Sample Essay on Beauty

Isn’t it just a pleasure, seeing a beautiful woman walking down the street? Long hair draping past her shoulders down to the middle of her back where, if she’s wearing a thin summer dress, her loins would be seen shifting continuously during her brisk walk. Her elegant thin hands waving back and forth, with one clutching a small purse tucked neatly between her upper and forearm, opposite the elbow, maintaining a balanced stride like a ballerina performing Adage all on her own. A tall, slender figurine on stiletto heels with the metal bottoms, making that noise that is sure to make everyone turn and react to that perfect proportion of her weight and the heels hitting the ground at just the right pitch of decibels. Her long slender legs performing for a crowd of onlookers, perfectly shaved, serving as an aerodynamic structure allowing her to propel forward with little resistance.

And if she’s wearing that dress, the calves are performing an urban dance routine as they twist and turn, yet maintaining their composure knowing that they are an integral part of this performing art. If one is lucky enough to get a glimpse of her from the front as she walks, he can certainly admire the confident stride and the look in her large round eyes as her hour glass figure maintains course like one of those row boats you will find at an Ivy League school. Yes, it is a great pleasure, it is beauty.

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As the old adage goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and in a way that might be true, yet, sometimes one might be blind to the true beauty that surrounds him, thus needing an awakening of his profound senses to see what others see. The question that might arise, is, whether or not he would want to see what the others see without any preconceived notions of what beauty is supposed to be. Say that beautiful woman’s name is Carla or Dominique, it is certainly a name befitting a woman such as herself. Say, that her name used to be Carl or Dominic once, is she still a thing of beauty. This beholder, is he still seeing beauty, or is he seeing what society, film and pop culture have dawned upon Carl to look as some might want to see him? Then, all along, this beauty is a made-up façade: some surgery here, a tuck there, wax, Pilates and ta-dah, Carla!

Take this concrete jungle, we call a city, say for example Manhattan (New York). Some areas are rubble, demolished buildings, where poverty, drugs, crime and a multitude of other deviant behaviors our society finds abhorrent are an everyday occurrence. There is murder, rape, robbery, theft, burglary and every other possible sin mentioned in the Book of Moses, occurring there at any one time. From Paleo- to Neolithic settlements in Mesopotamia and the surrounding areas, cities were not dissimilar to what we have now. After a few developments in history they also became stratified, separating the classes, thus maintaining a well-established status quo beneficial mostly for the power-elites. Yet, then and now, if one wants to see what he believes is beauty, then there is plenty of it in these bastions of life. Intersecting lines, curves, jagged edges and geometric shapes conceived of millennia ago by Pythagoras, Euclid and perfected by countless Philosophers following their intellectual reigns, make-up our buildings and structures. Structures designed by eager, ambitious architects, doing everything in their power, vying for that contract on the next building being put-up by investors. Countless hours, days, weeks, months and years were put into every nook and cranny we admire in the skyline of Manhattan, which on certain days, with its grandiose structures blocks out the sun in certain spots.

The energy omitted by millions of pedestrians traveling from point A to point B, sometimes even stopping off at point C to get a Knish or Hot Dog, gives it a vibe which is beauty within itself that has to be first observed, and only then felt running through one’s body, encompassing, traversing and percolating through every fissure, valve, membrane and ventricle. The sound of an old car muffler shuttering the loud silence of a bustling city at noon scares off the birds on rooftops, thus creating a cloud of feather, beak, airborne disease and freedom of flight, navigating blissfully through the sky as a single entity without a care in the world except to escape the sound that might have been a potential predator. There’s always that one straggler following them, and one never knows if he’s just slower than the others, is he in a world of his own, lost in a train of thought and just subconsciously following the crowd, or is he a deviant rebel, who has no choice but to stay close by for safety reasons? This all is true beauty when seeing it for the first time, as a newcomer coming off a boat at Ellis Island a century ago, or an immigrant arriving from a third-world country where just days ago there was a coup in the upper echelons of the government, reportedly perpetrated by multinational conglomerates in order to keep their raw material supply costs at a minimum. It is even greater beauty, when the city is seen through the eyes and felt by a native New Yorker, staring at the gargantuan entity, absorbing its concrete flesh and steel bones, it’s 5th Avenue arteries and surrounding capillaries, its being as a majestic creature flawlessly making its way through life.

Is there a beauty between two people? Is the love shared by a couple that has been together for fifty years a thing of beauty? It is a masterpiece created by necessity, compliance, tradition and mutual respect. It is beautiful when two elderly folks, in their seventies, whose bodies are not what they used to be, sagging skin like that of a very expensive leather Gucci bag on the storefront window in Manhattan, still hold each other’s hands, look into each other’s eyes and tell each other “I love you.” It is even more of a beautiful thing when the sarcastic remarks among them are exchanged in the presence of guests, amazed at how two people can love each other for so long, yet being able to cope with the other’s presence by hurling playful insults. It is a thing of beauty when the man devoutly cares for his better half, cooking, feeding and nursing her back to health when she gets sick. Can this blossoming powerhouse called love be predicted and seen in younger couples, can they be as beautiful as the elderly folks, with much firmer skin?

A young couple, infatuated, staring into each other’s eyes, thinking about the future together are the idyllic symbol of beauty. Youth and love. Their thoughts intertwined as well as their bodies, now in great shape, with beautiful tight, firm skin, flesh and energy. Perfectly sculpted abs, pecks, legs, calves and loins in bed producing sweat, pheromones and this love again. Enjoying this intimate moment, even if it is for an hour or two, yet feeling as though they have been together forever and want to be in each other’s arms for years to come. They wonder to themselves, if and when the other’s skin starts to sag, when their sculpted figures become a mush of arthritis, osteoporosis, collected adipose tissue in areas where it’s not as attractive, will there still be that love, that they share now. If so, then this is the beauty that we can see in this couple.

So what is this beauty? According to Merriam Webster, it is “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit” (Mirriam Webster) Is it therefore not a pleasure to see Carla, walking down the street, and even more so, is it not a pleasure for her to observe the turning necks of onlookers, trying to catch a glimpse of this seemingly fragile yet firm creature making its way? If so, then, do we not also derive pleasure from observing the everyday life of this concrete jungle, breathing, pulsating, absorbing life and in return allowing life to flourish within it? If we do get the feeling stemming from pleasure by observing these people and places, then we can also assume that seeing the two couples at different stages of their lives will give us pleasure as well, if we are the person that appreciates happiness, tenderness and love in other people. So what is this beauty, it is what we make of it, we just have to remember that it is all around us.

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