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Unit 2 Text A The confusing pursuit of beauty翻译,原文和录音

[2018年11月6日] 来源:新视野大学英语Unit 2 编辑:给力英语网   字号 [] [] []  

The confusing pursuit of beauty


1 If you're a man at some point a woman will ask you how she looks.


2 You must be careful how you answer this question. The best technique is to form an honest yet sensitive response then promptly excuse yourself for some kind of emergency. Trust me this is the easiest way out. No amount of rehearsal will help you come up with the right answer.


3 The problem is that men do not think of their looks in the same way women do. Most men form an opinion of themselves in seventh grade and stick to it for the rest of their lives. Some men think they're irresistibly desirable and they refuse to change this opinion even when they grow bald and their faces visibly wrinkle as they age.


4 Most men I believe are not arrogant about their looks. If the transient thought passes through their minds at all they like to think of themselves as average-looking. Being average doesn't bother them; average is fine. They don't affix much value to their looks or think of them in terms of aesthetics. Their primary form of beauty care is to shave themselves which is essentially the same care they give to their lawns. If at the end of his four minute allotment of time for grooming a man has managed to wipe most of the shaving cream out of the strands of his hair and isn't bleeding too badly he feels he's done all he can.


5 Women do not look at themselves this way. If I had to guess what most women think about their appearance it would be: "Not good enough." No matter how attractive a woman may be her perception of herself is eclipsed by the beauty industry. She has trouble thinking "I'm beautiful." She magnifies the smallest imperfections in her body and imagines them as glaring flaws the whole world will notice and ridicule.


6 Why do women consider their looks so deficient? This chronic insecurity isn't inborn but created through the interaction of many complex psychological and societal factors beginning with the dolls we give them as children. Girls grow up playing with dolls proportioned so that if they were human they would be seven feet tall and weigh 61 pounds with tiny thighs and a large upper body. This is an absurd standard to live up to especially when you consider the size of the doll's waist a relative measurement physically impossible for a living human to achieve. Contrast this absurd standard with that presented to little boys with their "action figures". Most of the toys that young boys have played with were weird-looking like the one called Buzz-Off that was part human part flying insect. This guy was not a looker but he was still extremely self-confident. You could not imagine him saying to the others "Is this accessory the right shade of violet for this outfit?"


7 But women grow up thinking they need to look like Barbie dolls or girls on magazine covers which for most women is impossible. Nonetheless the multibillion-dollar beauty industry complete with its own aisle in the grocery store is devoted to constant warfare on female self-esteem convincing women that they must buy all the newest moisturizing creams bronzing powders and appliances that promise to "stimulate and restore" their skin. I once saw an Oprah Show in which supermodel Cindy Crawford dispensed makeup tips to the studio audience. Cindy had all these middle-aged women apply clay masks and other "wrinkle-removing" products to their faces; she stressed how important it was to adhere to the guidelines like applying products via the tips of their fingers to protect elasticity. All the women dutifully did this even though it was obvious to any rational observer that no matter how carefully they applied these products they would never have Cindy Crawford's face or complexion.


8 I'm not saying that men are superior. I'm just saying that you're not going to get a group of middle-aged men to plaster cosmetics to themselves under the instruction of Brad Pitt in hopes of looking more like him. Men don't face the same societal focus purely on physical beauty and they're encouraged to reach out to other characteristics to promote their self-esteem. They might say to Brad: "Oh yeah? Well what do you know about lawn care pretty boy?"


9 Of course women argue that they become obsessed with appearance as a reaction to pressure from men. The truth is that most men think beauty is more than just lipstick and perfume and take no notice of these extra details. I have never once in more than 40 years of listening to men talk about women heard a man say "She had gorgeous fingernails!" To most men little things like fingernails are all homogeneous anyway and one woman's flawless pink polish is exactly as invisible as another's bare nails.


10 By participating in this system of extreme conformity women are actually opening themselves up to the scrutiny of other women the only ones qualified to judge their efforts. What is the real benefit of working this hard to appease men who don't notice when it only exposes women to prosecution from other women?


11 Anyway to get back to my original point: If you're a man and a woman asks you how she looks you can't say she looks bad without receiving immediate and well-deserved outrage. But you also can't shower her with empty compliments about how her shoes complement her dress nicely because she'll know you're lying. She has spent countless hours worrying about the differences between her looks and Cindy Crawford's. Also she suspects that you're not qualified to voice a subjective opinion on anybody's appearance. This may be because you have shaving cream in your hair and inside the folds of your ears.

令人困惑的对美的追求


如果你是一位男士,肯定在某个时候会有女士问你她看起来怎么样。


对于如何应对这个问题,你一定得小心。最好的对策就是给一个诚实但又谨慎的回答,然后借口有急事马上脱身。相信我,这是最简单的方法。对于她的这一问题,无论你事先练习多少次,都不会找到正确答案。


其原因是,男性和女性对外表的看法截然不同。大多数男性对自己外表的评价在七年级时就形成了,而且终生不变。有些男性认为自己有不可抗拒的魅力,即使随着年龄的增长,他们头发掉光了,脸上布满皱纹,他们仍然拒绝改变这种看法。


我相信,大多数男性都不会对自己的相貌感到过分自傲。如果他们偶尔想到自己外表的话,他们愿意认为自己样貌中等。长相普通不会使他们有任何烦恼,因为普通就已经是很好了。男性不是特别注重自己的外貌,也不会从美学的角度去审视自己。他们的打扮方式主要就是刮刮胡子,就像打理自家草坪一样。对于一位男性来说,如果能花四分钟刮刮胡子,结束之后再把粘到头发上的剃须膏擦净,又没有出血太厉害,他就觉得自己已经尽心尽力了。


女性可不是这样看待自己的。如果非要我猜测大多数女性对自己的相貌是如何评价的话,那肯定是:“还不够好。”一位女士,无论她看起来多么吸引人,她对自己的看法总是由于受美容业的影响而蒙着一层阴影。要她认为“我很漂亮”是一件难事。她把身体上的极小的不完美之处加以放大,并且幻想这些缺点十分明显,以至于全世界的人都会注意到并且嘲笑她。


为什么女性会把自己的外貌想得这么差呢?这种长期的不安全感并不是与生俱来的,而是由许多复杂的心理和社会因素的相互作用造成的,从小时候大人们给她们买洋娃娃时就开始了。女孩成长过程中摆弄的洋娃娃,如果按照身材比例还原为真人大小的话,就会是7英尺高,61英磅重,大腿纤细,上身丰满。要达到这样的标准是很荒唐的,尤其是当我们想想那种洋娃娃的腰围尺寸,就知道其相对尺寸对任何一个活人来说都是不可企及的。与女孩玩具的这种荒唐标准相比,小男孩们得到的“动作玩偶”却是完全不同的模样。大多数男孩的玩具都样貌古怪,例如那个叫作“蜜蜂侠”的玩偶,一半像人,一半像会飞的昆虫。这个玩偶尽管样子不好看,但仍然非常自信。你肯定无法想象他会问别人说:“这个配饰的紫罗兰色和这件外套配不配呢?”


然而,女性在成长过程中却认为自己应该长得像芭比娃娃或杂志的封面女郎那样,这对大多数女性来说是不可能的。尽管如此,产值达几十亿美元的美容业,在超市化妆品销售专区的配合下,总是在不停地攻击着女性的自尊,使其相信自己只有购买最新的保湿面霜、古铜散粉,以及各种美容器具,才能“激发和恢复”肌肤活力。我曾经看过一期《奥普拉脱口秀》,在节目中,超级名模辛迪·克劳馥和演播室里的观众分享了自己的化妆秘诀。辛迪要求这些中年妇女在脸上敷上黏土面膜和其他去皱产品;她还强调一定要遵守这些方法,例如:往脸上涂抹这些产品时,要用指尖,这样可以保护皮肤的弹性。所有这些妇女都非常忠实地按照辛迪说的做了。可是对任何一个理智的旁观者来说,无论她们如何认真地使用这些产品,她们都不可能拥有辛迪那样的面容或肤色。


我并不是说男性优于女性。我的意思是你不可能让一群中年男子在布拉德·皮特的指导下把化妆品敷到自己脸上,期望自己能看起来更像布拉德。与女性不同,男性的外貌美不是社会所关注的唯一焦点。人们会鼓励男性借助其他特征来提升自尊。他们也许会对布拉德说:“是吗?那么帅哥,你对草坪维护又知道多少?”


当然,女性会争辩说她们对外表的热衷追求是出于对来自男性的压力的一种反应。而事实是,大多数男性认为美丽不仅仅来自于口红和香水,而且他们也不会去注意这些额外的细节。四十多年来,我在听男性谈论女性时,从来没有一次听到过哪位男性这样说:“她的指甲真漂亮啊!”对大多数男性来说,像指甲这样小的东西看起来都一样,无论一个女士的指甲是用粉色指甲油涂得完美无瑕,还是光光的毫无修饰,男性都一概视而不见。


女性参与这种极端的从众行为,实际上是把自己置于其他女性的审视之下,因为只有那些女性才有资格评价她们所付出的努力。但是,如此费力地去取悦男性而他们却根本不会注意,同时又只是招致其他女性的指责,这样做究竟有什么好处呢?


不管怎样,言归正传:如果你是一位男性,当有女士问你她看起来怎么样时,你千万不能说她看起来很糟糕,那样肯定会使她立刻迁怒于你,这也是你咎由自取。但是,你也不能慷慨地大放空洞之词,赞美她的鞋子和裙子是多么相配,因为她知道你是在说谎。她已经花费了无数个小时发愁自己的容貌不能和辛迪·克劳馥的一样。而且,也许因为你的头发和耳廓上粘着剃须膏,她会怀疑你根本没有资格对任何人的外表给出主观评价。