You are on page 1of 19

What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures?

By: Sharon Weng

What are the interpretations of


beauty in different cultures?

By: Sharon Weng

AOI: Health and Social Education

Supervisor: Mr. Ian Melville


Victoria Shanghai Academy
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Year of 2009-2010
Word Count: 4180 words

1
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

The Process
Investigating – Research 3
Planning – Identifying my goal 4
Planning – Identifying target group 4
Planning – Scheduling 4
Creating – Application of writing techniques 5
Creating – Using the chosen software 5
Creating – Style and format of my product 6

Analysis of Information
Personal Development 6
Writing my product 6
Applying my Area of Interaction 7

Reflection
Achieving my goal 8
The process 9
Possible improvements 9
What I have learnt about my Area of Interaction 10

Bibliography 11

Appendices
A. Comments of my peers on my product 15
B. A sample of the survey I made 17
C.Email to a Geisha, Sayuki 18
D.My final product 19

2
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

Introduction

Smiles are contagious. Yawns are contagious. Perspectives are contagious.


A customary practice of people nowadays is that we try to categorize beauty in a very
confining capacity. I chose to investigate how people perceive beauty, because I am
always drawn to how human perspectives are tremendously affected by the
environments and the society we are immersed in. I found out that when a community
is exposed to the same media, many people would conform themselves to the societal
ideal, often without individuals noticing. In my opinion, this is how perspectives
form. For example, it is only legitimate to judge a person whether if he/ she is ‘ugly’
or ‘pretty’ by comparing him/her to the societal standard of beauty. The goal of my
personal project was to write an article that informs readers about interpretations of
beauty in different cultures and societies, exhibiting the association between the
society and one’s definition of beauty. I want to provide the readers with a perspective
on this topic that I find extremely fascinating. I hope that after my article is read, they
will be able to define beauty and learn not to be influenced by other’s ideas easily.

To achieve my goal, I researched plenty of information concentrating on how our


society shapes our eye for beauty and how to write an informative and appealing
article. When I am writing my article, I have considered whether if my style of
writing, word choice, and tone suits my teenage readers. My article included examples
of different female qualities that would translate as ‘beauty’ to the locals from
different countries, such as fat, skinny, tall, and petit. Then in my conclusion, I
compared and examined those qualities to see if it fits into the western model of
beauty. To see whether if my product has successfully informed the readers, I have
asked some readers to comment on the article by filling out a survey I have created
(refer to appendix A). Results show that most of them find my article informative and
enjoyable.

I was able to relate my product and my goal to Health and Social Education as I have
provided some real-life accounts of how beauty takes forms in different cultures.
Health and Social Education allows me to observe how my topic interacts with our
society, and demonstrate my sense of responsibility towards the community. These are
all evidences that I am looking after for myself and others. One of the objectives of
my product is to try and change people’s attitudes, which is the aspect that Health and
Social Education addresses. In the end, whether a person may know it or not, society
is the fuel cell of all biases.

The Process

Investigating – Research

Over the course of the past months where I have been working on my project, I have
delved into my topic of interpreting beauty from a societal perspective. While
investigating for my product, I needed to research a variety of relevant topics.
Examples of relevant information I have investigated that address my Area of
Interaction are the following:
- The psychology of my topic (addressing the question “how do others think and
act?), and

3
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

- How can I educate others about the association between the definition of beauty
and society (relating to the question “how can I look after myself and others?”
which helps to change people’s attitude towards this issue).

Focusing on the key aspects of Health and Social Education, I have researched and
discussed the following questions which I think responds to the areas mentioned
above. They are:

- Why are teenagers nowadays starving themselves to death in order to be “pretty”?


- Why are fashion icons not teens’ best role model but are still being highly praised
by our society?
- What does the word ‘beauty’ mean in different cultures?
- What are the media doing to mold the model of beauty? How are they using it to
their benefits?
- What negative effects do the distorted images of beauty have on the public?

Overall, I would say that my investigations are quite complete. I find my research
very useful as it has helped me improve my goal in the process of investigating my
topic. Because of the investigation stage, I have established a more focused goal and
have provided myself with some interesting materials that I could use to write my
product.

Planning – Identifying my goal

My goal is to write an article that informs readers about interpretations of beauty in


different cultures. Since my goal is quite lengthy, I find it helpful to break down my
goal into key words and then into sub-topics. After I have separated my goal into sub-
ideas, it became apparent that I have to meet certain requirements in my product,
which involves using an informative tone when writing my article, and elucidating the
annotation of beauty in different cultures. In order to achieve my goal, I would have to
provide proof that I have informed my readers, and find different examples of
beauties that are relatively different with our westernize ideal of beauty. I decided the
best way to see if I have achieved my goal is to conduct a survey, I have asked some
of my friends to fill in a comment sheet after reading my product. Most of them find it
informative and enjoyable (see appendix A).

Planning – Identifying target group

In addition, I also needed to write my article in a style and tone that will suit my target
readers, which are teenagers. I believe the ultimate victims who suffer from the harsh
criteria of beauty that we have integrated into our community are teenagers.
Therefore, I selected teenagers who have low-confidence to be my target audience.
Teens that are extensively exposed to the mass media are especially vulnerable to the
distorted body image that our community projects and promotes. By setting an easy
style and light tone for my article, it would be exceptionally effective when it comes
to communicating with teenagers.

Planning – Scheduling

I have followed the timeline given by my teacher accordingly, and this will include

4
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

the responsibility of organizing every appointment with my supervisor and meeting


deadlines. In order to increase the efficiency and the progress of my work, I should
have finish the task ahead of time so that if anything unexpected happens, so I won’t
need to panic and I would have time to reorganize my timeline. Because the personal
project is a continuous assignment, I planned on spending two hours on the weekends
and three hours on the weekdays working on the personal project each week, dividing
the personal project in ‘bite-size’ chunk.

Creating – Application of writing technique

A roadblock that I have to overcome in order to successfully deliver my product is to


make my article educational and interesting in the same time. At first, I struggled to
find the balance between being informative and being entertaining. After learning
more about writing styles through books and talking to my teachers, I settled with the
idea of amalgamating features of a magazine article and a formal essay. Since the
main purpose of a magazine article is to beguile audiences’ time with reading, I opted
for imitating their catchy styles and tone; since formal essay writing is informative, I
decided to integrate credible and factual materials into my writing. To achieve that, I
choose to apply ‘machine gun writing’ technique in my product.

Machine gun writing is often used in a magazine and will allow me to keep my
readers entertained by writing actively, shortening sentences, shooting out facts, and
being concise.1 This technique is especially useful when writing for teenagers, who
usually have less patience for reading a formal article. Machine gun writing means to
try to shorten sentences into a concise one, so that I can keep my readers hooked to
the article I am writing. By applying this feature of magazine articles, it enabled me to
include more concrete and direct in giving out facts, which would make my article
informative. This often means to incorporate quotes, statistics, or research to back my
arguments.

According to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles, it is also


important to use active verbs, in order to lead my audience and “keep’ em reading”2.
Using active verbs means try not to use is, am, are, was, were, be, being, or, been. For
instance, one should always use ‘she writes’ other than ‘she is a writer’. Accordingly,
there are different types of leads I can choose from: a parody lead, a direct quote lead,
a question lead, and a contrast lead; I choose an event lead. In my article, I tie all my
information and examples from different countries into an imaginary beauty contest. I
believe this will raise the attention of the readers, as they would want to know who
wins the contest.

Creating – Using the chosen software

Finding the right software to use in my product is definitely a challenge for me


because I have little prior experience in editing an article. After researching online, I
found a popular word-editing software that both professional and amateur writers
uses, this software is Adobe InDesign. Under the strong recommendation of my peers
and my supervisor, I decided to use Adobe InDesign for editing. The main problem is

1
Bykofsky, Sheree. Complete idiot's guide to publishing magazine articles. Indianapolis, IN:
Alpha Books, 2000.
2
Ibid.

5
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

that I have never been acquainted to any editing software, let alone professional
software like InDesign. I figured that the best solution to this problem in the time
allowed is to view tutorials on YouTube to learn the basic function of the InDesign
Software. I find the functions of Adobe InDesign very useful and allowed me to
improve the visual aesthetics of my article.

Creating – Style and format of my product

As I have observed after I bought and read some magazine articles from Harper
Bazaar, articles were organized in 2-3 columns, a big and catchy title, subtle sub-
headings, vibrant pictures, and accents on the first letter of the first word of the whole
article. I think it would catch my audience’s attention if I make my article’s
appearance more magazine-like. Hence, I decided to follow this format and it
definitely benefitted my article by being more inviting to read.

Analysis of Information

Personal Development

In order to discuss my topic to its best, I have to comprehend the psychology of those
who conform to the societal ideal of beauty. The chosen subject of my case study is
the impacts of societal conformity. It struck me when I saw a statistic that 42% of 1st-
3rd grade girls want to be thinner.3 According to Elsa Lai (a staff from Hong Kong
Eating Disorder Association)4, social conformity is the leading cause of eating
disorder like bulimia and anorexia nervosa. Research shows that “teasing about body
shape and weight is common in school, and can often precipitate a young person
going on a diet.”5 I learnt that conforming can be harmful and is a way of being
defeated by the mass media, who aim to earn profits by dishonoring the way we look
and attacking our self-esteem. In a way, distinguishing how societal forces create self-
esteem issues among the community may aid me in understanding how the same force
affects our standard for beauty and changed how I would perceive beauty from now
on. After the investigation, I have provided a proof that the word ‘beauty’ is biased.

Writing my product

Over the course of these few months, I have collected information and did research to
probe into answer my guiding question by looking through books, magazine articles,
online blogs of teenagers, online database, surveys I created that is subjected to my
topic (see appendix B), email interviews with a real-life geisha (see appendix C), and
an interview with a staff of Hong Kong Eating Disorders Association (HKEDA). I
have really gained much knowledge about my topic which has helped to create my
final product.

As the result of my survey shows, most of the people I surveyed are not satisfy with
their appearance and wants to be taller and skinnier. It is not surprising that this tall
3
"Eating Disorders Statistics." Parenting Teens - Parents of Teenagers Find Help Raising
Teens. 30 Dec. 2009
<http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/eatingdisorders/a/eatingdisorder5.htm>.
4
Lai, Elsa. "General inquiries of eating disorder." Personal interview. 31 Dec. 2009.
5
Nottridge, Rhoda. We're Talking About Eating Disorder (We're Talking About). London:
Wayland Pub Ltd, 1997.

6
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

and skinny image resembles our societal ideal of beauty. That is one of the reasons
why I believe that by providing them the ‘big picture’— that not all people have to be
tall and skinny to feel beautiful – it will encourage readers to be more confident and
prevent them falling into the vanity trap.

I have bought and read some magazine articles from Harper Bazaar for the aim to
observe the tone that the magazine tends to use; what kind of perspective they wrote
of, their diction; what kind of writing technique they applied; what kind of materials
or figures did they used in the context of their article; and even the size/length of their
article. To some extent, reading articles from Harper Bazaar benefited me in writing
an article with younger target readers. I decided since I am writing for teenagers
suffering from a low self-esteem, my words should be somehow inspirational and
heartfelt, therefore it would be more like a “pep-talk” rather than other formal and
scholar-like articles.

“Eating disorders are more common in white people in western societies and are rare
in developing countries.”6 This sentence bestows an intriguing way of determining the
role of our culture on an individual and is where I got most of my inspiration of
writing my article from. Since research shows sociocultural pressures can contribute
to the occurrence of eating disorder, the idea that western societies and developing
countries have different perspectives for beauty stirs my mind. Indeed, most fashion
models are thinner than 98% of American women.7 This figure clearly shows how
distorted the image of perfection is. In this light, it is only cogent for me to arrive at
the goal of writing an article that informs readers about interpretations of beauty in
different cultures.

Applying my Area of Interaction

Health and Social Education promotes a healthy lifestyle – a healthy lifestyle often
consists of a healthy psyche and physique. Sadly within expectation, modern people
tend to think that staying skinny equals to health and beauty. According to the World
Health Organization, one must have a BMI of 18.50 – 24.99 to be considered
“healthy” 8. Nowadays, our society creates a misleading message as most of the high-
praised models and celebrities surrounding us usually have a BMI of 17 or below
(Underweight), ignoring the medical ideal for a perfect body9. This misconception
made defining beauty a more restricted business. It’s harder than ever to achieve being
medically “healthy” as it’s wired up with the definition of beauty. It is devastating to
acknowledge that many people are conforming into the theory that thin is pretty,
fashion-forward, and healthy.
6
"Anorexia Nervosa." Bupa. June 2008. Bupa's health information team. 2 Feb. 2010
<http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/anorexia.html#4>.
7
"Eating Disorders Statistics." Parenting Teens - Parents of Teenagers Find Help Raising
Teens. 30 Dec. 2009
<http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/eatingdisorders/a/eatingdisorder5.htm>.
8
BMI stands for Body Mass Index. BMI is a general classification to determine underweight,
overweight, obesity in adults. Factors that might affect one’s BMI are one’s weight and
height. If one score 30 or above in the BMI, it’s likely that one is fat. BMI values may differ
in different ethnic groups.
From: "BMI Classification." World Health Organization. 17 Feb. 2010. 17 Feb. 2010
<http://apps.who.int/bmi/index.jsp?introPage=intro_3.html>.
9
"BMI Body Mass Index - Models, Modeling, Fashion, Model." K models.com. 20 Feb. 2010
<http://www.kmodels.com/Body_Mass_Index_BMI.htm>.

7
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

So how can we regain our self-worth and look after ourselves? After doing more
research, I have leant that I am not the only one who wants to rebuild girls’ self-
esteem. Many other people also find this issue disturbing. There are many actual
campaigns raised against these unhealthy and fixed standards of beauty like Dove’s
Real Beauty Campaign and About-face, stressing that “Beauty fills all size”10. My
product is definitely an extra help for readers to be more positive about their self-
image. (For my product: see appendix D)

Since body esteem is an issue rooted from the societal ideal for a perfect body, it was
definitely helpful to my overall investigation of my AOI. The result of my analysis
ultimately reveals that our definition and interpretation of beauty relies on the culture
we are exposed to. Regarding the fact that I belong to this media-driven community, I
feel that I am obligated to make a contribution to maintain a balance, and raise others’
awareness on their obsession with beauty. I found out that how we think and act is
deeply dependant on what we are being taught by our community.

My research focused on the social aspect of the topic. For example, instead of delving
into what are some issues caused by our obsession with beauty, my research focused
on why teenagers are suffering from self-esteem issues, and what are the sociological
reasons behind that. Hence, I think it really shows linkage with my chosen Area of
Interaction.

Reflection

Achieving my goal

My goal is to write an article that informs readers of the interpretation of beauty in a


social aspect. To make sure I have achieved my goal of informing young readers
about how society changes our perspective for beauty, I decided to send my drafts to
different people for proof-reading and commenting. In the process of making my final
article, I am required to draft and draft many times. I need to reflect and evaluate their
comments in order to make amendments and improve my article.

As for the second part of my goal, which requires me to interpret beauty in a social
aspect, I think I did achieve my goal from a personal perspective. I understand and
have defined the meaning of beauty through my product by using examples from
around the world to prove that beauty is not really a definable word. “Beauty” is
rather a very multi-conceptual and complex theory, and so, it translates differently to
different individuals and cultures. However, I found my definition for beauty; it’s
embracing who you really are, not disguising behind a facade. After making my
product, I gained more perspectives that can be seen as the ‘definition’ of beauty.
From Mauritania to Hong Kong, I have learnt that beauty cannot be fitted into a tiny
box; therefore, defining beauty in a public sense is not an achievable task. What I did
in the article is prove that beauty can be in everybody, no matter if a person looks like
a giraffe, a fat cow, or a stick, there is always some people who cherish that in the
world. It all depends on how you interpret and see beauty. With constant advertising
of skinny and tall bodies in magazines, newspaper, television, no wonder beauty
becomes measurable in most western and economically advanced Asian countries
10
Slogan of About- face Campaign

8
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

nowadays. Overall, my article (my product) is very informative especially to young


readers and can be considered successful.

The process

To fulfill the aim of this project, answering my guiding question and responding to my
AOI are among the most important tasks to complete. Analyzing the information
collected and really “digesting” the materials are the most essential and crucial step
toward conducting a completed and a useful investigation. Nowadays, teenagers are
often coerced into believing the untrue portrayal of what being beautiful should look
like. This information given by the media is misleading since the media is heavily
business-oriented, molding a false “perfect body” to their benefit of selling the
products because there is no such thing as a perfect body or a perfect state of mind. I
tried to prove that in my product, but before I did that, I organized my writing
materials by outlining the storyline of my whole article and listing out quotations and
research I could use in my writing.

After I have drafted my article, I sent it out to my peers and teachers to read and
comment to make sure that it showed a comprehensive understanding of Health and
Social Education and have achieved my goal. At last, I came up with the finalized
version of my article, edited it, and added photos to my article with an editing
software called Adobe InDesign.

Possible Improvements

While scheduling the process of making my product, what I thought was successful
about it is that I can follow the timetable and meet deadlines most of the time. Even if
I did not, I was not too far behind the schedule. Nevertheless, I found my planning
lacks details. I did not plan ahead of the schedule of how I am going to obtain
information, for example. The information I want is to get some opinions on the issue
of eating disorder to study how teenagers’ self-esteem is affected by the society we
live in. I prepared some questions and went to Hong Kong Eating Disorder
Association (HEDA) even without pre-booking the appointment. I did not book an
appointment earlier that day because they rejected my phone interview and said that a
face-to-face interview with any staff would not be possible until February, which was
already the due date of my final reflective essay. Anyhow, I went to HEDA’s office in
Wan Chai as my supervisor suggested me to and learnt that a social worker called Elsa
Lai was available to answer my questions, which is not really the professional
psychological opinion I was originally looking for.

Another example of my lack of detailed organization is that in my product I need to


find out some examples of beauty from different continent and cultures, but the lack
of preparation and planning leads to insufficient information and research needed to
write my article. For that reason, I needed to get back to researching again while
working on my product. Fortunately, I have a source that I could obtain information I
needed. Without this source, I would spend much more time on the product than I
originally planned. If I really could not get any quality research that can answer my
areas of investigation, I would use other research materials or other ways to try to
obtain the information I wanted. Sometimes, it means that I need to turn to primary
sources; sometimes secondary sources; sometimes, I just find harder and use different

9
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

keywords to search in search engine like Google. If I were to be given a chance to do


this stage again, I would definitely make a detailed list of my research areas.

What have I learnt about my Area of Interaction

My product and my goal of this project is a reflection of the AOI I have chosen, which
is Health and Social Education. I have displayed enthusiasm towards the issue of
public mental health, revealing people’s fixation for beauty, and presenting the ugly
truth of the world of beauties. When I find out how people are willing to take extreme
measures including eating their way into obesity and elongating their neck by hurting
themselves, all for the sake of being beautiful, my opinion is justified that beauty is
for society’s approval. I believe that Health and Social Education focuses on having a
healthy psyche and physique, which means to not be in conflict with yourself
mentally and physically. Unfortunately, often, teenagers suffering from low-esteem
take extreme measures to hide their insecurities. In a sense, I believe that people with
low levels of self confidence are constantly being in conflict with themselves. This is
just like how a patient suffering from anorexia nervosa is always torturing their body
and keeps telling themselves and their soul that they are not pretty, fighting off the
true self.

To conclude what I have learnt from my research, I acknowledge that although social
pressures are just among many reasons why young girls get eating disorders, it is the
most preventable factor out of all, and the one factor that our society has to be
responsible for. Research has shown that it is in human nature that human beings are
prone to be fond with attractive and “pretty” things, and we would have a kind of
respect for it. Just like how we appreciate a piece of art and depreciate rubbish, it all
depends on one’s perspective. In real life, it works the same way. Human eyes view
pretty images and almost instantly, we would be attracted to the object. The same
principle can be applied on a much larger scale with the society we are living in. But
this human flaw of ours made it possible for this incredibly shallow, manipulative and
seemingly glamorous industry to turn into a multi-trillion industry and is highly
regarded as a part of our modern “culture”. And as a result of our overly obsession for
pursuing to be “pretty” and inability to discover our own flaw, we’ve nurtured a
generation that doesn’t care much about things like science, and history. Having this
obsession of idolizing fashion icons dangerously praised repeatedly in our society, the
only thing that seemed to matter to the younger generation is being “pretty”. This can
be blamed as the main source of where teenagers are suffering from body
dissatisfaction because they are constantly comparing themselves with the extremes
and being blindfolded by our social values that thin is pretty, leading to a series of
mental and physical problems in teens nowadays.

As the objective of my chosen Area of Interaction, I felt that it’s my obligation as a


teenager to speak up and to alert others of the severity of this deepening problem.
Having to satisfy my urge for sharing with others about my thoughts and opinions, I
decided to write an article as my product. The emphasis of the article is to stress out
the message of being ‘beautiful’ is to be yourself and confident, promoting inner
beauty of individuals but not encouraging people just to judge the appearances of a
person.
Works Cited

10
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

"Anorexia Nervosa." Bupa. June 2008. Bupa's health information team. 2 Feb. 2010

<http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/anorexia.html#4>.

"BMI Body Mass Index - Models, Modeling, Fashion, Model." K models.com. 20

Feb. 2010 <http://www.kmodels.com/Body_Mass_Index_BMI.htm>.

"BMI Classification." World Health Organization. 17 Feb. 2010. 17 Feb. 2010

<http://apps.who.int/bmi/index.jsp?introPage=intro_3.html>.

"BMI Formula." Best source for Q-Gel Coenzyme Q-10 and CoQ10 information. 13

Dec. 2009 <http://www.epic4health.com/bmiformula.html>.

Bykofsky, Sheree. Complete idiot's guide to publishing magazine articles.

Indianapolis, IN: Alpha Books, 2000.

Claudine, Hilda, and Sharon. 美的標準 - 中外古今與末來. 香港: 香港進食失調康復會,

2007.

Cooper, Regina. "Fashion Icon : The Meaning of Fashion Icon - Terms of Interest to

the Fashion Industry." Apparel Search. 21 Oct. 2009

<http://www.apparelsearch.com/Terms/F/Fashion_Icon.htm>.

Dying To Be Thin. Prod. Larkin McPhee. NOVA: Dying To Be Thin. Dec. 2000. 28

Oct. 2009 <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/thin/program.html>.

"Eating Disorders Statistics." Parenting Teens - Parents of Teenagers Find Help

Raising Teens. 30 Dec. 2009

<http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/eatingdisorders/a/eatingdisorder5.htm>.

Greene, Lucie. "Teen takeover: Meet the new breed of young tycoons leading the way

in fashion | Mail Online." Home | Mail Online. 6 Oct. 2008. 21 Oct. 2009

<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1069381/Teen-takeover-Meet-

new-breed-young-tycoons-leading-way-fashion.html#ixzz0RIK5DBN1>.

Hawroth, Abigail. "Forced To Be Fat." Marie Claire Oct. 2009: 104-08.

11
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

"Healthy Weight: Assessing Your Weight: BMI: About Adult BMI | DNPAO | CDC."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 13 Dec. 2009

<http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html>.

Hellmich, Nanci. "Do Thin Models Warp Girls' Image?" USA Today 26 May 2006. 23

Oct. 2009 <http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-09-25-thin-

models_x.htm>.

Hernandez, Roger E. Teens & The Media (Gallup Youth Survey: Major Issues and

Trends). New York: Mason Crest, 2005.

Jones, Liz. "Amy Winehouse a style icon? She's drug-addled, self-destructive and a

hopeless role model." Home | Mail Online. 27 Feb. 2008. 21 Oct. 2009

<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-521431/Amy-Winehouse-style-

icon-Shes-drug-addled-self-destructive-hopeless-role-

model.html#ixzz0RID1CBNs>.

Lai, Elsa. "General inquiries of eating disorder." Personal interview. 31 Dec. 2009.

Nottridge, Rhoda. We're Talking About Eating Disorder (We're Talking About).

London: Wayland Pub Ltd, 1997.

"Ralph Lauren digitally retouches slender model to make her look THINNER | Mail

Online." Home | Mail Online. 20 Oct. 2009. 21 Oct. 2009

<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1219046/Ralph-Lauren-

digitally-retouches-slender-model-make-look-

THINNER.html#ixzz0UYesblV7>.

Schuartz, Susan, ed. "The Vanity Trap." South China Morning Post [Hong Kong] 30

Oct. 2007, Beauty section sec.: C9-C9.

"Socio-cultural Factors." HEDA. 10 Nov. 2009 <http://www.heda-

hk.org/eng/04leadED_04socio.php>.

12
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

Su, Herny. "The Fat Offensive." HK Magazine [Hong Kong] 3 June 2005: 12-15.

"Teens' distorted body image may lead to unhealthy behaviors." EurekAlert! - Science

News. 16 July 2003. 21 Oct. 2009

<http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-07/cfta-tdb071603.php>.

Web log post. Every Calorie Is A War. 4 June 2009. 21 Oct. 2009

<http://starvationfairytale.xanga.com/>.

"Why Do People Develop Eating Disorders? Why Do People Develop Eating

Disorders." The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness. 17 Dec. 2009

<http://www.eatingdisorderinfo.org/Causes/WhyDoPeopleDevelopEatingDiso

rders/tabid/992/Default.aspx>.

Yazdanian, Punteha. "I vowed not to eat until I was as thin as Victoria Beckham -

mirror.co.uk." Mirror.co.uk. 6 Aug. 2009. 21 Oct. 2009

<http://www.mirror.co.uk/life-style/sex-health/2009/08/06/i-vowed-not-to-eat-

until-i-was-as-thin-as-victoria-beckham-115875-21574285/>.

13
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

APPENDIC
ES

14
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

Appendix A: Comment of my peers on my article

Interviewee: Winston Cheung


1. Do you find this article informative?
__Yes __No

2. Do you find this article enjoyable?


__ not quite __ No __Yes

3. Did this article help you to define beauty in a personal level?


__ Yes __ No

4. Others:
Good, it looks very professional.

Interviewee: YuTing Chang


1. Do you find this article informative?
__Yes __No

2. Do you find this article enjoyable?


__ Yes __ No

3. Did this article help you to define beauty in a personal level?


__ Yes __ No

4. Others:
The article is very informative and useful for readers to learn about different
beauty in different cultures! Yay I like it.

Interviewee: Cindy Ko
5. Do you find this article informative?
__Yes __No

6. Do you find this article enjoyable?


__ Yes __ No

7. Did this article help you to define beauty in a personal level?


__ Yes __ No

8. Others:
The article pointed out an emtremely serious problem that our society is facing.
Young girls are blindly following the beauty standard that the media shows and
ignoring the fact their actions are harming their health.

15
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

Interviewee: Mr. Eagle


1. Do you find this article informative?
__Yes __No

2. Do you find this article enjoyable?


__ Yes __ No

3. Did this article help you to define beauty in a personal level?


__ Yes __ No

4. Others:
- I think it is good that you have developed a thread that hold the paragraphs
together.
- Clear in conclusion: reveal that u can’t possibility find a beauty to satisfy
everyone eye, but the least we could do is to not be blinkered by our own cultural
background and stand in the other’s shoe and embrace beauty from other cultures.

Interviewee: Eugene Ho
1. Do you find this article informative?
__Yes __No

2. Do you find this article enjoyable?


__ Yes __ No

3. Did this article help you to define beauty in a personal level?


__ Yes __ No

4. Others:
It really gives me a certain amount of information about definition of beauty.

Interviewee: Annissa Suen


1. Do you find this article informative?
__Yes __No

2. Do you find this article enjoyable?


__ Yes __ No

3. Did this article help you to define beauty in a personal level?


__ Yes __ No

4. Others:
It’s brilliant how you made the page layout. Very professional!

16
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

Appendix B: A sample from the survey I made

No. ________

1. Which model would you consider as your desired image? (Please tick
one)
___ the cultural model ___ the medical model

2. Are you satisfied with your current appearance?


__ Yes __ No __ Not entirely, I like puts of my appearance

3. Do you wish to be …… (tick one or more)


__ taller __ skinnier __ fatter __ curvier
__ I don’t want to change anything

4. What is your definition of inner beauty? (tick one)


__ Being confident and embracing your true self
__ Hiding your true self and disguising/ trying to be other person

5. What is your definition of outer beauty? (tick one)


__ Looking like models, being accepted by people around you
__ Not trying to change what I look like originally
__ I don’t really care

17
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

Appendix C: Email to a Geisha, Sayuki

Re: hii!
Sun, January 3, 2010 10:14:58 AM
From: Sayuki of Asakusa <sayuki.geisha@gmail.com>
View Contact
To: Sharon Weng <sharonweng1994@yahoo.com.hk>

Hi,

Thanks for your kind comments.

Normally, when I am at banquets I wear white makeup and o-zashiki (banquet) kimomo. If I am out as a geisha but
not at a banquet I usually wear kimono and my own hair styled by a hairdresser.
And if I am not out as a geisha, and in Western clothes, I wear a lot of H&M recently!

Being a geisha has been worth all the hard work, and continuing hard work because I love playing music and
performing. In the end, if you didnt love the art it would be hard to continue as a geisha.

SAYUKI

On Sat, Jan 2, 2010 at 7:37 PM, Sharon Weng <sharonweng1994@yahoo.com.hk> wrote:

Hi,
I'm sharon and im a high school student from Hong Kong. recently, i've read about u in the December
issue of marie claire. im fascinated by the world of being a geisha, sounds like a lot of work and fun! u
look so kawaii on the pictures^^ anyway, i would like some quotes from you for my magazine article,
it's my school project. i was wondering if u would answer me a few questions. hope u will have time
and be able to answer them !

1. how would u normally dress when u are Sayuki?


2. do you think being a geisha is worth all the hard work?

thankyou!
sharon

18
What are the interpretations of beauty in different cultures? By: Sharon Weng

Appendix D: My Final Product

19