Beauty is often defined as a subjective feature of particular objects, which makes these objects enjoyable to see. These objects include sunsets, landscapes, beautiful people and artistic works of art. Beauty, along with aesthetic appreciation, is possibly the most significant part of aesthetics, among the major branches of science. Theoria (theoria means “all-seeing” in Greek) and Phonics (phonetic means “all-knowing” in Greek) both consider beauty to be a subjective, spiritual quality of an object.
In the twentieth century, however, the term beauty has become more complex. It is now used to describe the aesthetic qualities of anything, including architecture, literature and film. The word beauty, derived from a Greek phrase, has also come to refer to the quest for beauty. According to the British author and essayist Edward Said, beauty is a desire that we have to experience in order to survive. Furthermore, Said maintains that beauty is subjective, thus not found on a level that can be measured or judged by others.
However, some may worry that the quest for beauty may in itself make people self-conscious and may lead to envy, especially if they are not beautiful. However, this is far from the truth, especially since beauty is not necessarily defined in terms of outward appearance. The real test of beauty, according to Said’s view, is how one sees oneself, and beauty is defined in relation to what a person is capable of experiencing. Thus, while beauty is subjective, it is important to remember that beauty is a basic need that all of us share. We all want to be beautiful.