Every-Body is Beautiful

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In Chapter 11 of our textbook sources say they found that physical attractiveness is a huge selling point for men all over the world. Women on the other hand, prefer a man who can provide for them, although physical attractiveness is still a factor.
What is interesting, however, is how beauty is perceived in other cultures, men may rely on physical attractiveness, but what do they find attractive?
In Burma, women are perceived as being beautiful based on the length of their neck. Starting at the young age of five women of the Kayan tribe begin to wear metal rings around their neck. The rings push down on the collarbones and compressing the ribs, after time more rings are added.
In Ethiopia the Suri tribe measure's a woman's beauty is measured by the size of the "lip plate" in her bottom lip. Once a girl reaches puberty her bottom teeth are removed to make way for a piercing in the bottom lip. Once the piercing is put into place the lip is stretched around clay plate, girls with bigger plates signify a more desirable woman.
Finally, in Mauritania (Northwest Africa), women are considered beautiful if they are extremely obese. Girls as young as four begin to be fattened up, drinking 14 gallons of camel's milk a day. The reason this is considered attractive is because Mauritania is frequently wracked by drought and weight is a sign of wealth.
What I find especially interesting about this image of beauty is that is all stems from ancient traditions that may have made sense at the time, but in this present day are simply for aesthetics. Do you think this carries over in all other cultures?


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This is a very interesting blog post. I really think people in America forget about the diversity and cultural differences that are out there in the world. We seemed to be so focused on what's going on in the US (which doesn't seem to be surprising because we are self-centered) that we forget about the beauty of diversity that the world has to offer. I also think that the types of beauty are very interesting. Why the neck? Why the lip? And more importantly, why did these come about? I can understand the obese women and a sign of wealth, but what does an enormous lip or long neck signify? You definitely got me thinking!

Quite interesting. I remember watching the Burmese on Ripley's Believe It or Not. Although I have to disagree slightly with the fact that today's ideas of beauty are entirely aesthetic. If you think of the possibilities, the desire for slimness and fitness in a person probably stems from the dangers of obesity that our society suffers from--or at least being made to believe. These may have some psychological aspects on our views of the world in general, causing us to believe that slim=sexy. However, this leads into the extreme opposite: anorexia. However I will agree that in more ancient existing societies like the ones you presented above, that a measure of one's worth reflects their traditional values and the stories of their culture.

You mentioned in your post that in Mauritania obesity signifies wealth. Are there similar meanings for a longer neck or bigger lip plate? I know the more extreme of each translates into a more desirable woman, but how is it decided?

The thing i found most interesting about this article is that men in Mauritania find obese women attractive since it is a sign of wealth. This sounds relatively similar to women's' preference for wealth and ability to provide. It's seems to be sort of a a confound if men are attracted to them because they think they are beautiful or because their weight signifies wealth.

I think it is a really interesting blog which gives different kinds of standard for beauty. It is amazing that the standard in different places are so different and strange. As a matter of fact, in ancient China, for a period of time, people thought that the women who have small foot are the most beautiful. As for a Chinese myslef, sometimes I think it is rediculous to some degree. Actually, sometimes it is not only the traditional difference, but also the difference in development.

This is very interesting blog. Around the beautiful performance I have read about this article. In various regions of the United States was because of cultural differences, feeling is different.For example,in my country In ancient times, fat America, but now every girl wants to lose weight, the thinner the better. These are very magical.

This is very true. People have different ways that they view beauty. Many different people look for different things in a person. That thing that they're looking for could be their personality, their eyes, and/or their body. Also, theirs a saying that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. So to some, something may be beautiful but to others it may be ugly as heck.

The first thing that struck me is how much women have to make sacrifices in order to look beautiful. In Burma, women have to endure the pain of having their ribs constantly compressed; in Ethiopia, if having your teeth ripped out isn't bad, they yank your lip to incredible lengths; in Mauritania, women must run the health risk of being obese; and finally, in America, women envy the anorexic supermodels, which is definitely a health concern.

This is a very interesting article! I liked how you showed 3 prime examples of very different "attractiveness." It was good to see that beauty can really come in all shapes and sizes. The plates in the bottom lip of Ethiopian women really intrigued me because at first it was almost painful to look at. However, I think everyone should realize that everyone has beauty one way or another to someone. Did you find any other cultures as different as those?

I enjoyed the article very much! This just goes to show how variable people are across the world and how we perceive life and beauty. The U.S. is no different from the other cultures, our traditional values and society today portrays beauty as slim and physically fit. We are bombarded with images of thin and "sexy" people, so our society and values have ingrained that into our mindset. Just as we do here, their society has portrayed their specific views of beauty onto their citizens. It would be interesting to see if underdeveloped nations such as tribes in African rain forests had access to our television shows. Would their visions of beauty change from being exposed to our beliefs of beauty? Great topic and definitely very intriguing!

The idea of what is considered attractive is a very interesting one. I have seen the neck rings and lip plates in previous classes, but I was never aware of the Mauritania men’s likeness to obese women. This shows that attractiveness can be something entirely different between people and cultures. It’s also worth noting that there are some generalizations about what attractiveness is in America. Most often it seems that men prefer women who are thin. However, it is interesting that after these general traits, men may find other smaller traits more appealing than other men. What wasn’t present in this article was examples of what women find attractive in men in different cultures around the world. I would be interested to find out if there are any appearance alterations that different cultures around the world find attractive.

This is a very interesting analysis. I like all the examples you used to illustrate your point. I think every culture has its own definition and characteristics of beauty. It would be interesting to see if one culture found beauty characteristics of another culture attractive even though they are specific to the first culture.

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This page contains a single entry by maass040 published on April 9, 2012 3:30 PM.

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