Beauty – A Social Construct
Beauty is most commonly defined as a subjective quality of things that makes those objects enjoyable to see. Such objects may include sunsets, landscapes, humans and beautiful works of art. Beauty, along with art and taste, is perhaps the most important topic of aesthetics, among the most important branches of science. philosophers such as Kant and others have argued that there are two separate, yet interconnected meanings to beauty; the subjective meaning of beauty, and the objective meaning of beauty.
The subjective meaning of beauty is largely independent of physical appearance, for beauty is only a value based on the way it makes us feel. It thus has nothing to do with the size or shape of a human body area. However, the object-oriented definition of beauty focuses on the physical attributes of a given body area. Beauty, art and music are all subjective terms used to specify the aesthetic qualities of objects. Beauty includes the strength of a color or the effect a picture, sculpture or other artistic output has on its viewer. While there is considerable debate as to the exact definition of beauty, the majority of people agree that beauty encompasses a variety of values including proportion, proportionate lines, symmetry and the feeling that an object is pleasing to the eye.
Defining beauty is difficult, however, even for people who subscribe to a materialist view of beauty. On the one hand, beauty standards must be based on the understanding that each person is unique and that he or she would conform to a different beauty standard than another if they were in reality able to experience the same situation. This also means that beauty standards must be objectively measured. Beauty is also influenced by cultural beliefs and practices and by the influence of the media, particularly advertising. In addition, human beings appear to have a sense of beauty according to the ideas they hold about beauty and the definition of beauty varies across cultures and societies. In most instances, beauty ideals are related to the societal expectations of beauty.