Beauty Ideals – 6A





Pre-Reading Discussion

  1. Is beauty important? How often do you think about beauty?
  2. Do beautiful people have better lives?
  3. What is the beauty ideal for men and women in Israel?
  4. Do you think different cultures have different ideas of what beauty is? What is the beauty ideal in other countries?
  5. Should people change the way they look if they are not happy with their looks?
  6. Do you think the way you view yourself changes as you grow older?

Practice these words on Quizlet


Beauty standards are different from culture to culture. What people see as stunning in one country may be seen as weird in another. Here are some unique beauty ideals from different countries. From long necks to body scars, everyone has a slightly different idea as to what makes a person physically attractive

Thailand-long necks


Women who belong to the Kayan tribe in Thailand begin wearing brass rings around their neck at a very young age. As they grow older, they add more rings in order to lengthen and stretch out their necks. In the Kayan culture, a long slim neck is elegant and beautiful.

India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia-body piercings



Nose piercing is very fashionable in India. Hindu women wear a nose ring as a fashion statement but it is also a symbol to mark that a girl is ready for a husband. It is believed that a hole in a woman’s left nostril takes away some of the pain in childbirth.
Men pierce different parts of their bodies, including their tongue, during the Thaipusam holiday.



Women’s scars are valued and considered the beauty ideal in Ethiopia’s Karo tribe. Self scarring is considered a way to add a unique side to your physical appearance.  The scars appear on the face or the stomach.

Mauritania-weight gains


In this African country, bigger women–or women who fall into the overweight category– are considered attractive. In this culture, a larger body means that women are ready to be wives. That’s why girls are sent to fattening farms where they are fed with a diet of up to 16,000 calories a day. That’s more than four times the diet of a male bodybuilder.

Iran-plastic surgery


Surprisingly, plastic surgery is a status symbol in Iran. If you can pay for plastic surgery, it means you have high status. Many men and women show off their bandages for a longer time than they need to. They even wear fake bandages to make people think that they’ve had surgery.

Southern Ethiopia
-stretched lips


The Mursi women who live in Southern Ethiopia like to stretch out their lips with clay plates to make them grow in size. Bigger lips represent womanhood and maturity. So the more exaggerated their feature looks, the better.  

New Zealand-face tattoos


The Maori people of New Zealand believe that the more tattoos someone has on his or her face–whether they’re on his or her lips or their chin–the more attractive he is. It’s very common to invest in some body art in this tribe.

Japan-fanged teeth


In some Japanese cultures, women who possess fanged teeth are get compliments for their beauty. To get this look (unless she was born with sharpened teeth), women have their teeth capped by a dental surgeon.

USA-ear pointing


Ear pointing means changing the shape of the ear so it looks like an elf’s ear, or a Vulcan. This beauty standard is found among Lord of the Rings and Star Trek fans. It began with a man from Arizona, and has become popular around the country. 

China-bound feet


For more than 1,000 years, Chinese women bound their feet with tight fabric. Usually, females first put bindings at a young age, because women with smaller feet were considered more beautiful and attractive. The practice was also a way to show social status. The practice began with rich women who didn’t have to work around the home, but eventually, even poor villagers started binding their feet to fit in with other women in their towns. In 1911, binding was banned by the government.