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Paula: Who even decides what is beautiful and who is beautiful? | Israel today


Three Israeli women, who were included in the list of the 100 most beautiful women in the world, aroused local pride but raise the question - who even determines what is beautiful and who is beautiful? And why does this attitude, which also permeates the dating culture and schools, end up in depression and a waste of energy and money?

So who is the most beautiful?

A few days ago, the "100 most beautiful faces of 2022" list was published, and the media celebrated Israeli pride.

Three women entered the international list: Yael Shelvia, Gal Gadot and Eden Pines.

I will clarify the obvious, they are very beautiful, and according to my impression, also great human girls.

I got to interview Eden Pines and I also talked to her several times, and she is smart and sensitive and nice.

What intrigues me is not related to a specific woman, but to the phenomenon of lists that rank women according to their degree of beauty in the eyes of the editors of the lists.

The list in question has accumulated more than 12 billion impressions on social networks and hundreds of millions of views.

Why does ranking of female beauty attract so much attention?

Why does the rating excite us?

Good question.

The thrill of beauty

The pleasant feeling that a beautiful creature or object evokes in us, and the appreciation and even admiration for beauty, are so ingrained in us that the question may sound strange.

What do you mean why?

Because beautiful things are pleasing to the eye.

And it's fun.

Researchers believe that the model of beauty is determined by nature, because it represents the most fertile creatures, and the search for beauty is part of the natural survival mechanism.

A 2015 study from the University of Oslo found that the brain rewards us for looking at beautiful faces.

The brain's reward system - a cluster of areas deep in our brain - is involved in evaluating people's attractiveness.

It turns out that the same area of ​​the brain that works when we experience pleasure from food that pleases our palate, is also active when we look at attractive faces.

Activity levels in the brain's reward system change and activate hormones that cause us to feel affection.

The beauty is in the eye of the beholder?

Is beauty objective or subjective?

If we judge according to the model of beauty over the years and the changes that apply to it, we will come to the conclusion that the perception of beauty is a unique matter.

In the weekly recommendation, I recommend watching the video "Do it to me", which visually illustrates the changes in the perception of beauty throughout history.

It turns out that there are fads in the beauty model, as in any other subject.

In ancient Rome, curvaceous women with thick hips and round bellies were considered the most beautiful.

In ancient China the model of beauty required a frail appearance, small legs and small breasts.

From an early age, girls' chests were tightly bandaged, which hindered their ability to develop.

The parents also tied the girls' feet with bandages, so that the feet would not grow.

For this they used to break the toes, except for the thumb.

Sound shocking?

It's all about culture.

In ancient Greece they invented the "golden ratio", which can calculate "perfect symmetry".

It is determined by the position of the forehead, the structure of the eyebrows, eyes, lips and chin and the size of the nose.

Today, in the age of social networks, there is a global beauty model: smooth skin without wrinkles and without blemishes, lightly tanned, narrow face and narrow nose bridge, nasal bridge, smooth neck without excess fat, plump lips, symmetrically spaced cat eyes, long and thick eyelashes, cheekbones high

Have the men been saved from a parallel model of male beauty?

Beautiful woman, handsome man

Men's ranking lists also exist, but they are much less popular and do not create discourse and interest like those of the women's ranking.

An interesting point I discovered during the investigation is that handsome men will receive the title Handsome, which means handsome, while women are usually given the title Beautiful.

Can you say Handsome Woman?

When a woman is described as "handsome" and not as "beautiful", it will indicate more that she is healthy and strong and probably less thin and delicate.

What is the beauty model?

If you want to understand what the contemporary beauty model is, try to identify the common denominator of the female representation on television, in movies and on social networks: most of them are young, bright, smooth skinned, thin and shapely.

The eyes are large, the lips are fleshy, the chest and buttocks are round and upright.

True, there are now more models and the initial change is noticeable, but it is still negligible.

I read a study that proved that Instagram's algorithm prioritizes exposure to those who are closer to the beauty model.

The representation of men in the media reflects the male beauty model: young, muscular, chiseled jaw, rich hair, tall and broad shoulders.

For men, unlike women, an older man with silver hair and a rugged face will be considered masculine and tough and attractive.

On the other hand, an older woman with silver hair, who dared not to hide her wrinkles, will receive comments: "Why are you neglected?"

What is the problem with the female beauty rating?

Are lists that rank beautiful women harmful?

It is very common for men to rate female beauty, I remember the boys in middle school talking about the girls in their class according to leagues: this is League A and this is League B.

And that one?

League 7.

There are "stylists", who get likes and endorsements, who upload videos in which they check whether the clothing of women and girls meets the index they created.

Some of the public react enthusiastically to this judgment, just as they do to the ranking lists of women.

About a year ago, there was an uproar over a table published online, compiled by 10th grade students at a school in the center of the country, in which they ranked all the school's girls according to their degree of attractiveness.

Girls were interviewed and told about the feeling of humiliation, the difficulty of getting to school, the pain and the insult.

Really interesting, where did the boys get the absurd idea of ​​ranking girls based on appearance?

It is important to note that in the list of "the most beautiful women" only famous and successful stars, models, singers and network stars are ranked, women whose job is to cultivate external beauty.

There is no problem with that, but when millions of women and girls and boys and men view this list, they are exposed to a model of beauty that is not at all applicable to 99 percent of the population.

The stars on the list receive daily care from the best professionals in the beauty industry and invest resources in cosmetic treatments, they have a close nutritionist and personal trainers.

This is an imaginary lifestyle for most of us, but it is not mentioned in any way and there is no proper disclosure about it.

This model is internalized as something every woman should aspire to.

This is how self-hatred increases.

my confession

Women who fit the standards of the beauty model receive more attention than those who fit less.

Studies prove that women who are considered attractive have greater chances of being hired against a less-than-model-beauty candidate with the same qualifications.

They also have a greater chance of getting a raise, they are more sought after, and it has even been proven that their negative behavior will be tolerated, because people like to be in the company of beautiful people.

Of course, there are also instances of jealousy and lack of support - but they are dwarfed by the advantages.

In last week's column I wrote about privileges.

Well, being a beauty model match is a great privilege.

The privilege of beauty has accompanied me since childhood.

I don't have the perfect looks of the women on the list, but I've always been told I'm beautiful.

I was not blind to the attention given to me by the boys in the class and I received courtships from a young age: in the seventh grade, when I arrived at school in the morning, I found for a while a bag of chocolate and a donut on the classroom table - this is how the courtships of a boy who knew that I liked this fine culinary combination looked.

At my Bat Mitzvah party, that sweet boy bought me a gold ring as a gift.

I was frightened by the excessive gesture, and I asked him to stop buying me chocolate and a donut and to take the ring.

He didn't know me, and I suspected that he wasn't really in love with me, but with the slot I was placed in, "the most beautiful girl in the class".

I understood already then the effect of my appearance on men.

At the class parties, it often happened that the boys formed a line to dance "slow" with me.

It was both pleasant and guilt-inducing, that I had gained the advantage without making any effort.

I couldn't help but notice in the corner, at Beasley and Bamba's table, a friend from the class longing for an invitation to one of the boys' dance, while I have to gently repel some of the offers.

It's not that men I loved didn't break my heart and leave me.

He was also broken, and it took him years to reconcile, because the privilege of beauty does not guarantee a happy relationship, but the benefits cannot be denied.

It's interesting that conforming to the standard of beauty didn't help me when I was an insecure new immigrant.

External beauty cannot achieve everything, and that's a good thing.

I hope you will not interpret my sharing as arrogance.

On the contrary, I try to admit it, because I believe that if everyone admits their relative advantages, less suffering will be caused to others.

Who benefits from the longing for beauty?

The cosmetics, fashion, fitness and diet industries serve the beauty model, or rather, exist because of it and profit from it.

The advertisements will convince you to buy more and more preparations and products, and so you will believe that it is not the model that is wrong, but you - who cannot get it.

The beauty industry exploits women's insecurities to make our money.

The ploy of the beauty industry is to make you feel that the pursuit of this ideal is "empowering", so that you get an experience that you are doing something right and buy more!

Women of all ages consume financial and mental resources and most of their free time to improve their appearance, disproportionately to investing in other areas of life.

To try to achieve the "right" look, women starve themselves, exhaust their bodies with excessive and unhealthy physical activity, put chemicals into their bodies instead of food to suppress appetite and still don't feel beautiful enough.

Because of the brainwashing, they don't blame the media or the beauty industry - but themselves for not trying hard enough, which leads to low self-esteem, anxiety and depression.

Am I successful because I am talented or beautiful?

From a young age I understood that my appearance was a privilege, and I acknowledge the advantages it gave me, and at the same time I felt that the relative advantage I received required me to work even harder to prove that I am not just a pretty face.

Don't shed a tear, it's not a sad story, I don't pretend to claim that it's hard to be beautiful, but I think that the fact that I grew up as a beautiful girl and a curvaceous woman also built confidence and comfort in my body, even when it changed over the years and expanded and conformed less to the attractive model.

I am also aware that success in the media as a TV presenter is partly influenced by my appearance.

It's true, my body is not as thin as that of most presenters on television, but I fit the attractive beauty model in a significant number of parameters and this has opened doors for me throughout my life.

Today I manage to believe that it does not detract from being hardworking, investing, studious and eloquent, but it would be an understatement to say that the external appearance does not serve me in my work in a medium that is based on visuals.

I don't have to apologize for being considered beautiful, but I can't ignore that privilege either.

Because with it comes the responsibility to admit it and to understand that it is much easier for women who are considered attractive to find a date, get hired, be considered attractive, get a raise and be forgiven for mistakes.

This is similar to rich people who claim that their success has nothing to do with the fact that they came from a home with money.

OK, we heard.

The wonderful Jane Fonda once answered in an interview, when she was asked how she maintains her beautiful appearance: "Good genes and lots and lots of money."

This is the ultimate answer that conveys a message: I have a privilege and I do not deny it.

It is possible to change the observation of beauty

My perception of beauty has changed a lot since I started to specialize in the field, one of the effective ways to cope is to feed the brain with images of people of various ages, skin color, body structure and physical abilities.

"Diversity" and "inclusion" are not just beautiful and trendy words.

Studies prove that the brain is programmed by the sights around it.

If you only watch movies and series where everyone aligns with the model of beauty, your perception of beauty and judgment will be accordingly.

You are welcome to enter my Instagram and see who I follow, people who challenge the ruling model, expand my perception and make my soul happy.

It is a wonderful investment in yourself, and you will feel the results when you stand in front of the mirror, and the destructive criticism will feel less threatening.

To combat these messages, it is important to constantly remind that we have value beyond our appearance, and that our body is much more than a decoration.

Lists that rank women according to their external beauty deepen the judgment of women as objects and not as subjects.

The enthusiasm for these lists seeps into schools, into dating culture, and even reinforces violence against women.

We have the opportunity to understand that the filter through which we see beauty has been embedded in us without us being aware of it.

The more we understand that the ideal of beauty is a kind of mental captivity, that robs us of independent thinking and the ability to decide what beauty is in our eyes, we will be motivated to reduce its influence.

I connect to it also out of my rebellious nature, who are you to decide what is beautiful in my eyes?







Feel free to rate, or not.

do it to me

This is how the ideal of female beauty has changed over the years.


were we wrong

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-01-19

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