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In Comparison: Japanese, Caucasian, and African American Perceptions of Beauty.

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Presentation on theme: "In Comparison: Japanese, Caucasian, and African American Perceptions of Beauty."— Presentation transcript:

1 In Comparison: Japanese, Caucasian, and African American Perceptions of Beauty

2 Japanese Beauty & Philosophy Beauty in Japanese thought "is not limited to physical beauty, i.e., beautiful flowers, beautiful women, but involves spiritual beauty also because Japanese ideology demands purity of mind, refinement of tastes, of individuals and mutual love. Extremely aesthetic culture

3 Wabi-sabi Zen-like philosophy which emphasizes tranquility with external. In other words, negates the idea that all beauty and knowing is not out there waiting to be discovered, but within each moment. Natural, ancient way which emphasizes simplicity. All things are impermanent. All things are imperfect. All things are incomplete. When accepted, these three tenants, allow for the maturation of contentment and happiness found in the unvarnished life. (Powell)

4 Tatemae and Honne Tatemae literally means the outward structure of a building Honne refers to the true and inner voice of a person. Japanese society recognizes these two might conflict due to the fact that society values harmony. This idea of face as it is called or tatemae is important to society which would make outward appearances important.

5 Past & Present Japan has more of a mixture of traditional and modern styles in an everyday context. It is not abnormal to walk down the street and see people wearing kimonos in Japan.

6 Uniforms Uniforms are common in Japan. To the trained eye, it is possible to tell where everyone belongs based off of their uniform. Each school and company has a different uniform which everyone wears. In companies the presidents wear the same uniform as the factory workers. This is due to the fact that group unity is essential to Japanese culture. The Japanese view social harmony as vital and frown upon selfish individualism. It is expected that everyone is different, but social harmony is difficult to attain.

7 Bihaku Bihaku – An expression which means 'beautiful white' The Japanese have long been derma-obsessed. Tanned skin is traditionally looked on with disdain in the Orient, where poets and writers idealized fair- skinned women in their work. Even the Japanese icon, the geisha, was rated by the condition of the skin on the back of her neck - the paler and softer it was, the more beautiful she was deemed to be. Japanese today will use chemicals to lighten skin color.

8 Harajuku Harajuku is a place in Tokyo where, on Sundays, Japanese youth will gather to exhibit their personal style wearing all sorts of odd clothing combinations. Additionally, there are sometimes informal music performances Considered to be the hottest new source of fashion This new fashion even more outrageous when juxtaposed with the uniformity or traditionalism typical of Japanese fashion.

9 Japanese Beauty Regimen According to the Challenging Beauty, a study conducted by Dove relating to differences in perceptions of beauty in different countries, the data illustrate that Japanese women are least likely to consider using deodorant, facial products, skin care as enhancing their beauty. This is considered a normal routine. Japanese women tend to turn more toward color enhancers to feel beautiful. The data collected for challenging Beauty also indicated that Japanese women felt that taking good care of themselves was the best way to feel beautiful According to the study, an important aspect to feeling beautiful is having a sense of style. The study showed that Japanese women do not feel pressured by society to look a certain way, in other words, the emphasis and strive for beauty is extremely internalized.

10 Hip-hop culture in the U.S. and Japan The European standard of beauty still applies to African- American women today despite the negative self-opinion it tends to promote. Hip-hop culture, despite its frequent objectification of women, seeks to break-down old gender roles and therefore gains a wider audience. In Japan, female Hip-Hopers use the genre to defy gender restrictions for women

11 Idealized Features: Japanese Pale skin Straight hair Clean complexion Personal sense of style Slim and cute kawaii Despite amount of western models, retain a sense of national identity in terms of what is considered beautiful i.e. pale skin.

12 DUDES Men not considered part of the equation in terms of beauty In the past, men primping or being overly concerned with their looks was not attractive at it was un- masculine. Having a good physique is essential to the male model of physical attractiveness.

13 Men: Past and Present Men who are admired at present tend to be more androgynous than in the past Men starting to take beauty into account and spend more time thinking about fashion and grooming etc. These men have been dubbed metrosexuals

14 Metrosexual Japanese Men Japanese men have overwhelmingly gone for the metrosexual lifestyle. Average 20 something males in Japan spend more time in a salon than average 20 something females in the U.S. Japanese men are using a range of products including Clinique etc. Men are spending exorbitant amounts of money, a man might spend $5,000 for a casual outfit consisting of only the most notable designers.

15 Ideal Features: African-American At present: Light skin color Styled hair European features Thin

16 Idealized Features: Caucasian-American toned build Tanned skin Long, shiny hair As tall as possible Clear complexion

17 Comparisons Japanese and African- American culture prefer lighter skin. White people prefer tanned skin Japan: everything goes (more of a mixture between traditional and modern)

18 Comparisons cont. Both Japanese and African-American women desire straight hair however, they utilize different methods of obtaining it. Especially important in African-American women, in Japan it is just a preference

19 Three different cultures not extremely varied either in what is considered beautiful, nor how to obtain beauty.

20 If all our women were to become as beautiful as Venus de Medici we should for a time be charmed, but we should soon wish for variety, and as soon as we had obtained variety we should wish to see certain characteristics in our women a little exaggerated beyond the then existing common standard -Darwin

21 I say let me never be complete I say may I never be content I say deliver me from Swedish furniture I say deliver me from clever arts I say deliver me from clear skin and perfect teeth I say you have to give up I say evolve, and let the chips fall where they may Beautiful. Freaking beautiful. -Tyler Durden, Fight Club (inadvertently advertising the principles of wabi-sabi)

22 Once there was an ugly barnacle, he was SO ugly that everyone died. The end. –Patrick Star

23 Works Cited Non-Digital Sources : Aint I a Beauty Queen? Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race by Maxine Leeds Craig, Oxford University Press, New York, Contemporary Japan. McCargo, Duncan.McCargo, Duncan.

24 Works Cited Websites (Data): e_paper_final.pdf e_paper_final.pdf _hair_care_and_culture_a_story _hair_care_and_culture_a_story se.html se.html

25 Works Cited Websites (Pictures): l.jpg l.jpg /08.jpg /08.jpg

26 Works Consulted English Japanese Dictionary. Harper Collins Publishers. Glasgow, Great Britain, 2003 Making Out in Japanese. Geers, Todd & Erika. Tuttle Publishing, Tokyo, Japan, Oshare. Shiro & Hana. Japan. (Its a Japanese fashion book, I cant read any of it!) WIGS.jpg WIGS.jpg


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