As the saying goes, “Beauty Lies In The Eye Of The Beholder”. It’s a phrase as old as time. Any intelligent being knows that people tend to have a difference in opinion when it comes to what’s deemed aesthetically pleasing. Beauty is subjective. An abstract notion. What seems exquisite in the eyes of one person may be ordinary or even ugly to another. For example, the way we dress or style our hair, and what books we like to read all differ from one person to the next. It all depends on individual taste. However, there are some things that pretty much everyone thinks of as beautiful. For instance, a field of flowers, a child’s smile, sunsets and starry night skies.
But Have You Every Wondered Why?
Why exactly does Beauty Lie In The Eye Of The Beholder? What makes for the difference in opinions? Has it always been an abstract notion or was there ever a time when all the land undoubtedly thought the same thing’s were stunning and others simply were not? Furthermore, where’d the saying come from anyway?
THE DEFINITION OF BEAUTY
Beauty is a visualization that inspires a sense of wonder. You’ll find that it states in the dictionary that beauty is “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).
THE ORIGIN OF THE PHRASE
According to Wikipedia, it originated back in 1878, found in a novel by Margaret Wolfe Hamilton called Molly Bawn. Yet, there’s other reporting’s of its first appearance in the 3rd century BC in Greek. When we use the phrase, what we’re trying to say “What you find attractive, I don’t, and that’s ok.” We’re trying to make a point that there should be a lot of room for diversity in the disagreement around aesthetics. We don’t feel comfortable about asserting the advantage of any one style or approach over the other. It implies an acute sensitivity to conflict and a fear of being rude or mean to others: what we’re affectively doing is stating that nothing is ever really more beautiful than anything else.
BACKSTORY OF “THE BEHOLDERS”
The phrase “Beauty Lies In The Eye Of The Beholder” originally came to be as a shield of protection against snobbery. This idiom asserted the rights of ordinary people to follow their enthusiasms at a time when high-handed experts held the cultural reins and tried to shape taste with stern and belittling authority. These experts told people what to like and treated dissent with disdain. The phrase “Beauty Lies In The Eyes Of The Beholder” was a defense against intolerance. It meant something like “Stop trying to badger me into submission.” My preferences are my personal call and I can think & feel how I want, thank you very much.
WELL ACCORDING TO SCIENCE…
The real question here is whether the beholder’s opinion is inherent or acquired overtime. For decades, scientists have hypothesized whether this is apart of our DNA or a product of our environment. Research suggests that a preference for physical traits may be etched in our genes, but a new study has discovered that the specific life experiences of an individual deem one face more attractive than the other. there’s While there is evidence that people with symmetric features are preferred as partners it’s interesting to find that symmetry is associated with parasite resistance (Thornhill and Gangestad 1993). Strange, but intriguing.
IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER
Beauty is something we as humans are hardwired to appreciate and find extremely pleasing. We see it everywhere. In things like the superlative symmetry of a human face and in the way a flower has seemingly perfect petals. Duly noted, Beauty extends itself. This charming little concepts effect reaches far beyond the optical allure. Beauty can be heard. In the way certain harmonies sound or when we listen to someone speaking a foreign language, finding their accent attractive. We feel it too, like when seeing a child care for a bird who’s broken it’s wing, embedded with deep empathy. It is an expression of who we are inside. Although beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, there are some things that are universally true. A kind heart, a gentle soul, and a generous spirit are all qualities of someone truly lovely. There is no doubt that physical beauty is important, but it should never be our main focus. It is about what the heart feels. It’s a state of mind and a way of living.
We are at liberty in the grace of beauty, as not one single person can dictate what it means to another. A universal understanding, completely individualized. With it’s a vast array of different kinds, it’s accurate to say that beauty can be found in everything. In culture, expression, imperfection, and mystery. Beauty is the essence of life.