Beauty in the Eyes of Society

Topics: Culture, Mass media, Beauty Pages: 4 (1378 words) Published: February 27, 2013
Xavian Arnold
Dr. Patterson
EN 112
27 April 2012
Beauty: Beheld in the Eyes of Society
There is an old saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." However, there are definite social concepts of physical beauty. Most of the time, people associate beauty with something that is seen, instead of tasted, or smelt. Therefore, a more precise definition of beauty would sound like, beauty is the quality or set of qualities that give pleasure to eyesight. Many things may not be as beautiful to one person as they are to someone else; people have many different outlooks on what beauty really is. Females in particular have historically faced pressure to conform to a particular standard of beauty. The media presents society with unrealistic body types promoting people, especially women, to look like them. The desire to be beautiful has received more attention by blinding the public with images of the “beautiful people.” The extent of the message the media portrays to our society is more harmful than beneficial to the average person. Many people will say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” however society has a great impact on today’s standards of beauty. Beauty is a collectively undecided conception, which implies that each individual may interpret the idea of beauty based on his/her own biased opinion. Humans appreciate beauty in many different ways. Some consider beauty to be seen through nature, others may see beauty in the ancient Grecian statue of the Venus De Milo. Someone, or something, that one finds beautiful another person may not. Beauty is something subjective. It has various meanings to different people because no one person is the same and their standards and tastes differ as well. In her essay Perceptions of Female Beauty in the 20th Century, Louise Wood references the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant by saying; “the judgment of beauty is different from cognitive or moral judgment because it is affected subjectively, that is,...

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Milkie, Melissa A. "Social Comparisons, Reflected Appraisals, and Mass Media: The Impact of Pervasive Beauty Images on Black and White Girls ' Self-Concepts." Social Psychology Quarterly 62.2 (1999): 190-210. Print.
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