What is Beauty?

The dictionary describes beauty as “a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.”

But who gets to say what shape, colour or form you have to be to be “aesthetically pleasing”.

It seems that “beauty” changes like the seasons of the year, as if it’s some sort of fashion statement. For instance, at the moment, you’re not “beautiful” if you haven’t filled in your eyebrows or contoured your cheekbones. Next year you won’t be beautiful because you don’t wear bright blue eye shadow and a coat of lip gloss. If you don’t abide by the “fashion laws” people look at you as though you’re an alien.

It seems that fashion and fashion magazines are the ones who depict how we “should” look, both face and body. Everyone is obsessed with looking younger, being skinnier, having flawless skin or pouty lips. But when is being skinny skinny enough, or looking younger looking young enough?

“Beauty” to me is another synonym of “clone” or “sheep”. It seems like most of the time, you can only be beautiful by looking like everyone else. Copying everyone else. Basically being everyone else.

As I was studying makeup artistry, we were looking at the history of makeup and makeup trends. Earlier in the 1900’s people would paint themselves in lead to look paler, wear corsets to look bustier and have a traditional “healthy” hourglass figure.
Back in the renaissance period, you see paintings of women, again pale with rosy cheeks, bare eyes and ringlets in their hair.
In Greece, the monobrow was favoured by women.

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) Self-Portrait1660

A painted portrait of a “basic” looking woman in the 1600s

And in those periods, these women who followed the trend would be deemed “more attractive”. The reason, I think, for the majority of people looking attractive in those periods is because it was normality. We seemed to find “normal” things attractive. Which doesn’t make sense to me, as surely there would be exceptionally attractive women in those periods that did not follow the trends, yet did not get even a second glance.

They say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, but is it really? The majority of us will agree if a person is exceptionally attractive (Beyoncé), or exceptionally unattractive (Susan Boyle), but what is it in the brain that triggers the majority to be in agreement. Is it influential? Or have we evolved just to have a general thought process that has the sameness as most other people.

At the end of the day, no one is perfect, so why do we strive to be? Why do we strive to look like others, to be accepted into the “beautiful” club? Aka the “welcome to part of the clone” club.

Most women feel insecure about a number of their physical features. Beauty changes like the seasons of the year, we are all human and I’m sure that at one point or another we have been victimized for not having the “right” shade of hair, or the “right features”. At the same time, there has probably been an era where our features, may it be a roman nose, hooded eyes or thin lips, have been praised, we were just not in the era to see it.

I see a lot of people depend on makeup, including myself at one point. We need to learn to use makeup to accentuate our features instead of exaggerate them, or to show them how colourful our personalities are and show our true individuality.

We shouldn’t be ashamed of what we look like, we should embrace it. We should own our confidence in our appearance by asking ourselves, what is beauty? Beauty is what you make of it. If you think yourself as beautiful, one day you will sincerely believe it.

I would love to know your thoughts and opinions. Do you have a different view of beauty? I’d love to know!
Thank you for reading 🙂


One thought on “What is Beauty?

  1. Lex says:

    i dont think beauty is copying or being like someone else. you can use someone else as inspiration but i feel like beauty is looking and feeling your best. beauty is not looked at as the same thing from one person to another. some people find certain things beautiful and some dont. thats just the art of it. no specific answer thats why its a combination of qualities. 🙂 great post though!


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