Beauty is often defined as a subjective aspect of aesthetic objects that makes these objects enjoyable to see. These objects could be natural objects, human works of art or landscapes. Beauty, along with beauty appreciation, is often the subject of aesthetics, another of the major branches of visual philosophy. It has been postulated that aesthetics comprises the study of how beauty relates to the beholder. The importance of aesthetics is also evident in the fact that many aesthetic concepts are found in everyday language, for instance, the term beauty relates to beauty found in nature, in the environment and in the clothes we wear, in the way we act or in the things we build or possess.
For some, beauty may be defined as the normal or acceptable norm, the norm that everyone shares. For other people, beauty may be defined as something that is unique to them, an aspect of their culture, personality, status or an ideology. Different cultures and societies have different definitions of beauty because beauty varies according to culture, society and time. For example, within the context of Europe, beauty standards are based on notions of beauty associated with classical Greece and Rome.
In recent years, however, other regions of the world have defined beauty in different ways. Beauty is now seen as having universal significance, as it is considered in all areas of life including work, fashion, art, politics, medicine, romance, literature and film. In the United States, beauty is associated with notions of white and Eurocentric beauty. Beauty has been the subject of cultural debate for over one hundred years and continues to be a source of debate for many people, especially those who identify as non-western or eastern.
The definition of beauty varies greatly between societies and regions. For example, eastern beauty standards include things such as tall and slim women, and women who wear clothing revealing only the shoulders or feet. Western societies place a high importance on the idea of beauty. In the United States, both men and women place a high importance on beauty ideals, especially American women.
Beauty is a deeply held value throughout most of human history. However, some cultures and societies place more importance on beauty ideals than others. For example, while many cultures consider facial beauty to be important, all other beauty ideals are considered to be universal.
The importance of beauty to most cultures is based in part on the need to maintain social order. Beauty is seen as a marker of societal advancement and class distinction. In most cases, the idea of beauty is used to separate the haves from the have-nots, and to encourage cooperation among all individuals. However, beauty is also used to beautify the west, which can be seen as a necessary means of preserving culture and national identity. While there are many arguments about beauty, most cultures agree on certain general qualities of beauty that are considered to be important.