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psy 210 wk 7 dq 1


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Week 7: Discussion Question 1
“Everyone differs slightly in what they consider attractive or beautiful. Do you believe
certain attributes are universally attractive? Do you believe one's sense of beauty is
intrinsic or learned? What influence do the media and one's peers have on the concept of
beauty? What other factors influence the perception of attraction?”
I am not sure I would agree that there is a universal ideal of attractiveness, rather subjective
views of such. Even when the media promotes near anorexia as attractive, many would disagree,
often depending on race, culture and social interactions. I believe that one’s sense of beauty is
both intrinsic and learned, best demonstrated by the many interracial marriages we see in today’s
world. Through the history of mankind, beauty might have been attributed the two genders
looking towards a perspective mates abilities to produce offspring’s and successfully provide for
them, in other words, the intrinsic value of brawn over brains to carry on the local breed of a
population. As humans adapted to their societies, brawn became less important and beauty along
with its many frailties became more acceptable within the different cultures.
No longer was brawn as important as social status and the physical aspects that demonstrate our
place in our culture and society. In many cultures such as during the renaissance and Italy,
plumpness was seen as beautiful. Then and today, other cultural societies might see obesity as
beautiful while in most western cultures of affluence “thin is in”; largely attributed to the
influence of the medias view of what a healthy model is, and through the promotion of the many
beautiful aspects of each individual race, we learn to accept these attributes as desirable. I do not
believe that peers have an influence on our concept of beauty, unless of course a prejudice
dominates the group, where physical and social attributes are promoted, which could include
race, physical size, education or social status. In other words… I believe our perception of beauty
to be intrinsic and learned with our interactions within our cultural, societal upbringing, and the
influence of the media in today’s world.

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