The main notion I felt featured in the article was that beauty is not just seen at face value. Lizzie Stafford, the article's writer, spoke to various people who all work within various industries. There were musicians, architects, and even a tattoo artist, to name a few. They view life in several ways as their interests and priorities are different, especially when defining beauty.
It's interesting to sit and back and reflect on the uniqueness of people. If people have different views on beauty when it comes to everyday items, why is it that when it comes to physical beauty, most people have the same opinion? Do people feel the need to agree with the social 'norm' to fit in? Or do they genuinely agree with what the media presents?
The dictionary defines the word beauty in several ways. Each meaning presents a separate point of view. The first meaning is "the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind..." What is your definition of beauty?
The media sometimes places worth of beauty on the outward appearance. There are numerous songs which talk about beauty in the form of a girl's appearance. One example is of the recent hit single by British boy band One Direction. Their song "What Makes You Beautiful" speaks about someone being beautiful without even realising it. In the chorus, the boys sing "The way that you flip your hair get's me overwhelmed, but when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell, you don't know, oh, oh, you don't know you're beautiful".
Girls are hearing this song, and thinking that beauty is only skin deep. Or, perhaps the message portrayed here is that some girls don't realise the beauty they have within because of the messages the media send about their 'ideal' definition of beauty? But, is beauty really only defined by outward physical appearances of people?
The Human Face
An interesting perspective on beauty in the vein of physical beauty can be seen through a documentary produced by the BBC. First broadcast in 2001, "The Human Face" presents to the viewer an explanation about the beauty of the face, and what defines a beautiful face. Hosted by John Cleese, the documentary is insightful and revealing. One particular episode "Beauty" focused on people's faces. I found the episode interesting, and learnt a lot about the human face.
The part I didn't like was how the experts interviewed were highlighting the fact that certain faces in life are beautiful. I felt as though they were labelling people, based upon their physical appearance. If beauty is really in the eye of the beholder, should it have mattered which face shape someone may have?
American singer Jessica Simpson hosted the VH1 reality show, "The Price of Beauty". In contrast to the BBC's documentary, the show looked at different cultures around the world, and searched to find what they defined as beauty. A show such as this gives viewers a glimpse into again, the different points of view of people, and how everyone views beauty in different perspectives. During the show, Simpson travelled the world to countries such as Thailand, France, Uganda and Brazil. Watching the show, you learn about different cultures, and how vastly unique each culture is. Furthermore, the show teaches about the differences in cultural perspectives on beauty.
Beauty and Beauty and Beauty
Looking to the Bible, beauty is focused on inner beauty. Proverbs 6:25 says "Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes." Another perspective on beauty which can be found in the Bible is found in 1 Peter. Here, in 1 Peter 3:3, it says "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes." These two verses could be interpreted as saying that physical looks do not matter. Moreover beauty is culturally determined, in some cultures a large body shape is considered very beautiful.
After reading these verses, I feel as though the point is that we shouldn't focus on physical appearance for beauty. Beauty can be found from within. If you are blessed with good looks, you shouldn't be ashamed. Yet, you shouldn't think your beauty only comes from your looks. For those who may not be as genetically blessed as others, you shouldn't despair. Beauty comes from within, as well as the outside. It's just two different opinions on beauty. Just as the saying goes, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." What is beautiful in your eyes?
Natalie Van Egmond from Brisbane and a journalism graduate.