Beauty Contest

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1. “I just love it… It’s beautiful!” Everybody says this phrase quite often (hopefully), while the meaning of the notion beauty is something taken for granted. The false idea that beauty is something absolute, an absolute characteristic of something all people like, must be argued upon. People have so got used this word that in general its meaning is not discussed, and nearly everyone believes that he or she (as well as every single person on the planet) knows the exact meaning, and that beauty needs no definition. In reality, however, beauty is a very relative and even vague notion, which only exists within a person.

Concepts of beauty vary across cultures. While definition of beauty may stay the same, cultural, historical, and religious aspects mold our perception of beautiful objects, and human body (and apparel) appeared to be the most affected. Hence, Western image of a beautiful woman is distinct from Eastern one. While in the Western world a slim, slender, women with brilliant lipstick is considered beautiful, Eastern image of a beautiful woman is a plump white blond. And although some believe that the ideal of beauty in the Western world is a white girl, in reality this white girl must be sun-burnt to be a beauty role model.

The complete answers about our perception of beauty go deep into psychology and physiology. But on the top, every person describes and defines beauty for him/herself. Numerous studies have shown that the same object looked beautiful for one person, while it left the other person indifferent. Same way people, who look beautiful for person A, might not be person B’s type. As the saying goes, “tastes differ,” and it is exactly the same with the perception of the beautiful. However, one might counter-argue that there are several things that are beautiful for all people on the planet, something like Niagara waterfall for instance. This phenomenon is completely logical because after all we all are one species, and there must be some things that we all consider beautiful (first smile of our firstborn, or a red dusk over a plain). These things are natural, and identify with special part within us, which I will not touch upon in the study.

Generally, beauty refers to characteristic (or characteristics) of an object (or objects) that entail pleasure to one or more humans senses. Beauty cannot be negative or ugly, rather is associates with positive and joyful emotions. Most of the time, we associate beauty with something that we see, or hear as a last option. One can also claim that a particular odor is beautiful, but in such case this odor would possess the same beauty as touch, for example. We call beautiful objects that physically cannot be beautiful, like solutions, outcomes, or ideas. What we do in such cases is only give these objects characteristic of something, which gives pleasure. A taste may give pleasure to gustation, but it cannot be beautiful because we cannot see taste.

Interestingly, deep in our minds we expect this physical beauty of an object, human body as the most prominent example, to possess some other positive qualities behind this shell. We think the painting looks even more beautiful when we find out that it is worth millions, however a girl would probably dislike a handsome guy for his impudent and rude behavior. Therefore, beauty is an extremely relative notion, which goes much deeper than physical looks. However, Western capitalists try to eliminate this idea since 1950’s by arranging events aimed at standardization and calibration of perception of body of a woman. These events are kindly named beauty pageants and contests.

2. Although beauty competitions, such as Miss World and Miss Universe, attempt to reward girls for their inner qualities and achievements, the primary criterion upon which they are judged is the shape and physical body, preferably in a swimsuit. This attitude toward participants has provoked many protests in different places of the world from...
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