The Vanity in Defining Beauty Essay

714 Words 3 Pages
When flipping though the the glossy pages of a magazine it’s easy to notice similar attributes possessed by the models. These include long healthy hair, straight white teeth, high cheek bones, slender bodies and delicate feminine features. One would assume that that these traits are common characteristics of beauty and universally recognized, but that assumption would be wrong. Take China for example, the cultural norm for beauty is incredibly diverse to America’s. Plump round bodies and cherub like faces are traits of the most desirable Chinese belle. So what is beauty? The answer all depends on what region, culture or even decade in history you’re referring to. Beauty does exist within a societal scope and includes some common …show more content…
The women’s facial features also differ considerably. The features of Monroe are strikingly feminine. Her bows shaped and arched perfectly, her lips full and red, her eyes large and lashes full. The features of the swahili women are much less defined. Her face is actually quite gender neutral. Monroe and the Swahili women reside at polar opposites of the beauty spectrum yet each personifies the essence of beauty in their respective cultures. Notice that despite their countless differences the beauty possessed by the depicted women shares similar elements. Beauty may vary vastly visually but their are some universal traits to beauty. “Although the object of beauty is debated, the experience of beauty is not. Beauty can stir up a snarl of emotions but pleasure must always be one (tortured longings and envy are not incompatible with pleasure)” In Ettcoff’s “Survival of the Prettiest” she puts into words perfectly the emotional side of beauty. One emotion that always unveils itself when I notice a beautiful person is envy. I think that applies to the majority of humanity. Beauty also does have common characteristics that remain relevant in almost every culture. In Postrel’s “The truth about beauty” she dissects the dove “Campaign for real beauty”. At on point she comments on the billboard models dove labels “Real Women”,

Related Documents