"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." (This saying first appeared in the 3rd century BC in Greek. It didn't appear in its current form in print until the 19th century, but in the meantime there were various written forms that expressed much the same thought. Courtesy of http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder.html) In other words what is physically, emotionally, or even spiritually "beautiful" can be subjective.
So it figures that an author displaying a character of beauty would depict that character from personal preferences or from another character's perspective. And we all know how enchanting physical beauty can be. But as an author we must decide if our character(s) will be physically beautiful or if their inner beauty supersedes their physical appearance.
As people, we know our looks play with our minds. Beauty - or a perceived lack thereof - can dictate how confident we are, the reactions we experience, and how we value ourselves. Right or wrong, most of us want to have some physical appeal and if we don't see ourselves with any, we can be ruled by low self-esteem.
The distinction of types of beauty lies in the author's perceptions and translates to the page. How serious a writer takes such things will be communicated by the inner workings of their characters.
Will we use beauty to entice, to seduce, to enhance? Will our character be attractive but shallow? Gorgeous but hardened? Beautiful and unapproachable? Glamorous and aloof? Pretty but unaware of it? Lovely but reticent? How will beauty be portrayed?
As a reader and/or as a writer, what role does beauty play in your favorite novels - including your own?
Father, you find beauty in what you create. Like everything else, mankind has distorted beauty. Help us to view things more from your perspective. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.