The Oxford Dictionary:
Close your eyes for a moment.
Imagine if we lived in a world without sight.
How would we define beauty then?
Which aesthetic sense would be stimulated by the presence of true beauty, without the curtain that sight sometimes draws over our other senses?
If we sensed beauty with our ears would we cry with wonder over the delicate breaking sound each raindrop makes as it hits the pavement, would each note in a symphony paint the brush strokes of a masterpiece worthy of Monet, every word of a song shine with the light of a sunset.
Were beauty felt with the fingertips would the touch of a flower petal transpose its beauty from sight to touch, could the warmth of our hand inside our lover's convey the same intense beauty as looking into their eyes, the brush of a silk dress against our skin be as pretty as wearing it?
If we could taste beauty would pretty be the burst of a ripe sweet strawberry, would glamour be the darkest chocolate melting into bitter sweet bliss on our tongue, would allure be the first summer peach pie with an all butter crust and vanilla ice cream?
If beauty had a scent would the warm yeastiness and earthy browning flour smell of baking bread take the place of great monuments, would the jasmine drifting through a summer night outdo the wonder of the stars, would the tang of the ocean air coming over a bluff be as paradigm shifting as the first time someone lays eyes on the sea?
Perhaps we would sense beauty with our intellectual senses; loveliness would be measured by the size of someone's mind, not the size of their thighs. Mensa candidates would be the new Victoria's Secret models, ground breaking scientists the new celebrities and starlets, great authors the new pin-ups and page three girls. Beauty would be in someone's word and thought, not in the skin deep combination of genes.
I like to think we would sense beauty with our hearts.
In the deepest of places, we would know what true beauty is.
True grace would be what we do for others, in our family, in our community, for humanity.
Allure would be the passion with which someone talks about their life and all the parts it is made of.
Elegance would be the way it feels to move freely, to talk with love, and to hold someone close in your arms.
True beauty would lie in how much of our hearts we could give away, how heavy and light it would grow for others and in each beat reminding us how precious these days are.
So next time you want to look in the mirror, close your eyes.
See beauty in a different way.