to nation. There is a great debate between what standards govern the perception of beauty across cultures. Some people believe that beauty standards are social and cultural constructions, while others maintain that there are no universal principles governing beauty perception.
A number of descriptions are often used to explain beauty. Most of them are used in conjunction with the concept of human beauty. According to many aestheticians, beauty is considered beautiful when it manifests in harmony with the rest of the physical world, and when it manifests itself in a pleasant and satisfactory manner. Beauty also should be seen in its own right, and not merely as an expression of appearance. Beauty is often used as a standard by which the estimation of beauty can be measured, particularly in the field of medicine.
The term 'beauty' has various meanings. In popular use, beauty is usually defined as the pleasing appearance of things or the emotional state that beauty tends to promote. In other fields, beauty is often used to refer to the ability to attract others. Beauty is often used in the area of advertising and fashion design to promote the idea that a product is highly desirable and the wearer of that product is highly attractive.
The term 'perceived beauty' is frequently used in studies of aesthetic education to describe a range of experiences that the visual system of an individual holds towards different and beautiful things. The term is used to describe how different things affect the subjective experience of beauty. It is not, however, a word that can be used to describe how objects themselves are perceived by the human eye. The term is used instead to describe how a certain kind of visual behavior affects the way we see and evaluate beauty. Beauty is generally seen as being in the eye of the beholder and only perceived through the individual's own experiences and perspectives.
The Western aesthetic tradition sees beauty as a standard that cannot be changed, but according to some, it can be improved. Beauty according to some schools of thought includes all things that are considered beautiful by most people, regardless of culture or race. Beauty is seen as having different qualities for different kinds of people, even if all people share the same general qualities. Beauty is seen as having particular values and as having a cultural meaning, independent of the cultures that beauty pertains to.
The beauty ideals promoted by European and American women in the contemporary era have been shaped by their historical context. While the former had the benefit of being shaped by a scientific and technological revolution, with its belief in the rational nature of the world, the latter has had to face the consequences of a very different historical context. The former had more cultural value, whereas the latter sees beauty as something relative, depending on the perspective of the person viewing it. European and American beauty ideals have thus become two different ways of looking at and valuing beauty, defining it according to the perspective of each civilization.