Beauty and Society [General Paper / O-level English]

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beauty (GP/ O level)


For General Paper and even O- level English, it is not uncommon for candidates to be questioned on their thoughts regarding certain preoccupations within modern society. One of which is the pursuit of beauty and the obsession with appearance.

We would like to think of modern society as one that is increasingly liberal, open-minded and focused on loftier ideas. Yet, perennial problems continue to persist in most societies such as materialism, and for the purpose of this article, a fixation on appearance and beauty. We should examine whether despite calls for a more reflective society and an education system that focuses on character development, is our society still too obsessed with beauty? And if we are, what are the social impacts on Singapore? Such considerations are useful for AQ related questions.

Undeniably, the proliferation of beauty spas and aesthetic clinics in Singapore points to the very strong market for aesthetic treatments. For many, to look stunning is a reflection of success. Yet, the struggle and efforts to achieve such aesthetic refinement, whether through artificial or natural means has, we would argue, had an adverse impact on modern society. This in turn has often led to discussions whether modern society still promotes the pursuit of shallow and sometimes harmful obsessions; contrary to what is being promoted in schools and social campaigns. More importantly, we can argue that this pursuit creates a  . . .  [section truncated. Filed under GP notes]

A troubling phenomenon in modern times is that of the serious health risks and injuries, even deaths, for many who seek desperately to conform to society notions of beauty that they seek to achieve it at the expense of their health.

At this stage, students should utilise examples on how young girls are constantly being bombarded by ubiquitous images of wafer-thin supermodels and celebrities who have created the mistaken belief that to be beautiful is to be unnaturally thin.

They should elaborate and provide strong evaluative statements how such practices are harmful (so as to ensure the essay stays relevant) – such as highlighting how these ‘ideals’ unsurprisingly and tragically, results in health problems such as anorexia and bulimia which have become increasingly widespread. They should cite local statistics that such psychological issues have become so problematic that school teachers are trained to spot signs of these among their students.  Remembering to to close the loop, students should re-emphasise how the extent of this growing social problem is perhaps testement to the  . .  . [truncated. Filed under GP notes]

To add additional substantiation, the students perhaps could comment on how the rapid growth of the cosmetics industry and the immense market for beauty products as well as cosmestic surgery is a reflection of society’s ceaseless appetite in the pursuit of beauty. The growing male cosmetics market is another example to further reinforce the argument that the modern women and , increasingly, men, have been splurging ridiculous amounts on beauty products in a bid to achieve perfection or satisfy their vanity. Furthermore, cosmetic surgery has also evolved from being a limited luxury for the privileged few, to a quick and artificial means of becoming beautiful for countless individuals who are dissatisfied with their looks. With the growing demand, it can be argued that . . .  [truncated. Filed under GP notes]

To add variety, the aspiring GP student can also argue from the perspective of other stakeholders. From the feminist’s view, the quest for beauty places unrealistic expectations and pressure on people, especially women.

But are there basis for it? It is only superficial? Counter examples could include how research has shown that even infants, who are not influenced by media or stereotypes are more receptive to people whose faces . . .

End of excerpt – For GP tuition / O-level English content

Knowledge Skills – Subject Specialists for General Paper Tuition and  O-Level English Tuition

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