Thursday, March 6, 2008

Representation and Interpretation: Whose Ugliness/Whose Beauty?

Todays lecture will focus much on our making meaning from discursive signifiers. Symbols of language; symbols of culture. And questions of our subject positions, representation and subsequent forms of interpretation. We need to deconstruct these concepts in the lecture.

In the meantime though, we discussed work being undertaken by a Masters student in Sociology regards attractiveness. For us, the broad question to unpack is:

What is beauty? What do people see as attractive or unattractive?
And what are the forces and influences that shape our interpretations of 'beauty'?

What role does 'culture' play in constructing our perceptions of beauty?
What role does the media play in this shaping?

Question your own assumptions regarding physical attractiveness and how this might link to ways in which we define masculinities and femininities.

Ask, also, if these conceptions are rigid or fluid? Can they be changed? And How?

41 comments:

Shabash said...

Ooooooooooooo!!!! Yummy topic!!!


Had a chat with my students about the beauty and its representation….We used music as an example. Music as human agency eg. The song that goes ‘ baby where’d u get ur body from… I got it from my mama… blah blah blah…. ‘ if a women is sexy 9times out of 10 shes sexy like her mama…. If a girl’s real ugly 9 times out of 10 shes ugly like her mama! ;-(


I think its really sad that we are advocating calling people ugly!!!!! It suggests all sorts of things about how we acknowledge the beauty in people and how much we actually SEE about them. Its also speaks to the point of freedom of expression within the context of vanity. Are we really free to express ourselves physically … when the pressure to be “sexy”, “beautiful,” “fabulous”… seems to be defined by the outside. Where the pressure of social conformity is more important than personal expression.

Anonymous said...

will smyly
206501517

for those of us influenced by the media(everyone in our class certainly), and then those of infuenced by pop culture(everyone either for it or against it) they have made us slaves to their ideas about beauty. the problem is: who are 'they'? is it everyone? or a few fat cats making the decisions?

Anonymous said...

beauty is something that someone sees as attractive.since we all have different tastes and desires,beauty would differentiate from person to person.attractive is usually something that is seen as the norm in society,these days as described by the media that would be extremely skinny and feminine.unattractive would then be something that differentiates from the norm.the media does play a huge role in affecting the way beauty,attractiveness,and unattractiveness is seen as it is around us daily and many individuals would rather be trendy or for the norm,rather than against the norm.femininity is seen as attractive these days,be it males or females.it would be extremely difficult to change these conceptions as many people are brought up believing these conceptions and most people would rather be followers than be unique individuals,and resist these conceptions.206519382

N.Khan said...

Beauty for me is personality not looks. The physical aspect of a person may change but a person's personality will always shine through. As the song by Sugababes goes... "People are all the same and we only get judged by what we do,personality reflects name, and if I'm ugly then so are you." The media plays a huge role in promoting an image in what "beauty" is. You are either too thin or too fat or too short or too tall.

By concentrating on the outer beauty and not inner, you could say that this is contributing to society reaching a state of anomie.
From a young age people are exposed to the idea of being beautiful and matching up to societies standards of what is beauty. This brings about feelings of jealousy, insecurity and also leading to illnesses such as anorexia, bulimia and so on. It also leads to people becoming addicted to plastic surgery in an attempt to perfect their bodies and feel confident. But what people are really searching for does not come from outer appearence.Beauty comes from within.


N.Khan
206506745

Thamsanqa said...

There is an old IsiZulu saying that
"ubuhle bendoda zinkomo zayo", translated 'the beauty of a man is in his cows". Beauty is not uniform. As cultures differ so does the understanding of beauty from one person to another. Different perspectives of the understanding of the wolrd comes with different ideologies and mindsets. Nowadays media have been the driving force that has shaped and forced to us the understanidng of beauty according to western standards. But not to deny that westernisation has affected us in all forms. It is difficult to find an unwesternised society. Although within those societies you find it difficult to extract how and what is described when they refer to being beatiful. Traditionally, Black Africans understand woman's beauty in her full figured body while popular culture sees beauty from a petite figured woman. No-one could say exactly what is beauty and what is not. One could see a person being ugly according to his/her physical features whilst another sees that individual beautiful. It could be a hot debate to unleash what every individual determines as beautiful. It is one of those things we have to agree to disagree on. "BEAUTY IS INDEED IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER"

205512281

Anonymous said...

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder...

this expression is so true in many ways... western cultures see beauty as slim bodies, tall legs and African cultures see beauty as full figured and thick .

Media does play a big part in defining beauty as a result most of the African cultures (especially for woman) have shifted their definitions of beauty as well; they feel the pressure to change. There was never such a thing as anorexia in African cultures, but it has seemed to increase as media defines beauty as thinness.

Thobile Gumede
205516180

Anonymous said...

I think that beauty is not necessarily defined by being light skined as most people usually see it this days. Women especially girls come under way too much pressure to show people how they are sexy, beautiful. The notion of being beautiful in our modern society has been way to publicised. The forces that influence our interpretations on beauty are based on the popular vote, for example if a girl wears beautiful, tight jeans which show off her body being sexy, and at the same time puts makeup, people tend to see that as beauty. I watched the Tyra Banks show one day where she interviwed some girls who thought that they would not be beautiful if they do not have thier make-up, thier natural beauty is hidden by their make-up.

Anonymous said...

Well i think that we should not be judged by the we lokk everybody is beautiful in their own right. The media especially those beauty magazines are the ones the determine what ia beautiful and what is not. For them beauty is about being able to fit into a size zero outfit and be able to do the catwalk and be tall as a giraffe. Well we can say that is the western prospective of beauty beacuse here in Africa people, not magazine editors, think that beauty is about a full figure, being curvious and having beautiful big legs whci is the opposite of any beauty magazine. "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" this is just a subjective phrase

205516430

Anonymous said...

the famous cliche goes: "beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder." what i perceive as beauty may not be the same to someone else.what attracts me may not necessarily attract the next person.i dont agree in defining beauty as something attractrive since not all that attracts may be beautiful. beauty s what a person perceives as something pleasing to look at, something desirable and gives pleasure.something that when you look at it once, you wouldn't mind looking at it over and over again and it stil attracts you. something unatractive is attractive, only that it does not catch your eye over and over again, you would not spend your time admiring it.

the role palyed by culture in constructing our perceptions of beauty is that our mind gets canneled for example in most black cultures, a woman who is very light skinned is perceived as attractive and beautiful unlike a very dark skinned person who is perceived as unattractive or ugly. beauty is perceived by outer appeareance, a person's or something's image, shape and physical characteristics for me is the cultural contruction of beauty. inward beauty is the last thing on the list to be considered.

LORETTA BALOYI
206502718

Anonymous said...

Beauty does not comprise of how a person looks or how they dress but it comes from within.The media does infact play a major role in portraying what "beauty" is. the shape of a persons body, their hair tecture, the colour of their eyes and skin does not determine whether they are beautiful or not.I believ that a persons's personality,behaviour and actions should infact determine whether they are beautiful. As the saying goes beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so who are we to judge someone and say they not beautiful. To all the ladies l would like to say U ARE BEAUTIFUL despite what the media says, forget the slim bodies, long skiny legs and makeup the covers all emotional scars, YOU ARE PERFECT, tell yourself that you are beautiful because nobody else will. I believ that a full figured women oozes the essence of being feminine. 206503196 CHERRY,T

Anonymous said...

This topic is very interesting!!
i personally think that a book shouldnt be judged by its cover! alot of young women out there feel pressured by these music videos and lyrics to confirm to what is usually males perspective on how a "beautiful" woman is "purpose" to be! this has affected so many people that it has lead to the increase in eating disorder diseases!more and more young women are being diagonised with anixeria every day and what disturbing is that every year they get younger and youger by the day! on the Tyra Banks show she had a similar tpic and they showed girls as young as 6 years old who refused to eat simply because they wanted to be thin like the modes they see in magazines.

there is another song by The Dream which is very popular right now called Shawty is a 10! its basically stating that a perfect women is a size 10!

But this might just be one cultures point of view about a perfect woman, whilst its totally different in another culture.

In a movie, i think its called The Phat Girls- we see how they have shifted this perspective! it mentions that in the Nigerian culture a Thick Madam is viewed as being wealthy and Rich! which makes big women more appealing then what the US culture considers the perfect women!

Anonymous said...

people are influenced by the media they became obseced the way they look i think beauty cames from within not by physical appearence and i think poeple must love them self the way they are.cosmentic and advert are just making money out of nothing.G.A Vilakazi

Anonymous said...

The topic is vey interesting.

I think humans learn to differentiate between ugly and beautiful from images in their everydaylife and from conversations with others, guys tell their friends which girl is more beautiful girls tell their friends who the hunk & who isn't. In small community beauty contests the winner is always the one with more make - up & earings. In movies the lead actress has a small figure, fits in a bikini ( that we almost always get to see) with long hair. In this way through language, interpreting images we create a particular criteria that fits the word beautiful. This is a sad situation because it is as though we can never escape it. As parents it is not like the olden days where our children were taught by us (their parents) & the community, the same thing. Today children go to school, watch the media, have friends from different backgrounds.

Precious Majola
206508899

Anonymous said...

i would define beauty as having certain characteristics and qualities which enable an individual to express them selves better. yes beauty does consist of physical appearence in terms of physical features and its sad to think that society constrains us by this. i think we tend to believe or conceive beauty in a way because society has done it. the media plays a big role in portraying beauty to us. they depict and portray beautiful woman, famous people and so we as audiences perceive beauty in that way. we tend to think of 'them'as beautiful and forget what is the really meaning of beauty.

206501197

Anonymous said...

206505971

I don't know if anyone read the new You magazine this week but there was an article about a young lady in her 20's who took the taxi to work everyday. One day she wore a mini skirt and then went to catch her taxi. The taxi drivers and men there then assaulted her because of her mini skirt. They said that her skirt is so short she might as well not be wearing anything and then preceeded to take her skirt off her and as a group they sexually assaulted her. This girl and her friends could do nothing. I found that incident extremely interesting. She had what can objectively be defined as a beautifull body and decided one day to show off her legs. The fact that she was assaulted because she wanted to 'show off' her body is disgusting. What kind of society do we live in if women cannot wear mini skirts in public without being verbally and physically assaulted.

I do agree with everyone elses comments but I believe that beauty can be both a physical thing or a persons personalityt etc. Not necessary just one or the other.

Anonymous said...

firstly i would like to say that this is a very nice topic. Many people argue that being beautiful means to be thin,to be fair in complexion, wear make-up and modern clothing. Especially in the modern world that we live in today and with globalisation having such a drastic impact on our lives, individuals conform to these social pressures that to be beautiful you have to have certain physical features. It can thus be deduced that notions of beauty are constructed according to an individuals physical attributes. the major influences that shape these notions of beauty are the media and the family. Socialisation and enculturation play a pivotal role in our understandings as to what constitues beauty. these are social and cultural constructions. The media is a powerful influence in shaping our understandings of beauty. Advertisements portray than to be thin means to be beautiful, to have straight black hair is beauty. People begin to internalise these representations and use this as a backdrop against which to form their own understandings of what constitutes beauty. I remember this song by a guy named Mika and his song is entitled "Fat girls are beautiful". In his music video he has fat girls wearing short skirts. He emphasises in his song that being fat does not mean that a person is ugly. This is actually the first song i have heard that actually goes against the traditional notions of beauty,that is, to be thin means to be beautiful.

Also notions of beauty have undergone a complete metamorphosis from the times of queen victoria to contemporary society. Previously being fat with a big buttocks was seen as beauty and richness. A person who was thin was seen as being ugly and unattractive and was assoicated with poverty. However, it can be seen that today the situation is reversed. being fat is met with contempt and is perceived as being unattractive and ugly and being thin is seen as beauty. The media always encourages individuals that this is how you should look, that being thin is the "in" thing. So it can be seen that people may not really believe these notions but,to fit in, they begin to conform to these social pressures. this is an example of social constructionism.

However for me personally, i believe that inner beauty is far more important than outer beauty. A persons personality traits and characteristics outshines outer beauty. Inner beauty is constant whilst ouer beauty can change in an instant. Beauty is soul deep.
A.Khan 206505048

Anonymous said...

i personally believe that the media plays a major role in what we find attractive or not. The media constract our own assumption about what we consider beautiful or not. Most of the influence on what beautiful come from the media including the fashion world. Where they would tell us what to wear and what not to wear. People automatically take that into consideration without even asking themselve why am taking or absoring this. It feels as this people are the ones that tell us what to do and what not.

culture play a major role to because in african culture what s consider as beautiful is complecting different to the western culture. Peole in african culture take fully women fugure as beautifull compare to the western culture.

Nompe Ntombela 206506799

Anonymous said...

The way we difi9ne beaty is not the same it depend to the background of the person who define beaty.because culture have the influence in defining beaty sine beaty is labeled in a different way from culture to culture.Some culture considers a body side ,like how fat are you or how thin are you .

But we cannot ignore the fact that the media has played a huge role in redifining the beaty ,especialy the western media,most of the society in the contemporaly world define beaty as being thin and tall of which it is a western version. most woman are striving for the thing body so that they can look atractive as those super models from the media.

Ashton said...

I think that although people can be beautiful on the inside...there is this lovely popular idea that beauty on the inside is all that matters. Or that being beautiful is about your personality and that it doesnt really matter what you look like. Now, dont get me wrong i agree with that view...i just think that sometimes the idea is circulated that all that really matters is how beautiful one is on the inside. Howeve, in my experience, that view, is somewhat utopian and unrealistic.

In the real world, your appearance matters. Take for example a tv show like idols. there are poeple on the show who have beautiful voices and lovely personalities...but who are rejected at the audition because they do not fit into a certain "image" of popular culture. Who decides what image would be popular enough for these singers to get anywhere is decided by the judges.

Basically, i'm just trying to say that i think cultural stereotypes of what beauty is are more powerful than they are sometimes made out to be.

206501331

Anonymous said...

COME ON GUYS, BEAUTY IS BEAUTY AND WE ARE ALL BEAUTFUL.

OK! MOST PEOPLE INCLUDING MYSELF WHEN WE TALK ABOUT BEAUTY WE LOOK AT THE OUTSIDE STRUCTURE OF THE PERSON OR THE BODY SHAPE. AND WE HAVE DIFFERENT WAYS OF SEEING BEAUTY IN PEOPLE BECAUSE IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU CONSEDER AS BEAUTIFUL, LONG LEGS OR SHORT LEGS, A BIG ASS OR SMALL ASS. AS GIRLS WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT BEAUTFUL GUYS AND I GUESS EVEN GUYS DO THE SAME. SOMEONE CAN SAY LOOK AT HOW HANDSOME THAT GUY IS BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE GUY YOU DO NOT SEE ANY BEAUTY IN HIM SO REALLY IT DEPEND ON WHAT ONE SEES AS BEAUTY.

DIFFERENT CULTURES HAS DIFFERENT WAYS OF LOOKING AT BEAUTY I MAY SAY, IN MY CULTURE WE SAY "MOSADI TSHWENE O JIWA MABOGO" WHICH MEANS WOMEN'S BEAUTY IS SEEN IN HER WORK WHICH MEANS YOU MAY LOOK BEAUTIFUL OUTSIDE BUT IF YOU ARE LAZY YOU ARE NOT BEAUTIFUL AT ALL, SO HARDWORKING IN WOMEN'S BEAUTY IS WHAT COUNTS.

THE MEDIA ALSO INFLUENCE US ON THE MEANING OF THE WORD BEAUTY, IT LOOKS AT THE STRUCTURE OF THE BODY WITH THOSE NICE CLOTHES AND EXPENSIVE MAKE-UPS. I PERSONAL DONT LIKE READ BEAUTY MAGAZINES BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS MAKE ME FEEL URGLY". FROM THE MEDIAS SIDE YOU HAVE TO HAVE CASH IN ORDER FOR YOU TO LOOK BEAUTFUL BECAUSE MONEY ALWAYS COUNTS.

MONDY
206510367

Anonymous said...

Everyone Knows what beauty is. Even if your culture says you are attracted to full figured women, if you were to see a 'cosmopolitan' or 'mens health' model walking down the street a person would not say that they were unattractive or ugly nomatter who you are! And if you say the model is ugly or unattractive to you, maybe cause they don't have a certain thing that you like to see in your man or moman, than i would like to see what you would do if that model came up to you and started flirting and asked you on a date, i would guess that not many people would say no to them! just because someone is really attractive it does not mean that they have no personality and it is the same for unattractive people, i have met allot of people who i have seen as unattractive, but as i got to know them i began to see them as very attractive, as though their inner beauty was shining through!

Anonymous said...

what is beauty? well in my opinion it has to deal with ones personality rather than ones outer physical beauty. however, many people do not see it this way but rather look at ones physical appearances. in many indian communities one is seen as beautical if their complexion is very light. their features nor their personalities are taken into consideration. even their culture re- enforces this notion of beauty.

media on the other hand also teach their viewers that one is only seen as beautiful if they are a certain weight. even ones complexion is a mojor factor for one will never see an extremely dark model.

one is also regarded as a true women if she is small built of average height, if they do not meet up to this cretria, then they are regarded as musculin.

beauty should be in the eyes of the beholder rather than what meadia and culture dictates it to be.

(206503617)

Anonymous said...

what is percieved to be beauty? it is so funny to see how females in particular (not all of them) would always compare themselves to other girls, and there is a fierce competition between girls to see how can dress better etc. the statement which has been used in other comments "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" states exactly what it should be like. i think it is so rude to judge people and to decide that other people are less beautiful than others, and the media is most certainly the biggest culprit here. each person has a different sense of beauty and this is what gives us an identity, we find each other in a sense of beauty and this is not always a physical atractiveness but an inner beauty.

people may disagree with each other about beauty, but ultimately it comes down to the fact of identity and personality. each to his own? is it not so? I think that people might feel inferior to others when they feel less beautiful, but it is imperative for each person to first find there own inner beauty before judging on others.

L.Pretorius
206517851

Anonymous said...

Beauty is a complex topic. most people think of beauty as a persons owtward appereance. This is as a result of the way in which media communicates beauty as beeing skin deep.I believe that beauty also ferers to a persons inner qualities and personality.

In our world dominated by western media, unnatraciveness is often linked to being overweight and not having the 'right' body features, and attractiveness is usually associated with being thin.NO ONE has the right to judge us, and at the end of the day, we are all beautiful in gods eye.

Culture does play a role in our perceptions of beauty. in some african cultures, being overweight means beauty. however the role of culture in percieving beauty is decreasing, as the western notions of beauty spread increasingly throught the world.

R Moodley
206 500 578

Anonymous said...

I will take it from what my grand mother should tell me when I was young, that no one is ugly or beautiful it depends on do you feel about a person. If you hate someone, in your eyes he/she will be ugly and if you like him/her,he/she will be beautiful. However media is playing a big role in defining beautiful people, because when advertising they use suitable people for the brand to get more customers. E.g.If Soft 'n Free hair product is advertising their brand, they make sure that a skinny, fair, tall girl is used to attract consumers.

The issue of masculinity and femininity, I think it was rigidlong time ago when we did not have all these influences and mixed pot of cultures and gender equality. Now it is fluid, it is seeiping away. Because if I amy make an example, to be musculine you had to be a man who is a breadwinner, doesn't wear pink colour clothes, doesn't cook, play soccer, etc. But there is too much of independency and gender equality. Choes that were meant for females are now shared. Now males wear any colour even pink.

Fikile Mbeje
203513994

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with Nompe Ntombela that it depends on what you are looking for and where do you come from. It is true that African men take a fully figured woman as beautifull.However it was our culture then when it was genuin, but now you find that even some of African men do not look at fully figured girls as before because we are living in mixed culture world that is dominated by globalisation.

Fikile Mbeje
203513994

Anonymous said...

For me beauty depends on the perso, what he/she want to see as beauty will be beauty to him/her. This was said by reggae musician Luck Dube That beauty lies on the eyes of the beholder.

Media plays a big role in the matter of beauty because on the TV whenever they are advertising a new product, they will take from ugly person usind their product the end results is always beauty. Media can take a normal person and him/her to be beauty by dressing him/her in a very nice clothes with a lot of make-up to make her look beautiful in the eyes of other people,but once you see her without that make-up you find out that she is not as beautiful as she was in the media and you cannot even recognise her.

Masculinity is fluid beacuse before it was said that pink colour is for ladies, whereas now we all wear it and we do't see any problem. Further more to this we were made to believe that the leader of the house is a man, this was because a man was a breadwinner in the family because of the advantage the man had when looking for employment.Women were not allowed to have a good paid jobs, which is why children grew up knowing that a father is everything. Now this has changed because it depends on the qualification required not on gender. Now we have female house-headed families, and they are even much progressive compared to male headed families.

Bongani Mkhize
203513999

riona said...

for me initially we are attracted to a persons physical appearance, so looking good does count in todays society. however at the same time beauty should not be the only importance for individuals.oscar wilde said that to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong relationship.thats were it starts if you respect yourself with all your flaws then a persons appearance should not be of importance

Anonymous said...

I WOULD LIKE TO HTINK THAT BEAUTY IS IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER BUT IT'S NOT TRUE. THE WAY WE THINK IS SOMETIME INFLUENCE BY PEOPLE AND SOMETIME WE DO NOT EVEN REALISE.UNCONSCIOUSLY WE HAVE AN IDEAL TYPE OF BEAUTY IN OUR MINDS BUT WILL TEND TO THINK THAT IT IS OUR OWN.BUT PERSONALLY FOR ME BEAUTY IS WHAT I SEE ON TELEVISION AND IN MAGAZINES OF THESE SLIM ATTRACTIVE WOMEN.BASSICALLY, I AM ADMITTING THAT THE MEDIA INFLUENCE ME IN SOME WAY AND SO DO MY FRIENDS.

Anonymous said...

beauty is probanly on of the most difficul things to measure. everyone has their own perception of what it means to be beautiful.there are different ways in which beauty can be looked at,for example through various cultures, as well as the media. each has there own set of characteristics to interpret what beauty is.

for example the media may portray being thin and tall as being beautiful, african culture may describe being fat as being beautiful and others may think that it has nothing to do with physical appearence, but a persons personality is what really counts as beauty.

in my opinion, beauty is made up of a combination of things, like personality. there emotional and spititual state as well as their physical being.

beauty is something that should be left to each individual to interpret beauty the wat they see it without having to conform the the media or even cultural representations of beauty.

206518706

Anonymous said...

From my point of view beauty is classified along racial, cultural and ethnic lines. (Racial motivated attractiveness), most of the local black males would argue that they are attracted to black and colored females because they have well built hips, unlike white and Indian females. (Culturally motivated attractiveness),I prefer an African beauty type of a women that doesn’t dress up all crazy, a type of women that thus not do clubs and type of a women that cokes and cleans for her man. (Ethnically motivated attractiveness), I’m a Xhosa women and will never date a Zulu guy because Zulu guys are too controlling. I would prefer dating Swazi guys because Swazi guys are romantic and caring. I would end by stating that stereotyping creates boundaries within us and determines the ways we view attractiveness.

Anonymous said...

For me the old saying still rings true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However media influences the way in which we perceive beauty and therefore we find it hard to see past an individual's physical appearance. Western media is the biggest influence as we are constantly bombarded with images of 'beauty' through magazines, television and films. I think culture defines beauty. In western culture thin women are considered beautiful whereas in African cultures it is accepted to have a larger figure.

205519544

Anonymous said...

i believe that societies we live in has a lot to do with the way that beauty is defined, for example in the media, these days its such a big issue to have big boobs, which has led to many pf us having to buy smaller bras to enhance and show i cleavage . But for me it is all within a person how good he or she feels about herself. i believe that i am beautiful without comparing myself with anybody. Oh well I do have the characteristics of being beautiful

Anonymous said...

that was
206525054

Anonymous said...

People all see beauty in different ways, the more people interact with different mediums in society, the more their perceptions of beauty change or become more firm for the individual. Culture and media play a role in they way people look at what beauty is. The world of modeling gives the idea that beauty is having a really small body, music videos of different genres have different ideas of what beauty is, and people who follow that genre may link beauty to that. Cultural ideas also influence the idea of beauty that an individual has, e.g. the way a female presents herself maybe even body characteristics of having small feet. People belonging to that culture have become accustomed to looking for particular characteristics and then tune out anything else that does not fit in. At the same time people may find these ideas restricting and beauty may be something that they have always thought that they couldn’t or shouldn’t have.

206516466 (Ngema)

Anonymous said...

beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. is the reason why I think there is no such thing as an ugly person. what I see as being beatiful might not be so beautiful to the next person. a large population is influenced by meadia, popular culture, they do not have their own defination of beauty but they rely on what the media potrays. media has made all cultures whether you are white, indian etc a slave of popular culture. cultures now have a similar defination of beauty, SKINNY for females. and muscles, 6pack for males. 205522264 S.N Xulu

Anonymous said...

i think that beauty lies within ones self. Beauty is a persons inner qualities and values that outshines their outward appearance. This enables someone to attract people towards them by their their true inner worth than just being judged by their outward appearance. Beauty is true and sincere qualities that a person has within themselves, good, humble and thoughtful values. People in society are hardly ever judged by these characteristics rather ythey are judged by outward characteristics such as their figure, hair and appealing factors. this isnt fair, Beauty should be recognised by a persons inner self.
206508333

Anonymous said...

This world would be a better place if we were more concerned about inner beauty than what's on the outside. Admittedly I also weigh outer beauty more than inner beauty. A beautiful woman in my culture (Zulu) is one that is fuller figured, has big legs and is of a medium height. These features are also used to define femininity.
A man that is fat and short is usually ridiculed and made a laughing stock because those feautures are regarded as feminine - A man should be tall and of medium size. However I think these definitions of beauty have changed over time simply because of Westernisation and the media. Beauty has been commercialised and today almost everyone (including myself) has a similar idea of what beauty is - Its a tall and thin woman, with long straight hair and all other features of a model on the ramp. The danger in this is that it puts unnecessary pressure on young women to aspire and try to look like celebrities and models.

I don't think that my culture has changed it definition of beauty, rather its the popular culture's definition that has changed.For example popular culture projected a woman like Cindy Crawford as the ultimate beauty and a definition of femininity during the 90s, today it views women like Jennifer Lopez as THE beauties and definitions of femininity. My culture on the other hand, has mantained its definition for generations - that a bigger woman is ideal (is a definition of both beauty and femininity).

L Khumalo
205500409

Anonymous said...

as per the tired old cliche goes,beauty is in the eye of the beholder. this i find to be contary to the norms of society.
in the fashion industry beauty always takes presendence over the inner beauty intellgence,e.g a model does not need a high school diploma or any qualification to make money however the ordinary not so beautiful women/man on the street, has to endure many years of studing in order to obtain a suitable qualification in order to a good living, this is due to her god given gift of beauty.
in my expierence, beautiful women have the easy life, they are able to get jobs easily,people are attracted to them beacuse of their beauty hence they make friends very easily, some especially the intellectually challenged, choose to marry into money, in so doing are set for life, if the marrage
does not work out, they receive a very small divorce settlement.
205514424 motilal

Anonymous said...

i think that beauty is something that comes from within, it is not physical and therefore it is not based on physical appearances. it is something which is based on the persons personality, character, habits and attitutes. for me beauty is not physical or materialistic because there may be a person who is physically attractive but his/her inner being would be the opposite so therefore for me attractiveness is not beauty.

i think that people see the slender curvatous body for women to be attractive and also those who are light in skin colour with long soft hair, make-up and fashionable clothes are seen to be attractive in today's society. the opposite of this is unattractive. for men attractiveness is to have a well toned body with muscles and of course a 'six pack', to be a metrosexual men and to wear fashionable and stylish clothes with money and a nice car. therefore attractiveness is judged on physical and material possesions.

our cultures, media and society shape and influence our interpretations of beauty. it what we always see as beautifull that make us understand what is attractive. for example magazines and fashion shows use extremely skinny girls, artists, singers, actors etc are all skinny therefore because we are use to seeing such that what we believe is attractive.

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