What is beauty?

Beauty cannot be defined with one simple definition.  Indeed, I would venture to say that no two dictionaries define it in the same way.  In my quest to define “Mom beauty” for the Bloggers & Tiaras Mission #1, I’ve come up with so many different approaches and ideas that one could not possibly share them all in a decade, let alone 10 minutes or even 10 hours.

The original question/mission, as per Mom Dot, is as follows…

What is beauty exactly?

We want to see you define what you believe “Mom beauty” really is.

including a link to what you find beautiful about you

The first “quest” is to tell you, my readers and the judges, what beauty really is.  In my opinion, beauty encompasses the whole person.  Whether or not a person has beautiful skin, hair, eyes, legs, or any other body part(s) is really beside the point.  If a person looks like a model on the cover of a magazine like Vogue, that person may be beautiful to behold; but what is that person really like when you get to know him/her?  What kind of personality does he/she have?  How does that person treat others?  How does that person treat himself/herself?  In other words, does that person possess inner beauty as well as external beauty?  You may be thinking, “You still haven’t defined ‘beauty’, Anita.”  Well, that’s part of my point.  Beauty is not something on which I can put my finger, nor can any other person do so.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary actually calls on Scripture to help define the term.  And, to me, that makes beauty even more complex.  Yet, a search for the word beauty in an English language Bible provides a vast array of usages.  For example, in 2 Samuel 1:19, it speaks of the beauty of Israel; and in Psalm 27:4, reference is made to the beauty of the Lord.  And, that’s “just” two instances in which beauty is used.

Again, I feel as though we are back to square one… what exactly is beauty?  Even though we are talking about beauty in human beings, I think this excerpt taken from Webster’s 1828 dictionary best describes my feelings about beauty…

Beauty is intrinsic, and perceived by the eye at first view, or relative, to perceive which [sic] the aid of the understanding and reflection is requisite. Thus, the beauty of a machine is not perceived, till we understand its uses, and adaptation to its purpose.

In the same way, I think we can perceive beauty in people.  If we do not know a person’s motives for dressing a certain way or for acting a certain way, how can we truly know if that person is displaying what we call “beauty”?  We must first understand and reflect upon a person’s whole being… from the way one appears to the way one behaves and interacts with others.  Some might venture to say that one’s integrity has a lot to do with one’s beauty.  If a person of integrity walks into a room, are we not automatically drawn to him/her?

Secondly, I believe “Mom beauty” is very similar in nature to “regular” beauty, if you will.  Beauty as described in my first segment is defined by looking at one’s character and whole being.  Mom beauty encompasses the whole mother.  The way a mother walks, talks, dresses, and interacts with others (particularly her children) will indicate the level of beauty she has.

And finally, what do I find beautiful about myself?  Wow!  That’s a tough one!  As a wife and mother who has struggled with a low self-image for many years, I find it difficult to “highlight” my good points… whether internal or external.  However, I will do my best to present myself as I believe others see me.

I’m nearly 5’3″ tall… so close, in fact, that my driver’s license indicates that is my height.  So, I’m a far “cry” from the 6′ model mentioned in the Bloggers & Tiaras Mission #1 post.  For some people, being petite is an attractive and therefore beautiful thing.  I have dark brown hair and large, brown eyes.  Again, that’s a “far piece” from the blond-haired, blue-eyed “beauties” in Vogue.  However, if you noticed, I said “large, brown eyes.”  For some, this is seen as a thing of beauty.  Throughout my life, I can recall many people commenting, “What beautiful, big, brown eyes she has!”  The song, Brown Eyed Girl made popular by Van Morrison in the 1960’s indicates that someone was once in love with a brown eyed girl… implying that she was beautiful because of her brown eyes (either that, or because she was loved by the one who wrote the song! 🙂 )  That’s enough about my physical appearance, although I’ve also been told I have a beautiful smile.  😉

As for inner beauty, the Bible says…

…The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)


…I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

That being said, I am beautiful because God made me.  Just like that old T-shirt or saying: “I know I’m somebody ’cause God don’t make no junk,” I’m special in His eyes.  And, ultimately, that’s all that really matters.

Scripture courtesy of BibleGateway.

3 thoughts on “What is beauty?”

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