It is easier to evaluate a painting than to give one’s concept of beauty. For beauty is too relative to be defined. Treated or explained historically, scientifically, or systematically, a definition of beauty can be confusing; much more does it become so, of course, if we talk about feminine beauty.
A friend of mine was lost for several years. But one day he appeared with a lady beside him. Sensing my astonishment and curiosity, my friend whispered to me. “Tine, my wife is a sweet little twinkling star!
A star! I could not believe him, for to this day I still am puzzled because a face splattered with small pox can never be, to me, a twinkling star. Here must be an angle to beauty of which I was ignorant. My friend could yet be right!
Let me tell you my concept of feminine beauty. It it strictly personal, and so I shall not be surprised if you disagree with me.
A beautiful woman is every inch a lady. Age does not matter. The older the better. But she must have individuality, character, and physical beauty. This lady is different because she is uniquely good mannered and well behaved. Height? I am not particular about this. But she should possess a kind of freshness, like a flower with the morning dew, a “loveliness that keeps you thinking, charm that moves you from the inside.” She is courageously beautiful because she is not lazy, indifferent, nor easily discouraged. She is pleasant but firm.
Her voice is sweet and clear. her movements radiate a kind of softness that moves and touches your imagination, and eyes that hit you like a meteor coming from nowhere.
I admire Mona Lisa very much, but I do not want you to be like her. I only wish to share with you what Walter Peter said about Mona Lisa. “Cell by cell, it is built up, and it is built up from the inside. It’s character, it’s warmth, it’s a way of thinking, it’s knowing the world, knowing and understanding people.”
An Art Critic’s Point of View
Beauty may defined as that quality of anything a phenomenon of nature of work of art which, when seen in its entirety, gives an impression of harmony, balance, order, completeness, and suitability. A woman may be considered beautiful, therefore, if all her features and all her qualities are in such harmonious relations with one another as to give anyone who sees her a pleasant sensation at wholeness and totality.
This means, to begin with, that she must be eight times the diameter of her head: that the distance from the top of her head to the angle formed by her legs must be the same distance as the distance from this angle to the bottom of her feet; that her legs must be slim and so straight that, when they are together, coins placed between thighs, between her knees, and between her calves will not fall; that the width of her mouth when in repose must be the sane; that the distance from her hairline to her eyebrows must be the same as the distance from this point to the tip of her nose, and the distance of the tip of her nose to her chin; and that, when her arms are outstretched, the distance between the fingertips of one hand to the fingertips of the other hand must be equal to her total height.
Even if she were perfectly proportioned physically, however, a woman would not be beautiful if her carriage were poor if she did not stand tall and walk tall, with her chin up, her chest out, her stomach in, and her feet parallel to each other while walking. Neither would she look beautiful if she dressed in such a way as to give more importance to her clothes than to her personality. Clothes must be to a woman what a frame is to a picture; it must set off or highlight her best qualities.