I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘beautiful’ lately. It’s such a tired word– you hear it everywhere. It’s been used by billions of different people for billions of different situations, and as a result it has lost its weight (when people tell me I look beautiful, the word bounces off. When I tell other people they look beautiful, the same thing seems to happen). If everything is constantly being described as beautiful, then it seems that nothing is actually beautiful. ‘Beautiful’ has been losing its meaning since the beginning of time, and is now this blob of a word that tries to stick to anything we throw it at, with virtually no success.
What even is ‘beautiful’? A sweet nothing, passed down through the centuries like a pretty heirloom with no functionality? Nothing more than a product of an individual’s psyche? A marketing tool, used as fodder for aesthetic products so humans may achieve the definition of the word? It is true that the commodification of ‘beautiful’ has been around for a long time: you’ll be able to find jewelry and the beginnings of makeup in any ancient civilization. But ‘beautiful’ has to be more than just that, right?
Like so many others, I’ve fallen into the habit of using ‘beautiful’ far too frequently. You could show me a flower, or brainwaves, or the void of space, or parallel bodies, or poetry, or my friends, or divinity, or connection- all of these are beautiful. Heck, the way I wrapped a bandaid around my finger today was beautiful (I usually have a lot of trouble regarding bandaids and fingers).
I think I’ll always be searching for the ultimate meaning of ‘beautiful’, but at the same time, I’ll be presented with it in every waking moment- a paradox. Which is also kind of beautiful.