Understanding Beauty

Beauty is commonly defined as a subjective feature of objects which makes these objects pleasing to see. These objects could be nature, humans, landscapes and works of art. Beauty, along with individual taste and aesthetics, is the centre of aesthetics, among the largest branches of psychology. The word ‘beauty’ has various shades and meanings according to culture and time. In today’s society the meaning of beauty has changed a lot.


Modern aesthetic medicine, psychology and anthropological studies reveal that beauty has been regarded as an important aspect in people’s lives, since centuries. For example, some cultures value beauty in their art, while others regard it in architecture. This belief in beauty is quite similar to the beliefs in many other aspects of life. For instance, some people believe that beautiful bodies contribute to their happiness and well-being, while others believe that beautiful skin contributes to good health and skin disease. Beauty is not only a matter of physical appearance.

According to recent studies, people living in developed countries possess higher levels of perceived “attractiveness” compared to those living in less developed countries. However, a person’s personal definition of beauty is likely to vary, based on his/her own cultural norms and expectations. For example, in most Middle Eastern societies, men are considered to be more physically attractive than women, and facial features such as skin tone and hair style are also important criteria in beauty. Beauty ideals are found throughout the Middle East, as beauty standards are often associated with religion and family heritage. Beauty ideals may therefore differ between societies, with some societies valuing beauty ideals that are common to all while others focusing on certain aspects that are unique to their cultural background. The belief in beauty varies across cultures and is related to the role that beauty plays in the social order of the Middle East.