Do I agree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Hell no! If I believe that, then I would have to accept that some American Idol version of ‘Let it Be’ is as worthy as the Beatles version. That’s only if someone, somewhere says it is, but we do live in that world.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then beauty is not something we see. It’s something we assign. It only exists because we say it does. Saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder is the same as saying that beauty does not exist. The phrase is meant to be comforting, but in reality it is horribly cynical. A sunset is beautiful. The laughter of children is beautiful. The Venus de Milo is beautiful. Tell me otherwise. Tell me that that beauty is only in my mind. I know better.
Why do people believe that beauty is nothing more than a bias? Because it’s one less thing to discuss. If one person’s view is always as valid as another, then there is no reason to debate it. There would be no reason to attempt to convince someone to see what you see. There would be no reason to look for the value in things that are not immediately evident to you. That’s a lot easier, a lot more comfortable.
Besides that, beauty can not be proved or disproved. So an argument about our viewpoints, or even just an argument about good taste, can never be won. You might convert someone to your perspective on an individual subject, but you can’t prove that you’re right. So why bother? Because it matters. I’ve had lifelong arguments with people over certain books, movies and songs. That’s worthwhile even when there is never a victor.
Beauty isn’t always recognized, even by people who have an eye for it. Beauty can be an illusion, because people do often see beauty where there is none. That doesn’t mean that beauty does not exist. It means that you must always press yourself to understand and appreciate the world.