Beauty is most commonly defined as the physiological quality of things that makes these things aesthetically pleasing to see. Such things as sunsets, landscapes, humans and great works of artwork. Beauty, along with beauty, is also the most important topic of aesthetic philosophy, one of the most important branches of science. It is the subjective view of beauty that dominates in aesthetic theory.
From this perspective beauty appears to have an objective meaning. This is because beauty is a subjective concept and it cannot be quantified. By this it is meant that the definition of beauty changes over time. In the twentieth century we seem to have abandoned the subjective view of beauty and instead adopt a more objective and calculative view, especially as regards the physical aspects of beauty. However, this does not necessarily mean that beauty has been relegated to the realm of the mind.
The first art installation I can recall having the pleasure of visiting was a face with a smile. This was the work of a talented young woman in a beauty salon in New York. The installation consisted of a small yellow and white Cheerleading suit that was emblazoned with a smiling face on the front, a red heart shaped nose and cheeks, surrounded by four little black dots that represented the spots where the eyes would meet. The face was painted in a style that was representative of a cartoonish rendering of a cartoon character.
While the concept of beauty may appear to be purely an aesthetic concept, it is not merely an aesthetic sense. While it may seem that way from a purely objective standpoint, the idea of beauty encompasses much more. An aesthetic can be directed towards any human activity or occurrence – it can be directed towards the production of art, for example, or any human face.
In a beauty salon, the concept of beauty can actually be applied quite literally to the production of art. While it may not be possible for one person to master all elements of the art form, the concepts involved are quite easy to master and apply. In fact, the production of any recognizable visual art, including paintings and photographs, can be said to embody certain forms of beauty. In other words, a painting or a photograph can embody beauty if we allow the concept of beauty to extend its definition to the visual aspect of existence.
Beauty as an aesthetic feeling is therefore just as important as the concept of beauty itself. Aesthetics are closely related, and while each can exist in its own right there are strong links between the two concepts. Aesthetics can certainly be a highly subjective experience, and beauty is subjective in that what one person considers beautiful may vary from another. Nevertheless, Aesthetic beauty remains fundamental to the ability to appreciate art and to participate in aesthetic experiences. A visit to a beauty salon can open up a whole new world of possibilities for those who wish to improve their personal appearance, or for individuals who wish to refine their creative expression.