The Other Parts of Beauty

This is a follow-up of my earlier post on Beauty.

Aspects of Beauty
There are two aspects to beauty. One is beauty of the visible, observable nature. The other is the hidden. Here is a figure depicting the hierarchy:

The observable part of beauty is a person's appearance and personality. Among these, appearance is particularly significant in the opposite sex. In fact, this is the concept of beauty as understood by most people. Such beauty possesses great power, and has driven many a man (or woman) mad. It has inspired the greatest works of art, and caused the bloodiest wars. It is a seduction of the emotional heart, which can become so addicted to this beauty, so seduced by it, that it confounds all logic, and overpowers all reason. But this is only a part of a person's observable beauty. This is why I had chosen to draw only half a face in the post 'Beauty - part I'. Including the sketch here again:

The other half of observable beauty is personality. It encompasses a person's intelligence, sense of humor, talents, attitudes and behavior. Personality is in fact so important, that we make friendships almost entirely on its basis. It is fun to be around people with interesting personalities and all our short-term relationships are based on it. But this isn't the complete story yet.

There is another deeper aspect of beauty, one that is hidden deep within, revealing itself only in rare testing circumstances. And that is the person's character. It is the inner core from whence his/her intentions, motivations, beliefs and values flow. You could go years without ever really encountering it, and then suddenly have it staring you in the face. It could be a pleasant surprise, or could come as an unnerving shock. It makes sense to be prepared for either.

In fact, the process of discovering your own inner core, your character, is often a life long journey. The matter is all the more uncertain when you are dealing with another person's character.

A Hierarchy
There exists a hierarchy amongst the three types of beauty I've discussed, as shown in this figure:
While appearance is clearly superficial, it would be a folly to underestimate its power. Personality is what makes a person's company enjoyable, and it is enough to form good temporary friendships. Deeper still, it is only when you are certain of a person's character, and its compatibility with yours, is a real lifelong bond possible. There are only a handful of such people one can expect to find during a lifetime, but the good news is that once found, they never leave.

A Relationship over Time
A graph on how each phase is traveled in a relationship is given below:

True Love
I think love can be understood in this framework. Often the attraction of appearance is confused as being love. But it is not. Even more commonly, the brightness of a personality is thought to induce love. But it does not. It is only when all the three factors, appearance, personality and a deep resonance of character occurs simultaneously, can it be said that one has found true love.


  1. Your best post till date. Very well written. Totally agree(for a change) with you.

  2. A wonderfully chosen topic with many facets to it. I'll offer yet another perspective.

    Appearance that can withstand time, personality that can win friends and foes alike, and character that is unyielding but nurturing. That's beauty!

  3. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  4. @Ajey: Thanks :)

    @Divinite: Appearance, as I've used the term, is bound to wither. The other aspects of beauty are what give it its permanence. :)

    @Joannah: Welcome to this blog!

  5. Interesting take on beauty, though the last part left me thinking. I can't say from experience (yet), but from what I see around me, true love starts with appearance and personality, but by the time character is revealed, the love becomes blind indeed.

  6. Although I agree with your article, I dont understand the implication of it. I am assuming you just need to speak out your thought without necessarily having any other purpose.

  7. @Shivya: Yes, that is sadly true. A person's beautiful character should make you blind to their appearance, but unfortunately, it is often the other way around. Knowing what you're 'seeing' and what you are turning a blind eye towards, is useful.

    @Anon: The article is only meant to be understood. If you agree with it, then that is enough.

  8. Ive never seen a post about appearances bought down to a science! mad props!


  9. @isheeta: I hope there's a compliment there somewhere! :P


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