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My "Family Tree"

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Rayne Pfaff

on 17 February 2017

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Transcript of My "Family Tree"

My Family Tree
Nicole Hinsperger
Tamara Huyskens
Dona Seto-Goodwin
Age: 22 Years Old
Relation: Second Cousin
5. My prime influencers included the media (magazines like Cosmopolitan or Seventeen; popular TV shows and movies), and my friends or peers (what boys I was interested in thought of me and comparing myself to girls I considered pretty) at school were the largest influences with regards to body image ideals.

6. My body positive advice would be:

#1: Exercise daily and make healthy dietary choices for the RIGHT reasons (aka for health and not solely for the purpose of pleasing others with a super fine looking bod). As far as "healthy" eating, not meant as dieting but to at least be more mindful about what you're putting into your body because your body IS a temple and it needs proper nutrients to function at its best. And exercise can be anything from taking a walk down the street with your dog, to going on a hike, weight lifting (but always stretch!), swimming, running, and the possibilities are endless but you should exercise almost every day to achieve a healthy body and mind!

#2. Do NOT compare yourself to others with regards to your body image, especially on social media. You can never truly look like someone you idolize (without thousands of dollars invested in countless harmful procedures), and you shouldn't want to, you have to learn to love what the good lord (whoever that is) gave you.

#3. Get to know your body well; and focus on functionality over appearance, especially as you age when your body “might not be what it used to". It's important to know your limitations and to be aware of the fact that as you age you simply cannot maintain the same outward appearance as in your youth and it's dangerous to attempt to. Aging is a beautiful thing, learn to embrace it.

7. Oh yes. Far too much. I think everyone to a certain degree desires to be perceived as attractive because acceptance and belonging are basic human drives or motivations; and are generally associated with more favorable outcomes in life (ie. high income jobs, getting married, etc.) however; I do believe that I cared far too much, and I would say that if someone were to think I was "ugly" that I would take it quite seriously and it would deeply affect my self-esteem and my own perception of myself at the time in a severely negative way. Which is ridiculous because that's one person’s opinion and it is so trivial, so it's frightening that it could affect me so much!

8. I wouldn't say I dated someone solely for that reason, but that's definitely a large factor when I've considered potential "mates". I would say it's my own preference, because I do need to feel that my partner is physically attractive to me in order to feel sexually attracted to them; however, I have found that I've been sexually attracted to individuals that don't necessarily fit my mould of what I find physically attractive. I would also add that having a partner that is perceived as physically attractive by others is definitely a source of pride, or is something that I desire, which is an unfortunate truth which probably has more to do with the social acceptance that comes with being attractive.

9. I would ask them to redefine what "beautiful" means to them and focus on becoming a "beautiful person". Meaning to focus on becoming the best version of themselves via personal growth in all areas of life and that will likely attract people to them in every sense of the word.

10. A beautiful being to me would be someone who has a compassionate or empathetic nature, someone who strives to add value to the lives of every being they encounter every day, a kind and warm person who aims to make the world a better place by making themselves a better person, one who is open minded, caring and thoughtful, respectful of others beliefs, opinions, and rights to express them. Which also includes someone who exercises their body, mind, and soul daily.
As far as handsome, I would say the same; however, I do find that handsome cannot be dissociated with image as much as "beautiful" can be. So I will add that I would still use the term to describe men and women, and that I would also reserve it for someone whom I consider to be having class, is good-looking in terms of striking features and is well-groomed or dressed.

Age: 32 Years Old
Relation: Aunt
Age: 54 Years Old
Relation: Great Aunt
5. I would say the only influence for me was TV. I rarely went to the movies then and as I stated above I never bought any beauty magazines.
6. I listen to what the experts say and that is to eat a healthy diet, be active but I don’t think you need to be too intense about workouts. I believe that walking is one of the best exercises out there for people. I also think that in order to have a good body image people need to stop trying to emulate models and celebrities because the pictures you see of them are so unrealistic with photo shopping and filters. Also, I think women spend too much time on their makeup. People apply makeup so heavily nowadays I think it makes people’s faces look plastic.
7. I cared more when I was younger but as I am past middle age now I care less, and I have an excuse now, I’m old (LOL).

The Questions
1. What was considered "beautiful" or "handsome" when you were my age?
2. Was your self-esteem affected by your size or shape as you were growing up?
3. Did you engage in any "practices" (special diets, exercise, use of supplements, etc.) to alter your body shape in order to meet the standard "ideal" of physical beauty?
4. How much time, money, and energy did you devote to making yourself "beautiful" / "handsome" when you were my age?
5. What were the primary body image influences in your life when you were my age? (friends, family, media, magazines, sports, other)
6. What 2 to 4 suggestions do you have for achieving a healthy and happy body image at any age?
7. Did you/ do you care if people perceive you as being beautiful or ugly?
8. Have you/ would you only date someone based on their “physically attractive” qualities? If so, does this have more to do with your personal preference or how others will perceive your significant other?
9. What advice would you give to someone who does not consider themselves to be beautiful?
10. How do you define 'beautiful" in a woman and "handsome" in a man?

By: Rayne M. Pfaff
1.Beautiful - A young woman/girl with clear skin, long thick healthy hair, symmetrical features, vibrant eyes, a delicate nose, straight white teeth, luscious lips and a slender, but toned and curvaceous figure.
Handsome - A man (young or matured), reserved for a "classy" or respected and usually well-dressed individual, with a tall muscular frame, striking features such as a chiseled jaw, clear skin, a thick head of styled hair, usually clean shaven or well groomed, vibrant eyes, luscious lips and straight white teeth.

2. Yes, my size and shape affected my overall self-esteem greatly growing up. I'd say it began to become an issue as early as elementary school, and probably hit a peak (or in other words had the most influence) in middle school, which only could be further reinforced or exacerbated in high school.

3. I exercised in order to obtain the desired slender/toned figure, more specifically a "flat" stomach. I never truly "dieted" or took part in any of those elimination diets or fads but would definitely say that I watched what I ate or actively tried to eat healthy - so was more aware of my dietary choices than most. I also secretly hoped that taking birth control pills would make my chest grow (lol, it most definitely DID NOT).

4. I invested probably an hour or more a day to get ready to head out into public at any one time, but that isn't close to the amount of actual "time" I spent thinking about what I looked like, planning how I could look better, or what other products or clothing I spent time deciding to buy in order to do so, etc.

1. The Beautiful standard in my time was established by early 90's glamour models like Cindy Crawford or Kate Moss, or really edgy and sultry lookers like Madonna. Skinny, sexy, a little curvy, things like that, which is somewhat still the standard today. However, I feel like that it's shifted too, to a more realistic standard.
Handsome for the 90's ranged anywhere from preppy boys to grungy melancholic brooders like Kurt Cobain.

2. Body image was difficult for me because I wasn't the standard of beauty in my formative years. I was average height, and a thicker more muscular or chubbier body type, with dark brown hair and brown eyes. The standards were more about svelte tall blonde figures like Sharon Stone, or Kim Basinger, and similarly, like the models or celebrities I named above.
Also, in my time mixed racial backgrounds weren't as common. I was an enigma of a very tiny populated statistical minority, so beauty wasn't as diverse as it is now. Diversity is more widely accepted and appreciated.

3. Personally, I've tried tons of different supplements such as diet pills, cleanses, and even strict work out regimens. Now, I just eat as clean as possible and do yoga and cardio. I don't do diet pills, or even think twice about it, because that type of lifestyle isn’t cohesive to the type of mindset I've adapted.
4. I didn't spend a lot of time to make myself beautiful. Maybe 20 to 30 minutes a day and sometimes no time at all.
5. The biggest influence of body image was mainly media, and perhaps some family. My parents always seemed to be dieting which didn't help.

6. First suggestion, is to never compare. Never compare hair, eyes, body types, or personality because you are you. What is special about you is that nobody is going to be you.
Secondly, the best test of well-being, is how you feel when you wake up in the morning. If you’re energized and excited for the day to start, that’s a sign that you are physically able and ready to achieve anything. That helps with body image monumentally.
7. I did care if I was perceived as beautiful, because I felt I wasn't beautiful as a child growing up. I know now that true beauty comes from within and that shows on the outside.
8. I've never dated based on looks, only based on connection. So it really didn't matter what other people thought about the person I dated.

9. I ask the person lacking a positive perception of beauty what they do feel good about. I would then advise them to start feeling a sense of beauty with what they are good at or what they really enjoy doing and then work on emotional transference to how they look. If they really don't like how they look, they can always change it.
10. I define a woman's beauty by how she embraces her true nature. She could be feminine and sophisticated, or rough and edgy. True beauty lies within her ability to be who she is.
As far as handsome is concerned, I think George Clooney is the epitome of handsome. He has handsome down to a fine art

1. People who were blonde and tall were considered beautiful around that time.
2. I was self-conscious when I was in grade 7 and 8 about my weight. I was chubby and weighed about 95 to 100 pounds, which I guess was considered heavy for someone of that age but then I stayed the same weight when everyone else started gaining weight in high school and then I was considered thin, so go figure.
3. No I didn’t because there wasn’t as much emphasis on appearance and being in shape back when I was younger as there is in present day. I didn’t buy any magazines like Vogue or Seventeen and was never aware of the “trends” then.
4. Not much at all. The only make up I wore was eyeliner. I never used foundation and very rarely wore lipstick or blush. I don’t believe there was even contouring or any such trends back when I was young or I wasn’t aware of it any ways.

8. In all honesty, I would say I would judge a man by their looks but they don’t have to be drop dead gorgeous but would have to be attractive enough to get my attention. This is more of a personal preference because it’s not healthy to care about what other people may think, as long as you find that person attractive then it doesn’t matter what other people think.
9. This is a hard question because beauty is subjective. I think the word beautiful is over used. I would tell people that as long as you take care of yourself and put your best foot forward it doesn’t matter what other people think about you. I think it is more important to look put-together, for instance wearing nice clothes (not too risqué, too tight, too short skirts, etc.) and having neat hair and just not looking sloppy even when dressed casually is more important than looks.
10. Another hard question to answer. I must admit that I notice noses and teeth in people above all else. Beauty is so subjective. Like I don’t find the Kardashians beautiful because they look so fake but so many people think they are. I don’t think anyone can define beauty.

Similarities and Differences
The youngest generation is hyper aware and focused on appearance which is based on an almost unrealistic idea
The oldest generation could care less about their appearance, at least not in the same way as the younger generation. Their main focus is simply looking put-together and not about all the little things in between. They care more about their physical well-being than their physical attractiveness.
All generations can agree on the importance placed on a mental well-being which can be linked to the physical body
The main influencer that appears in ALL generations is the MEDIA
The second generation and the eldest generation put very little thought and attention into their facial appearance whereas the current generation puts an emphasis on the application and perfection of makeup/ perfect skin
More Similarities and Differences
Something I found interesting is that, no matter the generation, they all had "idols"/ ideal models that they admired and wanted to look like
The middle generation seems to be the type to be obsessed with physique and obtaining the perfect figure. Even going to "dieting" extremes which makes sense because this was the era of the "model" ie. Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford "heroin chic"
"Body awareness" hit all generations in their adolescent years
All generations agree that true beauty lies beneath the skin
Choosing a mate is based on personal attraction. The only generation that seems to be concerned with how others perceive their significant other is the most recent/current generation
Culturally speaking, beauty is only skin deep. Every generation is aware of this fact. Some may care more than others. After this assignment, I would say that the current generation is the one that is hyper-aware of this statement. On a personal level, they may think differently or rather they hope they do. But when confronted with the truth, I would say that today's society is completely "appearance obsessed." No matter what we say, or how much we try and change as individuals, as long as society is appearance obsessed then we will be too, to our very cores.
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