Signpost (Weber, Utah), 2000-01-211
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I b e o n i.Jfc N V H E THE v Volume 3 Issue 15 Li SIGNPOST WEBER STAT E UNIVERSITY - x w- .; 1a-J-it-irr1hi aiT ii ir---: - ,r rtfat m, Trevor Hills: "What you see is what you get." 1 . revor Hills is 20 years old. Intelligent, confident and alert, Hills is a university student who is at Weber State because he wants to learn. But Hills wears a mask. His long hair and loose-fitting clothing deceive strangers into seeing a different persona. Everything's based on appearance nowadays," Hills says, and he tells of an experience of going into a popular clothing store and having the store's employees follow him around the store to make sure he wouldn't steal something. Bryan Turner, dean of the faculty of arts at Deakin University, argues that people are trained to act in ways specific to the societies in which they live. Turner said, as his words were paraphrased in the book "Rediscovering the Body: The Sociology of the Body and Sociobiology," that "bodies in human societies have to be regulated - trained and disciplined in the appropriate techniques of a given society and culture." This is evidenced, Turner claims, in that babies are taught how to walk irr every culture, but "how they carry themselves, how they move and the sorts of gestures they make vary enormously." Stephanie Johnson, a sophomore, plays on WSU's volleyball team. Three days a week, she goes to class straight from practice and has little or no time to worry about her physical appearance. She feels that her classmates may be thinking negatively of her as a result. "I definitely feel like my day drags," Johnson said. "I don't want to approach people; I'm worried about what they think." Modern culture has brought people many things, including the availability of body-altering techniques, such as facelifts, lyposuction and silicon implants. This has changed the perception of beauty or plainness as being acquired by the so-called luck of the draw. Imperfections are now seen as being more the fault of the individuals who possess them. "The modern belief that one's body can be constructed," it is said in "Rediscovering the Body," "is associated with an equally strong belief that the shape one is relates to one's inherent worth." When she does have more time to prepare for her day, Johnson said she feels more presentable. But she said that if people knew her circumstances, she would feel more comfortable around them, regardless of how she looked. She tries to remember this as she looks at others. "I wonder sometimes what their story is, " Johnson said. "I always try to think if I know it I would think differently. " In the American society, where there is so much stress on appearance, physical size is of strong importance and sometimes causes people to be harshly judged. Shelley Bovey, author of "Being Fat Is Not a Sin," wrote that "Fatism is ... a hidden prejudice and as such it is perhaps the most vicious of all. ... Fat is hated and despised and fat people are coerced to the outer limits of a mainstream society - that is if they dare to try to be part of it." This social tendency to attach character traits to physical appearance f"rR fid I cf e r ! : by Linda Loveland managing editor- The Signpost nr i Mi ill!! !'! h f . a ' l-j u jpimnMum i rn Stephanie Johnson: "We're all really quick to judge, myself included." finds its way into every part of life - even into the judicial system. Laurie Asseo, reporter for the Associated Press, reported an appalling trend in the justice system in her article titled "So, you want a fair trial? It helps to be good-looking." Asseo wrote that Leslie A. Zebrowitz, a psychology professor at Brandeis University, studied small-claims court cases and found a correlation between a defendant's appearance and the probability of conviction. "The more baby-faced the defendant, the less likely they are to be found at fault if they are accused of doing something intentional," Zebrowitz was quoted as saying. Zebrowitz believes that jurors tend to attribute positive qualities, such as honesty and naivete, to "baby-faced" people. Huiying Wei-Arthus, associate professor of sociology, said that the outer appearance is related to status, "who we are and how we are." For hairstyles, Wei-Arthus said the most important thing is color. Most people go with blonde because society has constructed blonde hair as a standard of beauty. Brands are the most important in clothing, Wei-Arthus said, because they tend to reflect social and economic status. Variations in action and demeanor, many believe, can serve as a means of determining to which society an individual does or does not belong. For example, tanned skin has shifted from being an undesirable characteristic to a coveted one. In "Rediscovering the Body," it explains that tanned skin was an indication of lower status, regarding people who performed physical labors and spent much of their time outside in the fields and other such activities. Later, tanned skin was viewed as an indication of a much higher status, as wealthy people began to be able to afford summer vacations and more of the so-called lower class began to spend more time working in factories. This attitutde, manifested in various fashions, has endured through time and circumstances in virtually all humans. "We're all really quick to judge, myself included, but I'm always being humbled taught a lesson," Johnson said. Hills said he tries to view others just as they are. "I don't like to assume too much," he said. And as for himself, Hills remains confident. "What you see is what you get," he said. "I try not to care too much about what other people think. I care what I think about."
|Title||Signpost (Weber, Utah), 2000-01-21, Vol. 3, No. 15|
|Creator||Weber State University|
|Contributors||Associated Students of Weber State University; A generous grant from the Utah State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.|
|Description||Weber's current student newspaper, the Signpost, first appeared on September 29, 1937. For two years prior to that time, campus news was disseminated via announcements posted on a bulletin board known as the "Signpost". As a result, the masthead of the first issue of the paper itself featured a rudimentary wooden sign with the title spelled out in rustic-looking letters. Over the years the paper has been published continuously, though the look, size and style has changed several times.|
|Subject||College student newspapers and periodicals; Weber State University|
|Publisher Digital||Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Source||University Archives LD5893.W55 S5, Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Rights Management||Public Domain. Courtesy of University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University.|