Beauty - Can your appearance influence your future referat


What is beauty?

You can’t say something about it in general. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. In history there have been lots of types of the perfect body.

One of the earliest ideals was the Stone Age Venus of Willendorf, a sculpture whose vital statistics amount to 96-89-96 (in inches).

The average 14th – century human beeing prefered broad hips, fat tights, short legs, small breasts and a large belly.

The Greeks worked out precise proportions for beauty. The female navel had to be exactly midway between the breasts and the genitals. The dark-haired Greeks considered fair-haired women exotic, perhaps the start of the notion that blondes have more fun.

In ancient Egypt, women spend hours fixing hair, applying lipstick, eye shadow and fingernail polish, grinding away body and genital hair with pumice stones.

In opposite, in Europe’s Romantic age, the people favoured the wan, cadaverous look. In that time women sometimes drank alcoholics or stayed up all night to look pale and interesting – Fragility was all.

But all got different at the turn of the century. During the hourglass craze (a populer fashion in which a very narrow waist was essential) vital statistics of 38-18-38 seemed to be perfect. Since then, the ideal woman in Western culture slimmed down.

She grows up thinking of that to be attractive to men. The ideal woman should be soft, feminine and caked in cosmetics.

Today, health is beauty. You can’t have one without the other. The whole world is in an fitness craze. “The fitness business is about sex and immortality.”

And there is also another factor that plays a great role today -  The medicine and plastic surgery (1971 over one million surgery operations were performed in the U.S.). Is it true that “life looks better” with it?

Can your appearance influence your future?

According to research results in a book published in the United States, attractive people receive preferential treatment in a variety of social situations. This can lead to getting better jobs or students getting better grades, or even to good-looking criminals getting lighter prison sentences. Attractive people are generally believed to be more sensitive, more kind, interesting and successful.

There is a great growth of “personal image consultants” who teach people how to speak, behave and dress in order to make a good impression.

According to experiments performed with personal managers in companies, attractive job applicants were considered “more qualified” even though their application forms were almost identical to those of less attractive applicants.

In hospitals, well-groomed patients received better treatment from the doctors who left the room less frequently, were more polite and spent more time interviewing them about their symptoms.

Children at school were considered to be more intelligent and popular if they were more physically attractive than their schoolmates.

This factor is known as the “Halo Effect” – when one positive aspect is known about a person, other positive qualities are assumed.

There is also a “contrast effect”. “Averagely-attractive” people were judged as less attractive if their photograph followed that of an extremely attractive person.

It is generally assumed that a pleasing exterior covers an equally pleasing interior. This could be due in part to the mass media, television and films. The hero or heroine of the film is usually a physically attractive person who is well-dressed and charming. The villains are ugly and unpleasent. If the villain turns out to be one of the attractive characters, we are somehow disturbed by the apperent contradiction.

Today we could say that attractiveness “often opens doors in business”. 

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