random thoughts: what is beauty?


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Last week, I received an email from a student asking to interview me for a paper she was writing.  I happily agreed, and within days, she sent me a list of questions.  For the most part, the questions were easy to answer, but I'm embarrassed to admit that one of them made me pause:

What does "beauty" mean to you?

Isn't that funny?  I've written an entire book about the beauty of different, and yet I found myself struggling for an answer to this question:  I'd never actually taken the time to define "beauty" before.  How horrifying.

So I sat for a bit, and finally started writing.  Here's how I ended up answering it:

I think beauty is anything that's pleasing to the soul.  It's more than being pretty or aesthetically attractive; it's about something or someone or some attribute that stirs something deep inside of you.  It's for this reason I'm convinced that we're all beautiful, because we all have something about us that can stir another's soul.

There.  Not the most eloquent of answers, I suppose, but certainly one that feels authentic to me.

With that, I'm actually out of here -- I'm leaving for a quick business trip to San Francisco, but will be returning Wednesday afternoon.  In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments, below  -- what does "beauty" mean to you?


(P.S.  I'm becoming more and more enamoured with the camera apps for my iPhone, so even though I won't be updating here until I return, I'll likely be updating over here. In case, you know, you want to know what naughtiness I'll be up to, realtime.)


SongFun for me by Moloko

Karen Walrond14 Comments