Pagina principaleGruppiConversazioniAltroStatistiche
Cerca nel Sito
Questo sito utilizza i cookies per fornire i nostri servizi, per migliorare le prestazioni, per analisi, e (per gli utenti che accedono senza fare login) per la pubblicità. Usando LibraryThing confermi di aver letto e capito le nostre condizioni di servizio e la politica sulla privacy. Il tuo uso del sito e dei servizi è soggetto a tali politiche e condizioni.
Hide this

Risultati da Google Ricerca Libri

Fai clic su di un'immagine per andare a Google Ricerca Libri.

Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of…
Sto caricando le informazioni...

Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty (originale 1999; edizione 2000)

di Nancy Etcoff

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
4361043,772 (3.99)3
SURVIVAL OF THE PRETTIEST is the simple title for a comprehensive book on this complex and contentious subject, from the factual details of what makes a face beautiful to the deepest questions about the nature of beauty itself and its place in the human condition. Its aim is to satisfy everyone's insatiable curiosity about beauty, a subject shrouded in mystique, and to provide answers to basic questions guided by cutting edge scientific knowledge rather than myth. Is there such a thing as universal beauty of the human face or body? The book will also be full of fascinating facts about the nitty-gritty of beauty. Why do men strive for V-shaped torsos? Why do women paint their lips red? SURVIVAL OF THE PRETTIEST will not be a political manifesto, though it will discuss the politics of beauty in depth. It will discuss beauty for what it is: an essential and ineradicable part of human nature - and far from a trivial or shallow matter.… (altro)
Utente:efroh
Titolo:Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty
Autori:Nancy Etcoff
Info:Anchor (2000), Paperback
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
Voto:
Etichette:beauty, body image, women, sexism, culture, history, books to read

Informazioni sull'opera

Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty di Nancy Etcoff (1999)

Sto caricando le informazioni...

Iscriviti per consentire a LibraryThing di scoprire se ti piacerà questo libro.

Attualmente non vi sono conversazioni su questo libro.

» Vedi le 3 citazioni

CX 14
  Taddone | Nov 25, 2019 |
Well, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Author Nancy Etcoff indirectly suggests she wrote Survival of the Prettiest as a response to Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth, in which Ms. Wolf claims (reportedly; I have not read her book) “beauty” is entirely socially constructed and is used to keep women subjected to the Patriarchy. Ms. Etcoff does an excellent job of explaining that although there are some learned and environmental components to beauty it is mostly a product of natural selection – like just about every other component of human behavior.


The explanation is systematic and tinged with humor. You appearance (including scent, sound, and interactions with other senses as well as vision) is a way of convincing a potential mate that you are a good draw in the natural selection sweepstakes. For humans traditional standards of beauty are all things related to youth and health (humans are admittedly a little unique here – in most species that use visual clues for mate selection it’s the female that does the selecting and the male that displays). Etcoff has interesting answers to the classic question – if beauty is not socially constructed, why do different cultures have different standards of beauty? There are several components:


* To a large extent, different cultures don’t have different standards of beauty. There are some extremes – the one usually cited is Ubangi women’s lips – but people from all over (even tribal groups with little or no access to “Western” television or magazines) tend to rank pictures of women according to beauty the same way.


* There is an instinctive component – babies as young as three days old spend more time looking at pictures of beautiful people when presented with an assortment. (I admit I would like to know a little more about how these experiments were done. Could there be a “Clever Hans” effect here, with the baby picking up clues from a person presenting the pictures, not the pictures themselves?)


* There’s also a learned component, and it works in an interesting way. Francis Galton (Darwin’s cousin) attempted to prove that there are “criminal physiognomies” by averaging photographs of prison inmates (I wonder how that was done in the days before morphing?) To Galton’s surprise, the “average” criminal turned out to be a pretty handsome fellow. Further studies show that people’s beauty rankings tend to reflect the distance between the target and the average for that particular culture. Thus it seems that people don’t have an instinctive beauty template, but they do have an instinctive “average”. In the West, as the faces people see on the streets and in the media become more racially and ethnically diverse, the “average” also shifts; and thus people today are more likely to judge racially different faces as “beautiful” than they were 50 years ago (again, this is another one where I’d like to look at the experiments. Were (for example) whites ranking blacks more beautiful in 1990 than they did in 1940 a result of a genuine change in standards or the fear of seeming politically incorrect? A properly blinded experiment would prevent this.)


* Actual attempts to “construct” beauty haven’t been very successful. A lot of Renaissance mathematicians devoted considerable effort to describing the ideal face in terms of proportions and ratios – nose width to lip height, distance from chin to eyebrows, etc. However, the mathematics didn’t end up conforming to what artists of the time (or now) actually portrayed as beautiful.


It’s clear that beauty has rewards. Men presented with a selection of pictures generally picked the most beautiful one (based on previous rankings by other men) as the one they would be the most likely to ask out or offer a ride or help if stranded or protect from a mad dog. (Interestingly, the one thing men were less likely to do for a beautiful woman than an ugly one is loan her money. There is probably a library worth of further studies that could be done on that). Women’s response to handsome men is still there, but much less pronounced.


Ms. Etcoff discusses beauty modifiers – makeup, plastic surgery, clothes – and other components – scent, voice, body hair – at some length. It was interesting but there were no great surprises. All claims are documented in endnotes, and there’s an extensive bibliography. The book (copyright 1999) is a little dated; I wonder if there’s a second edition planned. And based on her photograph in the front matter, Ms. Etcoff is hot. ( )
1 vota setnahkt | Dec 19, 2017 |
A popsci book about what we find beautiful and why that makes evolutionary sense. Strictly about people's physical beauty, possibly as enhanced by clothes, makeup, etc. - not at all about why we might admire a sunset or a ship.

Etcoff is in explicit if polite polemic against writers who have argued that standards of beauty are arbitrary cultural dictates: the core of what we appreciate in one another's appearance is, she insists, cross-culturally invariant and biologically determined, because it helps us pick good mates. To oversimplify a little, women are appreciated for looking fertile while men (whose fertility is less variable) are for looking like they can support and protect a woman and her child.

A enjoyable read, not terribly deep, with a definite feminine viewpoint. Will annoy those convinced there is little innate psychological difference between the sexes.
  AndreasJ | Sep 1, 2016 |
Kind of depressing about humankind. Reminds me of a long article I read about how parents favor the cutest kid. Interesting and awful at the same time. ( )
  ErikaHope | Sep 9, 2013 |
An interesting read about appearance and how what we perceive as beauty is actually subtle clues that tell us that the person we're looking at is healthy and capable of bearing children or able to support someone while they were pregnant and/or rearing children.

It's also an interesting look at how these perceptions of pretty seem to be more an average than an outstanding look. An average looking person looks more pretty than an under average person, which also builds the perception of what falls within the boundries of normal for people in a certain society and why, with cues that are difficult to read othering can happen to people not of your culture/appearance group. It's interesting and facinating and food for thought. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jul 26, 2010 |
nessuna recensione | aggiungi una recensione
Devi effettuare l'accesso per contribuire alle Informazioni generali.
Per maggiori spiegazioni, vedi la pagina di aiuto delle informazioni generali.
Titolo canonico
Titolo originale
Titoli alternativi
Dati dalle informazioni generali inglesi. Modifica per tradurlo nella tua lingua.
Data della prima edizione
Personaggi
Luoghi significativi
Eventi significativi
Film correlati
Premi e riconoscimenti
Epigrafe
Dedica
Dati dalle informazioni generali inglesi. Modifica per tradurlo nella tua lingua.
To My Mother and To
the Memory of My Father
Incipit
Citazioni
Ultime parole
Nota di disambiguazione
Redattore editoriale
Elogi
Lingua originale
DDC/MDS Canonico

Risorse esterne che parlano di questo libro

Wikipedia in inglese

Nessuno

SURVIVAL OF THE PRETTIEST is the simple title for a comprehensive book on this complex and contentious subject, from the factual details of what makes a face beautiful to the deepest questions about the nature of beauty itself and its place in the human condition. Its aim is to satisfy everyone's insatiable curiosity about beauty, a subject shrouded in mystique, and to provide answers to basic questions guided by cutting edge scientific knowledge rather than myth. Is there such a thing as universal beauty of the human face or body? The book will also be full of fascinating facts about the nitty-gritty of beauty. Why do men strive for V-shaped torsos? Why do women paint their lips red? SURVIVAL OF THE PRETTIEST will not be a political manifesto, though it will discuss the politics of beauty in depth. It will discuss beauty for what it is: an essential and ineradicable part of human nature - and far from a trivial or shallow matter.

Non sono state trovate descrizioni di biblioteche

Descrizione del libro
Riassunto haiku

Link rapidi

Copertine popolari

Voto

Media: (3.99)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 3
2.5 2
3 13
3.5 4
4 26
4.5 2
5 25

Sei tu?

Diventa un autore di LibraryThing.

 

A proposito di | Contatto | LibraryThing.com | Privacy/Condizioni d'uso | Guida/FAQ | Blog | Negozio | APIs | TinyCat | Biblioteche di personaggi celebri | Recensori in anteprima | Informazioni generali | 160,477,824 libri! | Barra superiore: Sempre visibile