Is physical beauty a capital like any other?

Is physical beauty a capital like any other?

At first glance, the physical attraction attributed to one person or another, a source of desire and romantic relationships, seems to be essentially subjective. It is indeed the “me”, which makes a judgment and values ​​”being-beautiful” chosen by distinction to others. Yet this attribute – beauty of body, of appearance, of perceptible form producing an impression – is, of all the manifestations of the person, the one which is socially held to signify most adequately the deep nature of the other. So can it be objectified and measured, at least within the framework of a given time and place?

If so, physical beauty actively participates in defining the individual in the social field and would be subject to one of the social classification systems. This is the hypothesis that we will explore this evening.

So, is beauty a capital like any other? Does she have underestimated or overestimated power? Its link with success, or the absence of success, is it taboo?

To explore these questions Quentin Lafay receives William Valleteconomist, lecturer at the Grenoble Economics Research Center, Jean-Francois Amadieu, sociologist of work, professor at the School of Management of the University of Paris I, and Clotilde Leguil, professor at the Department of Psychoanalysis of Paris 8 Saint Denis, philosopher and psychoanalyst of the School of the Freudian Cause.

William Vallet notices that there is an increasingly strong referentialization of beauty. “For 10 years in particular with the development of social networks, there has been a very strong and ephemeral reference to some of the physical elements, we value ourselves on the labor market or a symbolic market within social interactions. There are things that change, compared to the obese body, it was that of the bourgeois classes of the early 20th century, today it refers to popular categories, symbol of a non-productive physique, today the references are between adaptable flexible muscles, malleable.”

Jean-Francois Amadieu on the objectification of beauty. “The method we use is to ask people, panels of observers is what you find this attractive person beautiful compared to others. So we identify shared preferences in globalized ways today, this does not does not mean that everyone has personal preferences, but we have an average. There is a correlation between the class, the size of men for example there is a difference between social groups, the same for the body mass index , obesity is concentrated in France on the most disadvantaged groups. Also beauty is the means to preserve it, Princess Kate in England must spend every day maintaining her beauty.”

For Clotilde Leguilbeauty implies a relationship with the other. “To experience oneself as endowed with beauty is to feel oneself looked at at least by the other, it is not entirely an objective quality. It is true that our time promotes beauty as a commodity which is akin to a form of superego, women in particular concentrate on equaling a certain image on the networks. There is a double movement of questioning on the one hand, questioning standards of beauty, assignments, and on the other hand there is a consent to transform oneself to modify one’s body more youthfully through cosmetic surgery, to standardize one’s face in accordance with the standards of digital beauty, which is more akin to an avatar than to reality.” Concerning the relation to the other Leguil reminder that the relationship with the other is above all a linguistic relationship. “Narcissism is correlated with the love one can have for the image of one’s body, the way one invests one’s body. But it seems to me that when it comes to dating, it doesn’t seem to me that it can be reduced to a capital, the meeting passes by the word, a sentence which is pronounced a said word which arouses the desire, the way of animating this body is important.

Leave a Comment