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Monday, April 28, 2014

Our Concept of Beauty: Survival of the Fittest (A Question)

“We are attracted to that which is beautiful, and that can lead to unfair treatment.”

“In a study conducted with premature babies, it was found that neonatal nurses responded more positively to cuter babies and gave them better care. As a result, cuter babies gained weight more quickly and were discharged sooner than the less attractive babies.”

“People assume that physical attractiveness is highly correlated with other desirable traits. The results of many studies indicate that beauty constitutes a powerful stereotype called “what is beautiful is good.”

“A study in 1999 by Perlini, Bertolissi, and Lind, showed photographs of attractive and unattractive younger and older women to first-year university students and to senior citizens. The researchers found that participants attributed more positive qualities to attractive women – regardless of their age. Senior men attributed more positive qualities to attractive young women than to attractive older women.”

“Physical attractiveness has the largest effect on both men’s and women’s attributions when they are making judgments about social competence. The beautiful are thought to be more sociable, extroverted, and popular than the less attractive. They are also seen as more sexual, happier, and more assertive. Highly attractive people do develop good social interaction skills and report having more satisfying interactions with others than do the less attractive.”



Short version: 19th Century Women

Category: History Other

Author: Victor

Words: 1318 | Pages: 6

Date: December 14, 2009

The term being stoned took a whole different meaning in the 19th century. Not only were terms different but the attitudes were as well. Data that was formulated by some of the leading experts was all believed to be true. One of the more interesting topics was women's beauty.

Women have different definitions for what was or wasn't beautiful. But, during the 19th century, there wasn't a lot of data to choose from. There were only a few sources and it seemed as if people felt that their knowledge was all true.

Beauty is not an easy thing to describe. First of all, beauty is an idea. There is no specific example of one thing that is the exact definition of beautiful. Beauty is something that holds traits to which the beholder is fond of. Beauty is something that the person finds to be pleasant to the eye. The most important concept about beauty is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are over 6 billion people on this planet. Each person is unique therefore the term beautiful is going to have many different meanings. There is no set definition. For instance, the Mona Lisa painting is considered to be a great work of art to some and to others it is simply a picture of an average looking women. The idea of beauty or what is beautiful is always changing. This paper will discuss the 19th century's version of beauty and compare and contrast it to contemporary society's view.

The 19th century was a different time. It seems as if people were considered credible with a mild amount of research. People felt that what researchers were saying about women, were true. Men were considered superior to women. To keep this theory alive, men tried their best to find ways in which they kept women inferior to them. It doesn't help that this assumption is backed by the Bible. The Bible is one of the most powerful books on the entire planet. It is by far the #1 bestseller, all time. In the Bible it says all Men are created equal. In addition, The Bible has a tale called Adam and Eve, and God makes a woman, named Eve. After being told that she couldn't eat an apple from a tree, she does. So from the very beginning, women were already thought to be less than men. Sadly, this notion that women were lesser beings than men was widely practiced during the 19th century. If women spoke out it was said that they were thrown in mental asylums and forced to take medication. Men really thought that these women were sick. Men felt that if women thought differently or didn't agree with what was considered their place, then they were deeply ill. This wasn't a thought amongst only a few males during the 19th century, but many. It is a sad place to live in where people think you are abnormal and sick if you speak out for what you believe in. In contemporary society it is safe to say that Women are different than they were in the 19th century. Change has occurred but maybe not for the better. People generally have mixed opinions when it comes to the progress of women's beauty over the years. In contemporary society, the notion of what makes women beautiful is also different. In an Article from Allure, titled Life under the Knife, by Hope Donahue, One Women's quest for beauty led to a nose job, cheek implants, and lip injections by age 23. And her obsession had just begun. The women who remained anonymous said, "You might be models or actresses but I have breeding. But if I was so perfect what was I doing going from doctor to doctor. I rush to the mirror, checking, always checking; for what?" This is the typical thought process for women in our society today. Women feel as if beauty is only what is on the outside. Like this women, people become obsessed with their image and do everything they can to make it "perfect." The sad thing is many women don't know when to stop. Most women who have 1 operation are more prone to do another. Some women get operations done because they don't feel that they are beautiful. This is an extremely sad state of mind. Not being able to be satisfied with one's self would be extremely depressing. Women should feel beautiful the way they are. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and some people will like you if you are a good person.

It doesn't help that the media gives all the publicity to women who are extremely beautiful on the outside. Women have to become almost anorexic to get parts. Gwen Stefani was quoted saying, "Yea, I look good. But I am always hungry." This shows that even women who are models for everyone else aren't necessarily happy with the way they look. If looking good means that you cannot eat something you want, then maybe it's not worth it. America is about freedom of choice. So why do so many women become prisoners of their own body? Women are taught that beauty or being beautiful will get them far in life. With that, sometimes women deem it necessary to go to great lengths to make sure their image is preserved. When women start starving themselves many bad things can arise. First of all depression can set in. When people haven't eaten in a while they can get cranky. Anorexia is a disorder in which women have gone to extremes to try and keep a skinny image. Starving yourself or causing yourself to throw up, is called bulimia. All of these traits can be acquired and are not healthy for a young women's health.

I am writing a paper on the 19th century's version of what beauty is for women and then comparing and contrasting to the twentieth century's version of beauty. I want to talk about an essay written by Prudence Saur and also one by Susan Power. I will talk about how women's beauty was perceived. For example, "Mere fashion of face and form are not meant by beauty, but that symmetry, and brightness, which come of physical and spiritual refinement." In Susan Power's essay she talks about what makes women beautiful. In Prudence Saur's article, she says, "Let me strongly caution the young wife against the evil effects of tight lacing." This shows how she actually thought it was wrong to squeeze into little corsets mostly because it was damaging to the women's body.

Today's view of beauty is much different. I will look at 2 resources regarding women's beauty. The first is the magazine Cosmopolitan. It is a women's magazine with advice given by women. The next resource will be which is health advice given by other women. The definition of women's beauty is much more different.

(A Question) by Charles Lamadrid

Among other things, eye candy, a slang term for visually appealing persons or effects used to draw mass attention, can be used for selling fashion items worth several thousand dollars—like a purse—at a time when the average annual income of all of Earth’s inhabitants is $7,000, and it helps to set standards of personal beauty for us that only a chosen few can ever hope to live up to.

In a worst-case scenario, the true nature of its limiting criteria used for defining beauty can be likened to the meaning behind the phrase “survival of the fittest,” defined here as a “…concept of human society, inspired by the principle of natural selection, postulating that those who are eliminated in the struggle for existence are the unfit.”

This is a cruel hoax, one in which even our children can find themselves labeled as undesirable and unwanted by some.

Presumably, we are our planet’s highest life forms based on what some believe to be our unique ability to reason, described as “the capacity for consciously making sense of things, for establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information.”

Believing that each and every one of us has been so endowed, let us ask ourselves this question: should we be investing so much of our self-worth in just trying to keep up with what others have, while those who define whatever our fashion needs may be, willfully, and by design, seek to have each and every one of us eternally pitted against one another, forever engaged in a never-ending, cash-fueled, virtual contest that would have the vast majority of us trying to live up to a standard of personal beauty that was out of reach before we were ever conceived?

Careerism: devotion to a successful career, often at the expense of one's personal life, ethics, etc.  

(Extreme Careerism)  

(Billie Holiday – 'Solitude')  

(Jean Beauvoir – 'Monday')   
Jean Beauvoir - 'Nina'   
Jean Beauvoir - 'I Keep Holding On (A Song for Haiti)'   
(Child Beauty Pageants Documentary P1)   
(Child Beauty Pageants Documentary P2)
(Child Beauty Pageants Documentary P3)
(Child Beauty Pageants Documentary P4)
(Child Beauty Pageants Documentary P5)
(Child Beauty Pageants Documentary P6)
(The Controversy Behind Child Beauty Pageants)   

(Top Models Fail Compilation)

While I have no problems with children being sexual human beings since there is nothing inherently wrong with sexuality per se, I am opposed to the act of pitting small children or adults against each other based on something as shallow and immaterial as one's perceived physical beauty.

This act of inhumanity is a cruel hoax and constitutes nothing short of child abuse. While a certain degree of skill is required to win one of these competitions, the overarching theme behind all of these contests is the presumed highly subjective beauty of the contestants.

This is a detriment to us all at both the personal and societal levels given the fact that physical beauty, to varying degrees, is a characteristic each of us is born with that is determined almost wholly through genetics and for which few human beings, except for the most privileged among us, have any real control over.

Let us endeavor, instead, to focus more on cultivating our inner selves and our inner beauty as opposed to a fleeting outer beauty that can only betray us in the end.

Socrates called beauty a short-lived tyranny; Plato, a privilege of nature; Theophrastus, a silent cheat; Theocritus, a delightful prejudice; Carneades, a solitary kingdom; Aristotle, that it was better than all the letters of recommendation in the world.