October 3, 2023
This article discusses the different aspects of subjective beauty, from its cultural and psychological frameworks, to the teachings of movements like the body positivity. Moreover, it also delves into how beauty standards have evolved over time, and the impact of social media on our perceptions of beauty.

I. Introduction

When it comes to what we consider beautiful, opinions can vary widely. Some people find certain physical features attractive, while others might prefer a more unconventional look. However, does this subjective nature of beauty mean that the concept itself is entirely subjective? In this article, we will explore different perspectives on the subjectivity of beauty. We will take a historical approach, examining how beauty standards have evolved over time and discuss scientific and cultural factors influencing our perception of beauty. Finally, we will discuss how contemporary movements like the body positivity movement encourage inclusive standards of beauty.

II. Is Beauty Really in the Eye of the Beholder?

The question of whether beauty is entirely subjective or whether there are universal qualities that make things beautiful has been debated for centuries. Philosophers like Immanuel Kant argued that there are objective qualities that make things beautiful, while others believe that beauty is entirely subjective. Our cultural background can also affect our perception of beauty. For instance, some cultures put more emphasis on natural elements like symmetry, while others might embrace imperfection.

Overall, it is clear that beauty is a complex issue and difficult to define accurately. While there might be some objective qualities that we all find attractive, our personal preferences and context can also shape our perception of beauty. Therefore, beauty might be both universal and subjective at the same time.

III. From Renaissance Art to the Modern Selfie: How Beauty Standards have Evolved

Beauty standards are ever-changing, and the history of art can help us understand this phenomenon. For example, physical features such as roundness, symmetry, and a pale complexion were often highly valued in the Renaissance era. The more contemporary standard of beauty relies on more “natural” attributes, such as curvier figures, tanned skin, and athletic bodies.

The influence media has on fashion and trends cannot be overlooked. With Social media, self-expression has become more accessible, and beauty standards have adapted to these new norms. Diverse and unconventional beauty has been recognized and celebrated more broadly, with movements such as body positivity emerging as a result.

IV. Breaking Down the Psychological Factors that Shape Our Perceptions of Beauty

Several psychological factors shape our perception of beauty. Physical symmetry is one of the most significant factors as our brains recognize a balanced face as attractive. Other factors are physical features such as muscular attributes and youthfulness. Cultural conditioning is also relevant as beauty standards can vary significantly between cultures. For example, most African nations value fleshy women, while other westernized nations celebrate slender figures.

Also, it is not only the physical aspect that we consider beautiful. Personality traits, like intelligence, kindness, and confidence also play an essential role in our perception of beauty. Psychological factors can make our judgments more subjective, which we should always keep in mind. Additionally, our personal experiences will shape our judgments of beauty.

V. Why We Should Embrace Subjective Beauty

Subjective beauty should not be viewed as a problem alone. It is more like an advantage that allows for diverse perspectives and experiences. We should embrace a broad view of what is beautiful because it enhances creativity, tolerance, and respect.

Embracing subjective beauty also allows us to celebrate different cultures and art movements. By exploring beauty in different forms, we can broaden our horizons and appreciate new and unique perspectives. We should always encourage individuality, be accepting, and appreciate what makes everyone unique.

VI. Challenging Traditional Beauty Standards: A Look at the Body Positivity Movement

The body positivity movement is a popular social movement that encourages inclusivity and embraces different body types. The movement advocates that everyone is beautiful and that people should not be shamed about their appearance.

By demonstrating that beauty is subjective, the body positivity movement has become hugely influential in promoting more accepting standards of beauty. Celebrities such as Ashley Graham and Rihanna have become advocates of this movement. While some have criticized the body positivity movement for promoting unhealthy habits, this movement has expanded the art of beauty and empowered individuality.

VII. The Impact of Social Media on Our Perceptions of Beauty

Social media has a significant impact on our perception of beauty. While being aware of the influence of social media is essential, it is also important to consider the positive implications it can have on different conversations about beauty and acceptance.

Social media has made it easier to showcase unique perspectives of beauty, from body positivity movements to celebrating broader definitions of beauty. It is, however, necessary to remain cautious of the negative implications social media has by providing a filtered view of beauty. The need for balance is essential in this case.


The subjectivity of beauty is a complex issue to tackle and entirely subjective. Nevertheless, the cultural significance of beauty impacts several aspects of our lives, including societal expectations on our appearances. We should acknowledge the challenges and embrace promoting acceptance of different cultures and races. By honoring differences and promoting empathy, understanding, and inclusivity, we can bring transformative changes in society.

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