Discussing beauty in IELTS Speaking

As recently as April this year, the topic of beauty came up in the IELTS Speaking test and candidates may want to take note of the kind of questions that may be asked in either Part 2:

Describe a beautiful person you know.

You should say:

  • who this person is
  • when you met this person
  • where you met this person

and explain why you think he or she is beautiful.

or Part 3:

  • What does beauty mean to you?
  • Do you think that the media influences our idea of beauty?
  • Do you think that advertisements, in general, have the correct idea of beauty?
  • How has people’s idea of beauty changed over the years?
  • Do you think that beauty is about a person’s appearance?

For the task in Part 2, you may want to take a look at my posts here and here about how to describe people.

2011-07-28 Miss Teen International Preliminary arrivals
Tim Kretschmann via Compfight

You may want to take a look at the following video to get an idea of how to answer questions on beauty. At the same time, see if you can complete the tasks below:

Would you rather be smart or beautiful, even though the business of beauty is huge so obviously there is a market for it?

I think the people who are 1) _____ on the business of beauty and doing fantastically well have to be smart there. I think as well beauty on its own isn’t enough. I think it’s great to be gorgeous … but I think that just being beautiful doesn’t really 2) _____ it but if you are just smart, I think you can absolutely make that work for you.

You’re paid more if you’re beautiful, 5%.

I think people take you at your own 3) _____. I think now more than ever, standards of beauty are getting wider and broader. Obviously, it’s still imperfect, but I believe that in 2015 we’re becoming much more open and 4) _____ about, you know, the subjectiveness of beauty and people can look a thousand different ways and it’s all about your confidence, how you 5) _____ yourself. And if you act like you’re hot, then I think you can take a lot of people in whereas I think being smart it’s maybe a bit harder to fake.

So, beauty is in the eye of the beholder?


Do you need brains if you are beautiful?

I think it helps. I think it’s much easier to, you know, be a smart person and then make people think you’re beautiful than the other way around. It’s totally unfair. I think there are, you know, various gorgeous models and actresses who’ve tried to do other things and people don’t take them seriously. I think that’s an awful 6) _____ but I think, you know, the stereotype as in the movie, you know, the geeky girl who’s really brainy and then at the end, she takes her hair down and her specs off and she’s not wearing her dungarees anymore and everyone is like “Wow! You’re stunning too!” whereas if you’re the bimbo in the movie, you’re always the bimbo. And if you try to be smart, people aren’t believing of that or 7) _____ of that. I think that sucks. I think that’s unfair. But I do think that if you’re smart, you’d have an advantage.

Which side are YOU taking and which words or expressions are YOU going to use in your interview?

Until next time!

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