Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Beauty, China, America, United States, Body, Surgery, Workplace, Skin

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/09

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What Is Beautiful

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or that it is only skin deep, and many other colorful euphemisms that paint an enticing portrait of inner peace, a sense of self-resolve that allows for a restful spirit and calm mind. This is a pleasing mental picture to behold, but upon the surface there are many differences as to what those who come from different cultures might find beautiful. While beauty is indeed a concept that is held close and dear to the heart, a great many cultures find it in different manners than others. Physical beauty is very different in how it is perceived, sought after, and respected between China and America.
In China personal beauty is reflected in pale white skin, round eyes, and a very small mouth. Foreigners that visit the country and are naturally white of skin are often gawked at as the color of their skin is considered to be quite beautiful.
Health-wise beauty is a different matter for each country, as Americans have been taught to believe that no matter what it is important to be fit, thin, and physically superior to each other, so as to appear stronger, more capable, and overall deserving of a better life. It is economic in a way, but based far more on vanity than anything else. Contrasting this are the lengths that the Chinese will go to in order to become more attractive to employers, more capable of being seen as a serious, hard-working and physically appealing office worker that can be depended upon. In America this is hardly ever the case for an office worker, particularly those who work in cubicles or small, cramped offices. In America’s line of thinking a person who isn’t seen much during the day generally isn’t hired for appearance.
Appearance is important in both countries, as even cosmetic surgery is employed in either country to “boost confidence”. This too carries different reasons. In America it is not unknown or unheard of for those who can afford the procedures to undergo them for the sake of their vanity alone. It does happen, but rarely, that cosmetic surgery is utilized in order to correct a genetic defect or injury that has caused far more damage than regular physicians can cure. In such cases it is absolutely necessary to perform such surgeries, but the majority of the time Americans simply dabble with their own bodies in order to gain confidence or become more desirable.
China is not so different in this regard, but instead of pure vanity there are other, more economical reasons behind their alterations that are more common. Whether it be the shaping of their noses, their facial structure, or even their body, the effect at times is to create a more employable look and/or make them more attractive in appearance. Good examples of this are the abandoned practice of Chinese foot-binding, the use of cosmetic surgery to alter one’s nose, cheeks, and even chin to create a more appeasing visage, and even the stretching of legs to make women appear taller.
What this means is that the Chinese are, at times, far more willing to undergo surgery to alter their bodies in order to make themselves more appealing as employees, an understandable if somewhat suspect practice. Vanity is no different whatever country it is seen in, though in America it seems a far more widespread epidemic
Body image is just as important in either country as well, though in China it is vital for more than one reason. “Thin is in” seems to be the consensus in China, and is especially true for women as their clothing sizes are at times far more akin to child sizes when compared to Western clothing, which ranges in sizes from child to quadruple X. Body image in China is very important as it is applied to daughters, as along with their facial features it is considered vital that they be attractive and alluring enough to gain the attention of a male. If this is not possible then it is likely that a woman will never leave home, which even in China is deemed as a disgrace. In America the general belief is to be satisfied with the way one looks, so long as they are pleased with who they are on the inside.
Many laugh and scoff at this notion as first impressions are often made from looks alone, but in America self-image is a very muddied issue. The country is split in regards to the idea of self-image, and is in truth one of the most obese nations in the world. While fitness and diet are an important part of the American dream to be thin, healthy, and fit, the practices of plastic surgery and unhealthy habits of crash dieting are also very prevalent. In regards to this China is by no means perfect, but the country is also far healthier and more conscious of what they put into and onto their bodies each day.
In America this type of beauty was considered pampered, rich, and to some unattainable. This is yet another similarity between the two countries, and one that has roots deep within each country’s history. A good example would be the status given to those who are considered beautiful, even if they are virtually unskilled in any other way. Beauty can turn heads, skills must be displayed, and as many judge on looks it is beauty more often than not that is given notice first. For instance, a supermodel such as famed celebrity Cindy Crawford would be given great attention in either country is taken more often for her astounding beauty rather than her overall charm. In a world where beauty sells, both China and the US are similar in that they bank upon what is considered alluring and eye-catching.
Physical beauty is subjective in both America and China, but produces many of the same results in either country. In effect, beauty within Chinese culture is both aesthetic and economic in nature, proving a greater purpose than the simple enjoyment of beauty. It is the means by which people shape their lives, their days, and even their every waking moment at times. By contrast in America beauty is a thing to be coveted, flaunted, and even placed on public display so as to hold over others. While both countries seek to gain attention through the use of beauty, they go about their own methods in very different ways.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 09) Good Essay On Cultural Divide:. Retrieved August 03, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-cultural-divide/
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Good Essay On Cultural Divide:. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-cultural-divide/. Published Dec 09, 2020. Accessed August 03, 2021.
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