Monday, April 29, 2013

cliché: beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Meaning: Beauty (or ugliness) is subjective (definition).

Example: She says he’s handsome, I say he’s average; such is our notion of beauty, which is in the eye of the beholder.

Origins: In various forms, 3rd century BC Greek, 16th century AD Shakespeare and Lyly, but not in its current form until the 19th century AD. (Source.

  • in beauty, the beholder sets the gauge
  • beauty is subject to the jaundiced eye
  • glamour is an astigmatism true to the beholder
  • fairness favors the beholder
  • loveliness is the gift of the onlooker
  • charm is an artifact of the beguiled
  • grace is a spectator event
  • elegance is a biased view

Discussion: This rewrite took me a while. The trick here is to decide what to call “beauty” and then how to acknowledge its reception. 

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