An Introduction to Beauty

Beauty is defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary as beauty is the perception of beauty or the ability to appreciate beauty. Beauty is often associated with emotion and is considered a subjective quality. Beauty is commonly defined as a human characteristic that makes those objects pleasant to see. Such objects may include sunsets, landscapes, beautiful humans and exquisite works of art.


The word beauty comes from the Greek word ‘gift’ and the Latin word ‘roma’. In ancient times both the Greeks and Romans used the term beauty extensively. The Greeks believed that beauty was a quality that was possessed by the physical form and that it was the beauty of a thing that caused that thing to be appealing to the beholder. For the Romans beauty was associated primarily with the aesthetic sensibility that could be perceived in things and persons by the senses.

Aesthetic philosophy of beauty developed out of the culture of ancient Greece. philosophers such as Aristotle argued that there were two kinds of beauty. The first was beauty as perceived by the physical eye and the second was beauty as appreciated by the emotional and spiritual eyes. Plato disagreed with this view, because he thought that the object of beauty was beauty as perceived by the physical eye not the emotional and spiritual ones. According to Plato, beauty was a synonym for truth.

According to the second school of aesthetic philosophy beauty is something that can be learned, an inherited trait. The beauty of the beholder is more important than beauty demanded by others. This second school of thought also rejected beauty as something inherently bad. Rather, it was thought that beauty could be learned and improved upon by use of the proper tools, proper diets and cosmetics that enhanced the natural beauty already present.

One could consider beauty a sense rather than a physical trait. In that case the beholder might consider herself to be beautiful, regardless of whether or not her appearance was improved by certain clothes or makeup. This second school of thought also rejected the concept of beauty as something that could be improved by means of surgical means. Plastic surgeons argue against the first premise of this argument, that beauty can be learned and improved through the means of surgery.

While there are many different opinions about beauty, it is largely agreed that beauty is a quality that can be achieved through diet, exercise, and use of cosmetics. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are both recognized as eating disorders. They represent real problems with the way that a person sees her own body. Because eating disorders involve the reduction or elimination of food, both eating disorders ultimately result in the same end: death.