Somatology and Beauty in South Africa and Elsewhere
Once upon a time, a few generations ago, no one knew anything about somatology, save for a few scientists who were involved in this scientific field of study, which was mainly confined to relevant academics. Many “ordinary” people in South Africa and elsewhere, based their concept of beauty and the factors that constituted something or someone that possessed this very pleasing trait, purely on what they saw and observed – on the outside or externally.
Prevailing Perceptions from Hollywood
This idea of beauty was greatly reinforced during the heyday of Hollywood’s film industry. Film stars and their elevated status were virtually created by the erstwhile studios and the entourage of beauty experts, make-up artists, lighting specialists, acclaimed photographers and massive media machines that were integral to the industry and the star’s image.
Furthermore, and for the most part, only actors and actresses that possessed exceptional good looks were chosen to play leading roles in films. Both in Hollywood and here, in South Africa, you were born beautiful, or not. So-called good genes played their part; if one or both of your parents were adjudged to be good looking, the likelihood of you possessing the same physical traits and features, considered beautiful by the standards of the time, was greater than average.
Since time immemorial, physical, outward beauty has been much vaunted and desired. “Beauty is but skin deep” is accredited to one Sir Thomas Overbury in a 1613 poem written by him. Margaret Wolfe Hungerford coined the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” in a book which she published in 1878. Both of these enduring expressions contradict the traditional concept of beauty, and belie the then-typical understanding of what constitutes true beauty, and brings us much closer to the scientific field of somatology.
What is Somatology?
Although closely allied to beauty therapy, the wider, more complex field of somatology includes numerous effective beauty treatments, but it is far more than just beauty therapy. Somatology is the scientific study of the human body in its entirety, as a branch of anthropology, therefore, it includes or touches upon numerous disciplines, such as biology, physiology, anatomy, chemistry, biotics, nutrition and human movement, to name only a few.
Where to Take Somatology Courses in South Africa
Somatology in South Africa is a profession, not merely a job. Therefore, it’s imperative that aspiring somatologists obtain their qualification from a bona fide, reputable academy that specialises in offering accredited, recognised somatology courses.
Founded in 1978, our Isa Carstens Academy has two campuses in South Africa – one in Stellenbosch and another in Pretoria. The late Mrs Isa Carstens devoted much of her life to the study and development of somatology courses in South Africa, which feature amongst the best courses that this country has to offer.