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"Beauty is a summation of the parts working together in such a way that nothing is needed to be added, taken away or altered." ~Elio Carletti
SodaFen's avatar

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If you were looking for a technical answer, I'd imagine that beauty as we know it are just things that make subtle sense. Like a deep familiarity in whatever you're seeing/hearing/sensing.

Like how people really like even measures in music. Or every process needs a climax. Beauty, imho, is just something humans have made sense of for a long time.
kemu's avatar

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"..The experience of beauty is health or wholeness, as if the circulation of blood had become equable and strong not only within the individual, but also as a part of a vaster circulatory system which includes the objects which he loves without attempting to own and with which he moves in subtle rhythmical confluences and congruities. Here, indeed, health or wholeness may expand infinitely, for in marriage to any human being (perhaps to any living being) every object in the universe may become a portion of beauty whether it be wisp of hair or withered leaf, a book, an old wrinkled courtesan, a sunshaft on a spire, slimy green algee on the surface of a pond, a baby's smile, a scientific experiment, odor of eucalyptus, cool depths the swimmer plumbs, sweet thin nectar from the honeysuckle, a warm intimate fireplace, the caress of a sweetheart, a planet mathematically deduced but yet unphotographed, a pebble, the reverberation of thunder, or the shudder of a gong. Beauty is a relation of rapport which may expand from heaven into hell as ugliness melts into loveliness. Beauty is that identification of subject and object celebrated by mystics in every age."

- Herbert Ellsworth Cory
FlySammyJ's avatar

Liberal Dabbler

I'm surprised no one has brought up the golden ratio and its connection to aesthetics. Forgive me for interpreting "beauty" in its most literal sense. My body conforms quite well to this ratio in certain aspects. My hip-to-waist ratio as viewed from the front or back is 1:1.62, and while my exaggerated hips make buying pants an adventure, I can be spotted as a fertile female from a mile away. Not only can I be identified as female, but my hips are a reliable indicator of health and fecundity. Synthetic paper here.

There's also been a lot of research into facial and dental conformation to the Ratio, but as I'm looking up sources it seems to be somewhat contested as biased toward "masculine" females. Though I agree that a standard that incorporates the shortened chin and less pronounced brow induced by optimum hormone levels would be ideal, the current standards do apply quite well to men and and the more masculine models favored today. Here's a link to a prominent researcher's website. Google Scholar is giving me some sass right now, but I'll get some more info later if you want it.
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metamary
Beauty is whatever you want it to be, beauty is everything, beauty is nothing.
I worship this awesome post.
haruki_jitsunin's avatar

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This topic hits so close to home it's ridiculous. Beauty is what I strive for, what I seek, what I seek to understand.

Beauty is synonymous to me with god in a way. I mean, everyone you ever ask will have a different, personalized definition of what is beautiful; if something is beautiful; what makes something beautiful. And ultimately, every time you ask those questions, it will reveal some deep, sacred part of that other person. It will show you exactly what they love, what moves them, what they understand, what they notice about everything. Ask the same questions, but instead with god. You will get equally diversified answers and these answers will reveal a completely different yet similarly deep part about anyone.


So, what is beauty? I don't know I hope to have a constantly flexible understanding of beauty as it is different for everyone. Ultimately, though, I feel the individualized answer to this question reveals so much about how any one person processes the world. So I guess you could say that my definition of beauty is understanding or even how one understands the universe.
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To me beauty is in the eyes of every child. I think beauty is holiness and children seem very pure for a short while. Beauty is a man, woman, or child that has purified themselves, of themselves, and allow the love of God to inhabit them and fill them with every virtue, and lofty thought. It is the spirit ruling the body.
If you want to know what beauty is, you should read Kant's Third Critique. (The Critique of the Power of Judgment.) He does an excellent job explain how the concept of beauty is different from pleasure, on the one hand, and perfection, on the other.
Azolus's avatar

Dapper Shapeshifter

(That would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy.)

Things are only ugly if you think them to be so. Ugliness and beauty are human inventions; preferring one thing over another based on looks alone.
FlySammyJ's avatar

Liberal Dabbler

Azolus
(That would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy.)

Things are only ugly if you think them to be so. Ugliness and beauty are human inventions; preferring one thing over another based on looks alone.

I believe that when the female peacock selects a male, she does so on the basis of looks alone.
kemu's avatar

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If you want to know what beauty is, you should read Kant's Third Critique. (The Critique of the Power of Judgment.) He does an excellent job explain how the concept of beauty is different from pleasure, on the one hand, and perfection, on the other.


Actually I was assigned that reading smile
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Beauty is reflective of our mentality. A sad person can see something happy as beautiful and continue to be sad because of it, a happy person can see something sad and call it beautiful and use it to reinforce their happyness. Or a person can use it to change their emotional state as well perhaps.
In general beauty can cause awe as well, marvel, wonder. It promotes thought. What is beautiful is defined by us as individuals so it affecting our mentality isn't farfetched. But studies say people buy pets that look like themselves usually, probably because their family looks similar to themself and they have seen themselves in mirrors before, so they are more comfortable, at ease, with themselves.

So the same oculd be said of what we find to be beautiful.
But then what about a person who doesnt like themself? They will deny beauty to stay unhappy, or they will find beauty in darker things.

Beauty would therefore be what gathers our attention.
Beauty is what you see when you look in the mirror.
JediDillon's avatar

Interesting Seeker

kemu
This is a spiritual question. Reach deep within yourself.

Beauty is a noun. But so is three. I'm talking about the difference between 3 apples and the number 3, or a beautiful thing and beauty.

What is this abstract notion of beauty? Here is what I speculate..


Beauty is what we see when something inspires us to live. Something that gives us meaning in our souls.. something we find useful to ourselves or to others whom we love.


Anyway, what do you think.? I'm taking a class about this. We talked about Plato today and it was killing me not to say that so I thought I'd just get it out on Gaia. Haha.


kemu
"..The experience of beauty is health or wholeness, as if the circulation of blood had become equable and strong not only within the individual, but also as a part of a vaster circulatory system which includes the objects which he loves without attempting to own and with which he moves in subtle rhythmical confluences and congruities. Here, indeed, health or wholeness may expand infinitely, for in marriage to any human being (perhaps to any living being) every object in the universe may become a portion of beauty whether it be wisp of hair or withered leaf, a book, an old wrinkled courtesan, a sunshaft on a spire, slimy green algee on the surface of a pond, a baby's smile, a scientific experiment, odor of eucalyptus, cool depths the swimmer plumbs, sweet thin nectar from the honeysuckle, a warm intimate fireplace, the caress of a sweetheart, a planet mathematically deduced but yet unphotographed, a pebble, the reverberation of thunder, or the shudder of a gong. Beauty is a relation of rapport which may expand from heaven into hell as ugliness melts into loveliness. Beauty is that identification of subject and object celebrated by mystics in every age."

- Herbert Ellsworth Cory


I will put it sweet and simple. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there are many people who have alot of inner beauty as well as outer beauty.

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