The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.
~Francis Bacon – philosopher
I love the confidence that makeup gives me.
~Tyra Banks – international super model
The two quotes above capture the spectrum of physical, human beauty.
The first alludes to a beauty that transcends physical expression, while the second implies a beauty that relies on an external facade to build up internal attributes.
The first is true beauty, the second is false. The first is inspiring, the second is actually quite sad.
Ironically, the only certainty of physical beauty is that it is subjective – not everyone agrees on a single, enduring standard of physical beauty.
While we see and recognize the enduring beauty of a panoramic sunset, the rolling surf or a majestic mountain – those constant standards of nature don’t necessarily translate to humans.
What was once beautiful by societal standards simply falls out of vogue over time and becomes boring.
One of the greatest, enduring cliches about beauty is that it “…resides within the eye of the beholder…” however I would challenge that assertion when it comes to true beauty. I’ve written about beauty before and the shifting sands of bias on which our society seems to be built.
True beauty, which is a lasting beauty that endures and improves over time, actually resides in the eye of the holder – not the beholder. The true beauty of the individual is a condition of the heart, not the skin.
My wife and I strive to nurture these concepts in the hearts of our daughters. Here are some of the points we constantly reinforce to them:
- Don’t fall into the trap of defining your worth by your outward appearance and physical attributes.
- Inner beauty is the only beauty that lasts.
- Don’t let false “beauty” standards established by society compel you to change and “measure up.”
- Celebrate your differences from others, that’s the spark of true beauty.
Whether these messages take root or not within our girls will manifest over time as they head into their teen years, but we want to instill those ideas in them now.
Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
~Saint Augustine – theologian
The following quote hits the beauty bulls eye.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.
~Audrey Hepburn – actress
Interestingly, that quote suggests that even though others defined Ms. Hepburn by here beauty, she herself did not let it be her defining value.
Question: Is beauty in the eye of the beholder, the holder or both? Why?