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Impact of Westernisation of Chinese Perception of Beauty

9362 words (37 pages) Essay in Society

18/05/20 Society Reference this

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INTRODUCTION

“Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.”  — Kate Angell[1]

Beauty is a controversial issue. Everyone has different perceptions of beauty. Some people think beauty links with appearance, but others think inner beauty is more important. My PIP topic is an investigation of identity and beauty. I look at the westernisation of the Chinese perception of beauty and how it changed over time. Therefore, there are mainly investigate the history of Chinese beauty, social views on ideal beauty, and compare inner beauty and outer beauty. And the beauty will relation to a person’s identity. The population of this research includes both females and males, aged between 15 to 45 years.

The reason I am interested in is, once I watched a piece of Chinese entertainment news, a variety show host was disliked by the audience because of her fat body. Some viewers called the director, saying that the female host was as fat as a pig and ugly. And asked her not to continue to host this program. So at the Macro level, many Chinese do not accept obesity, even some people discriminate against obesity and ugliness. I felt angry and confused about why these people only focus on outer beauty and do appreciate not the charm of their talent and ability. Thus, this prompted my PIP to research Chinese perceptions of beauty.

The cross-cultural component of my PIP includes time, gender, identity, and culture. Through the collision of Chinese and Western cultures and the passage of time, the Chinese’s perception of beauty and the shaping of identity is changing. Therefore, time, gender, identity, and culture are essential cross-cultural components, as they show the similarities and differences in the perceptions of Chinese in different eras. Using this cross-cultural perspective can assist me to know the continuity/change in Chinese perceptions of beauty. This contributes a better understanding of the Society and Culture subject.

To successfully research this project, I use qualitative and quantitative methods to combine my primary and secondary data. The data obtained from questionnaires, unstructured interviews, non-participant observation, personal reflection, and secondary research.

I can get plenty of quantitative data from the questionnaire. It allows participants to participate anonymously, protecting their privacy and making information more realistic. The qualitative data gain from unstructured interviews. I will ask one Chinese what his/her thought of beauty. Record voices if interviewees are agreed, this avoids wasting time. Using non-participant observation to obtain more accurate data. I can observe Chinese and Westerners in public. Using personal reflection to obtain some primary data, allowing me to further understand my views. My secondary research includes content analysis and literature review, which help me better understand my topic.

Finally, through comparing and analysing the data obtained from primary and secondary research, my goal is to discover the impact of the westernisation of Chinese perception of beauty. I can understand my PIP in greater depth. It enhanced my social and cultural literacy and make me think more analytically.

 

 

 

 

LOG

I first decided on my PIP topic is “Chinese perceptions of beauty”. I felt that it could be an interesting topic. So I developed a proposal to investigate the Chinese perception of beauty analysing westernisation and change over time, and comparing people from Chinese and Western cultures, and how this affects their identity over time. But later, I thought the topic “Identity and beauty” is more suitable.

I originally intended to connect as many Society and Cultural concepts as possible, but I later realised that this range is too wide. I decided that the cross-cultural component will focus mainly on Westernisation, but time, gender, identity, culture, modernisation, and status are also essential. In the meantime, I also considered which methods are most appropriate and necessary to achieve a wide range of results.

I designed my final questionnaire online and then posted it online. It provides open-ended and closed-ended questions for people between the ages of 15 and 45. My goal was to distribute a questionnaire to100people, but actually, I only received 63 responses. I found that it is difficult to get people to fill out questionnaires. Because I put the questionnaire on the Internet for a long time, but only a few people were willing to fill it out. After many attempts, I finally found an online platform in which people help each other fill out questionnaires. It means that I helped others fill out questionnaires, and then others helped me fill out my questionnaire.

I began researching some secondary resources about Chinese perceptions of beauty online. But actually, only online resources were not enough. Thus, my classmate and I went to different libraries many times to find out some useful resources. This was the first time I went to the library in Australia. At that time, I did not have a library card. I took a photo of the information in the book I needed, so I would read it later.

One of my interviewees was a salesperson in a skincare store. I felt really shy to interview because shopping centers often have lots of people. Eventually, I took the courage to interview, but because the salesperson was busy and not enough time, I could only ask three questions.

I did twice observation, I observed a Chinese woman and a Western male.

When I analysed the information I received from the primary research and secondary research and was ready to write, although I had a lot of ideas, my English was not good enough and the results were always unsatisfactory.

My first cross-cultural component was to show that people’s perceptions of beauty differed in different eras and how they evolved cross time.

In my PIP, I feel that I have a new understanding of the Chinese people’s perception of beauty. Through this research, I felt that my social and cultural literacy has improved. My goal is to learn more about how society’s perception of beauty affects people.

CHAPTER ONE

The history of Chinese beauty

In the long history of thousands of years, Chinese had their unique views and evaluation criteria for ‘beauty and ugly’, and gradually formed a unique aesthetic of their own, which is different from other countries in the world. It can be said that Chinese aesthetics has the same long history as Chinese history.

In different eras, there were different criteria for judging ‘beauty and not beauty’. If people wanted to judge ‘beauty and ugly’, they closely related it to the mainstream social thoughts, social forms and people who occupy the mainstream discourse. “In earlier epochs, different cultures shared no common conception of beauty. In ancient times, each culture held a different image of beautiful women”.[2] Different dynasties had different standards for beauty. Therefore, the ‘beauty’ of this era would a certain likely become ‘not beauty’ in another era. Ancient China had certain aesthetic standards for eyes, lips, skin and body shape.

The appearance of the eye was very important. In ancient China, narrow eyes have long been considered beautiful. “Ideally, a woman should be young, …… small-eyed with a clear distinction between the white and black parts of the eyes.”[3] Here the author clearly defines ‘small eyes’ as ‘ideal’. “‘Her eyes are narrow, they strongly engage my heart’, from the viewpoint of eroticism, half-closed eyes may be more attractive in a bedroom than glaring eyes.”[4] It indicates that the narrow eyes are very attractive and are favoured.

“People in ancient China believed that lips were the sexiest part of a woman and ancient Chinese women had a tradition of applying lipstick at different times.”[5] Because they thought the red lips are beautiful. Such as, “Her lips resemble a cherry. Red lips like dan leaves in the fall.”[6]

“‘Snow-white skin’ was very popular among ancient Chinese women and is one of the important aesthetic standards for women in society. White skin represents a clean and pure feeling. It also conveys the meaning of protective asylum and higher social status, it indicates this kind of person will not involve physical labor”[7]That is, in ancient China, people with shallow skin were considered to be rich and well cared for. If their skin is deep, they are poor, so they need to work outside. “And Chinese believed that having beautiful white skin can cover up all the shortcomings. Besides, the white skin helps to make the red cheeks and lips stand out.”[8]

“Is a well-rounded form appealing, or a slim body shape?”[9] The ideal figure of many dynasties women in China was ‘willow waist’, which refers to a slim figure, just like Xi Shi, Wang Zhaojun and Diaochan. As times changed, in the Tang Dynasty, there was a change, fullness women became the ideal image of female beauty. Because the Tang dynasty was the heyday of China’s feudal society, with strong national strength and prosperous culture, and women were relatively free. Thus, fullness was a symbol of wealth and privilege in the Tang dynasty. Yang Guifei is a good example. It means that perceptions of beauty have changed over time.

 Xi Shi, Wang Zhaojun, Diao Chan and Yang Yuhuan are known as the Four Great Beauties in ancient China. They enjoy the reputation of “A beautiful face which causes fish to sink out of sight and the flying crane to drop down, a beauty which outshines the moon and shames the flowers.”[10] They live in four different dynasties.

Xi Shi (7th Century B.C.) is a woman who washes silk. According to legend, When Xi Shi was washing silk by the stream, Amazed by her stunning beauty fish would forget how to swim and sink below the surface when seeing her reflection in the water.It was called Xi Shi sinks fish.[11]

Wang Zhaojun (1st Century B.C.) married the Xiongnu. On the way to the Xiongnu, the horse neighed, Zhaojun distraught, unable to control their emotions, then immediately play “Pipa resentment”. The plaintive and melodious music and the beautiful and touching woman make the wild geese flying in the south forget to swing their wings and fall on the ground one after another. Thus, It was called Wang Zhaojun entice birds into falling.[12]

Diaochan (A.D. 3rd Century) has no evidence of historical existence, so she is considered a fictional character.[13] Diao chan in the back garden to worship the moon, suddenly a breeze blowing, a piece of cloud would bring the bright moon cover. Just then Wang Yun saw. To proclaim how beautiful his daughter was, Wang Yun said to everyone, “my daughter is more beautiful than the moon.” Accordingly, Diaochan also is called by people “eclipses the moon”.[14]

Yang Guifei (719–756) is an imperial concubine of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty. Once, she and a maid in an imperial palace together to admire the beauty of flowers, inadvertently touched mimosa, grass leaves immediately rolled up. The maid in an imperial palace all said that this was Yang Yuhuan’s beauty, making the flowers and plants feel small and ashamed to lift their heads. Then, ‘shames flower’ also became the elegant name of Yang Guifei.[15]

Therefore, the history of beauty can influence on cognition of beauty and identity development of a person.

“In 1911, Sun Yat-sen was elected interim President of the Republic of China. Following the May 4, 1919, nationalist movements involving large segments of the population were aimed at modernising China, strengthening ties with the West through trade and commerce, China is influenced by westernisation, and integrating many women in China with new western notions of gender equality and women’s rights. Then, the female ideal beauty was influenced by women’s liberation and pursuit of education, employment, and independence.”[16] That is the Chinese perception of beauty has to start changing by westernisation. In other word, Chinese women’s views and opinions on beauty have changed. They no longer stick to the traditional standards of beauty. They understood and integrated some Western cultures and views on beauty, which changed their perception of beauty and it formed a new standard for beauty.

“On July 5, 1945, after Paris fashion designer Louis Reid invented the ‘bikini’, obesity was completely not associated with fashion. Driven by this concept, the weight-loss column is classified in the ‘fashion column’ in various newspapers and magazines. In the period of the rapid development of the mass media, the emergence of fashion magazines, newspapers, and television, ‘take thinness as beauty’ has become an aesthetic trend. Doctors and health experts have found that obesity is a significant risk factor and has an impact on health. So they decided against obesity.”[17] It meant that the Chinese perceptions of beauty have westernised over time.

“Since the reform and opening-up, Chinese economy has developed rapidly, as have mass media, consumer culture, and beauty industries. Western culture was introduced into China. Such as, the models in western fashion magazines are all thin, these characteristics have become the ideal beauty standard of modern Chinese women. Plastic surgery was becoming more popular because it can make people look like westerners through plastic surgery.”[18]

CHAPTER TWO

Chasing ideal beauty,

The question about “what is ‘beauty’”. This is difficult to define it with truly accurate standards. Just like the same scenery, a thousand people will have a thousand different judgments.

“The feminine beauty ideal is the socially constructed notion that physical attractiveness is one of the women’s most important assets and something all women should strive to achieve and maintain.”[19] That means there is no standard for ideal beauty, but merely a cultural and societal concept. “As I mentioned in the questionnaire, ‘Do you think there is a certain standard of judgment for the appearance of women?’, 65.12% of participants think women have not certain standards of appearance, because different people have different criteria for beauty.”[20] That is, some people think this person is good-looking, but it is not necessarily good-looking in the eyes of others. Some people think this person is not good-looking, but it may be good-looking in the eyes of others. Thus, ideal beauty does not have a certain standard, beauty or ugly is difficult to judge.

“The mass media plays a vital role in people’s self-image by informing and reflecting what people think is beautiful or attractive.”[21] Women learn and understand ideal beauty mostly through the mass media. “With the development of the mass media, people’s views on ideal beauty have changed, and women’s perceptions of themselves will also change. For example, on TV, advertisements tend to depict the ideal beautiful woman as a thin body, white skin, etc. So in most advertisements, the appearance of female models is usually similar. Women also tend to judge themselves and others by their media-defined appearance. But only a few women meet the media’s definition of ‘beauty’. For example, the media intensifies ‘take thinness as beauty’ as an ideal beauty to influence these women to change their views on their bodies. Some women may lose weight to meet the so-called ‘ideal beauty’. And the ideal beauty in mass media can also be technologically manipulated. “Images of women can be manipulated virtually, creating an ideal that is not only rare but nonexistent.”[22] For example, Photographs uploaded by people on social media are usually edited, filtered, etc, to achieve the ideal beauty. Often these altered images show people who are slimmer and more desirable. It is fake, but some girls still are immersed in the beauty of their fantasy. Therefore, mass media influences the development of women’s identity.

With the passage of time, the development of mass media. Western culture, values, and aesthetics were introduced into China, colliding with Chinese culture, and influencing Chinese culture. Among them, Chinese aesthetics have been westernised. It means that Chinese perceptions of beauty are changing over time.

“The ideal beauty of the Westerners includes being tall, big breasts, full lips and elongated legs. Westerners believe that the average single eye and heavy eyelids will make people look more exotic. It has the appeal of Eurasian or Spanish.”[23] Westerners do not care if their skin is white or not, women with a healthy tan are considered more beautiful. On the contrary, Chinese girls think the same big eyes, double eyelids, high nose bridge, small ‘cherry lips’, and white skin are the ideal beauty. “As I mentioned in the questionnaire, ‘Do you like the appearance of Westerners or the appearance of Chinese people?’, 81.40% of participants think each one has its beauty.”[24] It indicates that the beauty of different countries has its unique beauty, without saying which is better and which is worse.

“Some Chinese girls undergo plastic surgery to pursue the ideal beauty. For example, they perform double eyelid surgery to make their eyes look like Westerners because this is their ideal beauty. This is also the influence of Westernisation. On the other hand, Westerners have found that have beautiful petite bodies and flawless skin. They think that the beauty of Chinese women is very feminine. So for many Westerners, Chinese women are mysterious and fascinating.”[25]

Plastic surgery is becoming more popular in China. “They say that some Chinese women are seeking more Western appearance by altering the five sense organs.”[26] A Chinese woman who chooses plastic surgery said: “This is just a personal decision, I just want to be more beautiful. As a girl, I want to achieve a perfect state, not only inside but also outside. And today’s society needs more beautiful people.”[27] This shows that the social phenomenon of people is beginning to pursue ideal beauty. “As I mentioned in the questionnaire, ‘Due to Westernisation, many Chinese believe that the facial features of Westerners are beautiful. So some Chinese girls go for plastic surgery. What do you think of this?’, some participants are not opposed to plastic surgery, because girls love beauty, it is normal. There is nothing wrong with plastic surgery, but do not try to look like one of your favorite stars or follow the trend, such as the double eyelid fashion these days.”[28] It demonstrates that some people think plastic surgery is a means of pursuing beauty. Everyone has the right to pursue the ideal beauty, and this society has requirements for beauty. And plastic surgery can assist people to chase ideal beauty to make them more confident and more charming. But the tide will change, we must choose what suits us.

“Conversely, some participants thought that there was no need to go for plastic surgery, as long as girls dress properly generous is very beautiful. One participant said ‘Everyone has their own opinions about beauty. They may not satisfy their appearance and they like the facial features of Westerners. Then they go for plastic surgery. It is their right, people do not need to judge them, but I do not suggest people go for plastic surgery.’”[29] It indicates that some participants do not recommend that people go to have plastic surgery. Everyone has their standards of beauty, they choose plastic surgery for their ideal beauty, it is not wrong. But I think Chinese and western facial features have their beauty so there is no need to have plastic surgery. We should cherish any part of ourselves. If you are strong enough inside, you would never think of using plastic surgery to improve self-confidence. Moreover, now that makeup technology is getting better and better, it is even less necessary to go for plastic surgery. Also, plastic surgery has led to a trend toward a single aesthetic in China. But now, with more and more such behaviors, people begin to return to a more natural and diversified aesthetic. Thus, do not go easy to choose a facelift.

“Beauty is a culture, and I see that people moving away from their natural appearance. The Chinese are trying to adopt many of the natural characteristics of Westerners.”[30] “The ideal beauty of the Chinese is changing, such as these fashion models: Xi Mengyao, Liu Wen and He Sui. They do not meet the typical Chinese aesthetic standards, but the younger generation in China does find them attractive and they have a wide international appeal.”[31]

Beauty is only a social and cultural construction. Ideal beauty is a trend, and changes in the times will change. Due to the influence of the mass media society, this kind of overall social ‘disease’ caused everyone to wear a veil of dark clouds, making them feel that only a series of appearances are beautiful. “The Confucian view of women: morality believes that women, even if ugly, as long as there is virtue, she is the ideal woman.”[32]

CHAPTER THREE

Inner beauty and outer beauty

In this world, very beautiful and very ugly people are very few, most people have an ordinary appearance. A person’s appearance sometimes affects a person’s life, study, and work. There are two sayings in China, “Looking for a job and a partner are all based on a person’s appearance” and “If a person is not good-looking, no matter how hard you try, there is no hope.” With this explanation, many Chinese are very concerned about their appearance.

“As I mentioned in the questionnaire, “Do you think your appearance will have an impact on your life, study and work?”, 83.72% of the participants thought their appearance will have an impact on their lives, study, and work.” One participant said, “Because at work or in school some of the peers because you do not look pretty and laugh at you, or even bully you. It will influence my work or study.”[33] Some people usually like to judge others’ appearance by using bad terminology as the outer beauty has become important in our society so that the appearance will affect people’s life, study, and work.

Conversely, a good-looking appearance may bring some benefits. During the holiday, I accompanied my older sister to class and went to observe others. When I was in class, I saw a beautiful Chinese female student coming in. Everyone greeted her and treated her with enthusiasm. Maybe because she wore high heels, she fell down, it looked funny. But only a few people laughed. At this time, several boys ran to her and prepared to help her up, and they all comforted her.[34] At this time, I remembered a female student who is a minority. Because she was not very good-looking and had a plateau red on her face, she was often laughed at and bullied. I have concluded that there are some benefits to people who look pretty in this society. But people should not ridicule and bully those who are not very good-looking. People should look at people’s inner beauty.

Besides, this reminds me of my own experience. My weight is 90 kilograms before I came to Australia, but after I came to Australia for a year, my weight became 110 kilograms. My relatives joked about how I got so fat. They advised me to lose weight. Although I know that they are not malicious, my mood is still affected. I have to say to myself that I want to lose weight because if I continue to fat, it will not look pretty. It was also proven that the appearance will have an impact on your life.

Appearance is the first sign of attraction. It is usually the first impression people make when they meet someone for the first time. Sometimes people decide whether to make a friend based on their appearance. As I mentioned in my questionnaire, “Walking down the street, what kind of women/men will attract your attention?” The results show that well-dressed men and women are more attractive to the opposite sex. Thus, outer beauty is important in this society. During my holiday, my classmate and I were on the way to the library. I saw a Westerner who is a handsome man and dressed in a very fashionable style, so my eyes stared at him until I could not see him. And I also found other girls stared at him.[35] So people who are handsome and wear fashion are very attractive to others. It shows that people pay special attention to outer beauty.

In this society, we often judge a person’s inner being by appearance, clothes, and manners. If a person is ugly, people thought that the inside is also ugly. If a person is beautiful, they are considered to be beautiful at heart. That is why people want to always look good in the eyes of others, even if no one forces them to do so. That is, we are influenced by subjective consciousness and social standards and norms. But we should focus more on inner beauty because women’s soul or spirit will be more important than the appearance, it will give you confidence. “A sexy body does not guarantee a beautiful heart. The inner beauty, kindness and generosity make you a beautiful person.”[36]

Besides, due to the deep-rooted Chinese traditional culture, gender inequality is still an issue embedded in people’s minds. The idea of objectifying women still exists in China. Women judged by their appearance and body, but not by her spirit or soul. For example, “Mother-in-law promoted Chinese housing prices”, which reflects the phenomenon of woman will not marry a man if he does not have a house in China. Some mothers let her daughter marry a man, it is equal to sale her daughter because the mother sets the high bride-price, the man must be paid if he wants to marry her daughter. This is the manifestation of women’s objectification.

“As we grow up, we are often told that inner beauty is more important than outer beauty. We can be proud of our outer beauty, but it is not as important as our inner beauty.”[37] “As I mentioned in the questionnaire, ‘What aspects of beauty do you value more about women/men?’, most participants thought both outer and inner beauty were important to women and men.”[38] It indicates that outer and inner beauty are both important, they are all indispensable. As Steven Aitchison said, “Your outer beauty will capture the eyes, but Your inner beauty will capture the heart.”[39]Each has its importance, we need to learn how to balance them.

What is now popular in society is that inner beauty is true beauty, and the beauty of the heart can replace the lack of appearance. Is it true? “As I mentioned in the questionnaire, ‘Do you think that inner beauty can make up for outer beauty?’, 93.02% of participants believed inner beauty can make up for outer beauty.”[40] It shows that inner beauty is important. Because “a beautiful exterior may appeal to others, but it is your inner beauty that makes them fall in love with you.”[41] It means outer beauty can attract others, but only inner beauty can win others’ respect.

“Most participants believed inner beauty can make up for outer beauty. They thought outer beauty is only the surface, and it is short-lived. But inner beauty is a real beauty, it is long-lived. If a person is not very good-looking, but he/she has lots of talent, such as singing talent, super memory, it still attracts attention.”[42] When you have been in contact with the people around you for a long time, inner beauty will manifest itself, then people’s heart will capture. It is lasting. When you first start to know one person, you are looking at the outside, but if you want to make a deep connection, it is more important inside. If you have a connotation, you can see your heart. If you just look good on the surface, but there is nothing inside, it is really sad. People should pursue more spiritual aspects.

But there are 6.98% of participants believed inner beauty cannot make up for the outer beauty, one participant said, “In a society where outward beauty is so important, and where cosmetic surgery and beauty industry are so developed, who cares about inner beauty?”[43] It indicates that people and society pay more attention to appearance than before. The inner beauty is important, but the outer beauty can add extra points to the overall beauty, which has the effect that the inner beauty can’t replace. So some people will choose plastic surgery.

“As I mentioned in the questionnaire, “What is your perception of beauty?”, participants thought inner beauty is a real beauty, health is beauty, and a kind and confident woman is the most beautiful. Our self-concept should never be defined by social prescriptions of beauty or others’ perception of us. We must understand that beauty is more than skin deep.”[44] People are gentle, decent, generous, hardworking, and have their spiritual realm, such people are the most beautiful.

“I interviewed a female salesperson about perceptions of beauty. When the interviewee was asked about the perceptions of the inner beauty and outer beauty, the interviewee said “outer beauty is more important than inner beauty, and inner beauty is only superficial. Inner beauty means people are beautiful inside, kind, and loving. And they like to help others are not selfish. They usually have ‘big love’. Like once I saw a well-dressed and beautiful woman come into my shop to chose skincare products. At this time, a woman dressed in plain also in the shop to choose skincare products. Perhaps because the girl did not look like she had the money to buy it, the beautiful woman ridiculed her. So I want to say, beauty is more than appearance, inner beauty is the essence of a person.”[45] This shows a good-looking person whose inside may not beautiful. Therefore, inner beauty is more important, more beautiful and more attractive than external beauty. If the appearance is the sun, then the inner is the heart. Even if the outside is not warm, the heart can still survive.

CONCLUSION

Through my Personal Interest Project, I have learned about the relationship between identity and beauty. And I learned about the historical evolution of Chinese perceptions of beauty and the Westernisation process and reasons for Chinese perceptions of beauty. I also learned that the phenomenon of “take thinness as beauty” is caused by the mass media. This is a popular trend. And under the thin social norms, the phenomenon of “take thinness as beauty” has intensified. I also learned about the Chinese’s pursuit of ideal beauty and the choice of plastic surgery for the ideal beauty. I also learned about Chinese views on inner beauty and outer beauty. In this sense, I have learned the positive and negative effects of macro-world views and ideas on the micro-world.

My research method proved to be very successful and greatly helped the result of my PIP. Through the use of questionnaires, non-observation, unstructured interviews, and personal reflection, I have fully understood the different views and attitudes of Chinese towards beauty. At the same time, I learned how to observe others better. I also learned a lot of knowledge and gained some experience, because interviewing strangers can improve my confidence and courage. And because I am embarrassed to interview someone by myself, my classmates will help me to accompany me to interview, so PIP will also help strengthen friendship with classmates. Besides, I learned how to express my ideas and opinions better.

Similarly, secondary research taught me about information related to Chinese perceptions of beauty. This gives me a deeper understanding of what people think about beauty. This is very useful for me to research this topic.

This PIP taught me how to manage time. Although I had set the plan to finish it, I ended up not following my plan. It is because I have procrastination and I am not very diligent, which leads me to not stick to it. But then I realized that it was wrong, re-administered the time, and finally completed the PIP in time.

My PIP enhances my understanding of the subject of Society and Culture. It also makes me understand the meaning of the main concept of the Society and Culture course. And when I was doing PIP, I also learned about the nature of social research and the benefits to individuals, which improved my social and cultural qualities.

PIP opened my eyes and gave me some different experiences. My PIP has given me more insight into the beauty of the world in both the macro and micro worlds. People’s views on beauty will change. Comparing different social constructions will have different standards for beauty.

Resource List

Secondary resource

Books:

  • Chō, K. and Selden, K. (2012). The search for the beautiful woman. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield.

This book was one of the cores of chapter one of my PIP. The part of the cultural history of Chinese beauty provides me with many ideas about Chinese views on beauty in different periods. This made me more aware of my subject, so this book was very useful.

 

  • Spade, Joan Z; Valentine, Catherine (Kay) G (2010). The Kaleidoscope of Gender: Prisms, Patterns and Possibilities (3rd ed.).

This book was of great use to me. It was useful. It made me understand the ideal beauty of women and the importance of female physical charm. It gave me more ideas in chapter three, and it also gave me an understanding of the PIP process.

This book was talking about beauty, body image, and the media. From the book, I obtained data which the mass media will influence others’ ideas, such as perceptions of beauty. It was relevant to my topic so it was useful. And then, it assisted me to gain more ideas about the PIP.

Online Journals:

  • Hays, J. (2013). FOUR BEAUTIES OF ANCIENT CHINA: XI SHI, WANG ZHAOJUN, DIAOCHAN, YANG GUIFEI | Facts and Details. [online] Factsanddetails.com. Available at: http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat11/sub75/entry-2762.html

This source introduces the historical influence of four beauties of ancient China and how beautiful they are. Due to these four beauties are famous for their beauty, I have a deeper understanding of the standards of women’s beauty in different dynasties in China. Thus, this source was helpful for me to carry out my PIP.

 

  • Kxa2zd0.cf. (2016). When did humans start to look thin for beauty? — China Digital Science and Technology Museum. [online] Available at: http://www.kxa2zd0.cf/gallery/media/mkjx/bkzs/201808/t20180804_840259.html

This journal was very useful. It describes why people like to lose weight because hating obesity means not fashion. And with the development of mass media, thinning has become a trend.

  • Lu, Y. (2016). When it comes to physical appeal, Chinese and Western standards vary wildly – Global Times. [online] Globaltimes.cn. Available at: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/976675.shtml

This article described the beauty standards of the West and China in many ways. And, some Chinese girl’s perception of beauty was westernised so that they decided to have plastic surgery. Also, it described Westerners’ views on Chinese women. And China’s perception of beauty is changing. This article is very good for my PIP because it gave me more ideas about beauty.

  • News.bbc.co.uk. (2003). BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Chinese woman seeks perfect beauty. [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3093139.stm

I got the data that plastic surgery has become popular in China and Chinese women are more fond of Western appearance. And Chinese girls’ pursuit of beauty and the desire to become more beautiful. It assisted me to know more about the Chinese perception of beauty and the influence of Westernisation. Thus, it was extremely useful for my PIP.

  • Pham, T. (2018). Beauty of Ancient Chinese – Women in Chinese History. [online]Hst124.trampham.bergbuilds.domains. Availableat: http://hst124.trampham.bergbuilds.domains/women/beauty-of-ancient-chinese/

This source was good, because it was one of the cores of chapter one of my PIP, and I have gained a lot of information about ancient Chinese beauty from here. For example, in ancient China, what kind of eyebrows, lips, skin color and body a woman possessed was considered beautiful.

  • Vision Times. (2015). China vs. America, Exploring What Is the ‘Ideal’ Beauty – Vision Times. [online] Available at: http://www.visiontimes.com/2015/09/10/china-vs-america-exploring-what-is-the-ideal-beauty.html

This article focuses on the standards of Chinese and American beauty. And people’s changes to the ideal beauty. It was incredibly suitable for chapter three of my PIP because my chapter was also talking about ideal beauty.

 

  • Sima Xiangru, Mei Ren Fu.

This is a literary work of Sima Xiangru in ancient China. I quoted a sentence and translated it into English. The sentence I quoted is about describing the beauty of the four beauties is undeniably charismatic in ancient China history. and they. It was helpful, so this source fits the theme of chapter one. 

Websites:

  • Emilys Quotes. (2014). Your outer beauty will capture the eyes, your inner beauty will capture the heart. [online] Available at: https://emilysquotes.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/your-outer-beauty-will-capture-the-eyes-your-inner-beauty-will-capture-the-heart/

This source gave me a good sentence about the view on inner beauty and outer beauty. It assisted me to understand deeply of my topic. It also helped me in the process of completing PIP.

  • En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Four Beauties. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Beauties

This source described in detail how the four great beauties of ancient China were famous for their beauty. It assisted me to know more information about the beauty of history. So it was useful in chapter one.

  • ItalianVagabond.com. (2017). The 4 Most Beautiful Women in Ancient China: The Four Beauties. [online] Available at: https://www.italianvagabond.com/beautiful-chinese-women-ancient-china/

This source described the historical stories of the four beauties in ancient China and how they were famous as beautiful. This is a very useful source and is of great help to my PIP.

  • Mag For Women. 10 Reasons Why Inner Beauty is More Important Than Outer. [online] Available at: http://www.magforwomen.com/10-reasons-why-inner-beauty-is-more-important-than-outer/

This source gave me two sentences about inner beauty and outer beauty. It made me know more thing about beauty. Such as the importance of inner beauty and outer beauty. This is a great help to my chapter four. This also inspired me to have better ideas and insights to write my PIP.

  • Medium. (2018). “Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.”. [online] Available at: https://medium.com/@suguha.aka.leafa/outer-beauty-attracts-but-inner-beauty-captivates-e0cd250895d4

I got one sentence from this source, “Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.In this source, only this one sentence is useful for me. But the sentence gave me more ideas at the beginning of I wrote PIP.

 

  • Profile, V. Beauty Matters: 06 February 2000. [online] Beautymatters.blogspot.com. Available at: https://beautymatters.blogspot.com/2000_02_06_archive.html

This source told the history of the Chinese view of beauty and how the Chinese view of beauty became westernised. It was extremely helpful in my PIP because it has completed the cross-cultural component of westernisation of Chinese perception of beauty over time.

 

  • ScienceDaily. (2018). Views of ideal female appearance in China are changing: Researcher explores factors that may be leading to negative body image and eating disorders. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181128141700.htm

This source provided information about Chinese perceptions of beauty are westernised. And Westerners’ appearance became popular in China so that more Chinese girls decide to have plastic surgery. It has completed the cross-cultural component of westernisation of the Chinese perception of beauty over time. It also means that Chinese perceptions of beauty have changed over time. Thus, this source was helpful for my PIP.

 

  • Spoors, J. (2017). Why Is Inner Beauty More Important Than Outer Beauty? – EverydayKnow.com. [online] EverydayKnow.com. Available at: https://www.everydayknow.com/inner-beauty-vs-outer-beauty/

This source helped my knowledge of the perception of inner beauty and outer beauty. It was useful to find out the importance of inner beauty and outer beauty. And it was linked with my PIP.

Primary Sources:

  • Society and Culture Non-participant observation: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted on 8th July 2019

I observed a beautiful Chinese female student who was very popular with everyone welcome. From this observation, I obtained the information which a good appearance can bring some benefits. And I gained insights and understanding of the appearance will have an impact on people’s study, life, and work. Thus, It was extremely useful in my PIP.

  • Society and Culture Non-participant observation: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted on 15th July 2019

I observed a handsome boy who was dress in a very fashion style. Through this observation, I knew that well-dressed men and women are more attractive as it can give a person a good first impression. And I realised that outer beauty was also important in this society as people more likely to pay more attention to a beautiful person. It gave me more information about ‘beauty’, so it was really useful information for my PIP.

  • Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

My questionnaire involved open-ended and closed-ended questions. They were distributed to different people and some web platforms through web links. Participants range in age from 15 to 45. Participants were more women than men, because women may be more interested in the topic of beauty. I thought most people have serious answers, but a few people have given me a very detailed answer about the topic of beauty. I quoted a lot of this source and often use direct responses to explicit responses. This was also my source of information and it was very useful. Because it could gain quantitative and qualitative data about perceptions of beauty. This information was really helpful in my PIP.

  • Society and Culture Unstructured interview: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted on 29th June 2019

I got the opportunity to have an unstructured interview with a female salesperson for a skincare product that helped me get more detailed information than the questionnaire. This interview was only quoted once by me. It was because of the busy sales staff that she only answered my 2 questions. But it is a great help for me to understand other young people’s views on beauty. Through this interview, the female salesperson’s remarks, I agree with most of the views.


[1] Medium. (2018). “Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.”. [online] Available at: https://medium.com/@suguha.aka.leafa/outer-beauty-attracts-but-inner-beauty-captivates-e0cd250895d4 [Accessed 8 Jun. 2019].

[2] Chō, K. and Selden, K. (2012). The search for the beautiful woman. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, p.1 [Accessed 17 Jun. 2019].

[3] Chō, K. and Selden, K. (2012). The search for the beautiful woman. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, p.1 [Accessed 17 Jun. 2019].

[4] Chō, K. and Selden, K. (2012). The search for the beautiful woman. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, p.18 [Accessed 18 Jun. 2019].

[5] Pham, T. (2018). Beauty of Ancient Chinese – Women in Chinese History. [online] Hst124.trampham.bergbuilds.domains. Available at: http://hst124.trampham.bergbuilds.domains/women/beauty-of-ancient-chinese/ [Accessed 19 Jun. 2019].

[6] Chō, K. and Selden, K. (2012). The search for the beautiful woman. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, p.201 [Accessed 19 Jun. 2019].

[7] Chō, K. and Selden, K. (2012). The search for the beautiful woman. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, p.28 [Accessed 19 Jun. 2019].

[8] Pham, T. (2019). Beauty of Ancient Chinese – Women in Chinese History. [online] Hst124.trampham.bergbuilds.domains. Available at: http://hst124.trampham.bergbuilds.domains/women/beauty-of-ancient-chinese/ [Accessed 19 Jun. 2019]

[9] Chō, K. and Selden, K. (2012). The search for the beautiful woman. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, p.28 [Accessed 19 Jun. 2019].

[10] Sima Xiangru, Mei Ren Fu. [Accessed 19 June 2019].

[11] ItalianVagabond.com. (2017). The 4 Most Beautiful Women in Ancient China: The Four Beauties. [online] Available at: https://www.italianvagabond.com/beautiful-chinese-women-ancient-china/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2019].

[12] Hays, J. (2013). FOUR BEAUTIES OF ANCIENT CHINA: XI SHI, WANG ZHAOJUN, DIAOCHAN, YANG GUIFEI | Facts and Details. [online] Factsanddetails.com. Available at: http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat11/sub75/entry-2762.html [Accessed 20 Jun. 2019].

[13] ItalianVagabond.com. (2017). The 4 Most Beautiful Women in Ancient China: The Four Beauties. [online] Available at: https://www.italianvagabond.com/beautiful-chinese-women-ancient-china/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2019].

[14] En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Four Beauties. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Beauties [Accessed 20 Jun. 2019].

[15] En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Four Beauties. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Beauties [Accessed 20 Jun. 2019].

[16] Profile, V. Beauty Matters: 06 February 2000. [online] Beautymatters.blogspot.com. Available at: https://beautymatters.blogspot.com/2000_02_06_archive.html [Accessed 21 Jun. 2019].

[17] Kxa2zd0.cf. (2016). When did humans start to look thin for beauty? — China Digital Science and Technology Museum. [online] Available at: http://www.kxa2zd0.cf/gallery/media/mkjx/bkzs/201808/t20180804_840259.html [Accessed 23 Jun. 2019].

[18] ScienceDaily. (2018). Views of ideal female appearance in China are changing: Researcher explores factors that may be leading to negative body image and eating disorders. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181128141700.htm [Accessed 21 Jun. 2019].

[19] Spade, Joan Z; Valentine, Catherine (Kay) G (2010). The Kaleidoscope of Gender: Prisms, Patterns and Possibilities (3rd ed.) [Accessed 29 Jun. 2019].

[20] Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

[21] S.Mills, J. and Shannon, A. and Hogue, J. (2017). Beauty, Body Image, and the Media. Intechopen. [ebook]. Available at: https://www.intechopen.com/books/perception-of-beauty/beauty-body-image-and-the-media

[22] White, Michele (2009). “Networked bodies and extended corporealities: Theorizing the relationship between the body, embodiment, and contemporary new media”. Feminist Studies. [Accessed 30 Jun. 2019].

[23]  Vision Times. (2015). China vs. America, Exploring What Is the ‘Ideal’ Beauty – Vision Times. [online] Available at: http://www.visiontimes.com/2015/09/10/china-vs-america-exploring-what-is-the-ideal-beauty.html [Accessed 30 Jun. 2019].

[24] Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

[25] Lu, Y. (2016). When it comes to physical appeal, Chinese and Western standards vary wildly – Global Times. [online] Globaltimes.cn. Available at: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/976675.shtml [Accessed 5 Jul. 2019].

[26] News.bbc.co.uk. (2003). BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Chinese woman seeks perfect beauty. [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3093139.stm [Accessed 5 Jul. 2019].

[27] News.bbc.co.uk. (2003). BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Chinese woman seeks perfect beauty. [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3093139.stm [Accessed 5 Jul. 2019].

[28] Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

[29] Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

[30] Vision Times. (2015). China vs. America, Exploring What Is the ‘Ideal’ Beauty – Vision Times. [online] Available at: http://www.visiontimes.com/2015/09/10/china-vs-america-exploring-what-is-the-ideal-beauty.html [Accessed 6 Jul. 2019].

[31] Lu, Y. (2016). When it comes to physical appeal, Chinese and Western standards vary wildly – Global Times. [online] Globaltimes.cn. Available at: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/976675.shtml [Accessed 6 Jul. 2019].

[32] Chō, K. and Selden, K. (2012). The search for the beautiful woman. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, p.1 [Accessed 7 Jul. 2019].

[33] Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

[34] Society and Culture non-observation: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted on 8th July 2019

[35] Society and Culture non-observation: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted on 15th July 2019

[36] Mag For Women. 10 Reasons Why Inner Beauty is More Important Than Outer. [online] Available at: http://www.magforwomen.com/10-reasons-why-inner-beauty-is-more-important-than-outer/ [Accessed 25 Jul. 2019].

[37] Spoors, J. (2017). Why Is Inner Beauty More Important Than Outer Beauty? – EverydayKnow.com. [online] EverydayKnow.com. Available at: https://www.everydayknow.com/inner-beauty-vs-outer-beauty/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2019].

[38] Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

[39] Emilys Quotes. (2014). Your outer beauty will capture the eyes, your inner beauty will capture the heart. [online] Available at: https://emilysquotes.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/your-outer-beauty-will-capture-the-eyes-your-inner-beauty-will-capture-the-heart/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2019].

[40] Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

[41] Mag For Women. 10 Reasons Why Inner Beauty is More Important Than Outer. [online] Available at: http://www.magforwomen.com/10-reasons-why-inner-beauty-is-more-important-than-outer/ [Accessed 25 Jul. 2019].

[42] Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

[43] Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

[44] Society and Culture Questionnaire: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted June – July 2019

[45] Society and Culture Interviews: “Perceptions of beauty” conducted on 29th June 2019

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