Gnomicon 73

If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.

Gnomicon  73
Saturday 21 July 2012

Read gnomica 1-50 here!

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“Defining beauty is simply a matter of opinion.
For me, real beauty has very little to do with the structure of someone’s face or body.”
Devon Aoki (10 Aug 1982 – )

Given my fascination with beauty – especially beauty in women – I find this statement interesting not only for its point but also for coming from someone whose livelihood is surely very much a function of the structure of her face and body.  For all that, there is no apriori reason for not taking the lady at face value as it were.  After all, it does boil down, as I see it, to a question about the meaning of ‘real’ in ‘real beauty’, and who but the speaker can plumb that interiority?

Surely we can all agree that  ‘beauty’ is protean both as definition and as human instantiation.  I don’t know Devon Aoki or anything about her except that she is a model and an actress, and although I have an unapologetic and strong weakness for Asian ladies, she does not strike me as particularly beautiful.

But check it out for yourself right here and here and here!

Hence, not taking the sophisticated way out and sneering that “someone like her” could only have had those words put in her mouth by others because “someone like that” in “that industry” couldn’t possibly have had “a thought like that”, I admit that, while not knowing the facts about presentations and representations in her world, I think the statement makes a lot of sense and, not knowing otherwise, I see no reason not to believe that this is what she actually believes.

After all, what’s the difference between the statement “Defining beauty is simply a matter of opinion” made by contemporary young model Devon Aoki and the statement “Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them” made in 1741 by British philosopher David Hume (Essays Moral and Political )?  And I’m pretty sure I’ve seen something similar from Greek antiquity but just can’t put my finger on it!

Even if Aoki (or her agent) cribbed Hume [likely?] – and he, others [likely!] — it’s still a valid sentiment.

In my eye, that is!

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One Response to Gnomicon 73

  1. julie601 says:

    IT seems odd to me one would define beauty by what it isn’t and not even make an attempt to define what, to her, it is. Rather an open-ended statement, isn’t it? Is Aoki challenging the reader to define for himself what beauty is? In what context did Aoki make his statement? It also surprises me that the author of this blog, well-versed in Greek history, left the high regard of the ancient Greeks out of his commentary. juliespeaks

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