About Bonnie's Beauty Salon
Bonnie’s Beauty Salon is a space to talk about beauty. Not inner, spiritual beauty or physical, human beauty. Rather, the aesthetic beauty that one encounters in art, design, literature, and other created and curated experiences.
Snowpea sorbet. Beauty in taste, color, and presentation
For a long time now, I have been thinking about the power of beauty and wondering why it has become such a taboo subject. When I share my thoughts about the importance of having beauty in our lives, the reaction is either:
- Confusion – beauty is subjective and amorphous, thus beyond defining;
- Disapproval – beauty is elitist, distracting and irrelevant; or
- Understanding - beauty creates a sense of awe or inspiration that can push us towards connection, empathy and justice.
I grapple with this broad spectrum of emotions that beauty elicits. Even as I sat down to write this first post, I felt conflicted. Right now, world events present the opposite of beauty – there is ugliness all around, in the form of violence, hatred, poverty, isms and the list goes on and on. In this context, a discussion about beauty may be met with confusion and/or disapproval. Yet, I believe that there is no better time to seek out beauty - beauty is a powerful tool that can in lift us out of the muck and mire.
On an individual level, an encounter with beauty has the power to fill one with awe, wonder and sense of being alive. This experience can inspire people to look beyond what we believe to be possible and create a sense of hope and optimism. When people share their thoughts and experiences on beauty with others, through showing, talking, listening, etc., individual attention can shift outward and form the foundation of connection and appreciation.
As it turns out, other people are thinking and talking about beauty – what it means, where it is found, and what it can bring to people, communities and society as a whole. These conversations are taking place among philanthropic foundations, artists, designers, theologians, architects, urban planners, academics and cultural organizations. Yet, there is an important void in the conversation – the voice of the people who perceive beauty as something separate from their daily lives, out-of-reach or “off-limits” because of social, economic, political and cultural reasons.
Broken Obelisk by Barnett Newman.
Beauty in materials, design, presence
So, I am sending out an invitation to talk about beauty. The purpose is NOT to find a shared definition of beauty or agreement on where it can be found. I believe that beauty is everywhere – in our homes, parks, workplaces, street corners, books, magazines, music and, museums, galleries and theaters. It is often small and something that is part of our everyday. But, do not confuse small and everyday with superficial or irrelevant.
The simple act of finding, acknowledging and incorporating beauty in our lives is an act of self-expression and self-worth. This is because beauty can only be defined by one’s own personal sensibility and that sense of what is beauty does not require external validation.
The purpose IS to share where you find beauty; how you define it; how it makes you feel when you experience it and when you share that experience. There are no right or wrong answers; simply your thoughts and insights.
Every week, I will post articles, videos, images, etc., created by others, which either explore beauty or can serve as the basis for a dialogue. I also want you to send me content to share.
We can all lead, contribute, share, learn and reclaim our right to beauty at Bonnie’s Beauty Salon.