Social Life 1 (Unit 2)

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Unit 2

Inside and Outside Beauty


Text 2


What is beauty? Well, it's a rather difficult question for discussion, as it's a very extensive notion and there are many opinions about it. As for me, I have never thought about it from a philosophical point of view. For me "beautiful" means "wonderful", "excellent" and "pleasant for the eyes"; and I think that beauty can't be only in person's appearance, but also in his soul, nature and arts.

Very often we speak about beauty in a person's appearance. Usually when we see somebody who is attractive, has modern and cool clothes, we say that he or she is a beautiful person. It's the appearance that attracts people (us). I think such beauty is important in modeling, show business, advertising, and on television. And I am sure it's right because I don't think you'll enjoy an ad, a concert, a TV program or a magazine, if it shows a careless, unattractive and casual person. No doubt you know that many people, especially teens, listen to songs or watch TV pro-grams because they are performed by a pretty singer or a nice host. But sometimes it happens that when a good-looking person opens his mouth he begins to say such silly things, that very soon you are sorry to have started talking to him. And now you realize that it's not his appearance that is important, but his inner side. I am sure all of you have heard the proverb "Beauty is only skin deep". I agree with this proverb related to a person's communicative, ability to hold conversation. But on the other hand, it is not so pleasant to be always laughed at, to feel as if you are an ugly duckling. That's why I can't say what is better: to be beautiful inside or outside. Of course it will be wonderful if these two beauties are combined in one person. Of course it happens, but not so often as one would like.

And now let's talk about beauty in nature. Natural beauty can be expressed in all its manifestations. It can be a mountain, with its whimsical shapes, a lake which strikes everybody with its depth and the variety in its underwater world: and even a desert with its stillness. And in our world there are wonders of nature which are really fantastic: the Grand Canyon, Glacier Hay, Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, Victoria Falls, Lake Baikal, Mount Everest, Yellowstone National Park. Surely, they are wonderful. But even person can find beauty in every thing.

As for arts, I can say only one thing: not every person is able to find beauty in unique objects or works of arts. So, for example, not everybody can understand Pablo Picasso's pictures, Mozart's music. Alfred Hitchcock’s films, Edgar Poe's stories, and antique monuments - e.g. the Acropolis. I think to understand this beauty a person must have some interests and even a talent for it, because without it he won't be able to understand it: all of it will seem silly, ugly, difficult to understand. And though it's quite difficult to believe, there are people in the world, rather many I should say, who do not know even the most famous representatives of art. So for example, somebody thinks that Michelangelo is one of the Ninja turtles, or that Shakespeare is a game or a kind of cheese. Of course, it's awful that the cultural level of such people is so low, but what can we do? We can't make people love art. There is an expression "Beauty will save the world". I don't know if it is right or wrong; at the present moment I can't recollect any situation when our world was in need of beauty. But life isn't over, probably there will be a time when beauty will be the only means to help humanity survive.


Vocabulary Practice

Ex. 1 Read and translate the text using a dictionary if necessary.


Ex. 2 Find in the text the English equivalents of the following:

с философской точки зрения, приятный для глаз, душа, природа, привлекать, шоу бизнес, реклама, быть уверенным в чем-то, сомненья, подростки, симпатичный, глупости, внутренний мир, способность, представитель, культурный уровень людей, в настоящий момент, вспомнить, человечество, выжить.


Ex. 3 Supply the missing words or word combinations choosing among given below.

1.      For me “beautiful” means “Wonderful”, “excellent”, and __________.

2.      Very often we speak about beauty ________________.

3.      It’s appearance that ____________.

4.      I am sure all of you have heard the proverb ___________.

5.      Of course it will be wonderful if those two beauties ___________.

6.      Not every person is able to find beauty _____________.

7.      There is an expression ______________.

8.      There will be a time when beauty will be only means to help ___________.


“Beauty will save the world”; humanity survive; pleasant for eyes; are combined in one person; in unique objects or work of art; “Beauty is only skin deep”; in a person’s appearance; attracts people.


Ex. 4 Study the following words and word combinations and use them in sentences of your own:

an extensive notion; from a philosophical point of view; beauty in soul, nature and arts; to be attractive; a beautiful person; to enjoy an ad; a pretty singer; a nice host; teens; casual person; silly things; inner side; ability to hold conversation; a good-looking person; an ugly duckling; to strike smb. with its depth and the variety of its inner world; the cultural level; Beauty will save the world.


Comprehension Exercises

Ex. 1 Read the text and answer the following questions:

1.      Why are there many opinions what beauty is?

2.      What does the word “beauty” mean for the author?

3.      Why do people usually say he or she is beautiful if they are in modern and cool clothes?

4.      Why do many teens like to listen to songs or watch on TV?

5.      In what case do you realize that it’s not appearance that is important, but inner side?

6.      How do you understand the proverb: “Beauty is only skin deep”?

7.      What is better: to be beautiful inside or outside?

8.      How can natural beauty be expressed?

9.      What are the wonders of nature which are really fantastic?

10.    Is everybody able to find beauty in unique objects or works of art?

11.    How can you prove that values of art influence the cultural level of people?

12.    How do you understand the expression: “Beauty will save the world”?


Ex. 2 Define the following key terms and memorize the definitions:

beauty, appearance, inside and outside, humanity, wonder, wonderful


Ex. 3 Speak on the cultural level of people in Russia in brief and illustrate your report with examples or situations of your own taken from the Russian lifestyle.


Ex. 4 Speak about natural beauty in all its manifestations.


Ex. 5 Comment on teens interests in music, art, fashion and style taken from the British or American lifestyle.


Ex. 6 Express your opinion.

Can we make people love art?

Will beauty save the world?

What is beauty?


Ex. 7 Read and learn the poem by William Henry Davies (1871 – 1940) by heart.



What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.1

No time to stand beneath the boughs2

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods3 we pass,

Where squirrels4 hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight5,

Streams6 full of stars like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,7

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.


1stare – пристально смотреть

2beneath the boughs – под сучьями, ветвями

3woods – леса

4squirrels – белки

5in broad daylight – в разгар дня

6streams – ручьи

7to turn at Beauty's glance – восторгаться сверканием красоты


Text 3

Additional Reading

About Beauty

Over the past three decades the popular magazine Psychology Today has conducted several surveys on how people feel about the appearance of their bodies. The changing results make for interesting reading. The dramatic changes in American culture have significantly altered peoples' perceptions of themselves. In 1972 twenty-three percent of American women were dissatisfied with their appearance but by 1997 that figure had risen to fifty-six percent. In 1972 fifteen percent of men were dissatisfied with their appearance but by 1997 that figure had risen to forty-three percent. Thirty-eight percent of men are now dissatisfied with the size of their chests compared to the thirty-four percent of women dissatisfied with their breasts. Men are getting pectoral implants. Millions of women have had surgery to change the shape of their breasts or increase their size.

Images of Beauty are everywhere. Pictures of handsome men and beautiful women grace the pages of glossy magazines, television, billboards, consumer products and the Internet. In the developed world the preoccupation with the body and with Beauty is intensifying and the Beauty Industry, despite nearly thirty years of feminism, is a multi-billion dollar a year business.

In the United Kingdom visit any newsagent and you will find dozens of magazines on various aspects of style, fashion and health. There are several magazines just devoted to the topic of hairstyles and hair care. Men's magazines tell men how to get flat stomachs and bulging biceps. Images of slim, ultra fit models seem to be everywhere and vast numbers of women are preoccupied with their weight. Yet despite this preoccupation with beauty and despite the well publicized health risks over a third of Americans are obese. The English are fast catching up. But yet, while one third are obese, for others anorexia nervosa is a serious and potentially fatal mental health problem.

The images of beauty everywhere are not the average man or woman. Few ordinary people can aspire to look like the images of the exceptional beauties the media present us with. The models, actors, and actresses are selected from the thousands who apply. They are statistically exceptional in their appearance. Then professional stylists and make-up artists spend hours doing their hair and make-up. They spend hours in the gym. However, in films, soaps, and sitcoms they are often placed in ordinary situations so that we all feel that they are our competition. However, as Cindy Crawford says, "Even I don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford." A survey of 5,000 women in the UK by Real magazine published in November 2002 has some rather depressing statistics. 91% of women were unhappy with their hips and thighs and 60% were depressed by their body image. 84% of those who were normal weight wished they were lighter. Only 3% of women were happy with their bodies. To suggest that we can either have something very beautiful and desirable if we purchase a car or look very beautiful and desirable if we use a certain hair conditioner and eye-makeup sells products very effectively. This is because it touches upon some very deep-rooted anxieties in human psychology and offers an answer to them. Feminists have blamed men and a patriarchal society. Socialists have blamed capitalists and the advertising industry. What is really going on? Why are both men and women more preoccupied, more anxious, about being beautiful these days than ever before?

To be beautiful is presented as being the answer to a problem. The developed countries of the world are going through a period of great turbulence. Just as the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s led to great changes in society so too is the Information Revolution of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. And it is happening fast.

For hundreds of thousands of years our ancestors were hunter- gatherers. Civilization and cities are only a few thousand years old. Just as our bodies evolved over those countless millennia in order to adapt and survive so did our psychologies. The reasons why it is so important for women to be beautiful and men to be strong and handsome are deeply ingrained in the human psyche and are the product of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution.

At we think that the increasing preoccupation with Beauty is linked with many of the great cultural and social changes of the past three decades. Anxieties about Beauty resonate deeply in human psychology. Men don't cause women to want to be beautiful nor does capitalism or the advertising industries. Cultural and social conditions can heighten these anxieties and being beautiful can be felt to be the solution. And, fundamentally, this has to do with the biological purpose of Beauty.




l. What kind of people are you attracted to?

a. people with strong personalities

b. people who seem to admire you

c. people who seem to need you

2. You're trying to explain a great idea to a friend, who disagrees with you or doesn't understand. How do you react?

a. go on explaining

b. feel hurt or angry

c. stop to reconsider the idea

3. You're at a party given by some friends and you're feeling depressed. What do you do?

a. excuse yourself and leave

b. stay on until the end regardless

c. pretend there's nothing wrong with you hoping nobody will notice

4. What sort of patient are you when you're ill?

a. you like to be made a fuss of

b. you prefer to be left on your own

c. you like to have books brought to you so that you can keep yourself occupied

5. What are you most likely to do after a hard day at work or school?

a. go out and have a good time and forget all your worries

b. look for comfort from those closest to you

c. complain to a friend about the bad time you've had

6. If someone you've just met tries to teach you something you already know, how do you react?

a. tell the person you already know that

b. say nothing

c. wait until the person has finished, then reveal your expertise

7. How much does the person you most care about need you?

a. more than you need him/her

b. less than you need him/her

c. about the same

8. How would you react to an unexpected gift?

a. by wondering how to reciprocate

b. with pleasure

c. by wondering what the giver wanted

9. If a friend pointed out an annoying characteristic you didn't know you had, how would you react?

a. feel put out

b. worry and feel self-conscious

c. ask other friends if it was really true

10. If a friend cancelled an engagement with you at the last minute, what would you think?

a. they'd found something better to do

b. they might be in some kind of trouble

c. it was a thoughtless way to behave but it wouldn't upset you much




1.      a-1 b-3 c-5

2.      a-5 b-1 c-3

3.      a-3 b-1 c-5

4.      a-1 b-5 c-3

5.      a-5 b-1 c-3

6.      a-3 b-1 c-5

7.      a-5 b-1 c-3

8.      a-5 b-1 c-3

9.      a-5 b-1 c-3

10.  a-1 b-5 c-3


10-27 You're probably a person with a strong feeling of helplessness and with a strong need for emotional support at difficult times. You tend to depend on approval from others and you're always anxious to make a good impression.

The childish side of your personality may make you unrealistic but it could be that you have a greater capacity to enjoy things than 'more mature' people.

28-43 You're still an adolescent at heart. There's a conflict between the need you have to be independent and the need for support and protection. You find it difficult to make up your mind whether you want responsibility or not. You're inclined to be unrealistic when assessing situations, changing suddenly from one extreme to another.

44-50 You're clearly an adult at heart with a mature and realistic approach to life. You hate pointless arguments and reject idealism. Instead of attempting to take on too much responsibility, learn how to relax and enjoy life.


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