Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?

1. Introduction

There's an old saying that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." This saying implies that beauty is a relative concept and the judgment of a person's beauty is totally a personal preference. However, some people believe that physical beauty can be described by absolute standards using mathematical formulas (Phi ratio) [1, 2].

That is the debate for physical or external beauty, how about inner beauty? Are there any criteria for inner beauty?

2. Discussion: Criteria of a beautiful woman?

External beauty

  • Talking about external beauty, do you believe that there're absolute standards for a beautiful woman?
  • If you think that standards of beauty change over time and geography, what do you think are the current standards of physical beauty in 21st century's Vietnam?
  • Do you think that TV advertisements and Korean soap operas give us impossibly high standards of beauty? How does that affect our self-image and self-confidence?

Internal beauty

  • Recently, Miss Vietnam 2008 Tran Thi Thuy Dung is not allowed to compete in Miss World 2008 because she is not yet a high-school graduate. But she's still allowed to keep her Miss Vietnam title. What's your opinion on this?
  • What do you think of The Traditonal Four Criteria ("Công": Good home-making skills, "Dung": Appropriate appearance, "Ngôn": Proper Language, "Hạnh": Good character)?
  • Do you think that women in 21st century's Vietnam must still put her family before her career?


Beholder (noun):
Khán giả, người ngắm.
Personal preference (phrasal noun):
Sở thích/quan điểm cá nhân.
External/Physical beauty (phr. noun):
Vẻ đẹp hình thể
Inner beauty (phr. noun):
Vẻ đẹp nội tâm
Soap opera (phr. noun):
Phim truyền hình nhiều tập có nội dung tình cảm ướt át.
Home-making (noun, adjective)
Nội trợ, thuộc về nội trợ.
1. "The Math Behind the Beauty",
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