Beauty Quest – How To Be Real Again, says Jo Bayley

Cupid blindfolding beauty
Cupid blindfolding beauty

Cupid blindfolding Beauty, The Huntington Gardens Collection

In this fickle world we live in I wonder, what is beauty?

How do we define the concept of real beauty in these crazy times?


Cupid blindfolding Beauty, The Huntington Gardens Collection

To quote the Australian Collins Dictionary, Beauty (noun) combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delights the senses or the mind.

Have we lost the true definition of the word in these superficial times, and can we get it back?

As the true meaning suggests, beauty is not just experienced through sight, we have five senses don’t forget.

I think in this day and age we are so focused on the physical, it is easy to overlook hearts and minds and maybe, we have become desensitized to the core of true beauty.

Beauty is many different things to many different people.

Art of Memory

An engagement with the wonderful collection is a relationship that Art & Memory participants will be able to maintain throughout their lives. courtesy National Gallery of Victoria

Memories are beautiful. Memories are triggered by all sorts of things.

Is it the scent of a perfume gifted to you by your lover, is it the waft through the kitchen of freshly baked bread or maybe it’s the salt air by the ocean that moves you.

Hearing a sentimental song. One that, at the first chord, has a flood of dreams fill you with passion or gentle affection.

Pink Courting Chair and Champagne

Pink Courting Chair & Champagne

The clinking of glasses at a celebration, uncontrollable giggling at a private joke shared with a special someone, all these sounds make me oh so happy.

The taste of a hearty meal shared with our closest family and friends. The sound of laughter around a full table, maybe with people we have loved and lost, but will stay with us forever.

All these feelings make us understand that the simple act of eating, a primal need, is a beautiful action.

Never forgetting the taste of a crisp green apple, or a piece of delectable dark chocolate. It is such an individual palate.

Baby playing piano

Music, nurturing the spirit and soul

Touch maybe one of the most powerful senses.

It could be the touch of a hand on a shoulder asking “are you ok?” or a bear hug from your nearest and dearest. It can be a soft blanket gentle draped over us while we cat nap on the lounge at 3 in the afternoon.

Miss Bowles and her dog by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Miss Bowles and her dog by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Or being greeted by our pup or kitten at the door and scooping them up with love, unconditional love.

We all crave it, we all need it.

We need to embrace all aspects of beauty, as part of humanity.

If we forget the basics, we will lose the core of what it means to be human.

Empathetic, sympathetic and gentle are the most beautiful things we can be.

When we are made to feel special through actions and not words, that is beautiful.

Tomb Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tomb of the  English poet Elizabeth Barret Browning

Grief is beautiful, after all it was the great Alfred Lord Tennyson who wrote “Tis better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all”

As hard as it may seem, the beauty in loving from our core means we expose ourselves to heartbreak, and some may never feel the confidence to do so.

That is heartbreaking in itself.

The exposure of love is beautiful. The nervous face when a first gift is given to a soulmate.

We are stripped bare, feeling vulnerable to judgment of our choice, confident in the beginning that we know the present is perfect. Why then do we doubt it?

Because beauty is caring, and it’s the smile that comes from the recipients lips. It’s then you know, you’re on the same page, in the same book.

Botticelli Venus

Sandro Botticelli: Venus, the perception of beauty

Beauty, I feel is such an individual ideal. What I find beautiful others may roll their eyes at, but who is right and who is wrong?

Well, there is no answer to this conundrum. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Titian Venus

Titian, Venus Anadyomene (c1525), Goddess of Love and Beauty

So next time you find yourself questioning another’s idea of grandeur, try to put yourself in their mind’s eye. You never know, you may learn a thing or two.

And never forget the beauty that lies within us all, its easy to forget.

Maybe it just needs a little coaxing from the soul.

jo-bayley-ciao-170Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle, 2016


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