What does it mean to be beautiful? Can someone be objectively beautiful? Or is beauty an entirely subjective concept?
In part, beauty does lie in the eye of the beholder; however, there is a larger concept at play here.
Beauty is measured in comparison to an ideal. What exactly that ideal is varies from culture to culture and often from century to century. Yet, this is generally only true for physical beauty – but beauty goes far beyond the physical realm.
In the grandest sense, beauty can be measured by its resemblance to what human beings believe to be perfection. Not just physical perfection, but perfection as a whole.
In this sense, the most beautiful individuals aren’t necessarily those who meet today’s physical standards, but those who meet the highest of all standards.
When approaching beauty from such a perspective, it’s not difficult to understand how being brilliant can be seen as being incredibly beautiful.
In fact, one could go as far as to argue that beauty and brilliance are basically one and the same, synonymous. If you need more convincing, here are five reasons as to why being brilliant makes you beautiful.
1. You're uncommon, rare.
Think about it; if everyone in the world were considered to be equally beautiful, would anyone be considered beautiful?
Sure, beauty is attaining some outline of perfection, but – and here’s the kicker – we believe uniqueness to be beautiful.
Which means the standard of being beautiful is not meant to be attained by everyone.
Welcome to the confusion that is the human psyche. Only human beings would set a standard that, by definition, most individuals are not capable of coming close to.
If you don’t believe me, then consider the fact that obesity was once considered beautiful. Why? Because most people couldn’t afford to eat.
Now the definition of physical beauty has flipped. We now try to attain something even more impossible: attaining artificial physical beauty – aka Photoshop.
Brilliance, however, is a little different. Sure, it’s likewise measured in comparison to the rest of the world (can you be called brilliant if everyone is equally as brilliant?), but at the same time, the standard of such beauty is much more attainable, mostly because most individuals are far from brilliant.
Luckily, our culture emphasizes physical beauty over intellect and cleverness, so there’s a lot of room for you to flourish.
2. You're closer to perfection.
I understand why people put such a big emphasis on physical beauty. It tickles our loins. It turns us on. It fascinates us and makes us want to own it as our own. Like all things wonderful, we want to take ownership of it.
The very same thing can be said about brilliance. Brilliance most definitely turns some individuals on. It certainly fascinates us and makes us covet it.
In most regards, the way brilliance affects us is very similar to the way physical beauty affects us.
The only real difference is in value. Physical beauty can really only do so much for you, get you so far.
One can be the most physically beautiful specimen in the universe, yet be incredibly far from what most would consider the pinnacle of perfection.
Be the most brilliant individual in the universe, however, and no one will even think to tell you that you need to work on your abs.
3. You please beyond the senses.
Most definitions of beauty like to point out the pleasing of the senses. But that’s just ridiculous. How can senses be pleased? To please is to cause to be happy, to satisfy.
How can senses be happy or satisfied when they have no consciousness?
Beauty is entirely about pleasing the mind. Your senses take in the information around you; your mind processes that information and is either pleased by the results or displeased.
How we interpret or decide whether something is pleasing or not is a different story.
Many individuals simply don’t appreciate brilliance for what it is. Most people never learned to appreciate intelligence, cleverness or raw talent.
Most individuals learn to appreciate such things in time, mostly because they come to realize how incredibly pleasing it is to witness or be a part of such brilliance.
Once you understand to appreciate brilliance properly, there’s no going back from it; everything else pales in comparison.
4. You work hard for it and to maintain it.
Some people are born more physically or intellectually beautiful than the next. Talent – of any kind – can only get you so far.
If you don’t take care of yourself, if you don’t maintain that beauty and work toward an even higher standard, then you’ll lose it.
Perfection is, by definition, unattainable. But that’s not the point. In fact, that is the very reason it is coveted as much as it is.
Human beings want nothing more than exactly that which they shall never have – and there’s nothing wrong with it, as long as you understand you will never attain perfection and be willing, nonetheless, to work toward it.
5. It lasts a lifetime.
As we age and our time comes to a close, with us fades our beauty and eventually, even our brilliance. But brilliance is capable of far outlasting physical beauty.
When we age, beauty turns into wrinkles and discolorations. Brilliance, on the other hand, turns into wisdom.
Brilliance is the longest lasting form of beauty and, for this reason, ought to be pursued first and foremost.
In fact, it is the only form of beauty that is capable of even outlasting the individual him or herself.
With brilliance comes thought, ideas, concepts, creations, inventions, innovations, lasting change. Brilliance is brilliance because it has the ability to change those around it for the better.
It has the ability to create a legacy that will live on long past any remembrance of physical beauty has turned to dust. True brilliance, in a sense, is immortal.