What Is The Definition of Beauty?

Sidrah Rizvi, Staff Reporter

For centuries, society has been fixated on the concept of beauty.

André Félibien, a French art chronicler and court historian to French king Louis XIV, wrote about the beauty standards for the 1600s, providing a stark reminder of how society used to view the concept of beauty. 

Félibien wrote:

  • The Head should be well rounded; and look rather inclining to small than large.
  • The Forehead white, smooth, and open (not with the Hair growing down too deep upon it;) neither flat nor prominent, but like the Head well rounded; and rather small in Proportion than large.
  • The Hair either bright, black or brown; not thin, but full and waving, and if it falls in moderate Curls the better.

These so-called “rules” that women had to follow to be acknowledged as beautiful would be considered harmful and strict today.

Sophomore Caroline Northedge mentions that beauty can be something delicate and mean anything to a person.

“Beauty shaped a lot of my life,” Northedge said. “Beauty is really delicate, and it can twist your view on life. To me, beauty might be the goodness in others or the allure of nature. I believe self -love comes before you can love others, but so much of self love comes from the validation others give. So, is the selfish view of beauty really a problem?” 

Senior Ashley Warfield says that in her eyes, beauty comes from one’s perception of themselves.

“Beauty to me is self awareness,” Warfield said. “If you are confident about who you are as a person, in my eyes that exemplifies the best form of beauty.”

Sophomore Grace Beardslee says beauty has to do with a person’s personality, not appearance. 

“[Beauty is] the grace of the presence that a being gives off,” she said. Not their looks but their personality, soul, effort, and heart.”

Senior Izzy Gracias says  her perception of beauty includes being confident and not comparing oneself to others. 

“Beauty to me is different. I see it as a feeling of being confident with yourself and as an aesthetic. Not trying to compare to others and set goals to match others but to do what makes you happy,” Gracias said. “Being your happiest and best self is what beauty is to me. There is beauty in many things, and it’s different to all, but it’s amazing to explore the world’s endless beauty.”  

According to Psychologytoday, there can be a price when it comes to one wanting to be beautiful. It could cushion one from reality in a way that might not always be healthy. 

Northedge agrees.

“I think there’s nothing wrong with being vain of your worth, because how can you feel happy if you don’t feel worthy?” Northedge said. “But society has found a way to distort our relationships with beauty. More often than not, we become too reliant on the opinions of others. We destroy ourselves by valuing how others perceive our beauty, rather than how we feel our beauty.”