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Beauty and Culture

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Christy Richardson

on 16 September 2016

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Transcript of Beauty and Culture

Beauty and Culture
Cultural perceptions of beauty are vastly different around the world; what we view as beautiful in the West may not be what members of another culture admire and value.
In the Ugandan Hima tribe, a full figure is considered beautiful. According to the tradition, women prepare for marriage by entering the "fattening hut." The bride is required to drink several jugs of milk (approximately 5000 calories) a day. A well fed wife and cow are a sign that you are a wealthy man and it is a compliment.
In Thailand, physical beauty is important. Thais believe that beautiful people are kind, smart, honest and successful.
Thailand ~ Southeast Asia
The Karo tribe lives in Ethiopia's Omo Valley, an epicenter of ethnic, tribal and cultural diversity that has been spared modernization.
In Thailand, and much of Southeast Asia for that matter, it is difficult to find a beauty product that does not contain some kind of skin-whitening agent. In Southeast Asia, pale skin is associated with wealth, status, and beauty.
Uganda & Kenya ~ Eastern Africa
Young girls in the Karo tribe have scars cut on their bodies to beautify themselves. Using a knife, scars are cut into the skin in intricate, swirling patterns. Ash is then rubbed in to produce a raised welt. Once a girl is finished receiving the scars, she is old enough to be married and start a family.
Women in Thailand's Kayan tribe add shiny brass hoops onto their necks from a young age. An extra-long neck is considered a sign of great beauty and wealth, and believed to attract a better husband.
The Kikuyu tribe of Kenya display beauty with elaborate face paint and head wear.
"Photoshop has become a symbol of our society's unobtainable standards for beauty. My project examines how these standards vary across cultures on a global level."
Honig contacted 40 individuals from over 25 countries. Paying them from five to thirty dollars, she provided them with an unaltered photograph of herself and made one request: "make me beautiful".

The result was a variety of intriguing images, that reflect the creator's personal and cultural concepts of beauty.
Before & After by Esther Honig
How do YOU define beauty?
Ethiopia ~ Africa
Blepharoplasty (also called double eyelid surgery) is a popular procedure for men and women, widening the eyes to create a more Western look.
Considered a sign of beauty in the Mursi tribe, the lip plate is worn by women to attract men. It is a painful process which girls have to undergo for months, where sometimes the teeth have to be broken to insert the plate. Women with lip plates are the epitome of beauty.
"Judge not your beauty by the number of people who look at you, but rather by the number of people who smile at you.”
~ African Proverb
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."
~ Audrey Hepburn
"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it."
~ Confucius
"Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder."
~ Plato
Distorted Beauty in North America
Colbie Caillat ~ "Try"
Christina Aguilera ~ "Beautiful"
TLC ~ "Unpretty"
Katy Perry ~ "Firework"
Selena Gomez ~ "Who Says"
In the North American world of photoshopped "perfection", how can we learn to love the beauty we all possess?
"Beauty is not one's own, but a reflection of one's culture."
Meghan Trainor ~ "All About That Bass"
Full transcript