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Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

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Activity 5

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

Text A
Text A
It’s all much worse for younger people. “They’re at a stage at which they’re trying to define themselves,” Dr Apter explains. “They’re trying out different personalities. There’s a dissonance between how they want to be and who they have tried to be. [...] They can’t escape selfies, and they feel they need ‘likes’, ‘retweets’ and ‘favourites’ on their pictures to feel that they are interesting. It is a terrifying thought that young people measure their self-worth in terms of ‘likes’ on their selfies, but it is a 21 st century reality. [...] Of course, it doesn’t outweigh the worries about negative body image and their wobbling sense of self-definition. [...] Rembrandt did a lot of self-portraits and he ended up as a hugely celebrated artist, so perhaps the selfie‑snappers of today will have bright futures ahead of them too.

“Why we really take selfies”, Radhika Sanghani, The Telegraph, 2014.
Text B
Text B
What’s that they told you
About a book & a cover?
Don’t judge so quickly,
Is it too much to remember?
‘Cause pictures lie,
you know.
I’ll show
it’s so.
Just give it one thought.

What’s that they taught you?
To revere a kind of beauty?
To paint on that pretty veneer
and try to hide whatever’s dirty?
Well, faces lie.
You’ll see
no sympathy.
Just give it one thought.

A Book and A Cover, Suzanne Vega, 1987.
Text C
Text C
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Endymion, John Keats, 1818.
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You are in charge of one text.

Workbook p. 53

What type of document is it? What does it deal with?

How is beauty defined and by whom?

What is denounced about people’s appearances and self-images?

Useful vocabulary: Personally, I would say that...
According to me…
I suppose / I assume....
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Let's talk this out!


Share your findings with your classmates and learn about the other documents.

Compare and contrast the view of beauty and personality in the three texts.

How important is it to feel and appear beautiful? How much do you care about beauty yourself?

Useful vocabulary: While in text A, in text B,...
It is highly / rather important…
It matters / doesn’t matter a lot to me, because...
Unlike / contrary to…
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Over to you!

No one is as they appear to be

Let’s use what you have learnt in and or in !

You have a friend or relative whose self-image matters a lot, and who post a lot of selfies on social networks.

You have decided to speak to them about the dangers of it. Imagine your conversation.
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