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Beauty: An Examination of Social Perceptions
By Baruti KMT
Sunday, 31 December 2006 - 12:00 PM


Have you ever wondered why we believe certain things or people to be "attractive" or "beautiful?" Don't be alarmed if not, most people never consider such a question.

As I study other cultures and learn that all things are interconnected in some sort of a thoughtful, but wordless way, I have come to the conclusion that our perceptions of attractiveness are merely the manifestation of a particular set of stimuli that are indeed observable; yet, more often than not, go unobserved. Meanwhile, as I have come to understand it, beauty is the singular essence that resides within all.

Now, I know you are looking at this and saying "is this guy off his rocker?" But, before drawing unfounded conclusions, let me build my case.

There is a distinct difference between "attractiveness" and "beauty;" let me explain. In order for something or someone to "be" attractive, that thing or person must first be the result of a prevailing ideology. That being the case, then it stands to reason that "attractiveness" is nothing more than a standard set, and often followed without question by the masses.

In other words "attractiveness" is the result of the process of physical manifestation, coupled with perception; yet, "beauty" is the source of all manifestations, which by itself stands alone.

For instance, if I were to see a puce green Porche 911, because of my socialization, I would probably say that it was unattractive. Yet the person driving the 911 would believe, based on their socialization, that it was attractive (note the principle of polarity). The same holds true for other elements in society.

On the question of beauty, that same 911 is "beautiful" no matter who looks at. By that I mean, the 911 itself is not beautiful (although some believe it to be so), but that which caused the 911 to "become" is indeed the source of its "beauty."

On the issue of "becoming," I am referring to the essence that caused the thought to be manifested on this plane i.e., you have an idea/thought, and use available resources to bring that thought from the thought stage of existence, to the sphere of tangibility. Moving from things, let's examine people.

When looking at men or women, often times you will say that they are beautiful without thinking of the process that caused them to "become." For instance, whether a person has brown or hazel eyes is out of their control (I haven't forgotten about contacts). But, whether that person has a positive attitude is directly within the confines of controllability. Both of these observable phenomena are the result of the beauty that resides within. The eyes are the result of progeny, while the attitude is the result of choice; both of which operate within the principle of order.

So, should you seek to understand beauty, attractiveness, or anything else, remember this; "if that which you are searching for cannot be found within yourself, it will never be found outside yourself."

Column originally published in Signal (Georgia State University's student newspaper) 26 November 1996


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