The statement: ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ could be examined by first analyzing the meaning of ‘eye of the beholder’. The beholder is the person who assumes the point of view and sees beauty from his or her perspective. Since each individual is unique, the perception of beauty is subjective and relative. What one person regards as beautiful could be distinctly different from another person’s point of view. The disparities in what one regards as beautiful could be accounted from the way each individual has been raised, the factors or criteria that were imbibed within the embodiment of the word ‘beauty’, and the situation, at hand.
Although there are universal concepts of beauty, especially in terms of physical attributes; still, aesthetic values are interpreted differently. Likewise, depending on some situations, there are explicitly defined criteria for ‘beauty’ to gauge the overall level, depth, or extent, and serve an identified goal. For instance, in international beauty contests, there are specific criteria for judging the beauty of candidates, which generally include personality, wearing swimsuits and evening gowns, the ability to answer questions intelligently, and overall projection and audience appeal . From the criteria it could be deduced that not only physical traits and characteristics are evaluated; but other relevant facets as well (like intelligence, conduct, and inner strength, values or moral judgment which could be evaluated through the way participants answers specifically designed questions).
Overall, when one says that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, it simply means that beauty is subjective and relative, depending on the perspectives and points of views; but, it also means that beauty is objective, where there are traditional and universal standards that gauge ‘beauty’ in a clearly identified and measurable scale. In which case, one’s personal interpretation of beauty is as much valid as another person’s point of view.
Aesthetics in international beauty pageants: Concluding Remarks. (n.d.). Retrieved from Feminine beauty: http://www.femininebeauty.info/ethnic-comparisons/conclusions