The Meaning and Philosophy of Beauty in Modern Society

Beauty is widely defined as an aesthetic quality of objects which makes these objects enjoyable to see. These objects include sunsets, landscapes, beautiful people and artistic works of art. Beauty, along with art and psychology, is perhaps the most important theme of aesthetics, among the major branches of science. In particular, aesthetics of the visual arts deals mainly with the study of beauty and the creation of visual art, and includes visual sculpture, performance art, and paintings.


In the twentieth century, the idea of beauty became associated with objective, scientific concepts. According to such concepts, beauty was perceived as an independent variable in the measurement of the value of a physical object. The word beauty therefore came to be associated with subjective quality, a desire for which a person has no control. Beauty therefore is now largely a human concept, existing to a certain degree in all cultures and societies, varying with the level of economic development and technological sophistication.

In the twentieth century, however, beauty became associated with culture and social behavior. For example, while the concept of beauty was largely a human concept, for many nineteenth-century artists, the desire for beauty became almost akin to an imperative. Artists strove to create art that would capture the infinite variety of beauty found in nature, and to provide art which, though masculine in form, was aesthetically complex and dynamic. By the twentieth century, however, the quest for beauty had begun to encompass the entire culture and society of the world, and the importance of beauty trends in beauty was no longer tied to individual needs and desires, but to the advancement of society as a whole.