Quotations about beauty. Is beauty an objective quality, or a product of our perspective and thinking? What makes a person or a thing beautiful? Are our standards of beauty legitimate, or do we value certain kinds of beauty, and only outward beauty, more than the worth of every person?

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How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all people, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.

— Rainer Maria Rilke

Truth, and goodness, and beauty are but different faces of the same all.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. ‘Tis good to give a stranger a meal, or a night’s lodging. ‘Tis better to be hospitable to his good meaning and thought, and give courage to a companion. We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The moral sense reappears today with the same morning newness that has been from of old the fountain of beauty and strength. You say there is no religion now. ‘Tis like saying in rainy weather, There is no sun, when at that moment we are witnessing one of its superlative effects.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty without expression is boring.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

But if a man be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and vulgar things. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The true philosopher and the true poet are one, and a beauty, which is truth, and a truth, which is beauty, is the aim of both.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. This element I call an ultimate end. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty. Beauty, in its largest and profoundest sense, is one expression for the universe. God is the all-fair. Truth, and goodness, and beauty, are but different faces of the same All. But beauty in nature is not ultimate. It is the herald of inward and eternal beauty, and is not alone a solid and satisfactory good. It must stand as a part, and not as yet the last or highest expression of the final cause of Nature.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

If eyes were made for seeing, then beauty is its own excuse for being.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

For the world is not painted, or adorned, but is from the beginning beautiful; and God has not made some beautiful things, but Beauty is the creator of the universe.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same fields, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some of us teach ourselves and our children to love the superficial outer; our looks, hair, skin, clothes rather than the greater beauty that resides within whereas it is that inner beauty that really defines you and who you truly are.

— Rassool Jibraeel Snyman

The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.

— Richard Bach

Spirituality exists wherever we struggle with the issue of how our lives fit into the greater cosmic scheme of things. This is true even when our questions never give way to specific answers or give rise to specific practices such as prayer or meditation. We encounter spiritual issues every time we wonder where the universe comes from, why we are here, or what happens when we die. We also become spiritual when we become moved by values such as beauty, love, or creativity that seem to reveal a meaning or power beyond our visible world. An idea or practice is ‘spiritual’ when it reveals our personal desire to establish a felt-relationship with the deepest meanings or powers governing life.

— Robert C. Fuller

Whether one sees the world as God’s creation or as a secular mystery that science is on the way to figuring out, there is no denying the beauty and majesty of everything from mountain ranges, deserts, and rain forests to the exquisite details in the design of an ordinary mosquito.

— Robert C. Solomon

It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves.

— Robert Louis Stevenson

Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.

— Rosalind Russell

Let the beauty we love become the good we do.

— Rumi

The very center of your heart is where life begins — the most beautiful place on earth.

— Rumi

People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing you are the beholder.

— Salma Hayek

it was the kind of moon
that I would want to
send back to my ancestors
and gift to my descendants

so they know that I too,
have been bruised…by beauty.

— Sanober Khan

I find beauty in unusual things, like hanging your head out the window or sitting on a fire escape.

— Scarlett Johansson

To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.

— Simone de Beauvoir

Beauty always promises, but never gives anything.

— Simone Weil

Nothing is more the child of art than a garden.

— Sir Walter Scott

Living well and beautifully and justly are all one thing.

— Socrates

Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.

— Sophia Loren

Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.

— Sophia Loren

It is a great mistake to suppose that economy consists in buying the poorest articles and in making the table unattractive. The great art is to know where to save and when to spend, and how to use everything to the best possible advantage. There is such a thing as singy extravagance and wasteful scrimping.

— Susan Anna Brown

In place of equal respect, the nation offered women the Miss America beauty pageant, established in 1920 — the same year women won the vote.

— Susan Faludi

In the most general terms, the Enlightenment goes back to Plato’s belief that truth and beauty and goodness are connected; that truth and beauty, disseminated widely, will sooner or later lead to goodness. (While we’re making an effort at truth and goodness, beauty reminds us what we’re holding out for.)

— Susan Neiman

I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.

— Sylvia Plath

We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.

— Tara Brach

A person is only beautiful, when their own beauty, is reflecting on to others.

— Tara Grady

Nothing beautiful in the end comes without a measure of some pain, some frustration, some suffering.

— Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Don’t strew me with roses after I’m dead.
When Death claims the light of my brow,
No flowers of life will cheer me: instead
You may give me my roses now!

— Thomas F. Healey

The beautiful things of the earth become dearer as they elude pursuit.

— Thomas Hardy

For I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide.

— Thomas Mann

Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do.

— Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

As I look into the future, I see radical changes in both how people ‘attain beauty,’ and how the world perceives beauty. In general, I believe traditional beauty will be less valuable – and more uniqueness will be heralded.

— Tyra Banks

Let religion be to us the wonder and lure of that which is only partly known and understood: An eye that glories in nature’s majesty and beauty, and a heart that rejoices in deeds of kindness and of courage.

— Vincent B. Silliman

Over the years I have developed a picture of what a human being living humanely is like. She is a person who understand, values and develops her body, finding it beautiful and useful; a person who is real and is willing to take risks, to be creative, to manifest competence, to change when the situation calls for it, and to find ways to accommodate to what is new and different, keeping that part of the old that is still useful and discarding what is not.

— Virginia Satir

The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.

— Virginia Woolf

I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.

— Virginia Woolf

The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.

— Virginia Woolf

Everything in the world is beautiful, but Man only recognizes beauty if he sees it either seldom or from afar. Listen, today we are gods! Our blue shadows are enormous! We move in a gigantic, joyful world!

— Vladimir Nabokov, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov

Beauty is something wonderful and strange that the artist fashions out of the chaos of the world in the torment of his soul. And when he has made it, it is not given to all to know it. To recognize it you must repeat the adventure of the artist. It is a melody that he sings to you, and to hear it again in your own heart you want knowledge and sensitiveness and imagination.

— W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence

I believe in liberty for all men: the space to stretch their arms and their souls; the right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends, enjoy the sunshine, and ride on the railroads, uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in a kingdom of beauty and love.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

Peace is always beautiful.

— Walt Whitman

The most beautiful thing in the world is, precisely, the conjunction of learning and inspiration. Oh, the passion for research and the joy of discovery!

— Wanda Landowska

Oh, this is the joy of the rose: / That it blows, / And goes.

— Willa Cather

Just because you’re beautiful and perfect, it’s made you conceited.

— William Goldman, The Princess Bride

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

— William Henry Davies, “Leisure” in Songs of Joy and Others, 1911

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.

— William Shakespeare, Love’s Labours Lost, Act 2, Scene 1

Look at yourself in the mirror and don’t be afraid to notice how beautiful you are.

— Yoko Ono

After all the imagination is a beautiful thing.

— Zora Neale Hurston
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