Defining Beauty: The Concept Of Beauty

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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).…show more content…
Appearance matters because some facial qualities are useful in guiding adaptive behavior that even a trace of those qualities can create an impression. Specifically, the qualities revealed by facial cues that characterize emotion and identity, which are overgeneralized to people whose facial appearance resembles the unfit. Although people tend to admonish the statement ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, they also repeatedly defy that warning in their day to day routines, responding to people on the basis of their physical…show more content…
Dieting has become a “cultural requirement” for women (Herman & Polivy, 1983) because the ideal female body has become progressively thinner at the same time that the average female body has become progressively heavier. This cultural requirement remains in place despite the fact that physiology works against weight loss to such an extent that 98 percent of diets fail (Chrisler, 1989; Fitzgerald, 1981). Thus, even the thinnest women find it nearly impossible to meet and maintain the beauty

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