The Concept of Beauty in European Culture

Beauty is commonly defined as a subjective feature of objects which makes these objects enjoyable to see. These objects may be landscapes, sunsets, beautiful people and creative works of art. Beauty, along with beauty, is also the fundamental theme of aesthetics, another of the major branches of art history. Aesthetic appreciation of beauty has also become a crucial element for the acceptance of cultural norms in different societies and across the world.


Defined by the social relations that arise in societies around the world, beauty is subjective to each individual’s personal perspective of beauty. Subjective definitions often use physical attributes such as hair color, body shape or height as defining characteristics of beauty. However, beauty is a broad concept that applies to all aspects of human activity. It is important to note that beauty has often been used as the basis for classifying different types of human beings, as in the beauty standards of the United States (and other western countries), which often classifies people according to their skin color or physical stature.

In ancient Greek and Roman civilization, beauty was often used as a measure of societal ranking. For instance, the ruler of a city would be considered more beautiful than the common person. Thus, beauty has often been used as a basis for classifying human beings and as a means of expressing social power.

The beauty of objects has often been used as a way of comparing two persons who may have similar features. For instance, when comparing two women of the same size, it is easy to see how beauty can be subjective. A large number of the ancient Greek gods were considered beautiful by some, but not by others. Similarly, in ancient Greece and Rome, beauty was seen as the standard of moral excellence. Every ancient Greek and Roman ideal was geared toward beauty: from the statues of the Gods to the everyday items that a person would wear.

In modern western culture, however, beauty standards have often been used to elevate one group above another. For instance, many people have asserted that obese people are more physically beautiful than thinner people. Similarly, some cultures have assigned certain traits and physical traits to members of a social class. Thus, for example, though overweight and obese individuals may have the same overall health, cultural beauty standards for these classes usually elevate obese people to the level of beauty.

Beauty also varies greatly from person to person; indeed, even within human beauty standards, there are many different definitions. For instance, while most people agree that beautiful individuals are self-confident, self-assured and confident, beautiful is a subjective term. For some, being beautiful is having high standards of beauty, while for others, beauty is something that they consider to be subjective and relative to the individual. Beauty is, indeed, a very individual concept, with each individual viewing beauty through their own perspectives.