There's so much that falls under the Beauty umbrella. The feminine beauty ideal is the socially established notion that physical attractiveness is a woman's most important asset, and something that all women should strive to attain and maintain. These ideals seem to be hetero-based beliefs, and influence people of all sexual orientations.
Research has shown that when women and men look at a beautiful woman's success, they tend to credit the success to her appearance, and not intellect or talent. In reality, beauty can have either a positive or negative impact. A pretty woman will generally be taken more seriously by a male, however, if she's being scrutinized by other women, she is at a big disadvantage. Why is this?
The most difficult thing a beautiful woman has to deal with is social rejection. When it comes to members of her own sex, she is often an outcast. As listed by the Top 10 Things that make a woman threatening to other women, her attractiveness ranks #1. Whether it's true or not, other women perceive the beauty as a threat to "steal my man away". They may not trust their significant other in the presence of such beauty, and simply prefer to reject the other woman.
Another study shows what women are willing to invest for physical beauty. Women spend about 30% of their income on maintaining good looks (on products, diets, and altering procedures).
With all of these different perspectives associated with beauty, it would be interesting to start some dialogue about the topic. Is beauty an asset? Are pretty women taken seriously? Is beauty generally defined from a hetero perspective? Is there a correlation between self-image and self-esteem? What is beauty to you? What are you willing to spend?