The Concept of Beauty in Modern Society

Beauty is widely defined as a particular aesthetic quality of things which makes these things enjoyable to perceive. These things include sunsets, beautiful humans, landscapes and works of art. Beauty, along with aesthetic sense and art, is perhaps the most significant theme of aesthetics, among the various branches of post-modern philosophy.


In the twentieth century, the concept of beauty has been heavily diluted by the adoption of a materialistic approach to aesthetic appreciation. The movement toward an objectivist view of beauty came in response to the Boasian and Post-Boisian philosophy of aesthetics. However, as the twentieth century wore on, the importance of beauty became more defined and more entrenched as an important part of popular culture. While the concept of beauty was still largely a product of the aesthetic mind, its definition, bearing both aesthetic and subjective elements, had become strongly influenced by the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Jean Sibelius.

In essence, beauty is defined by the something which all humans can desire and be frustrated with, the feeling of pleasure when experiencing beauty, regardless of race, culture, religion or gender. Beauty in the eyes of the beholder is a complex and sometimes contradictory concept. While some people think that beauty is something entirely static and unchangeable, the truth is that beauty varies according to an individual’s point of view, culture and context.