Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
– Margaret Wolfe Hungerford
What do ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ mean?
When it comes to beauty or taste, it’s subjective, and everyone has their own perception of it. There will be people who find something beautiful or tasteful, while others may find it unappealing.
Everyone thinks differently; what interests one person might not interest another. Being respectful of someone else’s views or interests is what matters most.
Isn’t it true that there is no one perfect in this world? Each of us has flaws, and that is what makes us perfect. Every individual perceives or defines flaws in their own way, what may seem like a flaw to one person may seem flawless to another.
Everything has beauty, but not everyone is able to embrace them. Beauty lies in our minds, It is our minds that differentiate between what is beautiful and what isn’t. Neither good nor bad exists; it’s just how we perceive it.
Origin of this phrase
The first appearance of this saying dates back to the 3rd century BC in Greek. The idea was expressed in various written forms, though not in English or in its current form.
Shakespeare’s 1588 play, Love’s Labour’s Lost, illustrates a similar idea:
Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye,
Not utter’d by base sale of chapmen’s tongues
The following is a quote from Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack, published in 1741:
Beauty, like supreme dominion
Is but supported by opinion
It is believed that the modern English version of the expression dates back to the 19th century. In its current form, the saying is widely credited to Margaret Wolfe Hungerford. An 1878 novel called Molly Bawn contains the line “beauty is in the eye of the beholder“.
Beauty lies everywhere
There is beauty in us, it is in our eyes, and it is everywhere, so long as we are ready to embrace it.
Doesn’t your mind determine what’s attractive or not attractive based on the perception it has constructed through the judgment of other minds around you?
If we view the world through a negative lens, everything appears negative, and if we view it through a positive lens, everything appears positive.
When it comes to describing beauty, there are no specific rules or definitions. There is no right or wrong; it only relates to perception, and you may find something pleasing despite plenty of others disagreeing with you, and you may disagree with plenty of others when their tastes differ from yours, so there is really no right or wrong, it simply relates to perception.
There is a flaw in perfection and there is perfection in the flaw. The real definition of flawlessness lies in imperfection, there’s always something we’re lacking, and that’s what makes us who we are.
The car you own may seem boring or unattractive to you, but it may be a dream car for someone else. The key is to view things from a different angle.
Embracing flaws and imperfections is a way to showcase one’s true self. Authenticity and realness come from our imperfections. Look at nature, it’s not perfect either, and that’s what makes it so beautiful.