IN SEARCH OF BEAUTY

04 / 09 / 2015
IN SEARCH OF BEAUTY

In various parts of the world, the idea of beauty drastically differs. From the runways, celebrity icons, to indigenous tribes utilizing their body as a springboard for art and cultural beauty, there is a striking misconception of what the word means. So, that said, as an Anthropologist, what does beauty mean to you? What is beautiful?

Well, as an anthropologist I do see beauty not only in the eye of beholder, but as a deeper, more evolved underpinning in our minds as well. Speaking in general terms, beauty could be considered as a quintessence of qualities that delight senses, please the mind and draw attention: Harmony in music, symmetry of face, bright colors,  golden ratio in picture, novelty,  etc.

From an evolutionary point of view, beauty is functionally designed. „The sense of beauty“ by way of aesthetic appreciation is not learned by an individual but rather a universal, biological adaptation shaped by sexual selection. Even in the animal kingdom, the process of selection can be seen as “Survival of the Prettiest”. For example, a colorful, extravagant, ornamented peacock´s tail is the result of this process of selected visual signals and patterns that were preffered and desired during evolution. With regard to humans, man appreciates a certain woman based on proportions of waist to hips, subconsciously utilizing those traits as the art master if you will. These subliminal messages of hormone scuplting and “Kindchenschema“ send certain signals to the males. Like a woman with a “cute” baby face, her “look” somehow sends subconscious signals to the male that she has nurturing features associated with youth and fertility whereas the physical aspects of her prominent cheek bones and concave cheeks assure signs of maturity.

You can see this for example in faces of “supermodels” like Kate Moss. Neverthelless, as you’ve said, there are differenes across a spectrum of cultures that influence the appreciation of particular traits of beauty. The cultural spectrums can be significantly different, even between euroamerican and traditional societies as you can see in the picture of the Hamar tribe or Mursí from Omo River Valley (Ethiopia). It’s interesting because the human “sense of beauty” is definitely more complex and depends on the cultural background and historical story. No matter where the appreciation comes from, I think what matters is that we value and appreciate the art of beauty.


I would like you to tell me what you believe is the polarizing difference between “Hollywood” beauty and natural beauty…

When it comes to beauty as a part of the fashion industry and so-called “celebrity culture”, we have to recognize that beauty’s “form” is deliberately constructed and created. Beauty ideals swing and change rapidly. While designers might put together a look that is observed as classic or retro and obviously, appealing to the masses, the way the fashion world works, it is all very calculated and masquerades as a cover for a clever marketing campaign to promote a new “look” or implement an emerging “trend”. In this framework, the sheer beauty in terms of design, has to be put on a socially superior pedestal because it has to promote an idea of success or an impending ideal but the hardest thing about this is, this look is almost impossible for someone who isn’t a “model” or “celebrity” to achieve. In essence, what has happened is that this ideal of beauty makes it almost as if there is a continual race to perfection, so at the moment when someone thinks they’ve achieved what’s perceived as beautiful, in a blink of an eye, there is a contrasting idea of beauty that comes out making the previous “look” no longer socially valid.

Everyone wants to be what they aren’t. Literally, Brazillian mulatas want to be pale – skinny, busty blondes and Nordic girls crave to have dark chocolate skin and sultry bottom lines. That´s how it works: Seemingly impossible to be satisfied with beauty for even the trend makers themselves. That said, because of that, there will always be a need for constant change and contradicting perceptions.

 The last place you visited was Cuba. Did you see some significant differences in how they perceived beauty, especially since the culture has been so tailor-made by the influence of government?

Yes. I think the best way to answer that is to compare Cuba to Brazil; two cultural areas of Latin America where  different Romance Languages are spoken.  Years ago, they were historically divided between Spanish and Portuguese maritime and colonial empires.  Both latino cultures have “mulatas” which is a popular culture of celebrated somatotypes of sensual, erotic and sultry, exotic women as a product of unique “café con leche“ or “café com leite”  which is a blend of contrasting human skin colors. The difference is created by distinctive settings of  cultural  boundaries in front of the effects of globalization. 

Cuba is a communist country, an island that was politically, economicaly and culturally isolated from the USA for half a century and relationships with EU are affected in the longterm as a process of transition to a pluralist democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Within this environment it isn’t possible to spread euroamerican trends of beauty or fashion so the Cuban mulatta have a rather pre-Revolutionary feel. In contrast, Brazilian mulattas are strongly affected with so called “nordization”, which is the transition towards northern European or American fair-featured, porcelain-like coloring of women (i.e.Gisele Bündchen).

In addition, this can also be seen within the transgender community with models like Lea Tbeing introduced to the world of modeling and fashion. In contrast, Euroamerican celebrity culture seem to be obsessed by far more voluptuous women with overemphasized traits like larger buttocks. Trends of beauty are quickly changing, not quite as fast as fashion, but  what is perceived as beautiful now, could be considered ugly after a while. 


 Art is an integral part of Cuban history. Recently, for the first time ever, 3 Cuban Artists did an Exhibition in Los Angeles (Alan Manual González, Darwin Estacio Martines and Luis Rodriguez NOA. Do you believe that Cuban artists are finally able to express the love and beauty they need in order to create?

Cuban art is very interesting, but that’s a complicated question, especially with regard to artistic freedoms or saying that artists struggle to create “real art“. I was thinking about that during my stay and maybe I’ve found the answer in the book, “The Daily Nothingness (La nada cotidiana)” by Zoé Valdés. It´s a critical  portrayal of life in Cuba during the post–Soviet era but fails to construct a utopian socialist paradise. She writes about extreme economic problems, scarcity of food, basic hygienic needs, power blackouts, and her life that was a daily emptiness and nothingless. The way the outer coping strategy was to create, not only in terms of sex and procreation, but in writing and creating something meaningful out of a sense of nothingness. I think that is the purest form of art, creatio ex nihilo as the phrase goes in Latin, and the essence of Cuban art. It often celebrates daily, casual things, nature and elements like water, rivers and the sea that are interwined with Ochun and Yemayá, the most worhsipped Orishas of Santeriá syncretic religion; Not even really iconographically, but rather the story of creation of the world. That is a beautiful story in and of itself.


As a country once forced to stop time, now that Cuba begins to rise from the ashes and take hold of it’s roots in a more progressive way, what are some of the ways the people of Cuba are creating opportunity?

TOURISM | EROTICISM | TOBACCO | ART | MUSIC | DANCE.

I have to begin with Columbus’ depiction of Cuba (probably the bay of Baracoa or Gibara) in his diaries of New World´s  from 1942 depicting it as a paradise:

“It´s the most beautiful place in the world … I heard the birds sing that they will never ever leave this place …” 

Initially, it was first a concept of “natural paradise“ and then a utopistic attempt to construct a socialistic paradise, and lastly, with the oppressive nature no longer, we see a “touristic paradise“ that functionally unifies all 3 ideals. In Cuba, the rules in place come from a different time – stuck in a set place in time – so you can enjoy old American cars, music from the Buena Vista Social Club, beautiful and in-tact nature, as well as an idealized world that hails from revolutionary or pre–revolutionary times.


In the context of mentioned mulattas, their bodies, symbolize the Cuban imaginings of a nation and are celebrated in Tropicana cabaret shows in the glittering excess of eroticism, luxury and wealth. After all, from this version of female idealization, these women were essentially on the black market selling open– ended love, the economy of relationships to foreign/tourists, sexualized and commercialized to varying degrees. Jineteras (companions) do not distinguish rigorously between business and emotion or love and relationships “por amor” or “por interés”  so these interactions might begin as a service or friendshiand can continue into liason, love, or even marriage.


What I really admire – when we talk about art, beauty and aesthetics is the way Cuban women move and dance.  It´s unbelievable: they have to embody superior dance skills of Ochun. I was fascinated by vivacious but gentle body waves used in son, rumba or salsa and didn’t know why until I read that the way they move, in that indescribable wave that Cuban dance has often been considered to be the model or most widely accepted form of beauty.

So with everywhere you’ve been and all of the cultures you’ve photographed and experienced, what is your overall take?

When I think about beauty on the whole, I´m pretty convinced that our “sixth sense“, the “sense of beauty” is the quintessential pattern that connects all living beings and provides the key social – psychological “glue” that binds together the disparate and even chaotic experiences of human life. Without the capability to feel beauty and to gain a pleasure from it, life seems totally anhedonic, meaningless and almost unbearable. We all know those unpleasant states of mind, but they are normally transitory …

I did a case study on Major Depression and one of its main symptoms, anhedonia, it stemmed principally from aesthetics. As a result the sense of beauty and sensual delights, well, the pleasures are disconnected from the mind which creates persistently ugly, rough and dreadful living conditions. Imagine that happening in your thoughts and that’s basically the degradation of an individual’s perception of beauty …

Original of interview by Dawn Garcia, ATOD Magazine: http://atodmagazine.com/2015/09/01/in-search-of-beauty-with-michal-josephy/








.: komentáře?

Můžeš použít tyto tágy:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Digest
WORLD IN PICTURES

WORLD IN PICTURES

ROZHOVOR PRO BARBAR

ROZHOVOR PRO BARBAR

ROZHOVOR PRO TÁBORSKÝ DENÍK

ROZHOVOR PRO TÁBORSKÝ DENÍK

IN SEARCH OF BEAUTY

IN SEARCH OF BEAUTY

EVOLUCE BLONDÝNY V KOSTCE

EVOLUCE BLONDÝNY V KOSTCE

WEST OF THE HORIZON

WEST OF THE HORIZON

  • stephen curry shoes
  • stephen curry shoes
  • lebron soldier 10
  • lebron shoes
  • ultra boost adidas
  • lebron soldier
  • curry one
  • kd shoes
  • KD 8
  • kyrie 1
  • Curry 1
  • supra shoes
  • stephen curry jerseys
  • lebron shoes
  • under armour shoes
  • salomon
  • ua shoes
  • kd shoes
  • Kevin Durant shoes
  • Curry Shoes
  • under armour soccer cleats
  • stan smith shoes
  • adidas stan smith
  • adidas nmd shoes
  • curry 3 shoes
  • curry 3
  • Asics Shoes
  • kd 9
  • stephen curry
  • Yeezy 550
  • Yeezy 550 boost
  • Yeezy 550
  • http://www.kd-9.org
  • yeezy boost 350 v2
  • Yeezy 550 boost
  • lebron james shoes
  • lebron shoes
  • lebron 13
  • kd shoes
  • Curry 3
  • new balance shoes
  • Curry 1
  • http://www.curry1.org
  • kevin durant shoes
  • kyrie 1 shoes
  • kyrie irving shoes
  • kyrie shoes
  • yeezy boost
  • adidas nmd Runner
  • adidas nmd r1
  • kobe 10
  • kyrie 2
  • irving shoes
  • salomon shoes
  • NMD Human Race
  • kobe 10 shoes
  • adidas nmd xr1
  • kobe shoes
  • Stephen Curry Shoes
  • curry one
  • curry one
  • Curry One
  • hyperdunk 2016
  • nike hyperdunk 2016
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • kobe shoes
  • nike kobe shoes
  • hyperdunk shoes
  • Hyperdunk Flyknit Shoes
  • nike hyperdunk
  • adidas stan smith
  • stan smith
  • Curry 3
  • stan smith adidas
  • yeezy 350 boost
  • stan smith shoes
  • Baseball Bats
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • lebron soldier shoes
  • lebron soldier
  • lebron soldier
  • lebron soldier
  • Nike hyperdunk
  • lebron 14
  • lebron 14 shoes
  • hyperdunk
  • lebron james 14
  • hyperdunk Shoes
  • hyperdunk 2016
  • lebron soldier basketball shoes
  • lebron basketball shoes
  • nike lebron soldier
  • nike free tr 6
  • nike free tr
  • nike free
  • Cheap hyperdunk
  • lebron soldier shoes
  • air jordan shoes
  • jordan shoes
  • jordan basketball shoes
  • jordan retro
  • air max shoes
  • Nike Free
  • nike air max
  • Nike Free Shoes
  • air max nike
  • kyrie irving shoes
  • kyrie shoes
  • nike kyrie shoes
  • kyrie 2
  • lebron soldier shoes
  • soldier shoes
  • air max 90
  • Free Shoes
  • air max 95
  • Asics Gel Kayano
  • kobe 11
  • Curry One
  • Curry Shoes
  • supra footwear
  • nike free run
  • stephen curry shoes
  • Nike Huarache
  • Kobe Shoes
  • lebron 13
  • harden shoes
  • asics shoes
  • asics running shoes
  • asics outlet
  • asics
  • Curry One
  • Kyrie Irving Shoes
  • kobe 11 shoes
  • Under Armour Shoes
  • Curry 2
  • Curry 2
  • messi shoes
  • kyrie 2 shoes
  • D Rose 6
  • harden shoes sale
  • yeezy 350
  • adidas nmd
  • http://www.yeezy350.org
  • Harden 1
  • Stephen Curry Shoes
  • kyrie 2
  • Nike Roshe Run
  • under armour shoes
  • Roshe Run Shoes
  • Curry 2
  • michael jordan shoes
  • jordan shoes
  • Messi Soccer Shoes
  • Gel Kayano
  • kyrie 2
  • Salomon Shoes
  • air jordan shoes
  • curry 2.5
  • Rose 6
  • James Harden Shoes
  • Roshe Run
  • Roshe Run
  • Curry Shoes
  • messi soccer
  • Messi Soccer
  • curry one
  • michael jordan
  • Nike Roshe Run
  • KD Shoes
  • Stephen Curry Shoes
  • lebron soldier
  • lebron 10 soldier
  • nike lebron soldier
  • Roshe Run Women
  • Rose 6
  • supra skytop shoes
  • Nike Kevin Durant Shoes
  • Roshe Run Shoes
  • Roshe Run cheap
  • Curry Jerseys
  • curry shoes
  • Lionel Messi Shoes
  • Curry Shoes 2015
  • Stephen Curry Shoes
  • Harden 1 Shoes
  • James Harden Shoes
  • James Harden Shoes For Sale
  • Cheap Baseball Bats
  • Harden Shoes
  • Nike Roshe Run Shoes
  • Asics Kayano
  • Kevin Durant Shoes
  • Roshe Run Shoes
  • Curry Shoes MVP
  • Discount Roshe Run
  • Curry Shoes
  • Cheap Curry Shoes
  • Nike Shoes
  • Stephen Curry Jersey
  • James Harden 1
  • Baseball Bats For Sale
  • Nike Air Force 1
  • Air Force 1
  • Air Force 1 shoes
  • Under Armour
  • Roshe Run Online
  • Under Armour Curry Shoes
  • skytop shoes
  • salomon shoes
  • Air Huarache
  • Salomon Trail Running Shoes
  • kobe x
  • Kobe 10
  • Nike Harden Shoes
  • Asics Running Shoes
  • Salomon Running Shoes
  • Baseball Bats Outlet
  • Cheap Harden 1
  • lebron james shoes
  • Curry Basketball Shoes
  • Curry Jersey
  • Nike Huarache Shoes
  • KD 8
  • lebron shoes
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • kobe shoes
  • kevin durant shoes
  • Cheap Curry Shoes
  • Trail Running Shoes
  • yeezy 950
  • Baseball Bats Store
  • Nike KD 8
  • Curry One Mvp
  • Running Shoes
  • james shoes
  • nike lebron james shoes
  • Nike Harden Shoes
  • Cheap Curry Jersey
  • Asics Shoes
  • Curry Shoes Outlet
  • Curry Shoes
  • Air Huarache Shoes
  • KD 8
  • Baseball Bat
  • kobe 10
  • kd 7 shoes
  • kd 7
  • kd shoes
  • cheap Roshe Run
  • Roshe Run Sale
  • Nike Kobe Shoes
  • Roshe Run Women
  • Under Armour Basketball Shoes
  • Harden Shoes
  • Under Armour Store
  • Baseball Bats Sale
  • Roshe Run Men
  • Asics Shoes Women
  • Discount KD 8
  • Huarache Shoes
  • Curry Jersey Sale
  • Curry basketball Shoes
  • Curry 2 Shoes
  • Stephen Curry Jersey sale
  • Curry Shoes
  • curry 1
  • Stephen Curry Shoes
  • curry shoes
  • UA Curry Shoes
  • Under Armour curry one
  • James Harden Shoes
  • Stephen Shoes
  • stephen curry shoes
  • New Curry Shoes
  • Steph Curry 1
  • Stephen Curry Shoes
  • Nike Kevin Shoes
  • James Harden Shoes 2015
  • Harden Shoes 2015
  • Nike Roshe Run
  • Asics Shoes Men
  • Roshe Run
  • kobe 10 shoes
  • Stephen Curry Shoes
  • kobe shoes
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • Air Huarache Run
  • kevin durant shoes
  • kd shoes
  • kobe basketball Shoes
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • kobe shoes 2015
  • Nike Harden Shoes
  • Nike James Harden Shoes
  • Harden Shoes For sale
  • kevin shoes
  • Harden Shoes Sale
  • durant shoes
  • nike lebron james shoes
  • Curry Shoes
  • Kevin Durant Shoes
  • yeezy shoes
  • kanye west shoes
  • http://www.yeezyshoes.us.com
  • kobe x shoes
  • nike kyrie 1
  • Curry Low Shoes
  • nike free shoes
  • nike free run
  • kd shoes 2015
  • kyrie shoes
  • kyrie irving shoes
  • kobe 10 shoes
  • lebron james jerseys
  • lebron jerseys
  • kobe 10
  • kyrie 1 shoes
  • Huarache Run Women
  • kyrie 1
  • nike free 5.0
  • nike free 5
  • kobe shoes
  • KD Shoes
  • kd 8
  • kobe jersey
  • Cheap kobe jersey
  • adidas rose shoes
  • derrick rose shoes
  • lebron james shoes
  • russell westbrook shoes
  • westbrook shoes
  • Huarache Run Men
  • russell shoes
  • Air Huarache Sale
  • jordan westbrook shoes
  • lebron james jersey
  • kyrie irving shoes
  • nike kyrie 1
  • Curry Shoes Sale
  • messi cleats
  • Nike Huarache Sale
  • cheap kyrie 1
  • michael jordan jerseys
  • Nike Hyperdunk
  • Nike Hyperdunk Basketball Shoes
  • Hyperdunk Shoes
  • adidas nmd xr1
  • adidas nmd r1
  • adidas nmd
  • adidas nmd runner
  • adidas nmd pk
  • adidas nmd footlocker
  • Nike Hyperdunk Shoes
  • jordan jerseys
  • michael jerseys
  • kevin durant jersey
  • kd jersey
  • kevin jersey
  • kobe bryant jerseys
  • kobe bryant jersey
  • james jerseys
  • cheap lebron jerseys
  • d rose shoes
  • rose shoes
  • lebron james jerseys
  • lebron jersey
  • james jersey
  • d rose shoes
  • rose shoes
  • kobe 12
  • adidas rose shoes
  • lebron james shoes
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • kobe shoes
  • lebron soldier 9
  • lebron soldier ix
  • lebron soldier
  • lebron soldier shoes
  • kobe 12 shoes
  • michael jordan jersey
  • nike shoes
  • kd shoes
  • kd shoes
  • Curry 1
  • Curry 1 Shoes
  • Stephen Curry 1
  • kd 7 shoes
  • kd 7
  • lebron shoes
  • cheap lebron james shoes
  • nike lebron shoes
  • lebron shoes
  • kyrie irving shoes
  • kyrie shoes
  • kyrie 1 shoes
  • kyrie 1 shoes
  • irving shoes
  • kyrie 3
  • niek kyrie 3
  • kyrie 3 shoes
  • air max shoes
  • nike air max shoes
  • stuart weitzman boots
  • stuart weitzman shoes
  • stuart weitzman sale
  • stuart weitzman 5050
  • nike air max
  • durant jersey
  • kevin durant shoes
  • kd vii
  • kd 7
  • curry 3
  • curry 3 shoes
  • ua curry 3
  • curry 3 low
  • kobe bryant jersey
  • kobe bryant jerseys
  • kobe jerseys
  • UA Curry Low Shoes
  • kyrie 3
  • bryant jerseys
  • adidas porsche shoes
  • kyrie 3 shoes
  • adidas porsche design shoes
  • lebron james shoes
  • kobe shoes 2015
  • nike air shoes
  • nike air max shoes
  • kyrie 3
  • kyrie 3 shoes
  • nike kyire 3
  • australia ugg boots
  • ugg boots outlet
  • ugg outlet
  • ugg boots on sale
  • ugg boots australia
  • ugg boots for women
  • ugg boots cheap
  • cheap air max shoes
  • air max shoes
  • kd vii shoes
  • nba jerseys
  • kd shoes
  • kevin durant shoes
  • adidas zx flux
  • adidas zx
  • jordan retro/a>
  • adidas flux
  • cheap kd shoes
  • ultra boost
  • adidas ultra boost
  • kobe shoes nba
  • timberland shoes
  • timberland boots
  • timberland
  • timberland outlet
  • palladium boots
  • lebron soldier 10
  • lebron soldier
  • lebron soldier shoes
  • nike lebron soldier
  • air jordan retro/a>
  • cheap kobe shoes
  • soldier 10
  • kd shoes
  • kevin durant shoes
  • australia ugg boots
  • kevin durant shoes
  • jordan retro shoes
  • kd 7 shoes
  • ugg boots
  • kevin durant shoes mvp
  • porsche design shoes
  • adidas porsche design
  • adidas shoes
  • kevin bryant shoes
  • kd shoes store
  • kd 7
  • australia ugg
  • nba jerseys store
  • herve leger dresses
  • kobe shoes
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • kd shoes
  • kd sneaker
  • jeremy scott adidas
  • jeremy scott wings
  • jeremy scott shoes
  • js wings
  • lebron shoes
  • kobe shoes
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • Blake Griffin Shoes