Thought of the Day: Beauty makes people uncomfortable

I often comment on the beauty of others: male and female, old and young, anybody. Only to notice and point out beauty, not to insult. I once told a cashier she was beautiful. I think old people can be beautiful and I tell others.

I’ve noticed that this often sometimes make the people I’m with uncomfortable. Sadly, beauty tends to be associated with sexualization. But when I say someone is beautiful, I am not saying that I am physically attracted to that person.

Human beings are just beautiful. God made us that way, in His image. We should note the beauty of human beings because it is a celebration of the goodness of creation. In fact, Hans Urs Von Balthasar wrote a Catholic theology of God through the analogy of beauty. After all, beauty is one of the transcendentals (the qualities of an object that are analogous to its being. Others are truth, goodness, unity).

Beauty, properly understood, expresses reality just as truth. That’s why art is supposed to about expressing beauty; this gives it its value. Contrary to popular belief, art is not merely about shocking the audience.


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