Understanding Beauty in Different Ways

I spend several hours on reading this article, but it’s too long and too hard for me to understand. Though there are more content covered in this paper,I want to talk the first half which I already comprehend well.

The writer want to analyze an ad which a naked beauty posted on New Yorker.  She cited three other writers work and analyzed this ad with their logic.

The first writer is William with his book The Non-Designer’s Design Book. He offers four design principles, contract, repetition, alignment and proximity to explain our feelings about this ad. He explained why does our attention draw by the woman on the ad, even special part of her body by using contrast. The lightest part of this photo is on the woman’s butt, and all other parts are too dark. Also it’s a round shape, and the shape of text block in this ad is also round shape, this repetition creates a sense of harmony.

The second writer is Arnheim, he suggest that we understand the world largely by our bodily experience. For instance, he stress that the force of gravity play a important role. We experience it every day and it can affect us potentially. Because of the gravity, we consider horizontal objects as stable and clam, and vertical shapes are more active, which give viewers a feeling of energy. That explained the pleasure when we see that straightly stand woman. Also we consider pointed shape dangerous than rounded shape, and the shape of the woman’s body is rounded.

The third writer is Bang who think the naked woman imply the image of mothers. We feel comfortable with being together with our mom and this feeling be revoked when we see this ad.

Though Wysocki argued with all of these theories, and her argue is meaningful, I still consider these different ways of understanding this ad are valuable. More understanding with these theories can be very helpful when we want to create something new. We can attract audience attention in many different ways and approach a good result by integrating them.

The example is also an ad. It’s a ad of french fries. A woman holding a cup of french fries standing in the middle. The text is read fries in a faked world. My first idea is that this advertisement use the woman’s unusual sized breast to draw audience attention and they will see the french fries nearby, and then the advertising which suggest the breast is faked and compared it with a real good french fries. Now I can see more, like they set the focus point at the middle of ad, because people prefer look at the middle and consider it as critical. Also the breast is the lightest part contract with the darker parts and shadow of body. There are some secrets hidden under this  advertisement.


My question is the value of people can vary across culture and theory, and we need make change base on it for sure. What value or principle is consistent and what is always changed?


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