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Vocabulary Tasks

1 Complete the male/female chart for these words:

  • good-looking handsome pretty attractive beautiful ugly hideous plain

  • lean tanned muscular voluptuous well-built shapely

Male only

Female only


2a Which physical features do the following adjectives usually describe? Put them in as many columns as possible.

weak dark thinning pointed curly shiny

wide mean receding large bright protruding strong

generous square straight wiry appealing







1) Find people in your class who have got round, oval and square faces.

2) Explain the meaning of the following words: scars, moles, wrinkles, lines and freckles?

3) What colour of skin do people have if they are pale, tanned or sallow?

3 Match the words in list A with the words in list B. (Sometimes more than one answer is possible.)


a) smooth teeth

b) perfect eyes

c) sparkling bone structure

d) full in the cheeks

e) a big jaw

f) a turned-up lips

g) good nose

h) high skin

i) a square cheekbones

j) dimples smile


Five people were asked the question, 'What do you think makes a face attractive?” Read their answers and discuss the following questions:

1) What is it that makes the faces attractive in your opinion?

2) Where do five people’s opinions match or differ from your own?

3) What factors attract one person to another? Is it physical beauty, wealth or something else?

4) Is it true that opposites attract or are we attracted to people who are most like ourselves?

(I = Interviewer; W = woman; M = Man)


I: What do you think makes a face attractive?

Wl: Er, smooth skin, perfect teeth and sparkling eyes.


I: What do you think makes a face attractive?

Ml: Ooh, big eyes, full lips, oh, and a big smile.

I: Like Julia Roberts?

Ml: Exactly.


I: What do you think makes a face attractive?

W2: It's probably easier to say what I don't like. On a man, I don't like a small nose - it doesn't have to be enormous, but a little turned-up nose on a man looks silly.

I: So you don't like Brad Pitt then?

W2: Well, I like everything about him except his nose


I: What do you think makes a face attractive?

M2: Good bone structure. High cheekbones. For a woman, a small chin, and for a man, a square jaw.


1: What do you think makes a face attractive?

W3: Oh, I love dimples.

I: Dimples?

W3: Yeah. They're so cute.

I: Where do you like them?

W3: Oooh!

I: No, I mean where on the face - you know, do you like a dimple in the chin?

W3: Yeah, I quite like that, but I meant dimples in the cheeks when somebody smiles - oh, it's so cute.

Text 2


1) How can you explain the proverb: “Beauty is only skin deep”.

2) Would you say you care about your image?

3) Does it matter if one is not good-looking?

4) Do you think your appearance affects your life?

5) Think of three things that you would like to find out about the art of face analysis.



Is it really possible to judge someone's character from their face? The Chinese seem to think so. For over 2,000 years they have been practicing Siang Mien, which is the art of judging character and predicting fortune from an analysis of the face. It developed in the ancient imperial court of China and consisted of jealously guarded secrets that were passed from masters to a few chosen apprentices. The secrets of face analysis were hidden away in special books which only a few could look at.

These secrets cannot have been that well guarded and must have got out because practically all Chinese practise some form of face analysis. Mothers tell their daughters that men with flat noses and small ear lobes will make shy and rather dull husbands.

So how does this analysis work? Well, to start with, people's faces can be classified according to one of ten basic shapes, each of which has its own special name. A triangular face, for example, is called a fire-face. One which is square is known as a wall-face, while one which is diamond shaped is a jade-face. There are even bucket-faces!

Once the basic shape has been decided, then parts of the face such as the eyes, nose, chin and mouth can be analyzed in their turn. People who have not got conventional or beautiful faces should not worry, as ugly people tend to be lucky.

Anyway, let us see how Siang Mien works by using Princess Diana as a practical example. To begin with, we can say that she has got a jade-face which means that she must be strong-willed. This shape also belongs to people who are said to have had difficult childhoods. As you may know, the Princess's parents were divorced when she was a child and this time must have been a period of great unhappiness.

Turning to more specific features, we can see that one eye is a little larger than the other. It is a known fact that people with eyes of different sizes are often brought up by step-parents. They are also believed to be charming as well of being capable of great jealousy. We can see from this photograph that the top of her ears goes above the line of her eyebrows. People who have high ears such as hers are likely to become famous before the age of 30, while those who combine this with eyes of different sizes will be lucky.

Comprehension check

Choose the best answers to these questions.

1 In China, who knew the secrets of Siang Mien?

A Those who could read. С Ordinary people.

В Experts and their students. D The emperor and selected courtiers.

2 Why has Siang Mien become common knowledge?

A Because everyone practises it. С The secrets remained well-guarded.

В At some point, its secrets were given away. D More people had access to the special books.

3 Chinese mothers think men with

A big ears are exciting. С flat noses are not interesting.

В small ear lobes are kind. D small ears and flat noses can't be trusted.

4 A jade-face is best described as

A flat at the bottom and pointed at the top. С pointed at the bottom but flat at the top.

В pointed at the top and bottom. D oval.

5 Why doesn't it matter if you're not good looking?

A Because you'll worry less. С Fortune may smile on you.

В You may have some attractive features. D People are attracted to interesting faces.

6 People with eyes of different sizes

A often have step-parents. С are often divorced.

В are usually unhappy. D are supposed to be generous.

7 Princess Diana

A proves the truth of Siang Mien. С was over 30 when she became famous.

В has low ears. D has an ordinary face.

Note: tend to

According to the text, ugly people tend to be lucky. Tend to means generally but not always, e.g. People from Scandinavian countries tend to have fair hair. Now make some general statements about the people from your own country.

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