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The idea of beauty, which exists in society, serves as a way to oppress even the most powerful and independent-illustrate & explain
Regardless of its ever changing ten definitions and variance across cultures, beauty is still generally agreed upon by society. Although it cannot always be defined by individuals, it is recognizable by many (Berry, 2007)<href=”#_ftn1″ name=”_ftnref1″ title=””>. According to Wolf (1991)<href=”#_ftn2″ name=”_ftnref2″ title=””>, the idea of beauty, which exists in society, serves as a way to oppress even the most powerful and independent. What she refers to as the “beauty myth” is the expectations women are required to meet in order to be beautiful, desirable, and welcomed by society
In the following, a conceptual clarification is given in terms of beauty’s meaning, value and function (i.e. beauty that is used instrumentally, and beauty that is attained). Furthermore, some relevant distinctions are drawn between physical and artistic beauty, and physical beauty in a human sense. The core idea for this is formed by a Kantian notion of the beauty concept. It is argued that beauty judgments should be understood as relative to persons and their contexts.
WHAT IS BEAUTY?
‘Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart’.
– Khalil Gibran<href=”#_ftn3″ name=”_ftnref3″ title=””>
Beauty has not a definition. Aesthetics (that comes from the word ‘aisthesis’ which means feeling) is the area of the philosophy that studies the beauty, not the superficial beauty but the essential part of it. The popular features of beauty have changed over the years (for example, in the past fat girls were considered beautiful, and nowadays skinny girls are thought to be pretty). It also changes between the different cultures and between different people.
The essence of something is what makes this something to be itself. We cannot feel it. The essence of something is immortal, so, can a body be beautiful itself? A body cannot be the beauty because it gets sick, it dies, it suffers.
According to Plato<href=”#_ftn4″ name=”_ftnref4″ title=””> (classical Greek philosopher) organized seven grades of the beauty by their purity and wisdom:
1. Physical beauty, Beautiful speeches
2. Beauty of the nature
3. Beauty of the soul
4. Beauty of the virtues
5. Beauty of the science
6. Beauty of the philosophy
7. The beauty itself, essence of the beauty, virtues and immortality of the soul.
Beauty is something that is not only pleasing to the eyes but also pleasing to the other senses – touch, taste, smell, and ears.
Although it is quite an ambiguous term, beauty is a concept that is fairly agreed upon throughout society. Multi-dimensional and constantly changing beauty standards are created and embedded within society with the help of the media (Berry, 2007; English, Solomon, & Ashmore, 1994; Goodman, Morris, & Sutherland, 2008).
Proverb. First found in a work by Sir Thomas Overbury<href=”#_ftn5″ name=”_ftnref5″ title=””>, 1613:
“All the carnall beauty of my wife is but skin deep.”
The current study explores the influence nontraditional framing of beauty and ugliness. The women also considered media images of beauty to have a third-person effect with younger audiences being more impacted<href=”#_ftn6″ name=”_ftnref6″ title=””>. Social comparison was used slightly in explaining beauty definitions and standards for women.
PERCEPTION ABOUT BEAUTY:
It is saying if someone looks beautiful on the outside, they might be so mean in the inside, or if someone’s super ugly, may be nice in the inside. It’s like the saying: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, instead, Don’t judge a person by it’s cover, it’s exactly the same. It means that you shouldn’t care about what a person looks like because it’s only the outside. If someone is really good looking and is a total jerk, do you think that you’d like that person No way! If a person were ugly but super nice, would you like to hang out with that person? Probably, yes. Beauty is just the outside, and the inside is what counts<href=”#_ftn7″ name=”_ftnref7″ title=””>!
It basically means that the only thing that should matter about a person is their personality. Not what they look like. Just because they are “beautiful” on the outside doesn’t mean they are on the inside; the way they act.
One way in which television can create and reinforce these beauty standards is through framing beauty, which is directly correlated with having the perfect physical appearance, as being an important part of society. The majority of television sitcoms feature a cast in which the female characters all exhibit the traditional attributes that are supposed to equate to beauty, for example: thin with smooth skin, long beautiful hair, and a youthful look (Berry, 2007)<href=”#_ftn8″ name=”_ftnref8″ title=””>.
BEAUTY IS ALTOGETHER IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER:
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which means that different people possess different standards of beauty and that not everyone agrees on who is beautiful and who is not. This is the first stereotype or aphorism that evolutionary psychology has overturned. It turns out that the standards of beauty are not only the same across individuals and cultures, they are also innate. We are born with the notion of who’s beautiful and who’s not.
As these physical features have evolved to express beauty, a similar development must have occurred simultaneously in areas of sensory recognition to provide the driving force for sexual selection. After all, the perception of beauty requires two complementary processes to express and appreciate its presence. But to what extent does the beholder determine its presence?
Beauty can be defined biologically as something that the visual processing segment of the nervous system finds attractiveness. Ganglion cells in the retina are arranged in overlapping concentric circles, linked by inhibitory pathways. At the border between darkness and light, these cells become highly stimulated, resulting in an intense excitatory signal to the brain whilst inhibiting neighborhood cells. Through this arrangement, the visual cortex is particularly sensitive to contrast, which it perceives as an attractive stimulus<href=”#_ftn9″ name=”_ftnref9″ title=””>. This forms the visual objective for artificial enhancement of the eyes with cosmetics: increasing the intensity of the dark-light boundary excites the retina of the observer. Such adoptions are possible because beauty is essentially a visual phenomenon and is therefore exposed to the influence of optical illusions. However, there is more to beauty than meets the eye.
Segregation of expression and beauty may be related to competing evolutionary pressures- sex related differences in hemispheric specialization evolving in parallel to facial asymmetry, to optimize the exchange of signals between face and brain. Indeed, the finding that no such mechanism for characterizing beauty is present in females confirms that beauty is a male-driven emotion based in evolutionary neuropsychology, rather than a purely social concept.
A beautiful person, in my eyes, loves the person that they are and will be. They accept who they are no matter what others say or do. They value their life and cherish each breath taken<href=”#_ftn10″ name=”_ftnref10″ title=””>. A beautiful person does not try to change him or herself because of what others think or say. Beauty requires having self-respect. Displaying self-respect shows that you love your body; your mind, your spirit, and your soul.hey carry themselves in a respectable manner.
The argument goes as follows. Hopefully, we can all agree that we subconsciously assign positive characteristics such as intelligence and friendliness to beautiful people. Studies confirm this assumption. We then treat these people nicer than we treat others. Studies confirm this as well. The improvable hypothesis is that beautiful people are beautiful on the inside as well. As a result of having been beautiful and therefore kindly treated children they develop a positive self-image and treat others as they have learned others treat them<href=”#_ftn11″ name=”_ftnref11″ title=””>. This continues into adulthood creating beautiful people that are friendlier and nicer than less beautiful people. Beauty is only skin deep. If you go after someone just because she’s beautiful but don’t have anything to talk about, it’s going to get boring fast. You want to look beyond the surface and see if you can have fun or if you have anything in common with this person.
You have to like yourself first for anyone else to like you. Relating to ‘Beauty is only skin deep’ means that people only look at what’s inside that counts. Some people believe at love at first sight, what is all that about? That means they like the person just from seeing them. So many people in this world can relate. People judge people. People look around and think by the clothes or hairstyle this girl wears that she can either not afford them or chooses to be that way. So people might think she is poor. Doesn’t she deserve other’s attention too? I think that beauty is over rated. People need to look at your mind, your intelligence. Being pretty is not all it’s cracked up to be. Since being pretty has got me a lot of compliments it also brings in the bad sides of beauty.
DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS:
Physical appearance vs. inner beauty:
From the analysis of first 3 questions I found that majority people said that the main attribute of judging beauty is one’s personality and characteristics. Not someone’s outlook and physical appearance. Moreover, almost 85% people agreed in the long run it is inner beauty which is important because beauty without a heart of no use. Most of the people believe that beauty is skin deep because beauty is what is visible on the outside and a person who is beautiful and thoughtless is still considered a beauty.
Importance of beauty in a relationship:
In the answer of question 4-6 People said that they’d consider both the inner beauty and the outer beauty to get into a relationship. Mainly men do not want to get in a relationship with someone who is beautiful but dumb or ugly but intelligent. From their perspective both is equally important. But for women it is not really important, they consider personality most.
Outlook and different people’s perception:
People mostly agreed with 7th statement. They think someone might be beautiful in your eyes but not someone else’s. one may sees something in someone other may not. The respondents gave different opinion to this question. Most of them answered c. we found different response in question no. 9. Most women said they very frequently use makeup because they believe it enhance beauty which increases their confidence. Whereas, 75% men said they never use. Both male and female agreed that beauty enhance confidence level.
Most of the people did not share their own experience but they said their friends refused because they were not smart or beautiful.
Beauty and success in society:
Majority people think only beauty is not useful but they think the good looking persons get some advantage in every aspect of society like family, educational institute- school, college and university, work place etc. beauty may not be the first criterion of everything but it is praised by everyone.
Well on the other side: -The phrase “beauty is only skin deep” is presumptive, misleading and a patently false statement. It presumes, first of all, that everyone accepts the standard definition of beauty, i.e., a person whose physical appearance would be appealing to a majority of people. That majority would first have to agree on a definition of beauty. It also negates the concept that beauty comes from within. True beauty goes much deeper than skin. It’s difficult to interpret because I don’t know that either gender would view them in the same light as someone of the opposite sex would<href=”#_ftn12″ name=”_ftnref12″ title=””>.
Beauty can also be a determining factor in the workplace. This is due largely to the fact that positive traits are attributed to the physically attractive—“more intelligent, easier-to-be around, more mentally healthy, and more socially skilled…”—which define them as a better employee (Berry, 2007, p. 40).
Social psychology tells us that beauty in fact is not only skin deep. That is that beautiful people actually are nicer and more friendly. The argument goes as follows. Hopefully, we can all agree that we subconsciously assign positive characteristics such as intelligence and friendliness to beautiful people. Studies confirm this assumption. We then treat these people nicer than we treat others. studies confirm this as well. The unprovable hypothesis is that beautiful people are beautiful on the inside as well. As a result of having been beautiful and therefore kindly treated children they develop a positive self-image and treat others as they have learned others treat them. This continues into adulthood creating beautiful people that are friendlier and nicer than less beautiful people. Thus beautiful looking people become truly beautiful people by way of a self fulfilling prophecy. Our experience with beautiful people being nice fuels are expectation by way of a psychological phenomenon known as association that similar looking (and therefore also beautiful) people will also be nice. We in turn treat them nicer and they treat us nicely in return further developing their own good character. We find evidence of this belief in popular songs “you must have been a beautiful baby, you must have been a wonderful child. you must have been a beautiful baby cause baby look at you now”
Given this understanding, beauty can have many different aspects. Reducing the good and the beautiful to mere aesthetics is a huge mistake. Qualities like humility, truthfulness, and moral goodness can also give pleasure to the senses and thus can make a person “beautiful”. Since these qualities are by definition not skin deep we can conclude that beauty is not necessarily skin deep<href=”#_ftn13″ name=”_ftnref13″ title=””>.
At last finally in nutshell I want to say that it means beauty is beyond skin, it’s in the soul. It means very simply that if you took a ‘beautiful’ and a ‘not beautiful’ person and removed the skin, are they not equal in their looks? There is nothing about the beauty statement. It is only skin deep. don’t believe it? remove the skin layer of a ‘beautiful’ person, and I am sure you will see that the beauty too is removed. You will not have to go deeper. Beauty is superficial, and so is the one whom measures a person’s worth by it.
‘Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone’<href=”#_ftn14″ name=”_ftnref14″ title=””>.
– Dorothy Parker
[Total words: 2830]
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For this report, I have conducted a survey with a sample size of 25. Findings from this survey result is illustrated bellow-
1. What is the main attributes to you for judging beauty in appearance-
a) Outlook and physical appearance b) Clean soul c) Both
2. In the long run, what will be the key factor of judging beauty –
A) Physical appearance b) Inner beauty
3. Do u believe the statement ‘Beauty is skin deep’-
a) Yes b) No
4. What do you mainly look for in a girl/boy while engaging into a relationship –
a) Outlook b) Inner beauty c) Both a & b d) Others
5. How important is physical beauty to you for engaging into a relationship?
a) Very important a) Important c) Neutral d) less important d) Very important
6. Do you think that the stereotypical image of “beauty” changes for women of different races?
a) Yes b) No c) I do not know
7. ‘Beauty’ is in the eye of beholder-
A) Agree b) Disagree
8. Which “beauty” features do you feel the media creates?
a) Natural looks b) Exotic looks c) Light skin d) I do not know
9. How often do you take makeup?
A) Very frequently b) Frequently c) Sometimes d) Rarely e) Never
10. do u think outlook enhance confidence\?
a) yes b) no
11. Have you been refused by anyone for your outlook?
a) Yes b) No
12. Is beauty important for different kind of success in society?
a) Yes b) no c) I do not know
<href=”#_ftnref1″ name=”_ftn1″ title=””>. Berry, B. (2007). Beauty bias: Discrimination and social power. Westport, CT: Praeger.
<href=”#_ftnref2″ name=”_ftn2″ title=””>. Wolf, N. (1991). The beauty myth: How images of beauty are used against women. New York,
NY: Williams Morrow and Company, Inc.
<href=”#_ftnref3″ name=”_ftn3″ title=””> Krcmar M., Giles, S., & Helme, D. (2008). Understanding the process: How mediated and peer norms affect young women’s body esteem. Communication Quarterly, 56(2), 111-130
<href=”#_ftnref4″ name=”_ftn4″ title=””> Wheeler, L. (1991). A brief history of social comparison theory. In J. Suls and T. A. Willis (Eds.) Social comparison: Contemporary theory and research (p. 3-21). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
<href=”#_ftnref5″ name=”_ftn5″ title=””> Zakahi, W. R., Duran, R. L., & Adkins, M. (1994). Social anxiety only skin deep? The relationship between ratings of physical attractiveness and social anxiety. Communication Research Reports, 11(1), 23-31.
<href=”#_ftnref6″ name=”_ftn6″ title=””> Reese, S. (2001). Framing public life: A bridging model for media research. In S. Reese, O. Gandy, & A. Grant (Eds.) Framing public life (p. 67-81). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
<href=”#_ftnref7″ name=”_ftn7″ title=””> Wei, R., Lo, V., & Lu, H. (2008). Third-person effects of health news: Exploring the relationships among media exposure, presumed media influence, and behavioral intentions. American Behavioral Scientist, 52(2), 261-277.
<href=”#_ftnref8″ name=”_ftn8″ title=””> Wheeler, L. (1991). A brief history of social comparison theory. In J. Suls and T. A. Willis (Eds.) Social comparison: Contemporary theory and research (p. 3-21). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
<href=”#_ftnref9″ name=”_ftn9″ title=””> Davison, W. P. (1996). The third-person effect revisited. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 8(2),113-119.
<href=”#_ftnref10″ name=”_ftn10″ title=””> Krcmar M., Giles, S., & Helme, D. (2008). Understanding the process: How mediated and peer norms affect young women’s body esteem. Communication Quarterly, 56(2), 111-130.
<href=”#_ftnref11″ name=”_ftn11″ title=””> Buznell, P. M., Waymer, D., Paz Tagle, M., & Liu, M. (2007). Different transitions into working motherhood: Discourses of Asian, Hispanic, and African American women. Journal of Family Communication, 7(3), 195-220.
<href=”#_ftnref12″ name=”_ftn12″ title=””> Andsager, J. L. & White, H. A. (2007) Self versus others: Media, messages, and the third-person
effect. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
<href=”#_ftnref13″ name=”_ftn13″ title=””> Williams, A. P. (2007). Framing the youth in campaign 2004: Twenty million strong – or weak? American Behavioral Scientist, 50(9), 1273-1279.
<href=”#_ftnref14″ name=”_ftn14″ title=””> Jeffreys, S. (2005). Beauty and misogyny: Harmful cultural practices in the west. New York, NY: Routledge.