We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree? is all beauty contingent on a subjective point of view?
Funny, I’ve actually been wanting to blog about this topic for a while now. It’s hard to argue against the subjective nature of beauty – no one person can be considered attractive by everyone, no matter what kind of enhancements (or the lack of) she of he uses. But I think it’s a bit too easy to say that beauty is entirely subjective. I’m going to explain what I mean, but please know that even I’m not that clear about my own thoughts on this…so forgive me if this post is all rant and no sense. Also, I’m only going to discuss external beauty here, simply because inner beauty is just too complicated and important to incorporate into a single blog post.
So anyway, there’s a Facebook page called he LAD Bible, a group that posts hilarious and perverted memes that interest boys (for some fucked up reason, I’m subscribed to that page, too). Basically every time the page posts a picture of a really pretty girl or something, a bunch of dudes would comment either really inappropriate masturbation jokes or say something critical like “eh, she’s too skinny.” My friends and I do this all the time. Someone would dig up a photo of a boy or a girl and exclaim, “OMG he/she is so hot!” Then someone else would say, “nah, she’s too tan,” or “his eyes are too small.” And I wonder: “too tan” and “too small” compared to what?? We say things like that all the freaking time. She’s pretty but she’s a bit too plain. He has a nice face but he’s too short. What are we measuring these things against? The way I see it, there’s an invisible line by which we unconsciously determine our own standard of beauty. In other words, we have a vague idea of what’s socially acceptable (the normal height, the normal weight etc.), and we decide what’s extraordinary based on our preference.
Okay, that’s still confusing. Let me explain it more clearly. We have our own preference when it comes to beauty – some like small and curvy, some like tall and muscular etc. But a few guys actually like a girl whose eyes that cover half of her face, right? Similarly, not many girls would be particularly impressed by a guy whose hair falls past his waist and has blue skin or something, right? We just don’t do extremes. When we find something unattractive, it’s usually because it’s “too” something. So there has to be an “invisible line,” an unconscious standard of beauty that we are always aware of; there’s no exact measurement, but we know when we see a person where he/she stand on that line. When we think a person has big eyes, we’re obviously measuring his/her eyes against this invisible scale in our minds, yet there’s no exact measurement. I hope that makes sense. Whether we prefer big eyes or small eyes, our standards of beauty are never too far from that invisible line, meaning most of us wouldn’t like anything that’s too small or too big. So while beauty is subjective, we’re always hovering around that standard, that invisible line society set for us. Subjectivity is only relative to what’s socially acceptable.
I’m sorry that this post is very confusing and clumsy…it’s a pretty complicated idea that I’ve trying to convey, so please let me know if you think there’s anything I could have argued better or articulated more clearly. Thanks!