Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Meaning of “Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder”

The proverbbeauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ has its literal meaning. It means the person who sees things evaluate the beauty of those things on the standard of his own mental aesthetics. In other words, beauty is highly subjective, and for every person. If a person considers something beautiful, it may or may not appeal to another person.

Origin of “Beauty is in The Eye of the Beholder”

The proverb “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” might have appeared in the 3rd century. However, the first printed evidence appeared in Love’s Labor’s Lost by William Shakespeare published in 1588 as,

“Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye,
Not utter’d by base sale of chapmen’s tongues.”

Since then, it has appeared in various literary works with different words but in almost the same sense as in the original.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Beauty Is in the Eyes of the Beholder by Bari Mar

You can see it and hear it, it’s a sensual taste,
Yes It is truly a gift to behold,
You can touch it or smell it on our senses it’s based,
Aesthetically it begins to unfold.

So what is beauty how is it defined?
Is there a right or a wrong?
What is beautiful to someone who’s blind?
To who or what does it really belong?

It can be hearing a song or a voice you love,
Which proves it doesn’t need to be seen,
Thinking of the joys of Heaven above,
What you love someone else will demean.

Meeting your partner for the very first time,
Seeing your first child come alive,
Touching the peaks of those mountains you climb,
Feeling pride as your offspring thrive.

I can smell beauty in flowers and trees,
Others see it glisten in the skies,
A joy to behold is the taste of the seas,
To all of our senses it applies.

There is so much diversity in that very word,
Yet it’s individual to one and all,
That’s why this subject is going to be blurred,
What you love to some will appeal.

In these stanzas, the poet has beautifully expressed his thoughts about how beauty is subjective. For some, it may be sensual, while for others it may be musical. For some, it is a natural scene, while for others, it is a wild. In other words, he proves that beauty is highly subjective and that it depends on the person how he sees things. Therefore, the meanings of this proverb become clear that it shows that a person will find something beautiful if he or she loves it.

Example #2

Choice by John Parish

And I thank the lord
That beauty’s getting older
In the eye of the beholder
There’ll be no portrait up my stairs
There’ll be no Grecian in my hair

And I thank the lord
That beauty’s getting older
In the eye of the beholder
There’ll be no pin-back cheeks for me
No Lolita on my knee

The poet has twisted the phrase and its meaning. He explains that there is no pressure on the poets about how to see beauty, or what is aesthetic taste. He says that no Grecian yardstick or Lolita model can make the poets describe beauty in certain terms. It all depends on him. The twisted proverb shows that it is “In the eye of the beholder.”

Example #3

Belle: A Retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” by Cameron Dokey

Because there’s something missing, and I can even tell you what: the belief we all harbor in our secret heart of hearts that beauty stands alone. That, by its very nature, is obvious. In other words, Beauty with a capital B.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Now that’s another statement entirely.

And what it means, so far as I can see, is that those of us whose looks aren’t of the capital B variety can pretty much stop holding our breaths, stop waiting for the right eyes to show up and gaze us.

This retelling of the story “Beauty and Beast” shows two sisters are competing with each other. Here they are discussing beauty. The author has beautifully presented the conversation between his characters to shed light on the issue of the beholder. Using the proverb through individual perspective how each person should become beautiful to impress certain people who appreciate their beauty.

Example #4

Beholder by Sheka Mansaray

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
Beauty is in the mind and the soul.
Beauty is in the words that she speaks.
Beauty is in her heart, so it’s never cold.

The first stanza speaks about the poet’s beloved, who looks very beautiful to him. Using this proverb, he discusses her beauty, reckoning different beautiful things that she owns. He states that her soul, sound, words, and heart; all are beautiful. This is a subjective view of beauty that Sheka states in this stanza, arguing that it is still in the eyes of the beholder. Therefore, the meanings of this proverb become clear.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “Joanne didn’t believe that Johnson’s adopted a child with Down’s syndrome. However, her husband reminded her that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The child brought so much joy to the neighborhood.”

Example #2: “Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, sometimes, a person may like something unattractive and still consider it beautiful.”

Example #3: “The teacher showed the picture of Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower from Indonesia. It’s a parasitic flower and yet few people like it. So, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder to make it likable.

Example #4: “Keira was suffering from low self-esteem. Her father made her stand in front of the mirror and reminded her that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She had to start feeling beautiful inside and out to let go of her insecurity.

Example #5: “Most celebrities are never happy with their looks but it is the audience who appreciate them. That’s why it is said that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”


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