Beauty of a Woman Blogfest – What is beauty?


Today is ‘Beauty of a Woman Blogfest’ day, thanks to the wonderful August McLaughlin for setting up this event.

It’s not too late for you to join in just hop over to August’s blog for the details here. If you hop over tomorrow Friday 10th February you can read a bunch of inspiring stories and have a chance to win awesome prizes, including a Kindle Touch or $99 Amazon gift card, body image coaching, BOAW mugs and more.

Now on with my post…

I pose a series of questions throughout this post, I would love to hear your responses to them 🙂

What is beauty?

A dictionary definition:

A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight.

This definition suggests that beauty is mainly about what is on the surface, what we see and whether that is pleasing enough to us for us to call it ‘beautiful’.

More though beauty is a very subjective issue, what constitutes a beautiful woman to one person may not be considered beautiful by someone else.

The first thing most people think about when you ask what makes a beautiful woman is how she looks, in line with the dictionary definition of beauty…

Take a look at the following images.

Which do you find beautiful?

Which do you not?

Is beauty really ‘in the eye of the beholder’?

(all images courtesy of Google image search)

What did you think?

Were some of these women more beautiful to you than others?

Personally I think they are all beautiful in their own unique ways. I think the saying ‘beauty is only skin deep’ is totally wrong – I don’t think our external appearances really classify beauty at all, to me:

  • Beauty is not about the colour of your skin or the make-up you wear.
  • Beauty is not about the size of your body or the scars you carry.
  • Beauty is not about the surgery, piercings or tattoos you have.
  • Beauty is not about age or ability.

If beauty is not any of these things then what is it?

Another dictionary definition:

A combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense.

I think this is getting closer.

Even ignoring external subjectification beauty remains subjective when you get beneath the surface, there is no universal classification as to what constitutes a beautiful woman. But I would like to share a few of the qualities that I think count towards being beautiful…

  • kindness and caring
  • considerate and sharing
  • supportive and understanding
  • helpful and friendly
  • the ability to love and be loved

But even these internal aspects of beauty remain controversial.

A person I love and consider to be beautiful may not be considered the same by someone else, even when ignoring the aesthetic’s or the external beauty this individual holds to me. While I find this person to have internal beauty not everyone else will see these qualities in that person just as they won’t see them as pleasing to the eye either.

I may find a person loving, gentle and kind – but my best friend may think they are cold, distant and aloof.

What it all boils down to is personal choice and preference.

Of the images above my preference for beauty is the girl with the tattoo’s and piercings, yet I also prefer a ‘natural’ look without make-up and cosmetic surgery – even here you can see a conflict of my own opinion’s on what constitutes beauty – how do you reconcile ‘natural’ beauty with beauty altered and enhanced by alterations through skin-piercing and tattooing!?

I leave you with a song the sums up beauty with the line “You are beautiful no matter what they say” because to me this is the most important factor of all in what constitutes a beautiful woman – she has to believe she is beautiful, no matter what anyone else thinks – but how many of us truly believe we are beautiful? After the song a few more questions – I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below 😀

What do you think?

What is beauty to you?

Who do you consider to be a beautiful woman?

Do you believe you are beautiful?

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31 comments on “Beauty of a Woman Blogfest – What is beauty?

  1. Beauty is Diversity… Beauty lies in those things that gives us the qualities that help define that a uniformed universe is a boring universe… However, the nature of human attraction is far more complicated. We as human beings have certain propensities for sure, but much of our experience of beauty is learned, and contrived in culture… If you see X type of person as ugly it’s because you learned to find X unattractive. In that sense attraction and beauty are based as much on what we learned, as our social setting… If you grew up in an interracial community verses a ethnically majority community your idea of beauty is going to be more broad… Our interactions define beauty, and to that degree beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, often time our eyes play tricks on us because we let our perceptions skew our vision… Thus I feel that diversity is beauty because it isn’t governed by our perceptions.

      • A side thought on that… If everyone looked the same what would define beauty? Sometimes there are people who are considered beautiful who aren’t, and there are others who spend tons of money to make themselves cookie cutter beauties. My uniqueness makes me beautiful and I find that beautiful in others. If people spent more time finding what was beautiful in themselves we wouldn’t need as much plastic surgery. “A life spent trying to be someone else is a life wasted” – can’t remember who said it. That being said, changes made to oneself for yourself is okay. But changing yourself to have what someone else has, not so much. Our bodies can either be the canvas we express ourselves on, or the prison we build around ourselves while constantly being trapped in others’ shadows.

      • I love that Renata, indeed sameness would be boring! and change should be what you want not to fit some societal expectation or for another person. I struggle enough with my identity due to the BPD without having to take other considerations on board as well! 😉

  2. I struggle to find myself beautiful – but that struggles is much less hard than it used to be. Maybe because I spend most of my time around people who value me, these days. They either find me physically beautiful, or they don’t care that I’m not.

    They all see some hint of truth or beauty within me, and that feeds my ability to see myself as having value, and my truth (my beauty?) as worth sharing.

    My seven year old daughter KNOWS that she is beautiful (in more ways than the surface one), and that may be one of my greatest triumphs as a mother – that she hasn’t lost that certainty about herself).

    All of the pictures were beautiful to me. But i do have a preference, and I have had it since I was 11 or 12, and saw that Afghani woman with the soul-piercing green eyes on the cover of a National Geographic at my grandfather’s house. I’ve never forgotten those eyes.

    Recently, I saw a picture of a tribal mother with her child. Both were stocky and strong, with fierce and watchful eyes. The baby (maybe about a year old) was nursing as though he had hunted the breast himself.

    Those two were gorgeous beyond my ability to express.

    I think I will be checking this out, tomorrow……and perhaps participating.

    • Thanks Shan, I’m glad to hear you are finding your beauty – I think for many of us it comes easier with age to accept that we are beautiful in our own unique way. It’s great your daughter is holding on to the innocent acceptance of her beauty, it is often around that young age that we begin to feel un-beautiful because of societal and cultural expectations beginning to affect our perceptions (and nasty comments in school playgrounds!). Hope you enjoy the blogfest tomorrow 🙂

  3. Beauty is about so much more than the way something looks. In terms of people, beauty is about the way a person is inside and how they project themselves.
    I have met many attractive people who were unattractive, because their ugly insides did not match their beautiful outsides. Hence, they were ugly all around to me.
    I used to be so hung up on my looks. I was such a jealous person! Man, I destroyed relationships because of my insecurity based on outward appearances. I couldn’t even go to the beach.
    Now I am older, sober and realize that I am beautiful (even if I haven’t styled my hair or put on presentable clothes) inside and outside.

    Great post! 😀

  4. i can not say from a picture alone who is the most beautiful because simply i do not know any thing about them appart from thier physical appearence which is not sufficent to make a choice-beauty is from within.
    in a sandwich the packaging can be so great looking but its not untill you bite through into the filling you decide if you like it or not.

  5. Pingback: Beauty of a Woman BlogFest « August McLaughlin's Blog

  6. The interesting thing for me here was my reaction to the pictures. I truly found every woman beautiful and attractive, with one exception. The poor model in the bikini broke my heart. I just wanted to pick her up, rock her gently, and feed her cookies.

    • Yes, I think she still has beauty but to me it seems lost in pain and trying to be something she believes is ‘expected’ of her rather than being her true self 😦

  7. What I find beautiful in many of the photos is the ‘self’ of the woman shining through. There’s something powerful that shines through the outer layer! Great job.

  8. My grandmother was an amazingly beautiful woman, August. I inherited my big nose and oversized calves from her, but she was a kind and gentle and sweet woman. Even though she has been gone for many years, she is still my role model. Perhaps that is why I am drawn to the older gray-haired woman in the photograph. She has gentle eyes and a sweet look about her. I hope to look like that one day in the future. 🙂

    Thank you for holding such a wonderful blogfest, August. It’s been great to read all of the posts and to celebrate our beauty with so many other beautiful woman. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event. From the bottom of my heart, thank-you-thank-you-thank-you!

  9. Oh my, Sharon, I stepped away from my computer, then ended up confusing your blog post with August’s. LOL. That’ll teach me to have multiple screens open at the same time. 🙂

    Now, before I run off to tell August how much I enjoyed her blogfest, I want to tell you how wonderful your post and your thoughtful questions were. Thank you so much!

  10. You’re so right about beauty being objective, Sharon. I believe the best kind of beauty radiates from within, from pursuing our passions and sharing our happiness and gifts with others. Thanks for this thought-provoking post!

  11. Wow! Scanning through the pictures, the models actually look the worst! Isn’t that funny. I wanna feed the blonde a couple dozen burgers 😉 They are all beautiful in their own right but what a shame that girls of all ages feel they have to look that particular way. It’s only natural for a very small part of the population.

    • Indeed, the models are still beautiful women in their own right but to feel they have to look like that to be beautiful is a very sad demonstration of societal pressures and expectations 😦

  12. This is beautiful Sharon. I love all the photos you chose. You really nailed it, what beauty is. We need to look inside ourselves. Thank you for this thoughtful post.

  13. I loved your post and the pictures you included.

    I think, for me, beauty is the reflection of the inner person–the life she has lived, the choices she has made, the emotions she projects, the interest she shows in the world and people around her, the love and care she shows for all living creatures.

  14. beauty can be found in words and songs such as whitney houstons music
    i will always love you-thank you whitney.
    i have posted my own tribute to a beautiful talent

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