Thursday, March 25, 2010


... To me it is a word without sense because I do not know where its meaning comes from nor where it leads to. ~Pablo Picasso

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. ~Kahlil Gibran

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~Confucius

This may be how I believe beauty should be and how others should feel about themselves, but I can't deny that I am somewhat self-conscious about the way I look at times. In the American culture, so much stress is put on the physical appearance of people; the way we dress and what we wear, how our hair is cut, colored and worn, and the size and shape of our body, just to name a few. While Americans spend a considerable amount of time thinking about or looking at their physical appearance and concentrating on ways to improve their image, it is evident that what is "in" now will change next season.

I find it very interesting the way other cultures view beauty. Apparently, so does Jessica Simpson. Below is a link to a clip of her brand new TV show, "The Price of Beauty," where she explores and researchers how different cultures describe beauty. Who better than to take on this show than someone who has been listed as one of the most beautiful women in America and then criticized and humiliated by the media because she has gained weight (a natural occurrence for women, especially as they age). Watch critically and look in the background at the various cultures described in this small promo.

As I mentioned in class last week, I am planning to study abroad this summer in Maastricht for 3 months. During this time I will have the opportunity to travel to dozens of countries and experience the different traditions and cultures of each. I am not only ecstatic about this once in a lifetime chance, but I am also very nervous and anxious. Of course I expect things to be very, very different and because of my "all-American" look, I am expecting to stick out like a sore thumb. I have heard many times that the French are ethnocentric people with an arrogant attitude. Nonetheless, I can't wait to dive into learning as much as possible about the European lifestyle and emerse myself in their culture; even if it means not showering for a couple of days. :)


  1. I enjoyed this blog big time. Your quotes at the beginning are a very cool addition. I might be doing Baylor in London this summer, and I am definitely looking forward to experiencing their culture!
    Hope you have fun!

  2. Great insight! I was shocked to know that fat is beauty in uganda! It is interesting how Americans strive so hard to be thin as it appears beautiful to our culture, yet some cultures strive so hard to be fat because that is what is beautiful in their culture. Two very different extremes...where is the happy medium?

  3. I have seen the advertisements for jessica Simpon's new show. Iv noticed alot of talk so host like Tyra Banks and Ellen, have all made statements about Today's beauty obsessions. It seems the world is trying to turn away the craze.

  4. Good post! It is so true that our American culture puts way more emphasis on physical beauty than other cultures may. By recognizing that friends, family, and simply enjoying life are more important (like most other cultures realize) maybe our focus will shift. You are going to learn so much and have such a great time! I'm excited for your adventure!

  5. I like the quotes at the beginning of your blog! Having been in France a little last summer, I can tell you that the French are very a ethnocentric culture. Looks we have something in common with our blogs too--I talked about Jessica Simpson's new show as well. While I am not a huge fan of hers, I do find her argument interesting, as it is so cool to find out what other cultures around the world regard as beautiful. Good job on your blog!