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Saturday, December 10, 2011

What is Beauty?

Beauty (also called prettiness, loveliness or comeliness) is a characteristic of a personanimalplaceobject, or idea that provides a perceptualexperience of pleasuremeaning, or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aestheticssociologysocial psychology, and culture. An "ideal beauty" is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection. Beauty begins as an organic entity which can be thus altered by new means.


The experience of "beauty" often involves the interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings ofattraction and emotional well-being. Because this is a subjective experience, it is often said that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." In its most profound sense, beauty may engender a salient experience of positive reflection about the meaning of one's own existence. A subject of beauty is anything that resonates with personal meaning.
There is evidence that perceptions of beauty are evolutionarily determined, that things, aspects of people and landscapes considered beautiful are typically found in situations likely to give enhanced survival of the perceiving human's genes.


The classical Greek noun for "beauty" was κάλλος, kallos, and the adjective for "beautiful" was καλός, kalos. The Koine Greek word for beautiful was ὡραῖος, hōraios,an adjective etymologically coming from the word ὥρα, hōra, meaning "hour." In Koine Greek, beauty was thus associated with "being of one's hour." Thus, a ripe fruit (of its time) was considered beautiful, whereas a young woman trying to appear older or an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful. In Attic Greek, hōraios had many meanings, including "youthful" and "ripe old age."


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