Cultural Effect on Perception of Beauty
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, as someone said. Almost every aspect of our life has been affected by culture. One of them is the appearance in which we present ourselves to the world, the outer beauty. This is clearly illustrated in Ann M. Simmons "Where Fat Is a Mark of Beauty" and Susan Bordo "Never Just Pictures." However, Simmons points that how one culture brings beauty in the means of being fat, while Bordo sheds some lights on affect of advertising on modern culture.
Simmons discusses about the girls in Nigeria and how they brought up to be fat. In Nigerian culture fat is considered to be beautiful. If the girl is fat then it is easier for parents to find the groom. She is considered healthy and can bear healthy children. Men are also attracted to them as well. Being fat also means that her parents are wealthy enough to feed her, which will also help them get more respect from the society and be able to married her off to a equally or possibly wealthier family. This aspect of culture is so important that they have fattening houses, where parents leave their children to matrons' care, who then help educate them and feed them in a way that they could gain weight.
Bordo explains how advertising is brainwashing today's youth to think how they should look like. Almost all advertising features ultra slim models which making today's youth to find a way to look as "cool" and as "smart" as any next model. This causes them to get into either starving diet or habitual vomiting which are the cheaper alternative to easier to do and cheaper alternatives to pills and exercise. "Psychologists commonly believe that girls with eating disorders suffer from "body image disturbance syndrome": they are unable to see themselves as anything but fat, no matter how thin they become." This causes them to have an eating disorder and is becoming common of cultural perception.
There are many similarities and differences...
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