Plato’s view of beauty was very different from Aristotle’s, and it’s a matter of dispute between the two. Plato argues that beauty is a concept that cannot be directly experienced by humans, as it is only an experience of the Forms (ideas of beauty). However, Aristotle held a more objective view of beauty, and he defined the quality of beauty based on the characteristics of an art object, such as its proportions.
What is beauty? Those who study beauty have theorized that there is a value to beauty in general. This value may be related to the features of the beautiful object, as well as the pleasure of the experiencer. Hence, beauty is not a universal concept. However, in certain cases, people may find a particular object or idea to be beautiful. For example, the object itself is beautiful if it’s aesthetically pleasing to the viewer.
For Hume, the concept of beauty evolved from an earlier sense of taste. The sense of beauty has evolved to encompass a range of experiences, knowledge, and subjective opinions. As a result, it’s often difficult to define beauty in absolute terms. Various philosophers have put forward various definitions of beauty, including Kant and Hume. Although a definition may be universally accepted, it’s important to understand the historical background and evolution of beauty.
There have been numerous experiments that have altered the way we see beauty. A journalist, for example, sent a photo of her face to freelancers in over 25 countries, and they made it look beautiful. Another graphic designer used Photoshop to turn an image of a woman’s body into an ideal figure. The results are fascinating! So, how do we measure beauty? Is it a subjective or objective concept? That’s the question that we must answer for ourselves.
In the twentieth century, the postwar optimism of the era saw Hollywood produce the likes of Debbie Reynolds and Doris Day. In the 1960s, the counterculture emphasized social protest, and feminine decoration became fashionable. In contrast, punk culture brought forth the “punk” look, which is a combination of a disenchanted youth with an attitude that recalls German cabarets. But this era’s erasure of beauty is no longer a matter of race or gender. It’s now a matter of class.
Considering the importance of aesthetics and the human condition, Alan Moore’s book, The Business Case for Beauty, offers a way forward for designers. In an article for Management Today, Moore states that “people experience the world in an emotional way”. A customer who had an emotionally positive experience was six times more likely to purchase the same product again, recommend the company, and forgive a mistake. These findings suggest that beauty is not merely about beauty but about how humans experience the world.
In Africa, the Africans often wore lye on their skin to make it look smoother and less shiny. This practice is still popular today, and black leaders once exhorted their black brothers not to use lye on their bodies. In China, long and beautifully painted nails were a sign of wealth. Geishas in Japan painted their bodies and faces white, and women in the Kayapo tribe in Burma wore various hairstyles to differentiate social classes and attract potential mates.