The contemporary media agenda teaches individuals to seek beauty in any expression of human activity and existence and to respect all the traditions. However, one may hardly take into consideration the fact that many traditions and fashions appear to be products of a violent and patriarchal culture. An example of the latter is a still existing custom of female genital mutilation, a deadly, unattractive, and quite widespread tradition (Abdulcadir et al., 2016). This practice is maintained in traditionalist families and communities (Grose et al., 2019). The message this operation sends is ugly for my cultural background. It claims a woman must not experience pleasure during sex. In this context, sex is to be used exclusively for reproduction, not satisfaction, and, hence, that is a woman’s destiny. Therefore, one may observe a lack of self-realization opportunities for females. In my opinion, this practice is far from being beautiful. Nevertheless, it is vital to understand that it is not so for many people not because they are immoral as such but because their cultural and ethical context allows them to view this tradition as necessary.
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Meanwhile, there are many more customs and traditions that are beautiful in a conventional understanding, and that speaks to me. For instance, in the Slavic countries, there is an ancient tradition of celebrating the summer solstice with a holiday named Ivana Kupala Night (Kuksenok, 2019). Youngsters dress up in the Slavic costumes, practice the old customs like jumping over the fire or decorating trees. It is a celebration of summer, rarely long in most Slavic countries. Noteworthy, this tradition also comes from the culture and times of strict patriarchal social structure: many rituals seek to determine whether or not a man and a girl would be a great couple. However, it does not communicate this in an oppressing, harmful way, and, hence, it becomes easier to respect it for the up-to-date people, not to mention the unique aesthetics of the costumes and the flower crowns. Based on these two examples, it is hence fair to claim that beauty is indeed in the eyes of the beholder.
Abdulcadir, J., Catania, L., Hindin, M., Michelle, J., Say, L., Petignant, P., & Omar, A. (2016). Female genital mutilation. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 128(5), 958 – 963.
Grose, R., Hayford, S., & Cheong, Y. (2019). Community influences on female genital mutilation/cutting in Kenya: Norms, opportunities, and ethnic diversity. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 1 – 7.
Kuksenok, O. (2019). Halloween and the feast of Ivana Kupala: Similarities and differences. The Youth of the 21st Century: Education, Science, Innovation. 76 – 78.