What is beautiful? Know your concept for the art and fashion world
What is beautiful? This is one of those universal questions that have permeated many civilizations for centuries. However, there is always a crucial starting point, the etymology, the definition of the word, and as overtime, it metamorphoses into the understanding and narrative of history, in this case, of Philosophy, of Aesthetics, and why not? , Fashion?
In order to help you understand how this (un)known and the complex concept has developed and its perception by individuals and societies, the Audaces blog has dedicated exclusive content to these discussions.
Read on and learn more about the concept of beauty from philosophical, artistic, and also fashion and fashion perspectives:
The beautiful, the beauty and its linguistic definitions
In the case of etymology, the word “beautiful” comes from the Latin “Bellus”, which means “beautiful, beautiful, charming”. Widely used in classical times only for women and children, while for men it had a pejorative meaning and an Apollonian air, of Apollo, the god of beauty and war.
However, the term, before its Latin definition, may have also come from the Indo-European DW-EYE, bringing it closer to other terms, such as bonus, for “good”, and bene, for “good”.
Nowadays, the Houaiss Dictionary of the Portuguese Language defines the beautiful as something “that has a pleasant, perfect, harmonious shape or appearance. That arouses feelings of admiration, grandeur, nobility, pleasure, perfection.”
And these are the main ideas that come to most people’s minds regarding the meaning of beauty. Terms such as beauty, aesthetics, harmony, proportion, balance, among others, are permanent vocabulary in the speech and work of many, including professionals in the fashion industry.
But after all, what is beautiful?
The Italian writer Umberto Eco addresses the concept of beauty in his book “History of Beauty” and there he observes that the beautiful – along with graceful, beautiful or sublime, wonderful, superb, and similar expressions – is an adjective we often use to describe indicate something we like.
It seems that, in this sense, what is beautiful is equal to what is good and, in fact, in different historical periods a close bond was created between the Beautiful and the Good, as we have seen from the very origin of the word.
The author’s reflections on the beautiful throughout history invite us to a journey beyond the understanding between beauty and goodness, as an idealization of aesthetic perfection. Rather, it opens the way for us to understand how beauty is important in artistic, social, political, religious, spiritual relationships, etc.
O nascimento de Vênus – Sandro Botticelli
The concept of beauty beyond history or philosophy
In a way, the beauty of the mystery of the beautiful is precisely in the intangible, immaterial, unattainable, and about that there is nothing to determine, the beautiful will always be a mystery that is, and at the same time, is not in our hands, right?
Therefore, we can be sure of one thing: we can always use our notion of beauty as a starting point for artistic creation, and above all, in the fields of fashion and clothing design, it is infinite support at service. creativity, research, and production.
It is also worth remembering that beauty is an experience (a cognitive, mental, or even spiritual process) related to the perception of elements that uniquely please the one who experiences it. The forms of beauty are numerous, and science is still trying to explain this process.
Throughout history, Aesthetics, as a branch of Philosophy, has tried several times to explain the concept of beauty. However, throughout the creation process, from a work of art to a clothing collection, this understanding of the importance of beauty in the scope of creation is necessary.
The concept of beauty in Philosophy
Every discussion about beauty and its meaning began with Greek Aesthetics and is fundamentally based on the world view of the philosophers of the time and, for them, life and art are based on balance, symmetry, harmony, and proportionality.
And, even today, what is beautiful in philosophy, which was projected in the Renaissance, a historical moment in which such precepts were revisited, the rational aspect of the judgment of taste (like it or not) that we propagate in the Fashion Industry and in the fashion shows is present. fashion even today.
Davi – Michelangelo
Socrates, one of the three main thinkers of Ancient Greece (5th century – 470 BC), believed that the beautiful was a concordance observed by the eyes and ears, that is, the beautiful is permissible through the sensorial senses.
In Socrates’ view, “the beautiful is the useful”, that is, beauty is not associated with the appearance of an object, but in how profitable it is, it would then have a practical character, as the result of a product or practical situation.
What is Beautiful according to Plato
For Plato, a Greek philosopher of the 5th century BC, the beautiful is linked to a universal essence and does not depend on the observer, as it is contained in the object itself, in creation. Plato also believed that everything that exists in the sensible (imperfect) world is just a copy of what is in the intelligible (perfect) world.
One of his best-known myths, The myth of the cave brings a clear allegory about how our perception of what we call reality is the product of a subjective construction and is often influenced by a “collective unconscious”, which conditions and imprisons us, as the current beauty standards.
The beautiful according to Aristotle
Aristotle, a disciple of Plato, had another concept of beauty. For him, work could only be considered beautiful if it was capable of promoting catharsis in its admirers. In this conception, catharsis is nothing more than the purification of the soul and ideas from a work of art and, par excellence, according to him, catharsis occurs in tragedy!
After all, it was through tragic theater that people reflected on what the work showed, unlike comedy that, although fun, did not promote reflection, only a temporary state of “enthusiasm” about less noble human conditions or, yet, they were not beautiful according to classical Greek society.
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