Kant's Critique Of Beauty, By Immanuel Kant

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Imagined Ideal
We cut, wax, color, clip, pluck, straighten, shave, and curl. We lift, run, squat, and sweat. We spend far too long staring back at that person in the mirror, scrutinizing, worrying, and wishing. Wishing that our stomach could be just a little bit flatter, that our arms could be a little more toned, that our legs could be longer. Wishing we could look just like that woman we see in the store’s clothing catalogue. We have created a world in which there are enormous social, psychological and economic rewards and penalties attached to the way we look. Can any of us honestly say, 'I don't want to be attractive'?
Beauty”, the philosopher David Hume declared in the mid-18th century, “is no quality in things themselves; it exists
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Thus aesthetic feelings provide “happiness”. For him, the norms of the beautiful aren’t bound by any culture; there is a universal category of aesthetic evaluation, “I affirm that the sort of beauty we have called the pretty figure is judged by all men very much alike... the Turks, the Arabs, the Persians are apparently one in this taste, because they are very eager to beautify their races through such fine blood [of Circassian and Georgian maidens]”. He writes concerning the nature of female beauty that the beautiful woman is defined by “a well-proportioned figure, regular features, colors of eyes and face which contrast prettily, beauties are pure and simple which are also pleasing a bouquet and gain cool approbation”, additionally, the ideal beautiful woman also has a youthful appearance, is plump and has porcelain skin. This “beauty” is neglected in the character of the woman, for “the moral composition makes itself discernible in the facial features, she whose features show qualities of beauty is agreeable, and if she is that to a high degree, charming”. Therefore, Kant believes that the beautiful is good. (“Creating Beauty to Cure the…show more content…
(economist.com) Humanity’s unhealthy obsession with “beauty” has led to a wide array of consequences-- eating disorders, plastic surgery addiction, plain old narcissism and social discrimination. The worldwide pursuit of body improvement has become a new religion. We live in a society that celebrates and iconizes youth, where the old, the aesthetically average and the fat seem to have been erased from the pages of our glossy magazines, advertising posters and television screens. What happens then, when everyone in a society is finally beautiful? When the final aesthetic surgery is developed, making all the bodies “perfect”? Will everyone be happy? Paraphrasing Charles Darwin, “if everyone were cast in the same mold, there would be no thing as beauty. If all out women were to become as beautiful as Venus de Medici, we should for a time be charmed; but we should soon wish for variety; and soon as we had obtained variety, we should wish to see certain characters a little exaggerated beyond the then existing common standard”. In other words, in order for beauty can’t exist when uniformity does. (“Creating Beauty to Cure the

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