What constitutes beauty? Is it the physical appearance? Is it the spirit within? Is Mr. Personality really the most beautiful person or is it Miss Universe? What makes a person beautiful what characteristics must a person possess in order to be considered beautiful? The desire to be beautiful in society is a desire that everyone works towards but who really attains it?
The other day while listening to Cosmo Radio and the Wake Up with Taylor morning show some interesting points were brought up about the topic of beauty. Taylor Strecker, the main host of Wake Up, was discussing a study she had recently come across where more than half the population believed they were above average in the beauty department. She was flabbergasted that on a rating of 1-10 where 5 is average how can the laws of average be broken so drastically where more than half the population considers themselves above a 5. It really is an interesting question. How can beauty be measured yet be so skewed that average is the new ugly? By this scale it almost seems that people see average, above average and hot as the markers for beauty. Are these realistic markers?? There was some conversation about what was beautiful and how often it is not attractiveness that measures beauty but it’s character and attitude that create a better model for beauty.
It definitely got me to think, which is also why I hate that I listen to Cosmo Radio in my car because I never have the opportunity to write down my thoughts at the time and I have to keep them in my head until I can get pen to paper.
These are some of my observations of beauty:
1) Beauty is different from attractiveness
a. You may find someone of the opposite, or same, sex attractive but as you spend time with him or her you start to see his or her attractiveness for the façade that it is. By the time the glamour of the attraction wears off you are not even sure what made you attracted to that person in the first place. This is definitely something that helps distinguish beauty from attractiveness.
2) Beauty is the whole package not just one aspect of a person.
a. It is hard to be a beautiful person if you have nothing to offer but looks, or brains or personality. All of those things can be alluring but if that’s all you have, with possibly the exception of personality, they grow old and dull after a period of time.
3) A physically attractive person does not automatically become beautiful
a. In my experience, and it is limited, but if a person is blessed with physical beauty they often spend all their time on this trait and do not work to develop the other traits in their repertoire. Those that have natural beauty in the physical realm are often told so often growing up that they can have whatever they want because of their “beauty” that they do not feel the need to have to worry about developing a personality, or brains or charisma. This is not true of everyone, but it can be true of some leaning towards the majority.
4) A beautiful person may not win a beauty pageant or a modeling search.
a. Some of the most beautiful people I know do not fit Hollywood’s definition of “beauty. And some of the Hollywood’s “Beautiful” do not fit with what I believe to be beautiful.
5) The scale of 1 – 10 for judging beauty is greatly influenced by the surroundings.
a. In every small town or graduating class from a high school in a city there is one girl and one guy who stand out amongst the crowd and are considered the most beautiful of that place or that year. However if you took that beautiful girl from small town middle America or Canada and dropped her into Toronto or New York, the beautiful people of Toronto or New York may dwarf her beauty.
6) Beauty is also subjective, it is based on the person who is judging what is and what isn’t beautiful.
a. What I consider to be essential in the making up of a beautiful person will be different than what someone else thinks. Even if the descriptive words we use the weight we give all the components of what we consider beautiful will change.
b. When we rate people on a scale of one to ten, or even ourselves, we rate based on what is around us and what we consider to be beautiful making the business of beauty completely subjective which is why beauty is forever changing.
The other component to consider in beauty, especially for physical beauty is the biological factor. Humans are wired to seek out faces that are similar to their own or faces that on a mathematical level resemble them. It is why you will sometimes see couples that look similar. It doesn’t hold true all the time, but if you break things down and look at your partner you may notice things in them that you see in the mirror. Which explains why I may find one person attractive while my girlfriends cannot understand why I think that person is attractive. It’s also why there are different factions of beauty in the world. I know many people who believe Angelina Jolie is gorgeous, I don’t see the draw, but I find Jennifer Aniston very beautiful and often those people that like Jolie do not see what I find beautiful about Aniston.
For me beauty is a combination of factors. The drawing is often the physical attractiveness, but what keeps me interested in the person and really forms the person to be beautiful is intelligence, personality, humour, honesty, loyalty, forgiveness, and confidence. I have met and even dated people who I was extremely attracted to at first who by the end of the night completely turned my stomach because their attitude and personality were so toxic I felt dirty for even being in the same room as they were.
I do not envy people in the industry that revolves around beautiful people, or people society is to believe are beautiful. However I do wish that campaigns like the Dove campaign were more widely accepted as I believe they are a more accurate portrayal of true beauty when opposed to Sports Illustrated or Victoria Secret Models. It does leave one to think, what are your measures of a beautiful person?