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The great power of beauty

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Beauty is considered as an important aspect to all women, as it appeals visually. As early as the Ancient Greeks, beauty has been idealized to a high standard and virtue that a woman should acquire. The topic of beauty has been widely discussed in society, in terms of what composes something beautiful, how the power of beauty draws one’s attention, or how it applies to the human nature. Many people believe that true beauty is decided upon one’s outer visual appearance, whilst some oppose this belief, asserting that beauty is something that is experienced through one’s inner personality. However, the controversy of how beauty should be judged on a common platform is viewed on a wide spectrum. Despite this controversy, many people still believe that beauty is significant. Thus, beauty is necessary for women because it is essential to a woman’s character, different perspectives judge a woman on their beauty, and because it is a moral standard.

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Firstly, beauty can be defined as something essential to a woman’s character. Susan Sontag, author of A Woman’s Beauty: Put-Down or Power Source?, has asserted as following: “To be called beautiful is thought to name something essential to women’s character and concerns” (page 488). Sontag’s concise but powerful message that beauty is essential highlights one of the most fundamental features of a woman. A woman’s concerns can also be determined by the power of beauty, as the role of beauty depends on an individual. Sontag’s phrasing of this sentence suggests that beauty is desired from a woman to be concluded beautiful.

The first line of “Sonnet 130: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” by William Shakespeare says, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” (Shakespeare 1). The sun is usually connotated to represent time, the beginning and end of each day, and the figure that our lives revolve around. Shakespeare’s comparison of his mistress’ eyes being nothing like the sun emphasizes just how important her facial features are; the simple connotations of the sun relate to how valuable the mistress’ eyes are. The fact that Shakespeare specifically chose to compare the sun to her eyes in a simile implies the significance or power of the mistress’ eyes. Without the sun’s heat and light, our planet would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock; this example of the sun can simply refer again to the value of the mistress’ eyes. In addition, the famous saying of “The eyes are windows to the soul” relates to Shakespeare’s choice of complementing her eyes. Vision is the most important of the five senses, as it allows human beings to view the world around us. Since eyes are a facial feature that determine the general impression of a person, it is on a fundamental level to judging beauty. Thus, beauty can be concluded as an essential pillar to a woman’s character or appearance.

On the foundation that beauty is essential, the different perspectives of beauty also significantly matter. The different viewpoints of beauty; how it is judged; differs greatly. For instance, in the second paragraph of “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant, it says, “Natural fineness, instinct for what is elegant, suppleness of wit, are the sole hierarchy, and make from women of the people the equals of the very greatest ladies.” This phrase connects various aspects upon natural fineness, as it is described in a majestic manner. Beauty can also be perceived as an element that the greatest ladies have, which is part of why beauty appeals to the upper class. In Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”, there is a line saying, “I grant I never saw a goddess go.” Shakespeare is admitting to the power of the mistress’ beauty as she walks past him; this implies the aura and vibe of her beauty. Shakespeare is idealizing and evaluating the mistress’ beauty by calling her a goddess. What makes this mistress so significant is because a goddess is usually associated with a woman who is adored, especially for her beauty. Hence, Shakespeare is emphasizing how beautiful this mistress is; it seems as if he is amazed by the mistress’ appearance, as if he has never seen anyone alike before. Upon the different perspectives of beauty through different people, this is another reason why beauty is highly valued.

Finally, beauty is valued as a moral standard. In the book, “A Woman’s Beauty: Put-Down or Power Source?” by Susan Sontag, it says, “For the Greeks, beauty was a virtue: a kind of excellence.” The Greeks believed in many myths and legends, which influenced different forms of beauty. Since the era of these Greeks, beauty has been thought to be ‘a kind of excellence’ amongst the most aristocratic women. A virtue expresses the behavior showing the high standards of beauty, which the Greeks idealized. Furthermore, in the poem “Amoretti XV: Ye tradefull Merchants that with weary toyle” by Edmund Spenser, there is a phrase as: “Her mind adornd with virtues manifold.” Spenser’s description of the moral richness of the lady represents the best feature and aspect of her beauty. He idealizes how the lady’s mind makes her more beautiful and attractive. Through this phrase, one can conclude that the moral richness and abundance is an element of beauty that is valued significantly. Thus, beauty is thought to be a moral standard of the most prestigious women.

In conclusion, beauty can be concluded as a fundamental element to a woman’s life. Whilst many believe that the outer appearance of a woman can be a wonderful asset to possess, others claim that the inner beauty should be defined as true beauty. Hence, under every aspect, beauty is essential to life, viewed from different perspectives of people, and because it is a moral standard.

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