Utility: the usefulness/practicality of an item. How useful is it? That is very much we as a society focus on. It must be practical. Why would we want to have a frivolous item? In today’s world we can’t afford silly things. We have student loans that drag on us in most if not every aspect of our lives. Anything that we can’t afford is most likely to be disregarded. However, often when something is unattractive or doesn’t fit our aesthetic, we don’t use it or like using if we need to use it. We don’t use what we find to lack beauty. Beauty adds to usefulness rather than a superfluous quality.
One of the easiest ways to view the necessity of beauty beyond just utility is in your own closet. There is little utility difference between two cotton t-shirts of the same quality. They both clothe you and thus fulfill the same purpose. However, if one of the t-shirts contains a very loud print that you hate and the other is in your best color and flatters you perfectly, you will most likely choose the second shirt. Remember, the purpose of the shirts are the exact same but because one looks better than the other, you are more likely to choose the more beautiful one.
Another way of looking at utility with beauty, could be in regards to eating healthy vs eating junk food. If the health food looks very appetizing and is beautifully presented, you may find yourself reaching for your fork or chopsticks to eat it. However, if it looked like a cat barfed it, you are highly unlikely to want to eat it. Junk food doesn’t necessarily look beautiful but it can look more appetizing than health food if the healthy option is poorly presented. Let’s be honest, when looking into the fridge, if nothing looks good, you may crave a pizza or burger rather than eating what you already have. Beauty or attractiveness matters even in regards to food.
A third view of the necessity of beauty, the home needs beauty, whatever that means to you. If your home looks ugly to you, whether that is stark minimalism or ostentatious clutter, you will not feel good in your house. While your house’s purpose is cover your head and provide a place to live, the house or apartment or condo is meant to be a home. A home needs to have beauty. If a home lacks beauty, the resident will not feel as good as they could. The home will not provide its full utility as a home if the resident feels terrible about it or in it. The utility of the home requires beauty however it is beholden by the resident.
Utility is great and is a necessary value but beauty is more important. It is more important only because utility can be and usually is diminished when beauty is disregarded. As frivolous as beauty can be and as difficult as it can be justifying something pretty when you have responsibilities and debts to pay, some sense of beauty or attractiveness can help add to your daily life and help you forge onward with your problems. Bare minimum, when something is ugly, it does not add to your motivation very often and it usually demoralizes. Even if adding beauty is just a dandelion bouquet or sitting in the park watching the birds, try to add beauty wherever you can. You may find your life a little bit brighter for it. Thanks for reading.