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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

The phrase beauty is in the eye of the beholder means that different people have different opinions as to what should be deemed attractive. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder means that beauty is subjective. Whether or not beauty is subjective has been debated at least since ancient Greece. Shakespeare wrote of beauty in Love’s Labour Lost, saying “Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye…” Benjamin Franklin wrote “Beauty, like supreme dominion/Is but supported by opinion,” in Poor Richard’s Almanack. Margaret Wolfe Hungerford is credited with coining the exact phrase beauty is in the eye of the beholder in her novel Molly Bawn, published in 1878.


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Examples

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (yes, we just pulled out that cliche) and the Perceptions of Perfection project has verified that an individual’s culture have a big role to play in that. (The Houston Chronicle)

Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, for him, it is subjective and objective. (The Kuwait Times)

Androgynous model poses for lingerie photo shoot to show beauty is in the eye of the beholder (The Mirror)

Over in the States, beauty is about being sexy and also getting what you want (lucky for them then that beauty is in the eye of the beholder).  (The Telegraph)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the catchphrase goes; and it is no less true for the eyes of photographer Yasmin Harper. In fact, her observation goes farther beyond skin-deep. (Barbados Today)

It’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but that’s only half-true for the Gouldian finch. (Discover Magazine)

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