Friday, 13 July 2007

Why does beauty lie in the eye of the beholder

A friend of mine e-mailed me yesterday asking my opinion on beauty. She wrote "How come everyone's definition of beauty is different? How come someone I find beautiful doesn't appear so to another individual and vice versa? I can understand that having an appreciation for things is something that cultivates as a result of our surroundings,we tend to like stuff that someone we hold in high opnion likes and so that's how we set certain criteria for judging what's good and what's bad but I don't think that's the way things work for judging the beauty of a person I'm talking about physical beauty here good looks that is"
This got me thinking on the subject. God has made everybody unique. We differ in style, habits, likes and dislikes. Even siblings growing up in a similar enviroment differ in nature. So I would say that an individuals sense of beauty comes from within.It depicts our nature and characteristic which distinguishes us from each other.How we see/perceive things is perhaps a cummulative result of our personality and experiences.
So I write this post in an attempt to gather as many thoughts on the subject. Lets hear everybodys comments.

20 comments:

teeB@ said...

it does not follow from the fact that beauty is intrinsically enjoyable, that ‘beauty’ is just a name we trade for pleasure.

but this topic makes me remember this poem...


She was not beautiful.
Nothing about her was extraordinary.
Nothing about her made her stand out in a crowd.
She grew up in a family of six.
The eldest, she learnt responsibility at an early age.
As she grew stronger, and brighter,
She instilled a sort of light cheer to whomever she met.

She was not beautiful.
But she made others feel beautiful about themselves.
She meets a rebel boy who thinks he's all man.
Befriending him, she teaches him how to read,
A little boost the man needed to go to college.

They became friends fast and she fell,
Fast in love with her rugged, handsome student.
The "man" then finds himself in a dilemma
He soon found himself in love with a girl.
A girl so beautiful, she turned even the grouchiest men's head.
Her hair was a halo of light around her,
Her eyes the bluest blue of ocean.

Like an angel he tells his tutor
Like a beautiful angel.
The girl swallows a lump at her throat

She was not beautiful
She did not possess the heart of the one she loved
But she did not care.
As long as he was happy,
She would be or so she tried to.

She helped him write the most beautiful letter to his angel
All the time envisioning that it was she herself
Receiving those very letters.
And so the girl helped him choose the right words,
Buy the right gifts for his angel
His angel brought him much joy
And much pain to the girl who cried behind her smiles.
But that never stopped her from giving more
Than she will ever receive.

Then one day, all hell broke loose
The angel he loved left him for another man,
A richer, more successful man.
The boy was stunned
He was so hurt he did not speak for days
The girl went to him
He cried on her shoulder and she cried with him
He hurt and so did she.

Time went by.
And so the wounds heal.
The boy realizes something about his friend/tutor
He never realized before.
How her laughter sounded heavenly
Or how her smiles brightened up the darkest days.
Or simply how beautiful, yes beautiful she looked to him!

Beautiful.
This plain, simple girl was beautiful to him.
And he began to fall.
Fall so in love with this beautiful girl.

On one day, he picked up all his courage to see her.
He walked to her house, nervous and fidgeting.
Running his thoughts over and over in his head.
He was going to tell her how beautiful she was to him.
He was going to tell her how wonderfully in love he was with her.
He knocked.
No one was home.

The next day he found out,
The beautiful girl he fell in love with had brain aneurysm
That put her into a coma.
The doctors were grim and the family decided to let her go.

One final time he got to see her.
He held her hand.
He stroked her hair,
And he cried for this beautiful girl.
He cried for he will never see her smile
Or hear her speak his name

He cried.
But it was too late.

The beautiful girl was buried and the heavens broke out
In a beautiful spring shower, a cry for their loss.
She was the most beautiful girl in the world.

Look around you.
Aren't there a lot of plain faces?
Take a good look
A real good look or you might miss out
On that beautiful person.

Forever.


:)

Xunaira said...

I agree that what makes someone grow upon us is their personality...it's true...but the thing that i find confusing is that at times we just SEE a person...it's a stranger we see...and he/she strikes us as really goodlooking...but that very same person seems ordinary to our friends...how come? i'm talking just about superficial beauty...
the poem was really nice though :)

teeB@ said...

well most of the tyms mayb sumtyms we are in good mood......n due to it we find things happening and good to c....whereas oders might not be thinking da same way...

imran said...

A few days back i heard came to know abt a thing i.e. The God has created everyone as best.

Every being is beatiful for Allah(SWT) but the thing is our sence and sight of beauty is very humanly ad limited. and that is the reason the opinion on beauty is different.

imran said...

But i think the beauty has a lot to do with the first impression.
If some one seems nice at a first sight there is a might chance that atleast i'll concider her as a beautiful person.

imran said...

and also i'd like to know what is your definations of "beauty".

MONAY said...

True, beauty opens locked doors. Many people look for external beauty, and they forget about feelings. But in the end, when the beauty is over, the same doors will be closed.

Attique said...

Before coming to FAST my views about beauty were at best childish. I don't think I really experienced anything or anyone which would strike me as beautiful. I remember people (usually much older than me) telling me things like "what a beautiful scene/drawing/girl!. And I used to remark, "that is not beautiful" or "what's so special about that?", when looking at drawings, scenery, girls etc. The use of the word 'beautiful' actually irritated me. I never liked poetry (that's the reason I've only read the first two lines of the above poem).

One day (I think I was in college then) I thought about it and decided I would define 'beauty' for myself. So I looked around examined things, thought about people and places; and everytime I'd say "this can't be beautiful, it has this and that flaw" so I told myself only something which is perfect can be beautiful. And because only God is perfect only God is beautiful. I decided I will not use the word 'beautiful' for anything which is not perfect.

That changed when I came to FAST. In first semester, when searching for material for my presentation on black holes I came across Einstein's Field Equations[1]. What excited me was the statement that these equations 'completely describe a space-time curvature of mass/energy'. And then there was an example: A set of equations. The description said that these ordinary looking equations are a complete description of a black hole. Taking the inverse of these equations would give us the field equations of a white hole. Something impossible to physically exist but can still be described mathematically. And I was like, "this is so... err... perfect! this has got to be BEAUTIFUL." Afterall God has created black holes and universe.

Although I've added a few more things to my definition of 'beautiful', I'm still pretty rigid about it. But one thing I've learned is to respect the opinion of others. So now whenever someone asks me about my opinion of something they think is beautiful; I tell them, "Yes, it is." :)

Conclusion: Well I don't think I've dug something new here. It's that we all look for different things that appeal us. Like I might like the hairstyle of someone but someone else might think it's pretty ordinary. Maybe, for something to appeal us it has to get the 'approval' of our subconscious. And not everybody's subconscious thinks in the same manner.

imran said...

@ Atique
"God is Beautiful and He likes beauty."
I think you must have heard abt it.
This means that God has created beauty so that we can find Him in those beautiful things.

imran said...

yes indeed the defination of beauty is different from person to person and time to time. I wanted to know the most recent definations of beauty from all the ppl here.

bilal said...

why someone appears beautiful to me but not to my friend seems to be analogus to why my dream car might be a ford mustang and his, a ferrari... i mean it comes from within you, its how your firmware accepts things and since everyone is unique... there is really no dilemma, i believe it is perfectly normal...

it is what makes you... YOU

what are the factors that tune your firmware? i guess there are many things...

Attique said...

"Firmware"... yes, that's word.

Attique said...

* the * word.

Syra said...

yupe, bilal bhai makes exactly the point i wanted to make (Y)

Sameer said...

I too think that beauty is from what's inside. It's what makes you happy .. infact your being happy is beautiful to someone else too :). It's a deep concept. But one can't really point out the factors involved.. varies from person to person.. and I think it varies with respect to a person's insight and foresight. .. "shallow hal" is a good reference movie for the topic. Beauty is in everything .. it's when u realize the truth about something.. what's original about it, rather than looking for the attributes u'd want it to have.

Syra said...

sameer,
i have seen that movie..."Shallow hal" all males should definitely watch it!!

Hira said...

While definig Beauty, You define your self :)

Ethereal said...

http://www.earthinpictures.com/ro/obiecte/computere_%C5%9Fi_electronic%C4%83/calculatoare_de_buzunar/calculatorul_de_buzunar_casio_fx-991w.html

Best possible combination of grace and computing power for a pocket calculator. The very definition of beauty.

Ethereal said...

Above link may not work. Try this one

Syra said...

:) I had a calculator like that, misplaced it. Using an antique one now.It's beautiful too. It's age adds to its beauty.