Beauty – A Cultural Lens

Beauty is widely defined as a subjective aspect of tangible objects, which makes these objects pleasant to see. Such objects may include sunsets, landscapes, artworks and humans. Beauty, along with personal taste and art, is probably the most important topic of aesthetics, among the major branches of psychology. It is used to describe the subjective aspect of aesthetic objectivity. Many aesthetics scholars argue that beauty depends on the culture in which it is perceived, with the individual adding value to beauty according to his or her culture and expectations.

The term “beauty” first appears in the literature in the late nineteenth century. The most famous example of such a use is from James Dyson’s “Books of a Man in a Lazy Day.” Dyson describes how he feels every time he looks at a garden or takes a walk through the city. He describes beauty as an abstract quality, saying that he finds it hard to believe that some people find beauty in concrete objects such as buildings, trees or rocks. Dyson goes on to say that he thinks many who believe in the idealist conception of beauty are not fully satisfied with their own beauty, and that they therefore need to find a deeper understanding of beauty.

The twenty-first century still regards beauty as an abstract quality, although some cultural theories suggest that there are some cultural aspects of beauty which can be objectively measured. Cultural theory suggests that beauty exists on a spectrum, with some forms of beauty varying across cultures. For instance, beautiful women in some cultures may be regarded as beautiful, while unattractive men may be considered ugly. However, beauty has also been shown to differ between geographical regions. For example, while Asian women tend to be more beauty conscious than Western women, Eastern European women are often thought to lack beauty, even though surveys show that they have high levels of beauty consciousness.

It is interesting to note that beauty products and beauty related items such as perfumes, makeup and beauty creams are widely available throughout most of the world, whereas beauty products related to clothing are generally seen only in Western countries, especially in Europe and North America. Some companies such as L’Oreal have also begun to offer a wide selection of beauty products from other parts of the world, including China and South America. Beauty products have become a very popular business today, and the market for them is expanding rapidly. However, it is difficult to cite one single explanation for beauty, as beauty varies widely according to culture, age and personal preference.

In addition to beauty products, the concept of beauty has become closely associated with social and cosmetic norms. Beauty consultants are seen in most large cities, and their services cater to both men and women, offering services such as reducing men’s hair and beards, helping men shave properly and maintaining a good figure. Many fashion gurus believe that beauty must be integrated into daily dressing, and it is also suggested that men and women should avoid rushing through make-up applications and should spend time learning how to select their cosmetics (how to apply them, for example) and beauty products (how to use them effectively). Men are seen as being more beauty conscious than women, and this is partly because men are seen as being successful and in control of their own image.

The belief that beauty is related to outward appearances is beginning to fade away, but there are some areas that are still deeply linked to the idea of beauty. Men and women alike often look at magazine covers and clothing articles to evaluate their appearance and determine their “coolness.” This idea of beauty has become deeply rooted in our culture and has become closely associated with personality traits that are considered to be socially acceptable and fashionable. Beauty consultants offer their clients many different options for attaining beauty and looking their best. Whether men are beauty conscious or not, they are all able to benefit from consulting a beauty advisor.