Beauty Today

Beauty is most commonly defined as a subjective aesthetic feature of particular objects that actually makes these objects enjoyable to perceive. Such objects may be works of art, sunsets, human faces and landscapes. Beauty, along with personal taste and aesthetics, is arguably the most significant area of aesthetic theory, among the major branches of fine art. The word ‘beauty’ derives from the Latin ‘bluence’ meaning ‘mood.’


In the twentieth century, however, the beauty has become associated with an increasing tendency to define beauty according to a personal, relational and emotional ideal. On this approach, beauty is determined by the ability of objects to satisfy multiple criteria of personal significance and to contribute to a feeling of well-being. Beauty is thus seen to involve the evaluation of three qualities: personality, physiology and culture. Beauty as the subjective ideal is often used in conjunction with the concept of personal space consciousness, with the idea that beauty is constituted by the way in which we move about and interact with our environment. The twentieth century also witnessed a new dimension in beauty with the advent of photography and the visual arts, when art became a highly subjective practice, and where the experience of beauty became connected with an individual’s self-image.

However, the definition of beauty remains highly controversial among both academics and public in general. Definite criteria for defining beauty have yet to be agreed upon, and the subjectiveness of beauty has not been erased completely from our everyday lives. Beauty is still seen, in the popular imagination, as a highly subjective and personal concept, however if we look closely, its true essence is revealed when it is found represented in everyday objects.