(From 9 countries)
USA: Rick, Jami | Iran: Hanieh, Elham, Behnam, Zeinab, Zibar, Rojhano, Nesa, Bahar | Argentina: Johny | India: Kratika | Indonesia: Hastin | Tunisia: Amin | Pakistan: Ayisha | Algeria: Soso | Russia: Sersh.
Panel PRO (Team A): Zeinab, Kratika, Jami, Zivar, Elham, Rojhano
Panel CON (Team B): Amin
Audience (Team C): Hastin, Johny, Nesa, Bahar, Seif
Just listening; Henieh
Team A summary
Zeinab: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, teenage girls are expected to have a perfect body. A perfect body though can mean different thing depending on the country.
Kratika: girls try to follow their movie idols. Girls are influenced by the celebrities and they always try to follow their favorite ones. Most girls think that if they have the same figure as their movie stars, they would get more marriage proposals and they would have more confidence. Sometimes they also get pressure from their partners (boyfriends) to maintain their shape. Nevertheless, beauty fades over time. Internal beauty is immortal and more important than external beauty.
Jami: We are adults and we should be able to make our own decision and not be so much influenced by TV and magazines. Some people are highly influenced by what they see and hear.
Zivar: In the past, women didn’t have much to make due so they needed to rely on their beauty to attract a man and have a good life. Nowadays women have acquired more rights and are formally educated and they have more things to rely on but the habit of putting pressure on their beauty still lingers.
Elham: it’s a weird logic to say that because people put pressure about many things, this pressure is okay. We decide upon what we see, our eyes see and the brain decides. There are pressures present in arts, magazines, movies where they show perfect women. Some people who see these movies or magazines feel bad when they don’t have those bodies. Even husbands ask their wives why they don’t have that body and they request them to go to gym or dye their hair. Most divorces are rooted in this. In Iran, nose esthetic surgery is very common. People don’t accept the way they are.
Rojhano: When we look at photos in magazines and social media, we know they are not 100% real but we still strive to have those bodies because we know men like it. But the pressure not only comes from men but from the ladies as well. Women and girls compete with one another about who is sexier. The pressure comes from society yes but the biggest one comes from the way we see ourselves, from our inside.
Team B summary
Amin: Society puts pressure about everything. People often ask, “When will you buy your first car? When will you have your own house? When will you find job? When will you have your university degree? When will you marry?” There is no special pressure on women, the pressure they get is the same pressure we all get; they are just about different things. Women just need to be confident about their own body, whatever their figure is like and the pressure will mean nothing. We are the only ones responsible for the barriers we create in our minds.
Team C summary
Hastin: Many women go through plastic surgery and even use Botox to have a more appealing appearance. Some women care so much about their figure that they put themselves under a strict diet which causes bulimia. In Islam, it is mandatory for all women to have good body in accordance to the Muslim men’s view of a good female figure.
Johny: We see it In advertisings, in movies, magazines and other places where people put “special” people there in order to attract people, such as in advertising about beer (in western societies) where they show to the audience what the preferred type of female body is, for men.
· Hastin: Team A.
· Johny: Team A.
Team A won this debate.
Rick’s take away: A lot of this has to do with our culture and countries we live in. A lot of social pressure is upon the environment we’re in. But some of them are not. There’s nothing wrong to want to keep a shape. We are who we are. One thing is to change the color of your eyes or hair to go with what is accepted and another thing is to do exercise to be healthy and maintain a fit body. We should do it for ourselves; we shouldn’t do it for other people. Who you are and having confidence in who you are, whether you are man or woman, should be based upon what you feel good about, not wat other people think. People who are always chasing somebody else’s image or what attraction is are people who are not in control of their own lives. And self-confidence has a lot to do with it.
Thanks everyone for participating. Below are the links to listen to this discussion.