Recently I had the pleasure to be sitting on a bench on an amazingly perfect day, the temperature was comfortably in the lower seventies, a slight breeze drifted itself lazily across the landscape, and the clouds dangled from whatever strings that held them in place listing across a baby blue sky. I sat there in amazement, awe, and wonderment. It was beautiful. Absolutely, beautiful.
Beauty, it’s in “the eye of the beholder,” as they say, a phrase and proverb commonly said:
Beauty cannot be judged objectively, for what one person finds beautiful or admirable may not appeal to another.
It’s true, beauty cannot be judged objectively. We all perceive it differently. We may come to common agreement on certain things, say how the day or weather is, or certain pieces of Art. But everyone has a different idea of what beauty is.
I started thinking about beauty recently. A friend and I stood there looking up at the sky, seeing birds fly overhead, an occasional automobile trundling past, listening to the wind work its way through the canyons of a metal city. Funnily enough my friend broke the silence and remarked on what a “beautiful day” it was, we both came to an agreement that lately the weather has been quite enjoyable, and we couldn’t ask for any better. That moment of sitting there silently listening to the world around me, got me thinking.
Ruh Roh Scoob! He’s thinking!
How do I perceive beauty? What are my determining factors for claiming that something is beautiful? Is my concept of beauty fashioned by what the media tells me is beautiful, or is it as simple as a gut feeling; just knowing that what is in front of me is in fact so stunning, indescribably beautiful, regardless of any flaws that it may have?
The mainstream media likes to plaster advertisements, magazine covers, everything really, with pictures of what is deemed beautiful. Generally, these are scantily clad women, who are very thin with some decently sized chesticles. And young women aspire to look like these models from a very young age, they’re brainwashed to think that if you’re not as skinny as the woman on the cover, you’re not good enough; you’re not beautiful. I disagree with this thought process, it’s superficial and disheartening to hear and see; everyone has beauty in their own way. Beauty is an intrinsic quality of all things, not just part of a thing, but the whole.
When I look at that special someone in my life, and think to myself, or say out loud “You’re beautiful,” I don’t just mean physically attractive – mind you it does play a role in it as everyone has an undeniable attraction to someone – but when I say or think it, I’m including the whole of that person. The way that they think, how they compose them self through the easy and hard things, their humor and wit, their strong points and their flawed points; who they are. The whole of that person is what makes them beautiful. It’s unfortunate that many are so superficial and only willing to base something off of “the cover” or how someone looks.
On that thought, I go back to the other day, sitting on the bench. Sure, the sky itself may have looked just… okay, the breeze may have been too chilly or not strong enough; the temperature may have been too hot or too cold. But all of these things combined, how they happened to be that day, created something beautiful; the whole of it all made it what it was. And in looking back at that moment, I know that I perceive beauty based off of what I hear, feel, and see; a combination of things. Not just what’s on the outside.
Next time you have a few minutes, by yourself or with your other half, challenge yourselves to see how you perceive beauty. Lay down in the grass and stare at the sky, listen to the wind gently blow over you, feel it against your skin. Close your eyes and calm your breath all while listening to your surroundings. In that moment, you’ll experience something beautiful, and it’ll be a moment you can cherish forever.