The Eye of the Beholder: Beauty Talk, Behavior, and Ethos at Haverford College

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The Eye of the Beholder: Beauty Talk, Behavior, and Ethos at Haverford College

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Title: The Eye of the Beholder: Beauty Talk, Behavior, and Ethos at Haverford College
Author: Douglas, Vanessa
Advisor: Gillette, Maris
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Anthropology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The fascination with beauty is widespread across the globe, and is particularly prevalent within the United States, especially among. Media within American society play a pivotal role in shaping how women, of all ages, construct, maintain, and view their physical form and features, usually to their detriment. At Haverford College, however, it seems as though this obsession with how one looks is not a crucial concern for female students. As a member of the Haverford community, I was curious to know why it seems that talk of beauty (how one might engage or practice it; beauty ideals, pressures, and preferences) is rare, especially since Haverford students are not sheltered from media or other types of exposure to physical ideals and representations. Through observations of how female students at Haverford choose to physically represent themselves, as well as semi-structured interviews and photograph elicitations, I sought to investigate whether the prevalent standards of physical appearance within the United States has an affect on how women at Haverford think about beauty, how these standards and thoughts affect them and their own physical appearance, and whether this interaction with beauty shapes how they view and judge other individuals. Through my research, I work toward understanding how it is that young women on campus might deal with pervasive ideas of beauty within American society while attending an institution where there seems to be a stifled interaction with and talk of how one chooses to look. In an attempt to generate a discussion on physical appearance among females, I discovered that there exists a distinct viewpoint on campus that does not reflect the ubiquitous fixation with beauty present in the United States, and shapes how students think about, talk about, and engage in the sphere of beauty specifically within the community.
Subject: Beauty, Personal -- Social aspects -- United States
Subject: Beauty culture -- Social aspects -- United States
Subject: Beauty culture -- Social aspects -- Pennsylvania -- Haverford
Subject: Haverford College -- Students -- Attitudes
Subject: Beauty, Personal -- Social aspects -- Pennsylvania -- Haverford
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/8377

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Douglas, Vanessa. "The Eye of the Beholder: Beauty Talk, Behavior, and Ethos at Haverford College". 2012. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/8377.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/