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Lesson Plans


Beauty

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
marcia m eaton (marciameaton)
Fri, 6 Nov 1998 11:43:17 -0500


Ron and Marcia checking in again from the ASA meetings in Bloomington.
The issue of how different "real women" are from the images presented to us
in the media of "beautiful women" is important. We discuss this a bit in
our discussion of beauty on the ArtsEdNet website, and we hope you respond
here to some of the questions we raise---for example, about the statue of
JuliaTitti. There have been some very interesting points raised by
respondents about the quality of "commercially approved beauty" (e.g.
Barbie Doll beauty) that might be very useful to consider in classroom
discussion on this same point.

It may be useful to explore with your students the difference that
is frequently marked as the contrast between innner and outward beauty, a
distinction that comes close to merging moral and aesthetic categories.
For instance, we often hear folks describe certain moral paragons, e.g.
Desmond Tutu, as "beautiful people" when they aren't paying any attention
to their physical appearance. What is the beauty they are ascribing to
people in such cases?

Another issue---one that we realize might be much harder to raise in some
classes---is the question of what we might call "beauty and biology." Does
evolution favor certain traits or characteristics because they have
survival value and thus become considered attractive? Some books on this
topic:
Alexander Alland, The Artistic Animal and Ellen Dissanyake, Homo
Aestheticus.

Finally, a recent message (not specifically on the Beauty topic) address
art and aesthetics and raises a question about borrowing. (See the
discussion of the topiary garden.) Ron and Marcia will in a future walk
talk about this and related problems, e.g. fakes and forgeries.

Ron and Marcia