The Definition Of Beauty In A Personal Perception.

Essay by 4NIC8High School, 11th gradeA+, January 2004

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Definition of Beauty

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Webster's Dictionary defines beauty as "The quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses and is associated with such properties as harmony of form or color, excellence of artistry, truthfulness, and originality;" it goes on to further define this term as "One that is beautiful, especially a beautiful woman." In reading this portion of the definition, it inevitably brings about the eternal question: Who defines what is beautiful? By society's standards, you must possess specific characteristics such as eye color, height, weight, and other superficial standards. Beauty is subjective to the will of man and is a nonentity without human belief.

Beauty is truly an elementary concept. One of the first concepts we learn as toddlers is "pretty." Butterflies are pretty; Mommy is pretty; flowers are pretty.

Perhaps this is where the tapering of our definition of beauty begins. We go on to learn that things that we dislike are seen as "ugly", "bad", or something that was equally appalling. As we get older, the media bombards us with images in television, film, music videos, and even print that defines for us what is aesthetically pleasing. The older we grow, the more we torture ourselves attempting to achieve this desirable image that has been set by the standards of society. These standards have been taught and emphasized for so long, that the true meaning and glow of real beauty has subsided and been cast aside. Beauty is often erroneously defined by the cliché "Beauty Is In The Eye Of the Beholder.", again being based on physical aesthetics. The fallacy in this definition can be seen by examining the case of a...