A dating site that says it's "for ugly people" trumpeted its first engagement. The man says he's got a "face that makes children cry," but his fiancee says he's a "handsome prince." So what really counts as "beautiful"? Is it just the faces on TV and billboards? How do young people respond to those images of beauty? And in a town where images of models are plastered along the Strip, what is beauty in Las Vegas?
We talk to a modeling agent and professors about perceptions of beauty, and how that affects us today. What qualities catch your eye? Who did you think was beautiful when you were growing up? Have you tried to change how you look?
How do you define beauty? And should that definition change? Tell us your stories.
Cortney Warren, professor, UNLV
Tena Houser, president, Lenz Management Dan Hamermesh, economics professor, University of Texas at Austin
Audrey Brashich, author, "All Made Up: A Girl's Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype and Celebrating Real Beauty"
I am so glad you are talking about this. I am a young woman (20) living here in Las Vegas, majoring in Women's Studies, so I am very interested in this topic.
From the day you are born, like Courtney said, as a woman you are told how to be an ideal woman; so basically, that you are not good enough. (I only speak for women here because I've never been a guy, of course). People call it "low self-esteem" when a woman expresses dissatisfaction with her looks, but everywhere she turns, she is being told that her looks are dissatisfying! Instead of simply calling it "low self esteem" we need to also consider internalized sexism.
I feel like this is a crisis among women that is never acknowledged as such. I thought I was beautiful when I was a young girl, but by the time I was 10 that idea was gone. It is a really difficult struggle, and one that, since it is not discussed enough, a lot of girls probably feel like they go through alone. Why are we letting this happen? Why are we letting girls as young as 9, 10, feel like their looks are the best trait about them and that they aren't up to par??
I don't buy into the "self-esteem" dialogue. Yes, self esteem is a part of this, but I really feel like society has declared war on our bodies. I just want to shout, "Leave us alone! Leave my body alone."Hiroko –Dec 16, 2010 10:40:57 AM