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English Conversation – Beauty

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 @ 03:08 PM
posted by Jo


This is the preparation material for an English conversation lesson about beauty and physical attractiveness.

Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction.  Something is beautiful if it is nice to look at it, hear it, feel it, taste it, smell it or think about it. The characterization of a person as “beautiful” is often based on some combination of inner beauty, which includes psychological factors such as personality, intelligence, politeness, charisma, integrity and elegance, and outer beauty (i.e. physical attractiveness) which includes physical attributes.  Standards of beauty have changed over time, based on changing cultural values. Historically, paintings show a wide range of different standards for beauty. However, humans who are relatively young, with smooth skin, well-proportioned bodies, and regular features, have traditionally been considered the most beautiful throughout history. 

Audio Discussion

Download audio discussion about beauty treatments

Download transcript of audio discussion

* Audio courtesy of elllo.org

  • What do you think of Jess’s beauty regime? Do you think it is over-the-top?
  • What benefits do you think Jess receives from the different beauty treatments she has?
  • Do you think someone has to be rich to look after their beauty?

Expressions and Idioms

  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - different people will find different things beautiful
  • Beauty is only skin deep - physical beauty is superficial and is not as important as a person's intellectual, emotional, and spiritual qualities.
  • Nip and tuck – a cosmetic surgery operation
  • To go under the knife – to have a medical operation

Conversation Questions

  • What is your definition of beauty?
  • What do you think of the proverb, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder?"
  • Do you think people from different countries than you see beauty the same way?
  • Do you think people spend too much time and money on beauty? In what ways?
  • What do you think is a reasonable amount of time to spend on making yourself look better?
  • Does beauty affect one's success in life?
  • Is it better to be beautiful or intelligent?
  • Is it better to be beautiful or wealthy?
  • Which do you think is more important – inner beauty or outer beauty?
  • Do you think self-esteem affects beauty?
  • Do you think beauty affects self-esteem?
  • What are some advantages of being beautiful?
  • What are some of the disadvantages of being beautiful?
  • Do you think beautiful people have better lives?
  • What are some things people do to improve their attractiveness?
  • How popular is plastic surgery in your country?
  • What do you think of people who have plastic surgery?
  • What should the minimum age be for having plastic surgery?
  • Are beauty pageants good or bad?
  • Should children be entered into beauty pageants?
  • Do you think one gender or group worries more about beauty than another?
  • What do you think of celebrities who get plastic surgery?
  • Do you think some people are addicted to plastic surgery?
  • Do you think that models portray an unrealistic image of beauty? Why/not?
  • Studies suggest that beautiful people get better salaries and more frequent promotions than the average person. Why do you think this is?
  • Why do some people spend a lot of money on products that promise beauty?
  • Would you ever consider going under the knife to make yourself more attractive?
  • If you had an accident that left you horribly disfigured, how do you think it would affect your life? Would you have plastic surgery?
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