New PDF release: Beauty Is the Beast: Appearance Impaired Children in America

New PDF release: Beauty Is the Beast: Appearance Impaired Children in America

By Ann Hill Beuf

Examines the stigmatism of youngsters who deviate from appropriate American criteria for actual visual appeal. Beuf analyzes either the consequences of this stigmatization on little ones and the thoughts used to deal with it.

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Extra info for Beauty Is the Beast: Appearance Impaired Children in America

Sample text

We Page x also observed some differences between social groups: girls were more concerned with cosmetic change, boys with the ability to participate in sports; children of different age levels were more or less worried about appearance. During the early 1970s, I began a study of eating disorders in adolescent and college-age women. During this research, as one pathetic-looking anorexic after another told me of the approval her initial acts of self-starvation had generated, I began to see the importance of cultural beliefs, attitudes, and values in determining how people with "different" appearances are treated.

While I attempt in this book to isolate the effects of impaired appearance alone, we must not forget that, in many instances, appearance impairment is associated with pain and dysfunction. These are certainly deficits when it comes to coping, as they may interfere with the child's ability to develop a sense of personal competency and effectiveness, and in general may drain the child's stamina and energy and contribute to feelings of depression or withdrawal. Psychological Resources Children's humor, self-esteem, intelligence, creativity, and enthusiasm are all important weapons in the arsenal against despair.

In other places they have been taught complicated concerti and long multiplication tables. Barbara Kaye Greenleaf, Children Through the Ages, p. iv The previous chapter presented a model that allows us to assess the child's ability to respond to impaired appearance (Figure I). We saw that social and psychological resources, level of social interaction, and the physiological aspects of the impairment all play roles in determining the child's ability to cope. At the top of the diagram, over-arching all these factors, is the general nature of the cultural system within which the child must live.

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