Today’s prompt from Blog Everyday in May is to write about how we define beauty. Wow, this is a hard one.
Obviously I find things beautiful. I posted a picture yesterday of a poppy I saw when heading home from work – just because I liked the way it looked alone against the sidewalk. I’ve actually taken quite a few pictures of the flowers I walk past. I’ve always liked the way flowers look, but I think because I’m seeing different ones, I notice them more. There’s a mix of color, softness, and novelty that make them stand out even more to me now.
I thinks it’s pretty standard to find aspects of nature beautiful – sunsets, flowers, landscapes of rolling hills or mountains, oceans, waterfalls – and on and on. I’m not very good at philosophy, so I’m sure it’s just a great combination of brain chemicals that humans get when looking at these things.
I’m also very interested in makeup – which some people put in a category of “artificial beauty.” I like to see it as a type of art in a way. It’s temporary art that you wear on your face, and that’s pretty cool. People all tend to have their own aesthetic when it comes to makeup. For myself, I like cool colors and metallic finishes. Other people look great with other combinations, though. And other people look beautiful without.
I’m really not getting to a definition here, am I? I’m a language teacher and a writer (kind of), definitions should be my thing, but beauty doesn’t really work with it. It’s got ties to society, biology, chemistry, philosophy, history, individuality, and a whole bunch of other words that end in “y”. I want to say that beauty is when I find something enjoyable to look at, but I also find words beautiful – ethereal, gossamer, those soft, billowy words, because I’m a cliche. I find phrases and sentences beautiful, the ones that I read a few times before moving on, but will usually flow out of my head. I find actions and reactions beautiful, especially ones rooted in kindness, relief, and love. I’m a sucker for those videos of people reuniting with loved ones after a long or dangerous separation. I find people beautiful, not by their appearance, but by their whole person.
I said I’m not very good at philosophy, but I’ll take a stab at it. I think the beautiful thing about beauty is that it is undefinable.