Monday, September 16, 2013

What Does Beauty Mean To You?

The word "beauty" is subjective, poorly defined, misunderstood, individualistic and controversial.  Therefore, when looking at defining beauty, what is considered beautiful to one person may be perceived differently by another.  The question here is, has beauty ever been understood and can it really be defined?

I have decided to begin this journey into beauty by exploring the simplest definition of this very difficult and contentious subject matter.
Beauty is defined in generic terms as a "quality" that a person or object may possess which is then interpreted by the mind as a pleasurable experience.
 This pleasurable experience then activates the mind or spirit and seems to be synonymous with "loveliness."  What makes the word beauty so controversial and difficult to define is "perception" because everyone has a different interpretation.  There is an overused cliche` "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," is this true or false?  Perception, which is the process of observing and interpreting, is based on our individual experiences, beliefs, feelings, past knowledge and conditioning.  However, each of us has a different perception of beauty.  Furthermore, our eyes that we depend on for observation, do not tell the truth.

Truth requires turning inward, towards the eye of the soul in order to perceive the true consciousness of beauty.  If as beings we only look with our visual eyes and interpret what we see with our minds eye then what we see is what society deems as beautiful.  Unfortunately relying on beauty magazines, fashion designers, and Hollywood for our definition of beauty, in my opinion is a colossal mistake.

These "beauty experts" are anything but an authority on true beauty, they only consider the external embodiment, the face, figure, hair and eyes.  The standard for judging beauty in our society is fundamentally wrong, absurd and completely unrealistic and I believe unfair to all women.  It is a standard that no one can or should be forced to live up to by the multimedia advertisements that women are inundated with daily. 

Models and stars are either 20 and under, or they are made to look like they are in their 20's by the way the photographs are photo-shopped, airbrushed and drastically altered.  I personally had the opportunity in the late 80's to visit Playboy magazine behind the scenes and watch how the computer program was utilized to photo-shop, airbrush, add and subtract whatever qualities they want, to enhance the beauty of a woman.  I remember feeling shocked and betrayed by the industry that makes women look perfect and flawless.

This is an injustice to all women young and old alike.  We cannot possibly live up to such a standard and more importantly why would we want to?  What I am proposing here is a paradigm shift, which I am labeling "Beyond Beauty."  Beauty is a concept based on ones individual perception.  "Beyond Beauty" is not a perceptual concept; it requires the eye of the soul in order to perceive the true consciousness of beauty.