Define Beauty

Published January 19, 2015 by Jess Arwen

A new year demands a new course-load, one of which for me is Nineteenth Century Literature: A Genealogy of Aestheticism.  Sounds intense, right?  It is.

Normally, first classes require reading through syllabi and discussing upcoming projects for the semester.  This necessitates a shorter class, but this was not actually the case.  Instead of doing the usual humdrum first week of class exercises, we made our first attempt at defining beauty.  We went around the room and each named something we find beautiful.  Many people said different ethnicities of children, others named their friends, and the rest said different natural landmarks.

Now, the question is, what makes each of these beautiful?  Is there some similarity between these?  Are there different types of beauty?

We later discussed how we sometimes find beauty in innocence, hence the children, but we also find beauty in things with deeper meaning, like great pieces of art that continue to teach us hundreds of years later.  This is the theme of the class, so we have not landed on a meaning of beauty yet.

But what about beauty?  What is something you find beautiful?


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