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主题:英语阅读:外表真的重要吗?

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英语阅读:外表真的重要吗?  发帖心情 Post By:2009/6/15 15:26:23 [只看该作者]

Even though most of us recognize the 1)fallacy of placing too great a value on appearance, our desire for physical beauty is so 2)ingrained in us that we cannot disassociate ourselves from it. Why is physical beauty so important?
  
  I 3)discard the easy answer that the media has 4)branded the idea on our minds. While magazines and television certainly heighten our consciousness of looks, they are merely 5)harping on insecurities that already exist. Our desire for physical beauty, while shaped and polished by the superficial media culture, actually has deeper roots in who we are.
  
  Our desire for physical beauty is an original human feeling, like the desire for food, nurturing, or happiness. Just as those other things drive us toward survival, physical beauty is programmed into our brains as a means of staying alive and furthering our family line. After all, if males and females weren’t attracted to each other, none of us would even be here: humankind would be a fatally 6)flawed experiment. Instead, nature has given us impulses that drive us towards 7)procreation. Every creature, from the lowest organism to the most complex, desires sex. A natural 8)precursor to that desire, which also exists in every society, is 9)indicators of attraction. Dogs are attracted to each other’s smells. Peacocks are attracted to each others’ 10)plumages. Human beings are attracted to many things about each other—one of which is physical beauty.
  
  Because of the natural role of appearance in human 11)courtship, I can say with certainty that physical beauty does have some objective importance. However, this conclusion does not justify our society’s obsession with looks, for appearance is only the first layer of attractiveness.
  
  Once a superficial connection is made between two people, they then have the opportunity to display other characteristics that could positively or negatively affect the possibility of their union. After they have had enough experiences together, that first layer of beauty becomes far less important than the other, less visible layers of attraction. In fact, it seems as if our original set of human impulses guides us not just towards procreation, but also towards 12)compatibility.
  
  Compatibility is essential to human survival in an absolute sense, for a positively-working team is better equipped to live than a negatively-working team. If physical beauty were the only important factor in bringing people together, the divorce rate would be much higher than it is today and people would be far less happy. Instead, physical beauty is actually only a small component of attractiveness, and in fact, those people who are good at being compatible have a distinct advantage against those people who possess beauty alone.
  
  Physical beauty, in sum, maintains a marginal significance in our lives. Like all superficial things, it is a basis for immediate 13)appraisal; but like a diamond out of its setting, it requires context and compatibility in order to truly 14)instill it with value.
  
  尽管我们大多数人都认同把外表看得过重是种谬误,然而,对美的渴求根植于人心,我们难于摆脱。为何外表美如此重要?
  
  “因为媒体把‘外貌非常重要’这一观念烙进我们心底”,对这个简单回答我是不能苟同的。杂志和电视的确让我们更在意外表,但其反复玩捏的不过是我们的种种不安心理,而这些怯弱感是早已存在的。我们对外表美的渴求虽然受到肤浅的媒体文化影响和熏陶,但实际上有着更深的根源——我们的本性。
  
  我们对外表美的渴求,如同对食物、养护或者快乐的渴求一样,是人类的一种原始情愫。就如同我们其他生存本能一样,外表美已作为一个生存及繁衍后代的方式,像程序一样输进了我们的脑子里。毕竟,如果男人和女人之间不相互吸引,我们现在谁也不会得以存在:人类会成为带有致命缺陷的实验品。然而,大自然赋予了我们生育繁衍的动力。每一种生物,下至微生物,上至最复杂的有机体,都有性欲。性欲受引发的前提自然是诱人魅力的具体形表,这在任何一种社会里都一样。狗因相互间的气味相吸引,孔雀因各自的羽毛相吸引,人类因相互间的种种相吸引——外表美就是其中一个因素。
  
  由于外貌在人类求爱过程中扮演的自然角色,我可以肯定地说,外表美确实有其客观的重要性。然而,这个结论并不能合理解释我们社会对外在美的痴迷,因为外表只是魅力的第一层面。
  
  一旦两个人之间因一种浅层因素联系在一起,接下来他们就有机会展示自身的其他特征,而那些特征或有助他们结合或促使他们分开。等他们的相处到了一定程度,外表美,那第一层“美”,在异性相吸的因素中变得远不如其他因素重要,也变得不那么显著。事实上,人类的原始冲动似乎不仅促使我们繁衍后代,也有追求融洽共处的导向。
  
  人类要生存就必须相容,这是无庸置疑的,因为一个和睦的工作团队比一个不和睦的工作团队更具生存的能力。如果外表美是使人们结合的唯一重要因素,离婚率就会远高于我们今天看到的,人们也会远没有这么快乐。相反,外表美实际上只是吸引力的其中一个小因素,且事实上,那些擅于与他人共处的人,相比那些仅拥有美貌的人拥有更明显的优势。
  
  总而言之,外表美在我们生命中维持着一种边缘意义,像所有浅层的东西一样,只是作出即时评价的基础;但如同从镶座掉出来的一颗钻石那样,需要衬托,被镶座包围而不显得突兀,这样它的价值才能体现。
作者: Evan Bailyn  筱 筱 译

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