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Casey Kitchel

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Lottery vs. "The Lottery"

In Cameron's TED talk, she roughly equates being beautiful to "winning a genetic lottery".

Most times when I listen to this talk and I hear the word "lottery", I think of the Powerball and winning it is something good.

However, there are other times when I listen to this talk and I hear the word "lottery", and I think of "The Lottery", the short story by Shirley Jackson.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lottery

Are beautiful people (those that win the genetic lottery) as fortunate as we perceive them to be?

and perhaps I should add:

Are "successful" (success within a profession) people as fortunate as we perceive them to be?

Note: we don't chose our own appearance, and also, we alone don't chose our own "success" (success within a profession).
Ex: A fashion model does not chose their appearance, and the fashion industry, not the fashion model, chooses who they, the fashion and "beauty" industry, view as "beautiful" or good "modeling material".

IMO, if everything really is"okay", then why is a woman who is intelligent and pretty, honestly admitting that she feels vulnerable, when she should arguably be one of the more confident and secure people in society?

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  • Apr 30 2013: An interesting question. I've never really bought into the western world's version of "beauty." I was raised where I didn't watch much TV, I didn't see that many movies, and I've never watched porn in my life. So the skinny, symmetrical, painted face has never had much appeal for me since I wasn't trained to view it as attractive. Our version of a woman's beauty is a product of the beauty industry, nothing more. I'm marrying a woman who's a little plus size, and I couldn't care less. What I do care about is what society has done to her perceptions of herself even though she's a moderately healthy individual that's just built a bit more curvy than most. It's tragic. I think women who buy into fake beauty do more to hurt the cause of women than any man ever did. They're shooting themselves in the foot by constantly worrying about what others think of them, their weight, and paying for the latest whatever-it-is. I don't think there is a genetic lottery. Every woman ( and man) has their own beauty. Take the time to really look into their face and you'll find it.
    • May 2 2013: Hi Scot,
      it's true - they say 'men look at women, and women look at women'. I consider myself a pretty unconventional female. I've never gone on a diet or jumped through hoops to look other than how I naturally look. I am more uncomfortable in the midst of a group of scrutinizing women than a group of men. I agree wholeheartedly with your statement, " I think women who buy into fake beauty do more to hurt the cause of women than any man ever did".

      It's saddening to hear about women (and especially young women, or even young girls) who do succumb to society's ideal... which we all know on some level to be temporary!
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        May 3 2013: "It's saddening to hear about women (and especially young women, or even young girls) who do succumb to society's ideal..."

        That's where that "statistic" about girls between the ages of 13 and 17 who don't like their bodies really hits the worst! (I'm uncomfortable using the word statistic here because I feel like I am referring to people as if they are numbers)
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        May 3 2013: " I think women who buy into fake beauty do more to hurt the cause of women than any man ever did".

        Do you think this effects gender equality at all?
        • May 3 2013: Yes, I really do!
          I believe men are not as scrutinizing when it comes to a woman's appearance, than a woman is.

          By maintaining an unrealistic, artificial and superficial appearance, women themselves are maintaining the idea that how they naturally look, isn't good enough. It keeps fashion magazines in circulation, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries in business, plastic surgeons off the streets and inspires people to invent even more unnecessary tel-sell products...!

          Most importantly of all, by striving for the ideal outward appearance that is determined by society (read: commercialism), women themselves are keeping those stereotypical stigmas intact, like 'It hurts to be beautiful' (as opposed to, if it hurts to be beautiful, you're doing something wrong) and 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' (as opposed to acknowledging your own natural beauty) and, 'Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's Maybeline'... no comment.
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        May 14 2013: And would you also say this effects confidence and self esteem for women?

        I'm thinking of the example: men have trouble with finding motivation, whereas women have trouble with confidence. With the way the majority of daughters are raised and the way media tells them how if they don't look like "this" then they aren't good enough, then it should seem fairly obvious what some of the major contributing factors to women's and girl's lack of confidence are.
        • May 15 2013: Casey, I thought of this conversation when I heard this on the news:
          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2320868/Thin-beautiful-customers-ONLY-How-Abercrombie--Fitch-doesnt-want-larger-people-shopping-stores.html

          "CEO, Mike Jeffries, 'doesn't want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people'".
          This guy is turning into the Hitler of the fashion industry! Appalling!!!

          Although men often have the power when it comes to how a brand is represented, it is the social aspect among women that plays such a big role in this. The pressure within a group of females to look 'as good' or be 'as pretty' is incredible, especially when women are young and vulnerable.
          I would argue, for men, it is often just as bad. More muscles, a better '6-pack', a good head of hair, ... don't these things play as much a role in acceptance for men, as for women?
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        May 15 2013: "CEO, Mike Jeffries, 'doesn't want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people'". Woah. That's disturbing. Really disturbing.

        "I would argue, for men, it is often just as bad. More muscles, a better '6-pack', a good head of hair, ... don't these things play as much a role in acceptance for men, as for women?"

        I don't know if "more muscles, a better '6-pack', a good head of hair play, and those kinds of things" play as big of a role in having "acceptance" by other guys. Certainly it does within certain social groups of men, and the same can be said for women, that there are groups where women will only be friends with other women if they look a certain way.
        I agree that men face the same kinds of "pressures" as women do to look a certain way. It certainly seems to effect how men think women view men? And what about gays and lesbians? But, I think there is a key difference between men and women and how they view themselves and others. I think men aren't as scrutinizing about themselves and other guys as women can be of themselves and of each other when its about appearance. But when it comes down to how men and women view members of the opposite gender, I think both sides can be awful.

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