How do we classify some things as beautiful, and others as ugly? What is the difference?
Suddenly, the thought came to me: Beauty is a reflection of God, and ugliness of sin.
"The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork." Psalm 19:1
Think about it: In creation, we see flowers that we call "beautiful"--they are (nearly) as God created them.
However, when they die or become diseased or mutated,
they lose their beauty. Death and disease are both results of sin.
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." Romans 5:12
"Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." Romans 8:21-22
Sin perverts God's perfect design, resulting in what we call "ugliness".
Or, speaking about people, what are the things that make a face beautiful (besides the hopefully obvious "having a cheerful countenance")? Rosy cheeks, bright eyes, clear skin, and so forth: and these are all products of health; (or, in the case of some females, are simulated by make up... :P) which is, again, closer to the original way God created us.
So, the closer things are to God and His created perfection, the more beautiful they are!
With character, it is much the same: having "inner beauty" is when your character is closer to God's; when your actions and words reflect His love, patience, mercy, justice, and so on.
Things like deceit, cruelty, untrustworthiness, and so forth are opposites of God's character: therefore, they are (or ought to be) ugly and repulsive to us.
The closer someone's character is to God's, the more beautiful it is.
Beauty is, in essence, a reflection of God. Beauty shows us God's creativeness in designing these beautiful things, His love for us in making things for us to enjoy, His attention to detail, His perfection, (holiness) and also His justice, mercy, kindness, and so forth.
What is exactly is the definition of beauty again?
Something that brings joy, that is pleasant to the senses; that causes a feeling of awe or wonder. It also sometimes refers to something working together properly, such as a machine. (That is my definition... for the official, Websters 1828 definition, go here.)
P.S. I started writing this post exactly one year ago today. :D At least I am finally getting it up! There will eventually (hopefully sooner than a year from now) be a part two as well, with some practical implications of this idea. Thanks to Jay for his help with fractalling! (I know what it means now!!)