What is Beautiful, and Why is it?

What is Beautiful, and Why is it? | Positively Smitten

What is beautiful? What is beauty? How do we define it? How do we standardize it? Is it all in the eye of the beholder? When I think of beauty I do not think of supermodels, or the latest concealer that can hide my various facial flaws. I think of a three-year-old girl, asking me if I thought she was beautiful.

Let me back up a bit; I am probably not a good judge of conventional beauty standards. I was home schooled. I was not referred to as a pretty princess as a child and I have never bought a copy of a fashion magazine, in fact I do not understand the motivation for doing so. I don’t typically buy into the dress-to-impress mantra. I make or buy clothes because they make me happy and are comfortable and practical. I try and combine all three into every piece I wear. T-shirts and jeans, skirts, and tank tops, flowy dresses and real cotton pieces are what I wear. These things make me feel both comfortable and pretty. I am a simple person in the wardrobe department. I don’t have  a problem with people who take more pride in their appearance or take time to be trendy, I’m just not really one of them.

However I do have a problem with a culture that pushes absurd beauty standards on a three-year-old child. There are a ton of people criticizing society for “unfair” beauty standards. I see no point in adding to that. I would rather discuss what influences our idea of what is beautiful. So what is beautiful? To me, beauty is the beach, at night or at dawn, or in a hurricane or in the middle of the day. The beach is the pillar of what I believe is beautiful. Beauty is a flower-filled uncut lawn. Beauty is watching a new mom and dad hold their baby for the first time. To be beautiful I believe something should illicit an emotional response or a feeling within us of joy or peace or even terror. I don’t think that supermodels with dull expressions are particularly beautiful. Some are attractive, but that is a different response. Curious children learning to discover are beautiful.

What is beautiful to you? I think everyone has a starting point in their life where they saw something and were awed by the beauty of it. I remember looking at the moon at two years old and being in awe. The next beautiful thing I remember was the Florida Keys when I wasn’t much older than that. I think that is why the beach is so awe-inspiring and beautiful to me. It helped shaped my perspective of the concept of beauty.

So what is beautiful to you? Why is it beautiful?


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