Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Beauty Not in the Eye of the Beholder?

This maxim is a popular one, embraced by most well-to-do people who just want to live and let live. But, I have a problem with it, so I'm going to pick it apart until I can express what that problem is to the best of my ability.

Firstly, we have to understand that the underlying message of this quip is that there can be no label on beauty; nobody can say or decide for others what is beautiful and what is not. For the most part, this is true, because clearly the wide variety of human beings in this planet have different notions of what beauty is, in various countries and even within one country, heck, within families, within one individual!

But that's besides the point. Despite all of the variation within humanity as to the concept of beauty, we find that we are amazingly similar in many respects, perhaps more than the lover of the philosophy that is questioned in the title of this post would like to concede.

Take for example that the overwhelming majority of humanity finds beauty in somebody that loves them. Humans have a deep-seated need, expressed as a powerful desire, to connect with someone and to enjoin their lives together. Now, you can say that some people do not have this need, or seem not to have it, but nevertheless they still engage in forming relationships, usually relationships that last. You can love your parents, your family, your friends, etc, but there is a certain type of love that is only reserved for one type of person, the person who will know you more accurately than any other person in your life, and that person is your spouse; your wife or husband. Putting aside the many social problems that are leading marriage to become a more and more obsolete institution, in this country at least but in others as well, this deeply grounded human urge to connect in such a manner with one individual for the rest of their life, day in and day out, is hard to condition out of us.

This post is not particularly about marriage, but rather, I'm trying to show that beauty is not so much a relative concept as our modernized society tends to portray that it is. Beauty is not just relative, but definitely has an absolute aspect to it.

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