What is Beauty?

Okay, that Subject sounds like a GD, and maybe this is, but here’s my question:

Suppose that I am your fairy godparent (or local equivalent). I now offer you a choice of mate - you can have either

person A - who is “not unattractive” and will absolutely adhere to whatever amout of fidelity the two of you agree upon as appropriate for your relationship


person B - who meets every one of your personal standards for physical beauty and absolutely will not maintain any level of fidelity to your relationship - not due to any flaw in you, of course, but due to a fundamental flaw in their personality.

Whichever one you choose is the only mate you will have for life. Both will meet your other standards for a relationship with regards to caring, intelligence, etc.

Which do you choose, and why? Is one or the other more beautiful overall?

(oh, and a hearty thanks to matt_mcl who forced me to realize that I couldn’t pose the question here as it was originally posed to me…:rolleyes:)

Beauty is subjective.

I’ve had zillions of female types tell me that if I did X+Infinity things, I’d fit into their small view of what a male should look like. Hell, I couldn’t date without getting a list of improvements to make first. My wife changed all that, tho. She likes me as I am, thinks I’m sexy, and loves me dearly. So we are happy. :smiley:

I can’t answer your question. The second case isn’t a relationship. It’s a series of one night stands waiting to happen. The first case is what you should ideally look for. Looks fade, youth is fleeting, but people rarely change what they are on the inside.

I agree. The true test of beauty isn’t what’s on the outside, but what is in the heart. Society wouldn’t consider me beautiful by any means: cute would be the closest, and I despise the word “cute” anymore. But my husband loves me for me, just as I am, no questions asked. And after spending 7 1/2 years with a guy who constantly tried to change me, this is a wonderful thing.

So I don’t care about looks at all. I look for what is in the heart. I would choose love and loyalty above looks anyday.

But, I admit, when I met Saint Zero, I found the total package. In my eyes, he is the perfect man. I have been remarkably blessed.

I can tell you what beauty is not.
It is not a plastic bag on a windy day.

Beauty is symmetry.

Easy. You let the fairy godparent choose.

(I knew that Chaucer class would come in handy one of these days…)

Beauty is as beauty does. According to my grandma, anyway.

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”

Someone had to say it.

(This puts me among the “not unattractive, faithful” supporters, BTW.)

My favorite (hopefully getting it right, and no, I do NOT know who wrote it - if anyone knows, PLEASE TELL ME!)

Beauty arrived today
I looked up and saw her in the mirror
After 42 years
It was about damn time

Beauty is seeing the great stuff inside, from the outside. In yourself or in anyone else. Count me in the “faithful but ‘not unattractive’” camp. Jerks who are gorgeous start looking repulsive to me, and great guys who are so-so at first start looking way hotter as time goes by. Heck, I have even found a guy’s hairy back charming because it was HIS. (another mortifying admission - I’m on a roll!)

person A.

Physical beauty might get you through the first few months of a relationship, but after that, it’s the beauty inside that counts.

It sure as hell is! That scene made me weep uncontrollably. I, a grown man, too!

Anyway, beauty is easy to define. It is areté. It is a Greek word that was originally translated as “virtue” but is really more of the Homeric Ideal. It is the quality one has that makes them excellent. It is the compass of all of one’s faculties.

Person B is more beautiful by a landslide.

Of course, what I meant was, Person A is more attractive, as their morality far outweighs their physical attractiveness, making them more beautiful.

Beauty is whatever standard culture has set for us.