Inquiry into

What does it mean to be beautiful?


This afternoon I had interesting lesson on the perspectives of beauty in relation to different cultures and traditions.

I started my lesson by asking students “What does it mean to be beautiful”. I wrote it on the whiteboard and I asked my students to discuss in pairs about the questions. They may draw or write their opinion about that questions.

It was very interesting that students can come up with:

  • Dara said that being beautiful means having a true heart
  • Vanessa said that Taylor Swift and Ms. Tantri are beautiful (lol. I was flattered and shy in the same time)
  • Matthew said that beautiful man is the one who is muscular
  • Ansell said that relationship is beautiful. When he said that, all of his friends were complaining and (you know) the pre teenagers tend to be shy to talk about this. – I was the listener and observer, and said to Ansell and the class that it is true that relationship is beautiful. Relationship can be defined as friendship, family relationship or love relationship- which is very humane.
  • Audrey said that being beautiful means good looking and clean.

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After that interesting discussion. I asked students to give their opinion or tell what they know about some beautiful women from some unique tribes.

I decided to play some videos of some beautiful women all over the world- which have unique perspectives of defining the beauty.

Here is the one found in Africa- the lip cut and lip plate. Some students came up with the words “scary”, “disgusting”. (Well, at least that’s my goal to make them being more tolerant after learning about different ritual and traditions- including the unique and “extreme” ones.

Next video was about the bound feet in China.

We also watched these videos:

Neck stretching in Myanmar:

Long ears

At the conclusion part, we had a class discussion some of my students came up with surprising inquiry:

  • Aldo and Matthew came with with a question why mostly women are being “tortured” in the traditions, why not men.
  • Audrey thinks that women are being the object in some traditions or cultures

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