I hope you plan on sharing the project with us once you finish it
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Beauty is pure, sublime perfection. Beauty and perfection are not the same thing.
Flawless physical beauty is the most compelling thing one can behold. Beauty with flaws adds character and is much more compelling to behold.
If the person is devoid of any internal beauty, then no matter how fair of face, they are not beautiful. An attractive person with an unattractive personality can still be deemed a beauty.
Unless it's being used to inspire art, sell something, or snag a potential mate, physical beauty has no value. In the great scheme of things, physical beauty has value in and of itself. I couldn't make up my mind, so I didn't vote for either.
Unless it's completely natural, good looks cannot be considered true beauty. Even if it's the result of a surgeon's work, beauty is beauty.
Beauty is essentially a feminine quality. I believe men can be beautiful, too, with all their masculinity intact.
(This post was edited by BlackFox on Nov 10 2014, 4:35pm)
I find strong-featured women like Vanessa Redgrave or Claudia Black to be more beautiful than women with tiny noses and perfectly oval faces. I like a beauty that ages well, that's in the bones. And is informed by a strong character. I remember seeing "Julia" with Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave years ago, when I was in my 20s, and going home and looking at my face in the mirror and wishing it had more character, more wisdom in it, as Vanessa's Julia did and pretty Jane Fonda's Lillian did not.
As for men, I like to look at gorgeous men, but I'm not attracted to them. Again, I like strong features, especially a good beak of a nose. I find bald men very attractive. Mostly what I like is the look in the eyes. A bit of a twinkle goes a long way with me!
Tangent: I have never understood why so many rave about Brad Pitt. When he was young, he looked too girly face on (little nose!) and from the side he looks like a gorilla. Baffled me.
Shall I wasting in despair Die because a woman's fair? Or make pale my cheeks with care 'Cause another's rosy are? Be she fairer than the day, Or the flow'ry meads in May— If she be not so to me, What care I how fair she be?
Shall my foolish heart be pined 'Cause I see a woman kind? Or a well-disposed nature Joinèd with a lovely feature? Be she meeker, kinder, than Turtle dove or pelican, If she be not so to me, What care I how kind she be?
Shall a woman's virtues move Me to perish for her love? Or her merits' value known Make me quite forget mine own? Be she with that goodness blest Which may gain her name of Best; If she seem not such to me, What care I how good she be?
'Cause her fortune seems too high Shall I play the fool and die? Those that bear a noble mind Where they want of riches find, Think what with them they would do That without them dare to woo; And unless that mind I see, What care I how great she be?
Great or good, or kind or fair, I will ne'er the more despair: If she love me, this believe, I will die ere she shall grieve; If she slight me when I woo, I can scorn and let her go; For if she be not for me, What care I for whom she be? -George Wither (1588-1667)
# The vote is unanimous that beauty and perfection are not the same thing and that beauty that is flawed is far preferable to behold than flawlessness. Personally, I agree with both opinions.
# The vote is split as to whether exterior beauty w/interior ugliness can still be considered beauty. I can understand both attitudes but for myself, I agree with the majority opinion here. Beauty is a quality that one experiences, not just sees. It is greater than the sum of its parts. Any presence of a repellant nature, such as inward ugliness, negates that quality and to me means it cannot exist. Arguments, anyone?
# The majority of voters agree that beauty has value beyond art, commercial exploitation or playing a role in the multiplication of the species. I still have not formed my own opinion about this because it begs the question, just what is that value? Anyone who voted yes to this care to share an answer?
# Voters split evenly on whether or not physical beauty was just that if it was artificially created by the hand of man rather than the design of nature or God. I think perhaps those who think artificiality is not true beauty may because it is an act of will and has connotations of vanity. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me. For myself, I am still undecided.
# The vast majority of voters feel that physical beauty is not solely a feminine domain. It's hard not to speculate how many of these voters are fangirls more than willing to offer up certain Middle-earth-connected gentlemen as proof. (I know I sure could!!)
I regret that I did not add a final pair of options which would ask the question: "Can you live a content life without physical beauty in some way part of it?"
I hope I can collect more votes, especially on those viewpoints where opinions are so divided. It could skew things in another direction or not. If I get sufficient additional votes from pollers, I will post another summary.
Thank you to everyone who has voted or posted in joining me in this Plato-esque consideration of an abstract idea that has a profound affect on us all.
(This post was edited by The Grey Elf on Nov 11 2014, 1:36pm)
A sweet disorder in the dress Kindles in clothes a wantonness; A lawn about the shoulders thrown Into a fine distraction; An erring lace, which here and there Enthrals the crimson stomacher; A cuff neglectful, and thereby Ribands to flow confusedly; A winning wave, deserving note, In the tempestuous petticoat; A careless shoe-string, in whose tie I see a wild civility: Do more bewitch me, than when art Is too precise in every part. -Robert Herrick, (1591-1674)
I've lived for months at a time in places like Iraq and Saudi Arabia where I felt starved for beauty, especially in landscapes. It was always a blessing to see a colorful sunset or a sky that was clear and blue. I believe we can learn to search out beauty and find it in the unlikeliest places, if we're just willing to make the effort.
about finding beauty. And I believe you've hit the nail on the head re one the aspects of beauty that is so profound: it is spiritually uplifting. At least I believe so. But just out of curiosity, are you also saying that natural beauty (as in your environment) can compensate for living without physical beauty of the human variety (which is what this poll focuses on)?
I can't think 'beauty' (in terms of describing a person) without immediately trying to put context to how the word is being used. And usually, I think of that as the context by which someone else is using it.
I'm not sure if I actually would use it or consider it personally when evaluating someone else.
I am certainly attracted to particular people. I have physical 'types' that are more likely to attract me than others. And I can have a strong reaction/attraction to this person which 'pleases' me. But I don't ever think of that attraction in terms of beauty.
I might think in terms of a 'beautiful soul' but I'm more likely to put another adjective on it than beautiful. ie... warm heart, profound soul...
So, no matter whether I'm thinking qualities that are external or inner or a combination of both... I never, on my own, think in terms of 'beauty.'
I'm sure people use it in very admirable ways. But most often, what I see described as 'beauty' is more 'glamour' in the old Celtic definition of 'glamour' as 'magic, enchantment, or spell.'
Too often, to achieve some societal/cultural aspect of beauty, one attempts to lay a veil over reality: with cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, hair removal, hair additions, hair manipulations (straightening or curling), clothes/shoes/undergarments that manipulate the body into a forced shape, and sadly, even trying to change one's skin color.
I don't totally eschew societal/cultural expectations. But my conforming to them falls far, far below the norm. I have never worn a pair of heels. I hate bras and wouldn't be caught dead in spanx. I remove far less hair from my body then most women. And I don't wear makeup or curl my hair.
When I meet someone, I'm sure I form some quick assessment of 'who they are' by their superficial appearance and behavior. But it only takes a few hours for most, maybe a little longer for fewer, for me to decide if they're kindred spirits... good hearts. After that moment, I never think again whether they're gorgeous red heads with a rocking figure... or someone with a lumpy body, thin hair, and sensible shoes. They are just 'people worth knowing' or 'people who matter.'
If I interpreted this poll as being about landscapes, I'd answer differently.
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Though I've learned to see beauty in places I couldn't before. As a child I hated our family drives across the desert on our way to the ocean. But Uncle Baggins has taught me to see the beauty in desert places too.
If the person is devoid of any internal beauty, then no matter how fair of face, they are not beautiful.
For me, physical appearance is not something that intrigues a character to me. Appearance is like icing on a cake- with it, it's a lovely addition to the cake's flavor, but a cake can be delicious without it as well. BUT if the cake is simply just icing, then it makes you sick. It's their personality- their heart. If the heart is bad, then I cannot see beauty in that person. If the heart is good, then a natural beauty within the person becomes apparent.
Unless it's completely natural, good looks cannot be considered true beauty.
I am natural (most of the time)- even in my avatar picture, I am not wearing makeup (though I do admittedly have my hair dyed- however my hair can indeed look that shade of red under the proper light, usually bright sunlight or sunset- I just wanted that shade all the time at that point). Do I think that makeup is evil? No. Can it complement one's features? If done right, it can.
HOWEVER, it cannot be considered true beauty. Truth implies reality, and things like makeup, hair products (I'm talking styling products, not items for hygiene and hair health), plastic surgery, waxing/hair removal, eating disorders (because they give unnatural figures), etc are essentially falsifying the natural beauty underneath and giving a false perception of what beauty really is.
Take for example Barbie. She's a doll, designed with the most impossible dimensions, false features and unrealistic expectations, yet many people are constantly trying to mimic her. Or the faces/bodies on the covers of magazines and ads- just think about all the airbrushing and tweaks that are done after the photo shoot, and one could realize that even the most "perfect beauty" is still not considered "good enough" to be considered "beautiful" to the media.
Barbie is a false impression of "beauty" (not an example of "true beauty") that has led our culture (at least in the US) to think that is what beauty is supposed to be. It is not true beauty, but false.
Many people can be considered drop dead gorgeous with the products/services available out there. But without them, many people (on the surface- it's still dependent on the heart inside) would change their perception on what is considered externally beautiful, I think.
And, if such a thing were to happen, I bet that people would find that many who are considered "plain" when false beauty is around would actually be considered naturally beautiful, while those who go all out with the "false beauty products" would actually be revealed to be rather plain underneath their mask.
I believe men can be beautiful, too, with all their masculinity intact.
Just like the term "handsome" can refer to a woman, so should "beautiful" be allowed to refer to a man without diminishing his masculinity.
In fact, I bet you will find a LOT of users on here who would find that, ahem, certain male characters in our beloved Tolkien movie verse could indeed be considered beautiful Sorry, couldn't resist
So what is this research for, if I may ask?
(This post was edited by Cirashala on Nov 12 2014, 3:06am)
My guilty pleasure is "America's Next Top Model"
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and I've actually learned things from it. Many of the models don't look like much when they're at home. Some look plain; some even look a bit odd. And it's not the makeup that makes them beautiful. It's the energy they put into their eyes and face and body when the camera is on them. Most of us do the opposite when someone takes our picture, and so nothing of our personality comes through. Same thing is true of actors. You see articles all the time "exposing" what actors look like off the set. Sometimes they're unrecognizable. It's not just makeup, it's because they're not "on" in those pictures.
More votes but the consensus has remained pretty consistent. New votes have increased the majority opinion that beauty on the inside rather than just the outside is necessary in order to truly qualify, which is rather reassuring proof that, despite societal appearances, we're not entirely superficial in our estimation of other people.
I find this one "If the person is devoid of any internal beauty, then no matter how fair of face, they are not beautiful" usually very correct. There has been a few times where I've seen someone who looks beautiful, but all that beauty goes away when the person shows out to be terrible. There is just no beauty left knowing that the person you see in those eyes are a terrible person. Hench beauty is in the eye of the beholder.