Where sociology, contemporary feminism, body image & beauty culture collide with everyday life. Have you ever had a bit too much of something you loved, and then never wanted to see it again (at least for a while)? For those of you who have never taught before, the stress and intensity that "Final's Week" has for students is followed by an equally stressful and intense "paper & exam grading week" for teachers. Last time we explored some questions raised in Chapter 2 of legal scholar Deborah Rhode's 2010 book, The Beauty Bias.
Today we'll do the same for the Introduction chapter of Harvard psychologist Nancy Etcoff's 2000 book, Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty.
I set up my course by offering my students two theoretical perspectives which help explain our culture's fascination with "beauty" - and also why people who have it are treated so differently from people who don't.
In her introductory chapter, Etcoff sets herself apart from many feminist scholars from the get-go, by admitting that our culture may be full of industries that take advantage of our desires for beauty, but that these industries are only building off of our innate drives. Etcoff saves the hard-hitting details of this perspective for later chapters, which is what I will do as well. For the record: I don't always love what evolutionary psychologists have to say (especially when their research seems to excuse men for acting like brutish infidelious sugar-daddies or women acting like superficial catty gold-diggers who), but, for the most part, I've always found Ev-Psych to be fascinating and insightful.


Here's today's discussion question: can you remember a time, early in your life, when you were struck by a "sixth sense" that someone was beautiful? Nancy Etcoff is part of a new vanguard of cognitive researchers asking: What makes us happy?
In her book Survival of the Prettiest, Nancy Etcoff refutes the social origins of beauty, in favor of far more prosaic and evolutionary explanations. Good copy for reading, may have heavy page wear with writing textual notes highlighting or be an heavily used ex library copy with library markings, stickers or stamps.
Written by a practising psychologist who has been researching the perception of human faces, this book offers a comprehensive guide to a complex and contentious subject. There was a woman there one day who attended one of the required services we had to do every day. I remember seeing her walking around earlier that day and I think in this day she'd be classified as something past morbidly obese. Looking back she was probably wearing slightly too much makeup, but it wasn't garish as I recall.
Today I can remember seeing her off and on and every time she had this big smile on her face that just seemed to sparkle.


These are not ways I would have described her then, but to this day I remember the things that struck me and can define them. During the service I couldn't take my eyes off her and she repeatedly smiled at me very kindly throughout the whole service when she kept looking over at me and I was STILL STARING. I had this huge vocabulary, but I was so struck, all I could come up with was pretty.I think I knew at some level that she was a beautiful PERSON who seemed sure of herself. One day I saw him treat someone rather badly and it was like someone ripped some weird glasses off my face.
I mean, in 5 seconds he hadn't PHYSICALLY changed, but my perception did and it affected his appearance to me. Secured type of the advances are sponsored against a benefit and on account of these credits, you can promise the bicycle you need to buy as guarantee. The sum offered is substantial and because of the vicinity of security, interest charged on the advances too are similarly low.



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