Skip to content

Shifting focus from inside to outside beauty

April 26, 2010


Successful, sportive and being healthy are the characteristics of the western beauty ideal nowadays. Young, tall and slim people with shinny hair and a beautiful skin do better on a social and professional level, reach top positions faster[1] and earn more money[2].  The western society nowadays is focused on the external beauty. Is it possible to change the focus from external beauty to internal beauty, so that eventually intern beauty becomes more important than extern beauty?

Nature/Nurture
Are we born with the will to aim for perfection or is it something that we are forced to do by society?

This is the nature/nurture debate. By nature they assume that all the properties of every human being are already there when born, so in this case they assume that we are born with the will to look perfect, so the will to aim for perfection it is genetically determined. By nurture they believe in the theory of Tabula Rasa, that is Latin for blank slate. [3]. This theory believes that every individual is born like a ‘blake slate’ without any prejudices. That personality and knowledge comes from education and the environment where people live in. By this, nobody can be totally objective in their opinion.

It is impossible to make a distinction between nature and nurture, says Matt Ridley in his book: ‘Nature via Nurture’. Nature and nurture are inextricable connected. One cannot go without the other. Genetics determine a big part of the character, but not all of it. You need the influences from outside to form your character[4].

Free will
Are we free in making our own choices? Can we choose what we think is more important, inner beauty or outer beauty or is the freedom to make these choices an illusion and is the will to aim for a perfect appearance, maybe unconsciously, forced by the society?
Free will is ‘to live your life by self made goals and self made decisions, without any influences from others or outside’
[5] But in what extent can we rule our own life without any influences of outside?[6].

On many forums people give their opinion about this philosophical question. The opinions are very different. Some people believe free will does not exist, because the will of a human being is defined by environmental factors. ‘We live with automatic and behavioral patterns’[7] somebody else reacts on this with: ‘but we are free to choose to behave against these patterns’[8]. A third one reacts with: ‘You make your own choices, but the motives to make these are always influenced by the environment’ and ‘The behavior against the automatic and behavioral patterns is also a behavioral patterns and that’s why free will does not exist’[9].

Research on several forums found out that the majority of the people on the forums does not believe in free will. In the table below are the results of the research.



Free will does exist

Free will does not exist

forum.fok.nl

33,3%

66,6%

wetenschapsforum.nl

35%

65%

eoforums.ning.com

17,5%

82,5%

afghan.nl

20%

80%

freethinker.nl

25%

75%


The motives to not believe in free will
diverge. The main reason not  to believe in free will of the people who post on the eoforum and afghan.nl is that their God all knowing is and that their God has power over their lifes and their will. Both forums are mainly visited by theists. They believe that their God already knows what is going to happen to each and everyone.

On the wetenschapsforum.nl the majority thinks that there is an difference between free will and free choice. ‘Free will does not exist, but everyone is free to make their own choices’[10]. On forum.fok.nl they think the opposite; ‘The will of someone comes from himself. The choice he or she makes comes from outside. Someone can make a choice which is against his or her own will’[11].

Conclusion
The feeling of being free and making our own choices exists. But we are all depending on our environment what these choices are. ‘We are conscious of our desires and are free to choose, but we are not conscious of the causes which pushes us to desire’[12]. The causes are determined by the environment and the time we live in.

We are free to do what we want, but we are not free in willing what we want[13]. The will is defined by motives which are formed by society. The perfect look plays an important role in the western society, because it is everywhere, in magazine, on television, etc..  We think that we can make our own choices what to do with our looks, what to buy and what not to buy, which trends we follow and which not. This gives the feeling of having control on our own life and have a free will, while it is actually the society that requires how to look and what to buy.

To change the focus from external beauty to internal beauty, so that inside beauty becomes more important than outside beauty, is possible, but only when the general norms and values change in our society. The will of a human being depends on his or her environment. That is why free will does not exists and that is why we are all products of our society.


[1] carriere.blog.nl

[2] nieuwsblad.be

[3] wikipedia.com

[4] Matt Ridley – Nature via nurture

[5] Eduard von Hartman – Phänomenologie de sittlichen Bewusstseins

[6] Jean-Pierre Chauffour – The power of freedom: uniting human rights and development

[7] forum.fok.nl

[8] forum.fok.nl

[9] forum.fok.nl

[10] wetenschapsforum.nl

[11] forum.fok.nl

[12] Arthur Schopenhauer – De vrijheid van de wil

[13] Rudolf Steiner – De filosofie van de vrijheid

Successful, sportive and being healthy are the characteristics of the western beauty ideal nowadays. Tall, young and slim people with shinny hair and a beautiful skin do better on a social and professional level, reach faster top positions[1] and earn more money[2]. The western society is nowadays focused on the outside beauty. Is it possible to change the focus from outside beauty to inside beauty, so that eventually inside beauty become more important than outside beauty?


[1]carriere.blog.nl

[2]nieuwsblad.be

Advertisements
One Comment leave one →
  1. Judith permalink*
    April 27, 2010 8:10 pm

    Interesting topic: do we have free will, or are our decisions lead by outside input. There were a few interesting articles about this in the nrcnext last weeks. Check http://www.nrcnext.nl/blog/2010/04/26/wie-is-de-baas-in-je-brein/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: