I never recoiled, in that first season, to hear the nice people on the bus say “beautiful baby,” to us in reverent tones. It’s a thanksgiving for safe passage, a prayer for all new defenseless things. But after a few months have passed … faint suggestions of the adult visage emerge. … And if you have a girl, the specter of beauty, or the looking-for-it, begins to hover.
Over at The Millions, Lydia Kiesling takes a true look at beauty. In the process, she explores different concepts of beauty across the literary spectrum, including wonderful works by Jeffrey Eugenides, Margaret Atwood, Zadie Smith, Elaine Scarry, Edith Wharton, and others.