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Vocabulary Tasks

1 Match these adjectives with the definitions.

frail

overweight

stocky

attractively thin

Someone who is

slim

is

(old and) weak-looking

plump

unattractively thin

skinny

shortish but well built

2 Which of these words used to describe body size and shape have:

  • a positive meaning?

  • a neutral meaning?

  • a negative meaning?

broad-shouldered large of medium height fat overweight short skinny slim tall thin well-built

LANGUAGE STUDY

Have/Get something done

1. You can use this structure when someone does something for you – often because you have paid them to do it.

Have/Get + something (object) + past participle, i.e.

  • Articles encourage women to have their hair dyed.

  • Having your nose done only costs the price of a vacation.

2. Cindy Jackson (cosmetic surgery adviser) talks about why she had several years of cosmetic surgery in her attempt to create the perfect face and body. Complete her account using had, have or having.

The feature I wanted were the kind of feminine ideal that’s embodied in plastic dolls like Barbie and Sindy. I wanted the wide eyes so I (1) _______ my eyes widened as much as I could. (2) _______ my eyes done made me see that I really could change my face, so I decided to (3) _______ everything done that I possibly could.

I wanted the pert, turned up nose, so I (4) _______ my nose turned up. I wasn’t happy with the first nose job – it only made it slightly smaller. So I (5) ______ it done again, and they took more bone out and made the nostrils smaller. Now my nose is as Barbie as it can get for my face and the rest of my features.

My chin bothered me a lot too, so I (6) _______ that moved back, so that it was in line with the upper lip. Then there were my lips – I thought they were too thin, so I tried (7) ______ collagen put in. But that wasn’t good enough, so I (8) _______ fat taken from my thighs and injected into my lips. Then I (9) _______ implants put into my cheeks to give me high cheekbones.

Before I had surgery, I was invisible. I have a genius IQ., and it never got me anywhere. Now I get lots of attention. Pretty girls just do.

SPEAKING

Which points do you agree with?

1. True beauty comes from being intelligent and interesting, not from being physically perfect.

2. There's nothing wrong with trying to improve on what nature has given us.

3. People should be grateful for what God has given them.

4. It is selfish and indulgent to spend money on superficial improvements when there is so much poverty and sickness in the world.

5. Cosmetic surgery can be more beneficial than a holiday, because the effects last longer.

6. We should accept ourselves as we are.

7. Having cosmetic surgery is similar to having your hair dyed or your teeth straightened.

8. It is good to see life experience showing on people's faces.

9. People who feel good about the way they look are more likely to do well in their career.

Text 4

DISCUSSION POINTS

1) When you first meet someone, what do you look at first?

a) their hair e) the front of their body

b) their face f) the back of their body

c) their eyes g) the clothes they are wearing

d) their mouth h) other (please specify)

2) Which of the following will make you think most positively about someone? (Choose one only.)

a) They are well-groomed. c) They have a good physique.

b) They are well-dressed. d) They look interesting.

3) Think of two people that you find very attractive. What is the most physically attractive thing about them?

4) Think of two people whose appearance you find unusual or striking. What is the most unusual/striking thing about them?

5) What features of men or women are not attractive in your culture but attractive in another culture?

READING

The introduction: Chen and Lily, who are both Cantonese ( from Hong Kong), live in London, where Chen is a waiter in a Chinese restaurant.

Working in the fields Chen had once had a physique which had been lean, tanned, and sinewy; now it was almost impossible to see the outlines of his ribs for the plump flesh which clothed them. Not that he was chubby, just prosperous, as he was careful to explain to Lily.

On Lily there were two opposing views. Chen did not think she was pretty. She had a long, thin, rather horsey face and mouth that was too big for the rest of her features, and she smiled too frequently for a woman. Her hands and feet were a fraction too big to be wholly pleasing to her husband. It was her face, though, which really let her down (Chen had decided), being over-full of expression, particularly her black eyes which she had a habit of widening and narrowing when listening to something she found interesting. Probably there was too much character in her face, which perhaps explained the lack of Cantonese male interest better than any particular wrongness of an individual feature or their relationship to each other. Westerners found her attractive, though. Lily was unaware of this but Chen had noticed it with great surprise. That was if the second glances and turned heads on the street were anything to go by.

Timothy Mo Sour Sweet

Comprehension check

  1. How Chen’s appearance has changed?

  2. How he feels about Lily’s appearance?

  3. What did westerners find attractive about Lily?

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