Friday, April 1, 2011

What is truly beautiful?

In another class we are discussing the way that the body is not just a physical thing but is a cultural, societal creation that is ever changing and pressured. We were discussing such things as barbies, models, commercials, and more. It was interesting not only to think about this from the point of view of men and women but also from the view of different races. For instance, Barbies were made in different races but white barbies are much more readily available than any other; while black barbies are more available than asian or hispanic barbies are. Similar ideas can be seen in the industry of modeling for a very long time, and even now certain ideas or styles are identified with center races. The classic beauty, a white female, the exotic beauty, a black female, the porcelain beauty, an asian women, and more..
So how do we disband these cultural ideas and societal norms to create a more equal and all encompassing idea of beauty? Is there a way? What are your thoughts on the social constructs and cultural norms that drive our society and the interaction and beliefs we have?


  1. Chloe,

    This post reminds me of Bernier's writing on the beauty of the women of various races. You have hit on a key point, one which is evident in Bernier's writing: namely, that in the West the beautiful white woman is the standard of female beauty. To say that a white woman is beautiful is largely to say that she embodies the very idea of beauty - she is aesthetically perfect. Historically, and even to an extent today, women of other races were only beautiful because of their exoticism. In other words, they were aesthetically intriguing insofar as they differed from the norm of white feminine beauty.

  2. HOW WOULD WE FIND A WAY TO CREATE AN EQUAL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT EMBODIES BEAUTY? thats an interesting question. So do you all believe that different races have different ideas of beauty? For example, do you all think that black men view beauty differently among black women than white men do among white women or is it just a universal different strokes for different folks? I do no thing we can chage our cultural and social constructs. This idea of beuty has been engraved in the minds of all women . It is reaffirmed in music videos (by which girls are considered beautiful to black men), body types, TOYS, etc and many other things . This is a very complex issue and even in the black community women who favor white women in their characteristics are usually considered beautiful and sometimes body type impacts the view of women as well

  3. I think the idea of beauty starts off with barbie for a young little girl. I collect Barbies and I have all different races. My mom made a decision to introduce me to all races, but in most household the doll that a child has in based on their race. A friend of mine had a child and she got a Barbie for a gift and when she realized the doll was white, she threw it down. Like Phylicia, I do think that all races have different ideas of what beauty is and I think that is also a cultural thing as well.

  4. Your blog post is so prevalent to MacIntosh's "White Privilege" essay. It is very interesting how some items are more readily available. Not only is it because the white doll is representative of what is truly beautiful, universally, but it is also because of White Privilege. White people are afforded the privilege of being able to go into a store and find what they need no matter what, and no matter where. But going back to the topic of beauty...To answer Phylicia's question, I do indeed believe that there is a universal different strokes for different folks. I think that, as Colin mentioned, everyone noticed the different exotic beauties of each race after the establishment of Bernier's philosophy. Pulling off of this, it would be really difficult to come up with one, clear-cut, unbiased, universal, and neutral idea of who is beautiful.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.