Discussion: The Definition of Beauty

Beauty encompasses different opinions and views in different cultures and traditions. For example, in the Bible, Sarah, the wife of Abraham, had an engrossing prettiness that Abram once introduced her as her sister to avoid being killed by Pharaoh. She is described to be the most exquisitely beautiful woman of all time. Her beauty is defined as the body and the soul operating with mutual respect and harmony. Therefore, in this regard, beauty can be justified by the visual experience and the features that provide perceptual experience to the intellect, ear, and moral sense. The attribute gives meaning, pleasure, and satisfaction to the senses. This paper, therefore, seeks to focus on the eye, inner beauty, and intellect.

According to the matrix of the eye, beauty is embodied as the natural complexion of a person, more so to the ladies. This paradigm was supported by the Pythagorean mathematicians like Euclid, who developed a mathematical scale of beauty known as the golden ratio. This idea was derived from the things that they saw as most regarded by most people as beautiful. They developed a ratio (a + b)-that is an as a to b, and is behind the pattern of the various shapes that people find pleasing, whether form or architecture (Irvine 44). They argue that all tend to this ratio when regarded as beautiful. The ratio is supported by symmetry and balance as its critical variables, thus giving the theory its validity and logical taste.

For instance, in this contemporary world, only those with the golden ratio are regarded as beautiful. This is attributed to the good balance and adorable symmetry of their body and face. The head forms a golden rectangle with the nose and mouth structured at the golden sections of the distance between the eyes and the chin (Lassek et al. 415). Although there are many factors that are used to measure beauty, the golden ratio still remains the cornerstone of the true definition of attractiveness. From a distance between the navel and the foot to the height, as well as the top of the head to the fingers, it is the symmetry and balance that counts. Without these, then the object or form in question is not attractive.

On the other hand, inner beauty focuses on the characters and qualities of a person. It is a virtue accompanied by godliness and high moral standards that each society admonishes each member to seek (Kidd 174). Inner beauty is more inclined to the ways of God and morality. It describes the beauty of women based on particular qualities (Farley 98). For example, women who exhibit qualities like kindness, purity, modesty, femininity, and gentleness, among others, are viewed to be the most beautiful.

Sarah, for example, is described in the Bible as the art of beauty. She was a kind and modest woman whose tactical character in handling matters stood out in history (Kadari 68). Sarah treated her husband, Abraham, with great respect and humility. She adored Abraham as her king and treated him as her only man. Sarah was loyal to her marriage, husband and God and was not easily convinced or manipulated by wealth. She knew that the fruits that a man is to enjoy should come from the work of his industry. Her inner beauty was riveting that, at some point, evoked the question of how pleased Satan would have been if she had sought to abandon Abraham and instead marry Pharaoh.

Finally, the intellect also forms the basis for measuring beauty in humans. It is practically relative and often used as the inner beauty. Intellect is majorly dependent on the mental powers than inner beauty. Webster and Driskell 1993 contended in their paper ‘beauty as status’ that physical attractiveness is a diffuse status trait that influences others’ judgments of competence (Colladon et al. 170). Their research shows that attractive people are perceived to be more intellectual and competent in general and more intelligent in seemingly unrelated and specific tasks like flying a plane. Although Webster and Driskell’s research shows that physical attractiveness is a diffuse status trait that leads to perceivers’ expectations of competence, one key point remains unanswered. The significance of beauty status and why physical attractiveness is a dispersed status attribute that generates general and specialized competence expectations.

When bodily activities become a means to an end, the body and soul can work in perfect harmony. The physical appearance of a soulful being then communicates that identity. The face takes on the personality of the person inside. Intuitively, the body’s appeal would appear to rank low on the spiritual scale. If people aim to cultivate awareness and sensitivity, a desire to appear attractive might be a significant deterrent when an individual is continuously bombarded with media and marketing that highlight the importance of good looks and aesthetics. Then when beauty becomes a currency, it is easy to ignore that in the long run, it is the body that dies, and the soul lives. Therefore, this should be an indicator that physical attractiveness should not be the overriding variable in defining beauty, and thus people should change their perspective on beauty.

Works Cited

Colladon, Andrea Fronzetti, et al. “What makes you popular: beauty, personality or intelligence?” International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, vol. 53, no. 2, 2018, pp. 162-186.

Farley, Edward. Faith and Beauty: A Theological Aesthetic. Routledge, 2020.

Irvine, Jeff. “Leonardo of Pisa: Bunnies, Bees, and the Golden Ratio.” Gazette-Ontario Association for Mathematics, vol. 59, Iss. 4, 2021, pp. 43-45.

Kadari, Tamar. “The Beauty of Sarah in Rabbinic Literature.” Brill, 2018.

Kidd, Ian James. “Beauty, virtue, and religious exemplars.” Religious Studies, 2017.

Lassek, William, et al. “Evidence supporting nobility and reproductive value as the key to human female physical attractiveness.” Evolution and Human Behavior, vol. 40, Iss. 5, 2019, pp. 408-419.

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