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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.