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Survival Of The Prettiest

Author : Nancy Etcoff
ISBN : 9780307779113
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 66.54 MB
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A provocative and thoroughly researched inquiry into what we find beautiful and why, skewering the myth that the pursuit of beauty is a learned behavior. In Survival of the Prettiest, Nancy Etcoff, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a practicing psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, argues that beauty is neither a cultural construction, an invention of the fashion industry, nor a backlash against feminism—it’s in our biology. Beauty, she explains, is an essential and ineradicable part of human nature that is revered and ferociously pursued in nearly every civilization—and for good reason. Those features to which we are most attracted are often signals of fertility and fecundity. When seen in the context of a Darwinian struggle for survival, our sometimes extreme attempts to attain beauty—both to become beautiful ourselves and to acquire an attractive partner—suddenly become much more understandable. Moreover, if we understand how the desire for beauty is innate, then we can begin to work in our own interests, and not just the interests of our genetic tendencies.
Category: Social Science

The Evolution Of Beauty

Author : Richard O. Prum
ISBN : 9780385537223
Genre : Science
File Size : 65.15 MB
Format : PDF
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NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, SMITHSONIAN, AND WALL STREET JOURNAL A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world. In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature? Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin's own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change. Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time. The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.
Category: Science

Beauty Pays

Author : Daniel S. Hamermesh
ISBN : 1400839440
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 76.91 MB
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Most of us know there is a payoff to looking good, and in the quest for beauty we spend countless hours and billions of dollars on personal grooming, cosmetics, and plastic surgery. But how much better off are the better looking? Based on the evidence, quite a lot. The first book to seriously measure the advantages of beauty, Beauty Pays demonstrates how society favors the beautiful and how better-looking people experience startling but undeniable benefits in all aspects of life. Noted economist Daniel Hamermesh shows that the attractive are more likely to be employed, work more productively and profitably, receive more substantial pay, obtain loan approvals, negotiate loans with better terms, and have more handsome and highly educated spouses. Hamermesh explains why this happens and what it means for the beautiful--and the not-so-beautiful--among us. Exploring whether a universal standard of beauty exists, Hamermesh illustrates how attractive workers make more money, how these amounts differ by gender, and how looks are valued differently based on profession. He considers whether extra pay for good-looking people represents discrimination, and, if so, who is discriminating. Hamermesh investigates the commodification of beauty in dating and how this influences the search for intelligent or high-earning mates, and even examines whether government programs should aid the ugly. He also discusses whether the economic benefits of beauty will persist into the foreseeable future and what the "looks-challenged" can do to overcome their disadvantage. Reflecting on a sensitive issue that touches everyone, Beauty Pays proves that beauty's rewards are anything but superficial.
Category: Business & Economics

In Your Face

Author : David Perrett
ISBN : 9781137205056
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 80.73 MB
Format : PDF
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In our daily lives, in our memories and fantasies, our mental worlds overflow with faces. But why do we have faces at all, and brains that are good at reading them? And why are we attracted to some faces more than others? In Your Face is an engaging and authoritative tour of the science of facial beauty and face perception. David Perrett, the preeminent scholar in the field, reveals and interprets the most remarkable findings and in the process demolishes many popular myths, setting the record straight on what neuroscience and evolutionary psychology are teaching us about beauty. The record is more surprising and often more unsettling than you might think.
Category: Social Science

The Beauty Bias

Author : Deborah L. Rhode
ISBN : 0199779457
Genre : Law
File Size : 22.88 MB
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"It hurts to be beautiful" has been a cliche for centuries. What has been far less appreciated is how much it hurts not to be beautiful. The Beauty Bias explores our cultural preoccupation with attractiveness, the costs it imposes, and the responses it demands. Beauty may be only skin deep, but the damages associated with its absence go much deeper. Unattractive individuals are less likely to be hired and promoted, and are assumed less likely to have desirable traits, such as goodness, kindness, and honesty. Three quarters of women consider appearance important to their self image and over a third rank it as the most important factor. Although appearance can be a significant source of pleasure, its price can also be excessive, not only in time and money, but also in physical and psychological health. Our annual global investment in appearance totals close to $200 billion. Many individuals experience stigma, discrimination, and related difficulties, such as eating disorders, depression, and risky dieting and cosmetic procedures. Women bear a vastly disproportionate share of these costs, in part because they face standards more exacting than those for men, and pay greater penalties for falling short. The Beauty Bias explores the social, biological, market, and media forces that have contributed to appearance-related problems, as well as feminism's difficulties in confronting them. The book also reviews why it matters. Appearance-related bias infringes fundamental rights, compromises merit principles, reinforces debilitating stereotypes, and compounds the disadvantages of race, class, and gender. Yet only one state and a half dozen localities explicitly prohibit such discrimination. The Beauty Bias provides the first systematic survey of how appearance laws work in practice, and a compelling argument for extending their reach. The book offers case histories of invidious discrimination and a plausible legal and political strategy for addressing them. Our prejudices run deep, but we can do far more to promote realistic and healthy images of attractiveness, and to reduce the price of their pursuit.
Category: Law

Face Value

Author : Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
ISBN : 9781476754048
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 76.81 MB
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"Part social commentary, part cultural analysis, part careful investigation and part powerful personal anecdotes, a provocative book explores the relationship between appearance and science, social media, sex, friendship, language and advertising to show how beauty actually affects us day to day,"--NoveList.
Category: Psychology

Fresh Lipstick

Author : Linda M. Scott
ISBN : 9781403971340
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 64.94 MB
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Challenges feminist beliefs that the fashion and beauty industry objectifies women, contending that elite women are out of touch with most women in the U.S. while arguing that fashion is more an expression of creativity and identity than a means of attracting men. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.
Category: Business & Economics

Beauty Around The World

Author : Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols
ISBN : 1610699440
Genre :
File Size : 63.58 MB
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Is beauty ever more than "skin deep"? Arguably yes, considering that the concept of beauty and the pursuit of it has shaped cultures worldwide, across every time period, and has even served to change the course of history. Studying beauty practices yields insight into social status, wealth, political ideology, religious doctrine, and gender expectations, including gender nonconformity. A truly interdisciplinary text, Beauty around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia presents an insightful perspective on beauty that draws from philosophy, literature, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and feminist studies, giving readers a unique view of world beauty practices. This volume offers information about beauty practices from the past to the present in alphabetical entries that address terms and topics such as "beards," "dreadlocks," "Geisha," "moko tattoos," and "progressive muscularity." Readers will better comprehend how beauty shapes many social interactions in profound ways worldwide, and that the unspoken social agreements that shape ideals of attractiveness and desirability within any given culture can matter very much. The encyclopedia's entries challenge readers to consider the questions "What is beauty?" and "Why does it matter?" A comprehensive bibliography is a valuable resource for further research. "

The Evolutionary Bases Of Consumption

Author : Gad Saad
ISBN : 9781135608248
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 23.20 MB
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The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption by Gad Saad applies Darwinian principles in understanding our consumption patterns and the products of popular culture that most appeal to individuals. The first and only scholarly work to do so, this is a captivating study of the adaptive reasons behind our behaviors, cognitions, emotions, and perceptions. This lens of analysis suggests how we come to make selections such as choosing a mate, the foods we eat, the gifts that we offer, and more. It also highlights how numerous forms of dark side consumption, including pathological gambling, compulsive buying, pornographic addiction, and eating disorders, possess a Darwinian etiology. Engaging and diverse in scope, the book maps consumption phenomena onto four key Darwinian modules: survival, reproduction, kin selection, and reciprocal altruism. As an interesting proposal, the author suggests that media and advertising contents exist in their particular forms because they are a reflection of our evolved human nature - negating the notion that they exist through the reverse causal link, as proposed by social constructivists. The link between evolutionary theory and consumption behaviors is detailed throughout the book via an examination of (among many others): appearance-enhancing products and services; financial and physical risk-taking; use of sexual imagery and the depictions of women in advertising; and television programs, movies, songs, music videos, literature, religion, and art. The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption will appeal to evolutionists who desire to explore new areas wherein evolutionary theory can be applied; consumer and marketing scholars who wish to learn about the ways in which biological-and evolutionary-based theorizing can be infused into the consumer behavior/marketing/advertising disciplines; as well as other interdisciplinary scholars interested in gaining knowledge about the power of evolutionary theory in explaining a wide range of behavioral phenomena.
Category: Business & Economics

Beauty Junkies

Author : Alex Kuczynski
ISBN : 9780385515092
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71.42 MB
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A star writer for the New York Times Styles section captures the follies, frauds, and fanaticism that fuel the American pursuit of youth and beauty in a wickedly revealing excursion into the burgeoning business of cosmetic enhancement. Americans are aging faster and getting fatter than any other population on the planet. At the same time, our popular notions of perfect beauty have become so strict it seems even Barbie wouldn’t have a chance of making it into the local beauty pageant. Aging may be a natural fact of life, but for a growing number of Americans its hallmarks—wrinkles, love handles, jiggling flesh—are seen as obstacles to be conquered on the path to lasting, flawless beauty. In Beauty Junkies Alex Kuczynski, whose sly wit and fearless reporting in the Times has won her fans across the country, delivers a fresh and irresistible look at America's increasingly desperate pursuit of ultimate beauty by any means necessary. From a group of high-maintenance New York City women who devote themselves to preserving their looks twenty-four hours a day, to a “surgery safari” in South Africa complete with “after” photographs of magically rejuvenated patients posing with wild animals, to a podiatrist's office in Manhattan where a “foot face-lift” provides women with the right fit for their $700 Jimmy Choos, Kuczynski portrays the all-American quest for self-transformation in all its extremes. In New York, lawyers become Botox junkies in an effort to remain poker-faced. In Los Angeles, women of an uncertain age nip and tuck their most private areas, so that every inch of their bodies is as taut as their lifted faces. Across the country, young women graduating from high school receive gifts of breast implants – from their parents. As medicine and technology stretch the boundaries of biology, Kuczynski asks whether cosmetic surgery might even be part of human evolution, a kind of cosmetic survival of the fittest – or firmest? With incomparable portraits of obsessive patients and the equally obsessed doctors who cater to their dreams, Beauty Junkies examines the hype, the hope, and the questionable ethics surrounding the advent of each new miraculous technique. Lively and entertaining, thought-provoking and disturbing, Beauty Junkies is destined to be one of the most talked-about books of the season.
Category: Social Science