Physical Beauty vs Inner Beauty: Which is more Important?


Physical beauty is what is attractive to the eye, whereas, inner beauty is captivating to the heart. A person may be viewed as the epitome of perfection to one and seen as flawed or worthless to another. Each and every person is born eventually developing their own unique personality from their environment and the influencers around them during the personality development stages in their life. An individual’s personality influences their perceived attractiveness. As it is said in the old proverb, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and I believe these words to be true because to me beauty comes from within the soul.

Physical beauty is exterior beauty, which is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Solely based on outside traits, physical beauty is usually the first thing people notice when in the presence of someone with above average looks. Body type, complexion, and appearance are all features of physical beauty. Inner beauty relates to an individual’s personality and character traits, which are pleasing to the heart. People with inner beauty have good qualities such as kindness and truthfulness. Inner beauty manifests itself through a person’s unique way of being. There is no real standard for either. Every individual has a different opinion on what their standard of beauty is. Eighteenth century philosopher, Immanuel Kant, discusses his opinion on the subjectiveness of beauty in Critique of Judgment (the Third Critique). Kant stated, “The judgment of taste is therefore not a judgment of cognition, and is consequently not logical but aesthetical, by which we understand that whose determining ground can be no other than subjective.”(Kant 1790, section 1)

Many have heard the old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and these words hold some truth. This idiom points out that what one person views as useless, another might highly value. This idiom relates to how people view beauty differently. Different people have different preferences when it comes to specific looks or traits. It is nearly impossible to have the perfect look or personality with each individual liking different characteristics. Everyone in the world is born to develop their own identity and personality. In the growing process physical beauty and inner beauty begin to set in. Growing up during the personality development stages, inner beauty can easily be seen through the eyes of the people who love us.

Coming up as a child your mother or father may say, “You really have a heart of gold” or “You have the most beautiful personality.” Words like this from your family have a big impact on your personality and shape the beliefs you create about yourself. Praise comments and positive talk from your family will affect your personality. These comments become how you feel about yourself and you will go on to exhibit good traits such as having a good heart. In a Roots of Action article, Psychologist, Dr. Marilyn Price-Mitchell stated, “Parents have a great opportunity to help kids identify and build on their character strengths by the way they give praise.” Those who receive negativity at a young age go on to exhibit negative traits, such as unfairness and rudeness, because it is all they know and have received. The character and personality of a person can even affect how attractive you may be to another individual.

Personality goes a long way towards determining your attractiveness. Your character can even change people’s impressions of how good looking you are. If an individual is socially confident and optimistic, it certainly makes them more attractive. This is a great example of the Halo effect. The Halo effect is when one trait of a person or thing is used to make an overall decision of that person. For example, if you see someone do one kind act you will most likely always perceive them as trustworthy and respectful. This effect goes back to support my stance on the perception of beauty being completely up to how you are viewed by another individual.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is a statement which holds an immense amount of truth. There’s no getting around this. In all ages and in all walks of life, judgments of beauty are subjective. I believe inner beauty is the best solution because no matter how beautiful you may look from the outside, you will not have any peace if you are not beautiful and peaceful on the inside. Inner beauty helps you to feel connected with people you love and ultimately live a better life.