Exotic Beauty


Beauty is defined as: “the quality present in a thing or a person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind”. Through beauty, people are able to express themselves, communicate an idea or belief, or simply attract other people. Depending on what part of the world you are, or the religion or the time period, beauty will be expressed differently; especially if you are comparing a city with a tribe. On the other hand, medium is defined as: “the means of communication that reach or influence people widely”. Beauty is considered to be a media because people use it to express themselves or a desire. In today’s society, beauty is seen as a trend. What most women consider to be beautiful depends on what they see in the magazines or through celebrities. However, in some African and Asian cultures, men and women consider beauty to be something completely different.

In Kayan Lahwi, a woman that has an elongated neck is considered to be beautiful. They are able to do this by placing spiral metal coils around their neck. These women gradually increase the coils up to twenty-five turns in order to stretch their necks. The primary reason for wearing the neck rings is for beauty. Also, it ensures that Kayan women will marry only someone from her same tribe. This type of beauty is not common in our society, but in Kanyan women see it as a way to express their beauty or that they are part of the tribe. The National Geographic channel filmed a girl that had her neck rings removed: Taboo: Neck Rings (from National Geographic Channel).

Another type of beauty that is not commonly seen in our society is foot binding. This tradition is seen in Chinese cultures and consists of tightly binding the feet of young girls in order to prevent growth; the average length of the foot is three inches long. This tradition became popular when men considered it very attractive in women. Women who had tiny feet were seen as beautiful as well as elegant; the movements they made while walking was very graceful and delicate. Besides representing beauty, having the tiny foot was a prerequisite in order to find a husband. Elegant daughters who wanted to be brought up as a lady normally had their foot banded because it was the door to marry into money and represented freedom from manual labor.

It is important for us to consider these exotic beauties as part of the media because women are able to express their beauty in order to find a husband or express the life they want to live. Using beauty as a medium is a metaphor of the persons mind; it shapes how a culture sees beauty. As Postman express in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death: “each medium makes possible a unique mode of disclosure by providing a new orientation for though, for expression, for sensibility”. Women from these tribes and culture are able to express their thoughts and feelings by altering their bodies and making them beautiful for their tribes. Traditions and beliefs is what creates the content of what is beautiful in culture.


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