Author Topic: So, we need a definition of beauty.  (Read 3077 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2012, 10:54:44 pm »
In some cultures, women are partially crippled by having to wear high heels for extended lengths of time.  This makes them desireable.

In other cultures, women smear chemicals all over their faces, to change their complexion, or put unnatural colors around their eyes.  This makes them desireable.

Another culture has their women get their asses surgically altered, to meet an accepted standard of beauty.

It's a good thing we're not a primitive society like the Mursi or anything.

This is why I don't really ever bother with trying to define some kind of objective or specific definition of "beauty". It varies too much over time and cultures. It's like trying to define "art"; largely useless, and inevitably devolves into wankery that derails the conversation.

Hence this thread.

Like I said, beauty for me is something that I enjoy looking at or thinking about or experiencing.  I can't define it for MYSELF, let alone objectively.

But this sort of thing belongs over here in this thread.
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2012, 10:58:56 pm »
In some cultures, women are partially crippled by having to wear high heels for extended lengths of time.  This makes them desireable.

In other cultures, women smear chemicals all over their faces, to change their complexion, or put unnatural colors around their eyes.  This makes them desireable.

Another culture has their women get their asses surgically altered, to meet an accepted standard of beauty.

It's a good thing we're not a primitive society like the Mursi or anything.

This is why I don't really ever bother with trying to define some kind of objective or specific definition of "beauty". It varies too much over time and cultures. It's like trying to define "art"; largely useless, and inevitably devolves into wankery that derails the conversation.

Hence this thread.

Like I said, beauty for me is something that I enjoy looking at or thinking about or experiencing.  I can't define it for MYSELF, let alone objectively.

But this sort of thing belongs over here in this thread.

I agree, completely.
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2012, 07:57:33 am »
In some cultures, women are partially crippled by having to wear high heels for extended lengths of time.  This makes them desireable.

In other cultures, women smear chemicals all over their faces, to change their complexion, or put unnatural colors around their eyes.  This makes them desireable.

Another culture has their women get their asses surgically altered, to meet an accepted standard of beauty.

It's a good thing we're not a primitive society like the Mursi or anything.

This is why I don't really ever bother with trying to define some kind of objective or specific definition of "beauty". It varies too much over time and cultures. It's like trying to define "art"; largely useless, and inevitably devolves into wankery that derails the conversation.

Nail on head. Beauty is a reaction you have to something that happens. Art is a reaction you have to something that's made. Both subjective, regardless of how popular the opinion.
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2012, 01:07:05 pm »
Well, I don't think discussing the meaning of beauty is useless even if you agree you can never quite get at it because a better-informed opinion about something is always, you know, better... There certainly is a lot of writings in the subject of beauty and/or art, and this is actually my main reason for studying philosophy.

Anyway, there's a case to be made that beauty (more specifically, an "aesthetic experience) occurs at least in part at a lower level than something so highly structured than the ego, so it isn't necessarily subjective.

And even if it's completely subjective or if the "hardware information" can be overridden by society there's still some gain in talking about/studying it. I mean, if you didn't you wouldn't even arrive at the conclusion that beauty is subjective.

In some cultures, women are partially crippled by having to wear high heels for extended lengths of time.  This makes them desireable.

In other cultures, women smear chemicals all over their faces, to change their complexion, or put unnatural colors around their eyes.  This makes them desireable.

Another culture has their women get their asses surgically altered, to meet an accepted standard of beauty.

It's a good thing we're not a primitive society like the Mursi or anything.

This is why I don't really ever bother with trying to define some kind of objective or specific definition of "beauty". It varies too much over time and cultures. It's like trying to define "art"; largely useless, and inevitably devolves into wankery that derails the conversation.

Nail on head. Beauty is a reaction you have to something that happens. Art is a reaction you have to something that's made. Both subjective, regardless of how popular the opinion.

Isn't that a definition?
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2012, 01:14:13 pm »
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2012, 03:01:30 pm »
I'm going to parallel TGRR's OP. 

Beautiful = A person having an aspect that makes them enjoyable to be around.

Pretty = A person who conforms to a social set of desirability/attractiveness.


GENERALIZATION: "Pretty" is mutable, whereas "Beautiful" can trancend social sets.

I think that a lot of people switch these two up when they're either using or hearing it.  So, in regards to Nigel's OP:

-It can be true that an unpretty person can beautiful.
-It can be true that an unbeautiful person can be pretty.
-It can be true that a pretty person can be beautiful.
-It can be true that an unpretty person can be unbeautiful.

So if you're trying to tell an unpretty person that they're pretty, that's going to come off as bullshit.
And if you're trying to tell an unbeautiful person that they're beautiful, that's also bullshit.

But if you tell an unbeautiful person they're pretty, they'll eat that shit up with a spoon.
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2012, 03:07:19 pm »
Beauty shifts, too. Person looks gorgeous, then you talk to them and it turns out they're a cunt - instant ugly, I can almost see them morph before my eyes. Likewise ugly person tells you their life story and it's sad as hell but they're still upbeat and they care more about other people than they do themselves and those squint eyes are suddenly sanctuary and they're beautiful cos they're not judging you.

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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2012, 05:15:54 pm »
Pent and LMNO, in spades.

And societal conditioning has limits. I'm not into commercial men, the ones you see in movies and ads. Never got what the big deal with Kevin Costner was, yuck. And guys in ads register in my mind as gay.


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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2012, 05:21:04 pm »
More than a few of them are, actually.

But you should realize when I say "a social set of attractiveness", I don't mean the country's aggregate, I mean the genre's.

Punkers have a set of attractiveness.
Bankers have another.
Hippies like a certain look.
Bikers like another.

A goth will most likely think a pale girl with black shit all over her face and a velvet cape is "pretty".
A jock will go for the all-american blonde.

But they'll both enjoy the company of someone who is beautiful, regardless of how they're dressed.
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2012, 05:34:48 pm »
Thanks, that just made sense of it for me.
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2012, 05:49:49 pm »
Pent and LMNO, in spades.

And societal conditioning has limits. I'm not into commercial men, the ones you see in movies and ads. Never got what the big deal with Kevin Costner was, yuck. And guys in ads register in my mind as gay.



I appreciate, fit, athletic looking bodies (male or female) from an aesthetic point of view and female ones turn me on a bit but the dude in that pic is a skinny, weak looking little fucker. Kinda puzzled as to who that's targeted at because presumably, for the same price, they could have hired someone similar but with a bit of muscle definition. has the "waif look" jumped from chicks to dudes or something? I must have missed that memo.
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2012, 05:52:43 pm »
Pent and LMNO, in spades.

And societal conditioning has limits. I'm not into commercial men, the ones you see in movies and ads. Never got what the big deal with Kevin Costner was, yuck. And guys in ads register in my mind as gay.



I appreciate, fit, athletic looking bodies (male or female) from an aesthetic point of view and female ones turn me on a bit but the dude in that pic is a skinny, weak looking little fucker. Kinda puzzled as to who that's targeted at because presumably, for the same price, they could have hired someone similar but with a bit of muscle definition. has the "waif look" jumped from chicks to dudes or something? I must have missed that memo.

I think it's spillover from the old Calvin Klein decadant junkie thing. They gave him a Beaver Cleaver haircut, though. Kind of throws the whole thing off.  :lulz:
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #42 on: October 22, 2012, 05:58:23 pm »
Twinks and hipsters.  Twinks and hipsters.
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #43 on: October 22, 2012, 05:58:55 pm »
Aaand LMNO beat me to the punch.
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Re: So, we need a definition of beauty.
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2012, 07:51:12 pm »
I realize I've said it on the boards before, but it continues to bother me that we can't praise one type of attractiveness without degrading another.

If you're into big women, I'm pretty sure you're capable of saying that without equating anything else to ten year old boys.  It'd be like calling any average woman a fattie because you only dig supermodels.

You can include more people into a group without removing some from it, and without continuing the idea that people should be ashamed of their bodies.

And just so we're clear, I've got a body type similar to that dude if you add way more hair and I'm fucking gorgeous.   :lol:
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