Social Life 1 (Unit 3)

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Unit 3

Elements of Beauty

 

Appearance

 

Learning Objects

After studying this unit you should be able to understand that the attitude of people to a person depends on many things: his age, body, mind, manners, behaviour, abilities, character and appearance.

 

Text 1

Age

"How old are you?" It's a simple question, and there is usually a simple answer: "sixteen years old," "twenty years old," "fifty-five," etc. But if someone is described as young or middle-aged or old, then how old is that person? It's difficult to know because these are words that have different meanings for different people. Except for the word teenager, which describes someone whose age ends in the syllable "teen" (such as fourteen, fifteen or sixteen), words which describe age are not exact. When, for example, does a baby stop being called a baby and become a young child? When does a boy become a young man and a little girl become a young woman? At what age does middle age begin? When do you call someone elderly and not simply old? At what age does someone become an adult? In some countries, it is when the government says a person is old enough to vote. Is that really the difference between a child and an adult? The answers to these questions partly depend on how old you are. There is a saying that old age is always ten years older than yourself. If you are fifteen, then you think someone of twenty-five is old. At thirty, forty seems old. If you are seventy, then you probably think someone of eighty is old. A recent survey showed that there was some truth in the old saying. People were asked. "What is middle age?" Those in their early twenties usually answered, "Between thirty-five and fifty," and people in their thirties answered, "Between forty-five and sixty."

 

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:

описывать, среднего возраста, подросток, малыш, ребенок, взрослый, молодая женщина (мужчина), голосовать, зависеть от, сколько вам лет, правительство, недавний опрос.

 

Ex. 3 Match the following words and word combinations according to their meaning:

teenager

a person old enough to vote, marry

middle-age

a young human being

baby

a very young child

child

a person between 13 and 19 years of age

an adult

the period between youth and old age

 

Ex. 4 Which is the odd word out?

a)      quiet – loyal – responsible – sincere – young;

b)      broad – narrow – high – low – middle-aged;

c)      handsome – nice – pretty – beautiful – ugly;

d)      a man – a woman – a child – a baby – a girl – a son

 

Comprehension Exercises

Ex. 1 Decide whether these statements are true or false:

1.      When people are asked their age, they usually answer with a number.

2.      If someone tells you that he or she is middle-aged, you know the exact age of the person.

3.      It is possible to call someone who is twelve a teenager.

4.      There is an exact age when a baby becomes a young child.

5.      Some governments say that an adult is a person who can vote.

6.      When you get older, yours ideas change about when middle age begins.

 

Ex. 2 Think about

1.      What are some of the joys and problems of each age?

2.      Are you happy with your present age?

3.      How do you feel about growing older?

4.      How important is age? In marriage? In work?

 

Text 2

Beauty

How important is your appearance? Although everyone wants to be good-looking, are beautiful people always happier people? For example, it must be a problem to be a really beautiful woman, because some men may be more interested in looking at you than talking to you. They think of you as a picture rather than a person. There are also some people who think that women who are exceptionally pretty and men who are particularly handsome must be stupid. They believe that only unattractive people can be intelligent.

On the other hand, no one wants to be really ugly, and have a face that even your mother doesn't want to look at; and no one wants to be plain either — that is, to be neither attractive nor unattractive, and have a face that is easily forgotten.

Being attractive is like being rich — it can help you find happiness, but it doesn't always make you happy. So maybe the best thing is not to worry too much about how you look, but simply try to be an interesting person. For interesting people have interesting faces, and interesting faces are almost always attractive.

A. Decide whether these statements are true (T), false (F), or impossible to know (IK) according to the passage

1.  Everyone wants to be attractive.

2.  Most beautiful people are unhappy.

3.  No one likes to talk to a very pretty woman.

4.  Some people think that handsome men are unintelligent.

5.  Attractive men and women are usually intelligent.

6.  Ugly people are not happy people.

7.  A plain face is easily forgotten.

8.  Not many interesting people are also attractive.

 

B. Look at these common English expressions and then decide whether you agree with them.

a)   Your face is your fortune.

b)  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (i.e., the person who is looking).

 

C. Match the proverbs according to their meanings:

Beauty and the beast

спящая красавица

Beauty is but skin-deep

в этом то вся прелесть

Beauty is in the eye of the gazer

наружность обманчива

Sleeping beauty

не по хорошему мил, а по милу хорош

That’s the beauty of it

красавица и чудовище

 

Assignments

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

 

Most people assume that good looks are a passport to happiness, a sure lure for Mr. Right. But no, say Britain's prettiest women (as cars mount kerbs and men collide with lampposts behind them) - it's truly tough to be beautiful...

 

All little girls have one ambition in common: a desire to grow up to be pretty. Even children raised in out bold new equal-opportunity, post-feminist society perceive prettiness as the ultimate distinction in life - how else can you explain, after years on the toy-shop shelves, the continued commercial success of Sindy and Barbie?

When Mandy Smith was six years old she shared the same dream as every other girl of her generation, of every generation,

'I wanted to grow up to be the prettiest girl in the world. I had this fantasy that I was Miss World, I would go round to my grandmother's house to watch the contest on television and she would dress me up in an old curtain and crown me with a bit of tinsel and I would walk round the living room pretending I was the winner.'

What separates Mandy Smith from millions of other six-year-olds who long to be the prettiest girl in the world is the fact that by the time she was 14 she was a walking doll - maybe not Miss World, but a perfect Barbie babe.

And the experience has felt her, at 26, after 12 years of emotional pain and psychological distress, certain of one thing: life would have been easier and happier if her dream had not come true.

'No one ever talks about the pressures of prettiness. No one ever believes that there can be a down side to being good looking. The other day I was talking to a friend of mine - a clever, independent woman with a successful career - who had just had a baby girl and she said, "I just want one thing for her - that she should be pretty. If you're pretty, you'll get on in life; you're halfway there." I didn't say anything at the time but I left wondering if she had any idea what she was wishing on her daughter,' says Mandy.

Like the fairies gathered at the christening of Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, generation after generation of women still seem to believe that the most precious gift in life for a girl is good looks. But is it? Does prettiness bring with it the rewards you imagine as a child - success, happiness and a handsome prince? Or is it, rather than a gift, a poisoned chalice?

Glancing round Parliament or the upper echelons of British business, it would certainly seem that pretty women rarely make it to the top. Looks might help you get into a certain kind of profession, but they will not help you to get on professionally.

 

'Being pretty can be a curse'

Lis Howell, director of programmes for UK Living, believes that the single greatest British prejudice is against obviously good looks. The British find it very, very difficult to accept that an overfly pretty woman can also be intelligent or talented. I think it links back to a time in our society when a career was something you had when you couldn't get a man. If you were pretty, what the hell were you doing in the workplace? On top of that we have developed a kind of inverted snobbery because, although we led the way in women's education, it was essential for the educated Englishwoman to keep beauty at bay; the blue stocking stereotype persists even today. There is, among a certain class of woman in certain professions, a very real prejudice about obvious good looks: women who pursue that philosophy of "I am so clever I don't have to wash my hair, wear make-up or bother about my appearance at all." Those women, many of whom are now very powerful, regard women who do care about the way they look as trivial and insubstantial. I think you could accuse the royal family of the same prejudice about Princess Diana. Because she was pretty, they assumed that she was silly. In fact, in the early days of her marriage to Charles she too believed that she was stupid, when in fact, as we all now know, she is nothing of the kind.'

In place of the fabled glass ceiling, then, the overtly pretty woman comes up against the mirrored ceiling - if the image reflected back is too attractive, she is unlikely to progress.

 

Ex. 2 Text comprehension questions:

1.      What ambition do all little girls have in common?

2.      Did Mandy share the same dream as every other girl of her generation?

3.      What pressures of prettiness did Mandy suffer from?

4.      Do people believe that there can be a down side to being good looking?

5.      Do you believe that the most precious gift in life for a girl is good looks?

6.      Does prettiness bring with it success, happiness and a handsome prince?

7.      Do the British accept that pretty woman can also be intelligent or talented?

8.      Does the blue stocking stereotype persist today?

 

Assignment

Ex. 3 Express your opinion on the problem, give your reasons

People cannot equate prettiness with cleverness

Ewa Lewis, 48, society editor of Tatler and a renowned 70s beauty, came up against 'pretty prejudice' when she was working as a marketing psychologist in a large advertising agency.

'My job and my looks were not compatible. I had a difficult time. I worked hard, I came up against male antagonism and I had to suppress my personality. I noticed that the person who had all the fun was the receptionist, who was always laughing and smiling and surrounded by men. So I gave up psychology and became a receptionist

'I had the most marvellous time: I was taken out to lunch every day, men would bring me flowers and chocolates, and the more frivolous and trivial I was, the more they admired me. I remember this funny little man leaving me flowers and saying, "I wouldn't dream of asking you out, but you are the most lovely thing I have ever seen."

'Pretty women get sidetracked. I wanted to be sidetracked, to go along with it But perhaps now I do resent the way in which the British can only appreciate good looks in situations where they believe them to be relevant - in my case, it was behind a reception desk, although it might be in theatre, modelling, or television. But they cannot equate prettiness with cleverness. That combination frightens and threatens people,' says Ewa.

 

Ex. 4 Sum up the differences in understanding attractiveness by men and women. Give your own ideas.

 

Ex. 5 What do you notice first about a person when you meet him or her for the first time?

 

Ex. 6 Discuss the points:

1.      What is the problem with judging people from first impressions?

2.      What stereotypical images do some English people have? What about Russian ones?

3.      Are we often guilty of judging people by their appearance?

 

Ex. 7 Read and discuss the text

Denise Kingsmill, 48, a partner in Denton Hall solicitors, is aware that physical attractiveness, for serious businesswomen, is a double-edged sword. 'Although I wouldn't dream of saying that I was pretty, I recognise that attractive women in business have to be careful. I have reached a stage where my colleagues would not now look at me as an available woman, a possibility - they know it would be extremely foolish. But at a certain stage they didn't - when your youth makes you apparently available and, hopefully, acquiescent I think I've been helped by the fact that I'm very tall -five foot ten - and I wear high heels so that I'm usually taller than the men I work with. I look as if I can punch where it might hurt. I may have been somewhat challenging to men.'

Even in those professions for which looks are a prerequisite, being too pretty can be a handicap. In television, for example, pretty girls might dominate our light entertainment viewing, but they rarely progress into serious broadcasting.

The viewing public loves those young pretty weathergirl types,' says Lis Howell, 'like Tania Bryer, or Ulrika Jonsson, who, as anyone who has seen her with Reeves and Mortimer will know, is actually bright and very quick-witted. But heaven help her if she ever decides that she might want to present Newsnight.'

If good looks, then, cannot win a girl success, can they at least make her happier than more ordinary women? Every pretty fairytale princess, after all, was always expected to live happily ever after.

 

Ex. 8 Study the verbs of seeing:

examine, glance, look at, search, watch, stare

 

Ex. 9 Replace the words:

look up, look after, look like, look for, look out, look into

 

Ex. 10 Talk about it

Do you think it matters what people look like or wear for certain jobs?

Do people in Russia have a stereotypical view of the way certain people look, dress, behave? Give some examples.

 

Text 3

Body Size and Body Parts

Mr and Mrs Smith were a very average couple. His name was John. Her name was Mary. They lived in an average-sized house and had two average children — one boy and one girl.

Were they tall? Mr and Mrs Smith were neither tall nor short. They were both average height. He was average height for a man and she was average height for a woman.

Were they fat? Mr Smith was certainly not weak or skinny, but he was not strong or well-built either. He was just medium build and his shoulders and chest were neither very broad nor very narrow. His wife, too, could never be described as thin or slim, but then again, she was not overweight or fat either. Her waist was neither too big nor too narrow. It was just... average size.

It was very easy for Mr and Mrs Smith to buy clothes because part of their bodies was average size too. Their feet were neither very big nor very small. Their hips were not too wide. And their legs were neither too short nor too long.

Yes, the Smiths were a very average couple. Except for one thing. They were the only couple in the country who were average in so many ways at the same time. The Smiths were in fact... unique.

A. Decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F) according to the passage.

1.   Mr and Mrs Smith had two children named John and Mary.

2.   Mr Smith was very tall.

3.   Mrs Smith was average height.

4.   Mr Smith was a skinny man.

5.   Mrs Smith probably weighed about 160 pounds.

6.   Mrs Smith had a very small waist.

7.   Mr Smith had average-sized feet.

8.   The Smiths were completely average.

B. Think about

1.  What is the average height for men and women in your country? Is it changing?

2.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of being either very tall or very short?

3.  Can you think of some good ways of keeping these parts of the body in good condition: heart, lungs, skin, bone, muscle?

4.  Describe some ways of losing weight.

 

Physical Description

 

Vocabulary Practice

 

Ex. 1 Match the pictures to the correct texts (A-D)

 

Ex. 2 Read and study the texts (A-D) and complete the table with words from the texts.

A. Alexander Dmitrievitch is a tall, handsome, broad-shouldered and strong man with dark clever eyes and a very great forehead. He's always clean-shaved and immaculately dressed: a white shirt, a dark well-creased suit with a matching tie and black leather shoes.

 

B. His sister Natasha is neither tall nor small. She is middle-sized and plump. She has an oval face touched with freckles in summer. When she smiles two pretty dimples appear in her rosy cheeks. Natasha has big hazel eyes and thick long eyelashes. Her eyebrows are dark and pencilled, her nose is turned up. Her hair is rather long, chestnut, thick and plaited. When she's home alone she spends much time before the mirror changing fantastic hairstyles and trying her mother's best dresses on.

 

C. Anna Victorovna is a slim, elegant and charming middle-aged woman who does her best to look younger than she is. She has rather small features and a fair complexion. She likes to be well dressed. She uses an expensive make-up: her long eyelashes are usually darkened with French mascara. She prefers to wear simple jewelry—small earrings, a matching necklace and rings. She likes pink nail-varnish, high-heeled shoes and fashionable clothes. Her favourite colours are green and light blue.

 

D. Volodya is tall enough for his age. He has a high forehead, a straight nose and a protruding chin. But unlike his father he doesn't like formal clothes, he prefers to dress casually, in jeans, pullovers, sweaters and trainers.

 

 Personal Appearance

 

Clothes Hair Skin Parts of the face

General appearance

Build

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

 

Ex. 3 Add the following words to the diagram. Use a dictionary if necessary.

wavy pretty, ponytail, pale, plain, over-weight, plait, wrinkles, skinny, balding, shoulder-length, ugly, sun-tanned, sports, freckles, bun, bushy, drooping, moustache, beautiful, curly

 

Ex. 4 Decide which of the words in Ex. 3 are adjectives and which are nouns. Then choose two or three of the words to fit in each sentence.

Example:

1. She wears her hair in a _______

She wears her hair in a ponytail/plait/bun.

2. His/her hair is _________

3. She doesn’t like her skin because she’s got _______

4. She’s on special diet because she is ___________

5. Unlike his brother, who’s rather thin, he’s tall and __________

6. The best models always seem to be ___________

 

Comprehension Exercises

Ex. 1 Read the texts (A,B) and then answer the questions by putting a tick next to the correct name in the table below.

A. John took after his father in appearance and character. His face is long and thin (square). His features are regular and stern a bit. His complexion is ruddy (fair, dark, clear). His forehead is broad (doomed) and high (law, narrow). He has got large (small) wide-set (close-set) and deep -set eyes (bulging eyes). They are hazel (green, steel-grey). People remember his eyes because they are piercing (curious, prying). His nose is straight (aquiline, hooked). His chin is pointed protruding, round, square). His cheeks are hollow (plump, chubby). He has got thin (full, thick) lips. He is a brunette (blond). He has got chestnut (auburn, red, dark, black) straight thick (thin) hair.

 

B. Jane looks like (resembles) her mother. She is a blue-eyed girl. Everybody admires her expressive shining eyes. She has got thick long curving eyelashes. Her eyebrows are pencilled (bushy, arched), her nose is small and snub (turned up). Jane has plump cheeks with dimples in them. She never worries about her hairdo (hairstyle), because she has got beautiful, long, thick, curly (wavy) hair. She thinks she would look nicer with a short haircut, and she wants to change the colour of her hair, but her mother doesn't let her to do it. To look more attractive she sometimes wears makeup: she puts a little black mascara on her eyelashes and some eye shadow on her eyelids. She hates lipstick and never applies it (puts it on) because she believes that her well-cut lips are good enough.

 

Who had:

1.      a long thin face?

2.      piercing eyes?

3.      long, curving eyelashes?

4.      a small, snub nose?

5.      a pointed chin?

6.      cheeks with dimples?

7.      thick, straight hair?

8.      well-cut lips?

 

Who resembles:

9.      the mother?

10.  the father?

11.  blue?

12.  wide-set?

 

 

John

Jane

1.        

 

 

2.        

 

 

3.        

 

 

4.        

 

 

5.        

 

 

6.        

 

 

7.        

 

 

8.        

 

 

9.        

 

 

10.    

 

 

11.    

 

 

12.    

 

 

 

Ex. 2 Give the Russian equivalents to the English ones

1. He saw a tall, handsome woman dressed with careful and expensive informality in a black cashmere sweater with a silk scarf at the throat and fawn trousers... It was a distinguished face with deep-set eyes beneath straight brows, a well-shaped, rather secretive mouth and strong, greying hair swept upwards and curled into a chignon.

Note: chignon — a type of hairstyle popular with older women. The hair is twisted into a kind of knot at the back of the head.

2. She wore a pale blue sweater and a gray flannel skirt, schoolgirl's clothes, which made her seem younger than her age. She was about twenty-five. Her face was framed by thick hair, in a colour midway between blonde and brown, and held back by a black velvet band. The skin was fine and she had large, rather beautiful dark blue eyes, with long colourless lashes.

 

Ex. 3 Make up a story using the vocabulary of the Unit 3

 

 

Ex. 4 Make up your own stories.

 

Ex. 5 Translate the text using the dictionary if necessary

Сами родинки и места их расположения тоже могут многое рассказать о человеке. Так утверждают цыгане, которые умеют "читать" по родинкам. Даже если ты абсолютно в это не веришь, пусть такой эксперимент станет предлогом - ты получишь доступ к телу любимого.

Лоб: - ум, слава и благополучие, эксцентричность и безответственность

Уши: безрассудство

Брови: долгий счастливый брак бережливость

Щеки: счастливый брак, жизненные трудности, борьба

Около рта: чувствительность

Нос: Большая удача и сексуальность

Руки: успех, финансовые затруднения

Плечи: тяжелые времена

Спина: искренность, щедрость, высокомерие

Живот: эгоизм, лень жадность

Таз: здоровые дети

Бедра: душевная теплота, способность любить, счастливый брак, здоровье

Колени: счастливый брак, удача в делах, безрассудство

Ступни: любовь к путешествиям, ум

 

Study Parts

Adjective word order

 

When describing people’s appearance, the following order of adjectives is generally correct. It is unusual in speech to combine more than two or three adjectives before a noun.

Eyes: quality+size+shape+colour

Big blue eyes

Beautiful blue eyes

 

Clothes: quality+size+shape+colour+material

A smart green jacket

A long-sleeved black woolen sweater

 

Hair: quality+length+texture+style+colour

Shoulder-length wavy brown hair

Lovely thick blonde hair

 

Adjectival phrases

 

Preposition in is used with age. E.g. a man in his forties

Preposition in is used with hair. E.g. her hair in a plait

 

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