Why Beauty Doesn't Exist

Have you ever watched a sunset? Have you ever sat outside and gazed upon the brilliant red and orange rays of sunshine (that make for perfect selfie lighting)? Sometimes the sky transforms into a magical, blueberry smoothie mix of blues, pinks, and purples. The pearl-shaped orb of light slowly settles down as your eyes adjust gradually and perfectly to the new night sky. Aren’t sunsets just so beautiful? Who wouldn’t find them beautiful, especially after that poetic description? 

A couple making a heart at sunset Photo by Mayur Gala from Unsplash

The answer is simply that there is someone out there who doesn’t like sunsets. They might even find them *gasp* ugly. Even if you don’t personally know someone who doesn’t enjoy this daily display of art in the sky, there’s probably at least one person on this Earth who doesn’t. The same thing applies for widely accepted “beautiful” things such as blooming roses, clear oceans, peacock feathers, and diamonds. So does that mean these things aren’t, in fact, beautiful? Can something be beautiful even if there’s one person who disagrees? Is beauty a democratic vote kinda thing? Can beauty and ugliness exist simultaneously? What the heck even is beauty at this point?

pink roses Photo by Sidney Pearce from Unsplash I don’t think real, objective beauty exists. If there isn’t one thing that all 7 billion of us can agree is beautiful, then there’s nothing beautiful at all. If you think that something is beautiful, but someone else disagrees, then those are two clashing opinions and neither is wrong, but also neither is correct. The bright side is that as a result, there’s also nothing ugly. So neither beauty nor ugliness exist, at least not objectively. However, this changes when it becomes subjective, or based on personal feelings. 

Not to sound cheesy, but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Each and everyone of us has a different idea of what it means to be beautiful. This applies to both outward appearances, whether it be of people or nature or whatever, and inward appearances, such as someone’s personality. If you don’t fit someone else’s image of “beauty”, that doesn’t make you any less beautiful than you feel. On the flipside, have you ever been complimented on your appearance when you actually didn’t feel very good-looking that day? It can seem hard to believe in the moment, but that’s just because we really do all have different opinions on what beauty is. And the opinions on beauty that matter most to us should be our own.

So next time you catch a glimpse of the sunset, try thinking about why YOU think it’s beautiful.

three silhouettes in the middle of the road Photo by Karina Lago from Unsplash