The Meaning of Beauty

Topics: Beauty, Physical Appearance, Aesthetics Pages: 3 (934 words) Published: November 24, 2012
The Meaning of Beauty
Man vs. Woman
From the beginning we are taught that God created man, and from man he created woman. It’s funny how different a man’s thoughts can be compared to a woman’s, considering the woman was created from the man. Their views on beauty, amongst other things, prove to be a perfect example of this. Centuries ago the Greeks saw “[B]eauty as a virtue: A kind of excellence” (Sontag 117). While this is still a shared view between men and women today, they share different views on how this excellence is achieved. Both men and women agree that beauty has two parts, inner and outer; yet men recognize beauty as success, leaning more towards inner beauty, while women recognize beauty as how one looks, leaning more towards outer beauty.

It has been observed that “[w]e not only split off—with the greatest facility—the “inside” (character, intellect) from the “outside” (looks); but we are actually surprised when someone who is beautiful is also intelligent, talented, good” (Sontag 118). Both men and women make this mistake, it never fails to amaze people that a person can be smart and good looking at the same time. Society has made it seem like the good looking get everything handed to them because of their physicality; however that is not always true. It is just the fact that it is human nature to immediately observe and judge by the outward appearance according to the worldly views instilled in people growing up, for example: magazines, TV, internet, etc. Both men and women would agree that for millennia “beauty has continued to lose prestige” (Sontag 118).

Women not only have different expectations of beauty compared to men, but also seem to be confused by the definition of beauty itself. Sontag states that a whole society has identified being feminine with caring about how one looks (118). “Hollywood” has seriously messed up the views of women on the topic of beauty: For the ideal of beauty is administered as a form of self-oppression....

Cited: Sontag, Susan. “Women’s Beauty: Put Down or Power Source?” 75 Readings Plus. Ed. Santi V.
Buscemi and Charlotte Smith. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. 117-119. Print.
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