Coffee and Conversation with Saffron 26/8/09

At today’s session Mayerly from Venezuela and I discussed plastic surgery and beauty. We began by discussing whether it was generally a good or a bad thing and I showed some picture examples of some famous people who have had plastic surgery – Victoria Beckham, La Toya Jackson and Mickey Rourke. We agreed that for Mickey Rourke his surgery had been unsuccessful but whereas Mayerly felt that Victoria Beckham’s breast implants looked ok, I felt they were very unnatural looking.

Mayerly felt that overall, if someone wanted surgery and it helped them to feel more confident, then this was a good thing. I said that perhaps we place too much importance on our appearance and we should be more accepting of our looks, including the bits we don’t like! We both agreed that there is a lot of pressure on women, in particular, to look a certain way and this made it difficult to be happy with the way we look naturally.

Mayerly told me that in Venezuela, plastic surgery is very common for women with breast surgery being the most popular procedure. In Britain, it is probably not as common, but is becoming more so as it becomes cheaper.

Our conversation moved towards how much time we spend on our appearance on an average day. We discovered we both spent only a little time in the morning getting ready but that I probably am more concerned about current fashion than Mayerly. In Venezuela Mayerly said she would wear more make-up than here in London, but that clothes are more casual there due the weather being hot. She said in Venezuela she would never wear trainers and instead wear high-heels most of the time even though heels made her feet hurt!

We talked about fashion in London and she thought that here people wear more different styles of clothes, which having been to South America, I think is true. Londoners are famous for their sense of style, even though to foreign visitors some of the fashion here may seem odd!

I enjoyed today’s conversation as it is always interesting to get a point of view from someone from a different culture. Exchanging views and expressing opinions is a very important aspect of learning a new language and students should take every opportunity to practice this.