Group Discussion: Beauty, Looks and Physical Appearance

As promised, here is part two of the discussion on beauty, looks and physical appearance!  This part deals with the actual questions and answers.  Please take a look and if you have any questions or your own opinions, please share them with me on twitter or in the comments section!  Thanks!

1. How do you define beauty?

The students said it depends on the individual. One student defined it as enjoying the way something looks. One student said that whatever your type is is beautiful. One student said he thinks women are more beautiful without make up. One student defined beauty quite broadly. Another student thought cute girls were more dependent, but beautiful girls were more independent. He thought cute girls were more immature than beautiful girls.

2. Do you think people in other countries define beauty in the same way as Japanese people?

The students think that in some ways they do, in some ways they don’t. For example, temple lodgings seem very simple and ordinary to Japanese people, but to foreigners, they seem beautiful. One student said he thought Japanese men prefer cute girls but foreign men prefer beautiful girls. He also thought inner beauty was more important to foreigners than to Japanese.

3. How many adjectives can you think of to describe an attractive person?

The students thought of: good-looking, beautiful, cute, and handsome. But there are many more! We also say sexy, beautiful, gorgeous, lovely, nice-looking, adorable, pretty, foxy and so on.

4. Who do you think is the most beautiful person in your country? In the world?

The students thought about this question very seriously! The students named Hitomi Kuroki, Nanako Matsushima and Nozomi Sasaki as the most beautiful women in Japan (we had all male students this week!). As far as non-Japanese women, the students named Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Taylor Swift and Natalie Portman among the most beautiful women.

5. What is “inner beauty”?

One of the students included physical attractiveness as inner beauty. Other students included intelligence, strength, independence, kindness, honesty, and grace. One student thought quiet people have inner beauty!

6. How important is beauty to you?

Most of the students said it wasn’t very important to them. Some students thought women worry more about beauty, but others thought men and women both worry about it equally.

7. Is it better to be physically attractive or intelligent? Physically attractive or wealthy?

Most students thought it’s better to be intelligent or wealthy than physically attractive, but one student thought it’s better to be physically attractive than intelligent.

8. Do people spend too much time or money on beauty?

The students think so. One student said it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to get yourself ready, whether you’re a man or a woman.

9. What are some advantages of being beautiful? What are some drawbacks?

One student said being beautiful makes others feel good. The students couldn’t think of any drawbacks!

So what do you think?  Do you agree with the students?  Who do you think is the most beautiful person?  Is beauty important?  More important than intelligence or wealth?  Are there any possible drawbacks to being attractive?  Let me know!

I’m also going to include one more part, since the Q&A was quite short this week.  Here it is:

Grammatical errors:
*ADJ is ADJ.

I often hear sentences constructed like this:

– Intelligent is good.

– Rich is very easy.

– Kind is very good thing.

These are simple grammatical errors.  The subjects are only adjectives, but adjectives cannot be used alone.  They must be used with nouns, or converted into nouns themselves.  So how can you do that?  There are two ways:

A. Many adjectives have distinct noun forms.  For example, we could say:

– Kindness is a very good thing.

– Intelligence is good.

– Happiness is important.

B. But many adjectives don’t have noun forms, or the noun forms mean something different.  The easiest way to fix this problem is by adding “being”:

Being rich is very easy.

Being kind is a very good thing.

– Being intelligent is good.

There!  Now we have perfect English expressions!

That’s all for today!  Tomorrow I will go over some more natural English expressions as well as communication problems that we encountered this week!  See you then!

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