sarah k's visual soc. blog

a qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

Getting Serious

Filed under: Uncategorized — skusnitz at 9:25 pm on Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1. Reel, J., SooHoo, S., Summerhays, J., Gill, D. 2008. “Age before beauty: an exploration

of body image in African-American and Caucasian adult women.” Journal of Gender

Studies 17 (4):321-330.

The main focus of this article was to see whether there was a difference in view of one’s body image between African-Americans and Caucasians. One of the other factors was whether age was a factor as well. The researchers interviewed African-American and Caucasian women ranging between the ages of 20-80 in order to see if there was a difference in view of one’s body image as one ages. The found that neither age nor race were factors in differing views of body image. They found that woman in both races and all ages between 20-80 were most likely to do some sort of activity in order to be happy with their body image, whether it be exercise or amount of food eaten. I think this relates to our project because Lauren and I want to explore whether if there is a difference in what people think is beautiful throughout the lifespan. Body image (whether it be one’s own, or another’s body image) is related to what people think is beautiful. Perhaps our results will show (like this article) that women of all ages all think one type of look is beautiful, (whether that be skinny, or curvy).

2. Keating, Caroline F. 1985. “Gender and the Physiognomy of Dominance and

Attractiveness.” Social Psychology Quarterly 48 (1):61-70.

This article I think focuses more on gender differences in beauty, which is another aspect of Lauren and mine’s project. Using special technology, researchers were able to create male and female faces that looked identical, except for the hair, which was different for each face. The faces had either what were called mature features, which made faces look more dominant, or immature features which made the faces look less dominant. Male faces that had the dominant features were hypothesized to be more attractive and if the female faces had dominant features, they were hypothesized to be less attractive. Ultimate female attractiveness was hypothesized to be when the face had the immature, or less dominant features. The results supported the hypothesis. I think this article relates well to mine and Laurens project because we will be looking at what men and women view ad beautiful. Perhaps we will find that men and women think different things are beautiful because of different features on men and women’s faces.

The methods we will use are as follows. First we will ask generally what men and women of older and younger ages find beautiful. Then we will hand out a questionnaire asking what we specifically are trying to find out about how perception of beauty is related to age and gender. We may also use pictures of different women in the questions or we will do a separate step after where we show the pictures to the participants and ask them if they think the person is beautiful and why or why not. We hope that all of these methods will help us to find out if there is a difference of perception of beauty between gender, as well as age, or even if there is a difference throughout the lifespan.

Our ethical guidelines are as follows. Firstly, we plan to use images either from the internet or magazines, therefore we will make sure that they are images we are allowed to copy, or use and that have a license that enables us to post them on our blogs. Another ethical guidline we will adhere to is anonymousness. Meaning, we plan to interview our participants and even give them questionaires. We will make sure with them that they will let us post their names and answers to the questions. However, if they feel more comfortable not having their names posted and would rather be anonymous or have a pseudonym, we will follow their wishes and do so.  If for some reason we plan on taking pictures of the participants, we will make sure that we have their permission to use the pictures of them in our project. Another ethical guidline we will follow is that we will make clear to them that if for any reason they no longer feel comfortable participating or would no longer like to participate in the research, they have the option to drop out, with out consequences or with out being penalized in any way.

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7 Comments

20

   amaru

April 18, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

That experiment in the second article is pretty cool, and it’s curious how the female faces with dominant features were seen as less attractive. This actually does sound like what you plan on doing with your own project, except without that fancy technology they used..
The first article is neat too, I’d imagine that older women will have a different perspective of beauty from younger women in your own research.
Maybe you could ask women to describe the perfect man and men the perfect woman…Maybe use celebrities as a reference. I bet most guys will say ‘Angelina Jolie’…Though I seriously don’t know why, ew.

21

   Antonia

April 21, 2010 @ 9:11 am

Good! Please post your questionnaire and the picture you want to use for photo-elicitation on your blogs. Thank you.

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