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Meaning of Beauty Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder!

Updated on September 12, 2011

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

It is often said that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and this goes to prove that beauty is highly subjective. We all obviously have different tastes. What appears beautiful to one person may seem ugly or not so beautiful to another. It is the person who is looking (the beholder) who has to form his or her own opinion whether a particular person, place or object is beautiful.

Many literary researchers believe that Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton), who wrote prolifically under the pseudonym 'The Duchess' was the first person ever to write "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". In her book Molly Bawn written in 1878, the line "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” appears for the first time in print.

David Hume, the erudite philosopher writes in his Essays, Moral and Political - "Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them."

An Example of partial nudity being beauty in itself (picture source unknown)
An Example of partial nudity being beauty in itself (picture source unknown)

There are however certain things where beauty ceases to be relative – for instance, the beauty of a flower, the splendor of sunset, the majesty of mountains, the goegeous waterfall or a stunningly attractive painting.

It is paradoxical why most people immediately equate the saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" to the physical appearance of another man or woman. Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Theresa are indeed beautiful historic personalities although their physical appearance was all that graceful. Truer may be the proverb “ Handsome is that handsome does”

Will Durant writes “All minds admire beauty but few minds wonder why”. What is beauty anyway? Hearing pleasant music is beauty to the ears – it is beauty to the listener and not to the beholder. A sweet smelling flower can be deemed beautiful to the nose and to the one who smells it. A well-worded poem can be beautiful to the mind and to the reader. Thus it can be said, without fear of contradiction, that the saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is highly relative and not definitive in nature.

My views may be different from other people. Different people may have different concepts of beauty. As the title says Beauty Lies in the eyes of the beholder.

This hub was made in response to "I request a hub from sunseven on "what is the difference between Beauty and Partial nudity" by another user at hubpages.

Thank You.

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