An Ethnic Perspective on Beauty “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” a phrase that everyone has heard of at one point in his or her life. Walk by a cashier aisle in a supermarket and a there will be magazines shouting “How to lose 30 pounds in one month!” “Buff up with this weird new workout routine!”. “Fashion that’ll slim you down!” and the like. Is the concept of beauty and ugly really homogeneous, or does it vary? Is it just weight that’s considered? Exploring different ethnic groups prove that what one person thinks is beautiful may or may not be the same as the next person. (The article will mainly be focused on the women though, since their “worth” is judged more on their appearances than men. It will also be rather general on each ethnicity.) Caucasians Glowing caramel tan on flawless skin, voluptuous breasts and butt on a stick-thin model, long lashes, silky hair with volume, 5’7 or taller, white perfectly aligned teeth under big lips, a hairless body, and on top of all that the latest fashion produced by designer brands that leave little to the imagination. That’s the American beauty perception for women in a nutshell. Men? Biceps, broad shoulders, large chest, six-pack abs, whatever screams manly and won’t scare off the ladies. However there young girls who go crazy over pretty, metrosexual boys nowadays. At least these beauty standards are possible to belong to different races. As expected of the melting pot America is. The average man and woman aren’t as dolled up as Ken or Barbie, hence the word “average”. The obesity rate caused by easily accessible calories doesn’t help the pressure felt by Americans to be thin either, though is it actually thin that’s desired? The reason female models are so slender is becaus... ... middle of paper ... ...ne guy could prefer breasts on his woman while his best friend could like bums. Maybe neither at all and would rather hold a girl that would make him feel manly (without lecherous intent). Flawless skin does appear to be universally desirable, but because of almost impossibility, plenty of people wouldn’t mind settling for someone with a few scars. At the end of the day, these are all just statistics that only reach skin-deep, although there are always exceptions. Some people actually find comfort in changing their bodies as a form of art and expression. It makes them more confident and they are treated differently (Standen, Par 9). Humans have emotions, thoughts, talents, and flaws. There are billions of people on this planet with deep pasts, presents, and futures. This is only the surface, and evolution is inevitable. What is in now may not be fashionable later.
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“Looks don’t matter; beauty is only skin-deep” (Godfrey, 2013). We hear these sayings all the time, yet we live in a society that seems to constantly contradict this idea (Godfrey, 2013). If looks don’t matter, why is every woman in magazines photoshopped? If looks don’t matter, why are women constantly harming their bodies because they are unhappy with how they look and just want to fit in (Godfrey, 2013)? The unrealistic standard of beauty that women are bombarded with everyday gives them a goal that is impossible (Godfrey, 2013). Sociocultural standard of feminine beauty is presented in almost all forms of popular media, forcing women with images that portray what is considered to be the ideal body (Serdar). A majority of the models
The perception of the "ideal beauty" is an arbitrary and abstract concept that is constantly being modified as a result of the times. People are influenced by the images they see in the media to determine what the ideal beauty is. The media is manipulative and deceptive in nature, and it continues to carry harmful suggestions about ideal beauty despite the concrete evidence of damaging effects to people of all ages. Fortunately, it seems there may be shifts in the media that are beginning to portray men and women more realistically.
The concept of beauty can be hard to define, as it is an ever-evolving notion. What people perceive as beauty has varied through time, across cultures (Fallon 1990) and can also vary based on individuals. To a culture, beauty can be its customs and traditions, and to an individual it can include physical appearance (outer beauty) or personality (inner beauty). However the word beauty can also defer according to gender, Ambrose Bierce (1958) once wrote, “To men, a man is but a mind. Who cares what face he carries or what he wears? But a woman’s body is the woman.” Despite the societal changes achieved since Bierce’s time, this statement still holds true. Attractiveness is a prerequisite for femininity but not for masculinity (Freedman, 1986).
The concept of beauty and racism in modern western society is held to the highest of standards for all of it’s members; including celebrities. The perfect woman is described by Odette (2013), as solely for men’s pleasure and domination. If we look on the cover of any popular magazine, the women are usually: light skinned, slender, and tall. Men on the other hand must be tall and powerfully built. Our culture is valued on the basis of how men and women are perceived by their image, making it impossible for the average man or women to achieve the high beauty standard expected in society. Celebrities play an influential role in the way people view themselves, making the need to look like our favourite celebrities all the more desired. A person's
What is beauty? Beauty is defined as “the quality of being physically attractive or the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind” (Merriam-Webster dictionary, 2014, para. 1). Heine (2012) has found that beauty and attractiveness can vary across cultures. Although, there are specific features of a person that seem to be considered as beautiful and attractive across all culture spectrums. These features are: complexion, bilateral symmetry, average sized facial features, and biracial faces. However, weight in regards to attractiveness and beauty varies drastically across cultures. Through this discovery, there may be a correlation between the perception of beauty and attractiveness in each culture and its effects of body dissatisfaction and eating disorder rates. Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? We will examine how what is considered to be attractive and beautiful can have both similarities and differences across cultures. In addition, we will examine eating disorders, and how they are influenced by the beauty standards that are set in specific cultures.
Beauty, how do we define it? Why is beauty so important among us? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in this paper, leaving a clear understanding of what “beauty” is and the many qualities which define “beauty”. We are regularly challenged with “beauty”, trying to define what it is and what it’s supposed to be, who is and who is not, and what is and what is not?
Many women believe that the models that they see on TV have typical bodies, when in fact "the ideal body type today is unattainable by most women, even if they starve themselves. Only the thinnest 5% of women in a normal weight distribution approximate this ideal, which thus excludes 95% of American women" (Fallon, Katzman, Wooley 396). And yet "more than half of the adult women in the United States are currently dieting, and over three-fourths of normal-weight American women think they are too fat'" (qtd. in Fallon, Katzman, Wooley 396).
There is a famous saying that states, “ we should not judge a book by its cover”, but oftentimes the first thing noticed on a person is their looks. One’s “physical beauty” strongly influences people’s first impressions of them. As a whole, we tend to assume that pretty people are more likeable and better people than those who are unattractive. Around the world, we believe that what is beautiful is good. There is a general consensus within a culture about what is considered physically appealing and beautiful. “Physical beauty” is associated with being more sociable, intelligent, and even socially skilled. Society shares this common notion of who has and who does not have “physical beauty”. Thus, “physical beauty”, as seen
What do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? A seed sticking out from your teeth? Bed head from just waking up and sleepy eyes? The truth is every time we look at ourselves in the mirror we can not help but notice some of our imperfections. Whether it is our nose, eyes, lips or ears there is always something. The beauty standard pop culture has today on women is unattainable. Women somehow have to have a thin body, giant chest, big rear, and tiny waist. Unfortunately these are the molds young women in America wish to fit into in order to feel beautiful. The word beautiful has many different meanings, but most interpret it as a physical description. Many young women believe that in order to acquire this beauty standard they need
The models and celebrities in the media that set the standard for what women should look like are thinner than 90-95 percent of the American female population (Seid p.6). This is an unrealistic portrayal of what the human body should look like when compared to most women’s genetic makeup. Women’s self-image, their social and economic success, and even their survival can still be determined largely by their beauty (Seid p.5). Men on the other hand seem to have it a little easier when it comes to looks. Their self-image is largely determined by what they accomplish in life and not by whether or not they meet the social standard for looks. Modern clothing and fashion require women to show off their bodies more in tight clothes and by showing more skin than in the past. According to Roberta Seid ...
What is beauty? How do human beings decide who is attractive and who is not? Society is full of messages telling us what is beautiful, but what are those definitions based on? Do we consciously decide whom we are attracted to, or is biology somehow involved? The issue of beauty and how we define it has been studied for centuries. Scholars from all fields of study have searched for the "formula" for beauty. Darwin in his book The Descent of Man wrote, "It is certainly not true that there is in the mind of man any universal standard of beauty with respect to the human body. It is however, possible that certain tastes in the course of time become inherited, though I have no evidence in favor of this belief." (1) Science has tried to look at beauty beyond the conscious level. It has tried to determine what roles biology plays in human attraction. Scientists have discovered that symmetry and scent play a role in defining human attraction. (3) But while this can begin to explain beauty on the most basic of levels, what accounts for variations in the standard of beauty? The idea of beauty varies within different societies and communities. Do these cultural preferences have a biological basis? What is the relationship between biology and society in relation to the idea of beauty? How do they relate to each other, and how do they differ? In particular what role does science play in the preference that many societies, (in particular South Asian, East Asian, and North American Cultures), have for fairer skin?
Although many women say that they go thru this procedures because it’s something that they truly want for themselves, there has to be some kind of background on why a women wants to change a certain part of their body. Like in my previous example, breast. Women aren’t just born hating their breast, it isn’t until they start associating with society, reading into the beauty standards, or someone put them down about a certain aspect of themselves that they start creating an image of what they believe that they should look like, leading them to this altering procedures for their
The influence of present day mass media over the perception of beauty is increasing with the expanding industry of facial cosmetic production and the advancement in medical beauty enhancement. However, mass media advertisements appear to be predominantly dictated by "Western beauty" as they promote the desire for fair skin and "Occidental" facial features worldwide. In this paper, I will explore the consequential effects on Asian women as mass media continues to globally perpetuate the communities ' culturally and racially established perceptions of beauty.
Beauty has differed through time, different cultures and perceptions of the world. It’s not easy to define beauty, you could say that there are “a thousand” definitions of beauty. And there are numerous degrees of each. “Beauty depends on the eye of the beholder”. This saying is correct because what one individual considers beautiful is not necessarily what another individual may consider beautiful. Someone “beautiful on the outside” can be “ugly inside”. The media and the society are constantly using the conception of “beauty” to show us what we should strive to be. They assert that we have to appear a certain way to be viewed as beautiful. This is wrong, so what is beauty, really, and what different ways of looking at beauty are there?
Throughout history there have been many claims about what is beautiful and what is not on the face and body. America’s idea of beauty in the past changed many times from the fragileness of the Steel-engraving lady to the voluptuousness of the Greek slave. The ideal beauty in America is not so different from the ideal beauty of cultures around the world and follows many of the traditions practiced throughout history. The widespread of advertisement and technology is something that’s said to be the contributing problem to the ideal women phenomenon, but I believe history and trend plays the bigger role.