Symbols of Beauty – A List

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As the famous saying goes ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’. What might seem beautiful to one person might not actually be beautiful for someone else. However, while beauty can just be a matter of perception and is often affected by ingrained factors like cultural beliefs, individual personalities and even media influences, there are certain things that we can all agree are beautiful, and most of the come from nature. Here’s a list of symbols that represent the concept of beauty.

Calla Lily

Although the Calla lily is native to Africa, it’s name is derived from the Greek word ‘calla’ meaning beauty, and it symbolizes beauty and magnificence. It’s also often used as a 6th wedding anniversary flower, since it signifies the beauty of the couple’s love.

The Swan

In Ancient Greece, the swan was viewed as a symbol of both beauty and grace. It was sacred to Apollo and Aphrodite who were both personifications of beauty in Greek mythology. At the time, the Ancient Greeks believed that whenever someone died, the swan would sing a beautiful, sweet song, lamenting the death of the person. It’s believed that the swan also reflects the longevity and power that’s possible when we become aware of the beauty and power within ourselves.


In China, jade is considered a royal gem, associated with beauty. The stone has been used in a variety of ways, from jewelry to carved figures and as amulets. Jade is also regarded as a protective or lucky stone with lucky energy which is why it’s used around the world for making talismans and protective amulets. Its lovely, translucent and subtle colors are what make this gemstone symbolic of beauty.


Heather is commonly found growing in abundance on healthland and moorland. Native to Eurasia, heather flowers are available in several colors and each color has its own symbolism. Usually, purple heather flowers are symbolic of beauty and admiration and they’re often used in bouquets and floral decorations. They’re also an excellent gift if you want to tell someone how beautiful and important they are to you. Not only is heather a symbol of beauty but it’s also a symbol of attraction and romance due to its lovely fragrance.


Seashells have been a symbol of beauty for hundreds of years. They begin as a protective outer part of the body of sea creatures but are later found on the seashore completely lifeless and vacant. They’re the remains of something that was once alive and represent the beauty that’s left behind following death.

Some say that seashells resonate with the perception of beauty since every single one is unique and different from the other, and made by a different creature.  Aside from beauty, seashells also symbolize life and death which was a common belief in many religions since the prehistoric times. They later began to be used as jewelry since they’re believed to bring out the beauty of the wearer.

The Girdle

The girdle is a type form-fitting undergarment, which extends below the hip and is usually worn by women to improve one’s shape or support the body. In Greek mythology, the girdle was said to have been created by Aphrodite’s husband, Hephaestus. He was overjoyed to have the goddess of beauty as his wife and made her an undergarment shaped like a saltire, which accentuated her bossom, making her all the more beautiful and irresistable to men. Throughout history, women have worn the girdle to obtain the desired figure and become more attractive to men. Today, the girdle isn’t worn as much, but remains a popular symbol of feminine beauty as viewed by society.


Since ancient times, the orchid has been considered a universal symbol of beauty and perfection. There are over 35,000 species of orchids growing around the world. The reason that orchids have become symbolic of beauty is the stunning beauty of the flowers and their symmetry to their leaves and stems. Their colors are unique and they’re often described as the most beautiful flowers in existence. Some associate it with fertility and virility, believing that if a pregnant woman eats a small orchid with its roots and stems, her baby would be a beautiful girl and if the father of the child were to eat it, the child would be a handsome boy.

The Butterfly

The butterfly starts its life as a worm and then transforms itself into a stunning winged-creature. This makes it the perfect symbol of transformation, hope and beauty, regardless of one’s circumstances. Throughout history, artists have often included butterflies in their paintings to add a touch of beauty and feminity to them, butterflies represent the positive characteristics of women and nature. In China, when the butterfly is depicted in combination with with plum blossoms, it represents both beauty and long life.

The Peacock

The peacock is a proud and dignified bird that symbolizes beauty and sophistication. In the Hindu religion, the feathers of the peacock are often compared to the feathers of an angel. These beautiful birds with their lovely, striking colors are a reminder to us that something so beautiful can’t be created by the human hand but is a gift from nature.


Pearls are among the most popular gems around that have a serene beauty and complement other flashier gems beautifully. However, they also have a certain elegance about them that gives them the ability to stand on their own. They’ve also been used in powder form in medicines, cosmetics and paint formulations.

Here’s a list of other symbols of beauty:

  • Mirrorsymbolizes beauty, truth and wisdom
  • Red – symbolizes passion, love and feminine beauty
  • Dolphin – symbolizes love, loyalty and natural beauty
  • Amaryllis – symbolizes inner beauty and stunning beauty
  • Cherry blossomsymbolizes the beauty of a woman
  • Lotus – symbolizes spirituality, inner beauty and a beautiful mind
  • Sky – symbolizes spiritual beauty and the beauty of heaven

Symbols of beauty around the world:

  • New Zealand – Women have their faces tattooed with tribal tattoos. The more tattoos they have, the more beautiful they’re considered.
  • Kenya – In Kenya, long stretched earlobes are considered beautiful. The women elongate their earlobes using various objects to stretch them out.
  • Africa – The lip plate is a common form of body modification, where the lower lip is stretched so that it can accommodate a disk. Soemtimes, the lower front teeth are removed to make the process easier.
  • Thailand – For those in the Kayan tribe, a woman’s neck is considered the most important aspect of her figure. Because of this perspective, women wear brass rings around their necks which help to elongate them. Over the years, they add more rings, until they have a tall stack of rings forcing their neck to remain elongated.

Wrapping Up

Beauty does, indeed, lie in the eyes of the beholder, and what’s considered beautiful varies around the world. From symbols in the natural world, to cultural symbols of beauty, the above list demonstrates that there’s no single way to represent beauty. Since beauty is something that’s constantly changing, it’s likely that new symbols associated with beauty will spring up in the future. However, for the moment, these are some of the most common symbols that you’d find associated with beauty.

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education, and has also studied Political Science, Ancient History and Literature. She has a wide range of interests ranging from ancient cultures and mythology to Harry Potter and gardening. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her.

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