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Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder, or Is There an Objective Standard?
We live in a culture where self-worth is often tied to one’s appearance.
“Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.” —Saint Augustine
The argument that there is no objective standard of beauty has been around for centuries. Plato and Aristotle first introduced it in the 4th century BC. They both argued that beauty was in the eye of the beholder and that it was a subjective matter.
In the late 18th century, Immanuel Kant argued that universal standards could logically determine beauty, but he never clarified these standards.
It’s not hard to see why people still argue about this today when there are so many different definitions of what is beautiful. The argument is often used to justify the objectification of people in society today.
It’s also used to excuse the immense pressure people, especially women, feel to meet unrealistic beauty standards.
Beauty Standards and Personal Preferences as an Argument for Cultural Relativism
Cultural relativism is the idea that different cultures have different beauty standards, and it is impossible to define one set of standards as being objectively better than another.
This argument can be used in several ways. It can be argued that accepting cultural differences or rejecting some cultural practices is harmful.
This argument can also be used to argue for the acceptance of marginalized people. For example, suppose we believe that overweight people should not feel ashamed about their bodies because they are beautiful, just like everyone else. In that case, this argument could be used to support that belief.
Despite the many different arguments that have been raised in response to this idea, cultural relativism is still a widely-held belief today. Whether you accept it depends on your views about beauty and what is an ideal body type.
While some people might believe that there are universal beauty standards, others would argue that it is a matter of personal preference. This argument has been around for centuries, but it continues to be relevant today as we grapple with our society's self-esteem and body image issues.
For many people, the idea of cultural relativism – that different cultures define beauty in their ways – can help us see these issues in a new light. Whether you agree with this argument, it is clear that the concept of beauty can be a complicated one, and our ideas about it will likely continue to evolve.
As I said, cultural relativism is a widely-held belief today. While some people may argue against it on various grounds, many still believe that there is no single objective standard of beauty and that different cultures define beauty.
This idea has important implications for issues like self-esteem and body image. It raises questions about the nature of beauty itself. These concepts are subjective – meaning that they are up to each individual to answer on their terms.
Appearance-Based Discrimination as an Argument for Objectivity in Beauty Standards
Appearance-based discrimination is a form of discrimination that occurs when people are treated based on their physical appearance.
Appearance-based discrimination is a form of prejudice that has been occurring for centuries. But, it was not until the 20th century that it was considered illegal. In the United States, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination in employment and education.
Appearance-based discrimination is an argument for objectivity in beauty standards. It can be argued that people should be judged by their personality and intelligence before their appearance judges them.
While appearance-based discrimination is often a result of prejudice and bias, it can also be argued that there are objective criteria for beauty. For example, studies have shown that people generally agree on what constitutes an attractive appearance.
Those who argue for objectivity in beauty standards may point out that many people experience positive emotions when they see an attractive person. This suggests that our preferences for certain types of physical appearance might be rooted in biology rather than social conditioning or personal preference.
Whether you believe in objectivity in beauty standards or not, the issue of appearance-based discrimination remains a significant one today. It is essential to recognize the cultural factors contributing to this type of prejudice and the biological factors that influence our ideas.
Is There an Objective Standard for Beauty?
Beauty is a subjective term. It can be defined as a person’s attractiveness or physical charm. The word beauty is associated with different things, and people have different opinions on what it means.
Many factors determine how attractive someone is, including age, race, weight, height, and hair color. Other factors might contribute to how beautiful someone appears to others, such as makeup, clothing, and hairstyle.
One of the main arguments for objectivity in beauty standards is that many people agree on what is an attractive appearance. Studies have shown that photographs of strangers tend to rate them as beautiful when people are shown pictures of strangers. This suggests that we might be hardwired to find certain physical traits appealing.
Those who argue against objectivity in beauty standards say that different cultures define beauty differently. They point to the fact that other societies have different ideas about what is considered attractive. For example, some cultures consider more prominent women more beautiful than thinner women. In contrast, in other cultures, the opposite is true.
The debate over whether there is an objective standard for beauty is likely to continue. Some people believe that our preferences for specific physical attributes are biologically determined. In contrast, others believe that these preferences are shaped by social conditioning and cultural influences. Whether there is an objective standard for beauty is subjective, and it will continue to be up for debate.
The Human’s Obsession with Appearance
The human obsession with appearance has been an issue plaguing society for centuries. From the time of ancient Greece to the present, people have always been concerned about their looks. It has become so prevalent in our society that it has become a norm, and we are not even aware of it anymore.
People were obsessed with their looks in ancient times because they wanted to be attractive to the opposite sex. This was primarily due to the lack of choice between partners and marriage. Today, there is no such thing as a lack of choice for partners or marriage, yet people are still obsessed with their looks and beauty standards. Why is this?
Some psychologists believe that this is because
we live in a culture where self-worth is often tied to one’s appearance. We are bombarded with images in the media that present a specific type of idealized beauty, and many people end up internalizing these standards and feeling unhappy or dissatisfied with their looks.
People are under constant pressure to look a certain way in today's society, thanks to the prevalence of social media and photo-editing apps.
The root of the problem is that our culture places a lot of value on appearance. We are taught from a young age that we need to look for a sure way to be considered attractive or successful. This is a harmful message. It can lead to low self-esteem, eating disorders, and other mental health issues.
While there have been some advances in technology and science, the human obsession with appearance shows no signs of going away anytime soon. Until we can learn to accept ourselves for who we are – both inside and out – this issue will continue to plague society.
Whether you have struggled with body image issues in the past or are simply an observer of this issue from the outside, there are valid arguments to be made on both sides.
What do you think about the human obsession with beauty and appearance? Do you believe that it is driven by biology, social conditioning, or something else entirely? Let me know in the comments below!