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Cultural Aesthetics of Two Countries

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Aesthetics is our experiences of our life and how it shapes our perceptions of ourselves and our surroundings.

US People:

Ð'* In this culture at this time we have embraced the fashion model aesthetic in our concept in our dress and life style.

Ð'* We find beauty based on what the media sets as a normal standard.

Ð'* Women who look at the fashion magazines tend to become unsatisfied with their own weight and size.

Ð'* Many eating disorders are attributed to people using this false standard as a gauge.

Ð'* Our idea of visual aesthetics is the compliments of lines, shapes, and proportion that mimic that of the models.

Surma People:

Ð'* The Surma, originate from the remote plateaus of southwestern Ethiopia.

Ð'* Both males and females of the Surma tribes shave their heads as a mark of beauty.

Ð'* They wear lip plates; their lower lips are pierced and stretched as ever-larger plates are inserted over time.

Ð'* The larger the plate, the more appealing the woman, and indicates the number of cattle required for her dowry.

Ð'* A plate that is almost 12 inches in diameter can be worth 75 head of cattle.

"Man tries to exaggerate what nature has given him," Charles Darwin (1809-1882).

I was not surprised by the Surma people and their aesthetic cultural ways. I am around so many people of the world these days and I see a lot of things that we would think is odd or strange. But for me it is or has become a normal thing for me to look past what a person is wearing to see the real person. I get accustomed to what the symbolic meanings behind the variations of the dress of my friends are. When I think about it I know what they mean.

I was surprised by what I found for the real standard for us in the US. I know that this topic has already been covered in



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