Beauty really is skin deep for almost half of Saudi men

For most Saudi women, personality is priority.
Updated 07 December 2017
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Beauty really is skin deep for almost half of Saudi men

LONDON: Nearly half of all Saudi men believe that good looks are more important than personality in a romantic partner, according to a new poll conducted by YouGov.
Just 52 percent of male Saudi respondents said that having an agreeable personality is more important than physical attractiveness, whereas 65 percent of Saudi women reportedly ranked personality as their first or second priority in a romantic partner.  
The YouGov Omnibus study, which surveyed YouGov panelists across 20 different countries, asked respondents whether they ranked personality or good looks as more important when considering what they look for in a romantic partner. 
Of the 20 nationalities polled, Saudi men and women expressed the greatest difference of opinion on the subject of physical attractiveness, according to a YouGov press release. 
Egyptian men and women also revealed vastly different priorities in searching for a partner, with around 83 percent of women saying personality was more important than looks, but only 55 percent of Egyptian men agreeing. 
A pretty face, however, is apparently less important to men in the UAE. Just 37 percent of men in the Emirates said that beauty outweighed other considerations in their romantic calculus. 
Women in Saudi Arabia and France were of similar minds when ranking physical appearance and personality: About eight out of ten women in both countries would chose a good hearted mate over a strong jaw line, the press release revealed.
Women in the Kingdom are not searching for thick wallets, either, it seems. Some 59 percent of Saudi female respondents said that salary size was among the last things they look for in a partner. 
The YouGov poll comes at a time when Saudi women are demanding — and receiving — more rights and are entering the workforce in larger numbers. 
Among men, Vietnam was the only country where good looks were considered to outshine personality, with 46 percent of Vietnamese men ranking personality as more important.
Nordic women were the most likely to choose personality over good looks, globally.


Pressures and pains that tear a couple apart

A still from the film.
Updated 19 July 2018
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Pressures and pains that tear a couple apart

DENVER: Like a gallery wall-sized enlargement of a microscopic image, “Scenes from a Marriage” is all about size, space and perspective.
Directed by Ingmar Bergman — whose birth centenary was marked this week — at 281 minutes long, its unwieldly length presents an intimidating canvas, yet the claustrophobic intimacy of its gaze is unprecedented: The two leads are alone in nearly every scene, many of which play out for more than a half-hour at a time.
Premiered in 1973, the work is technically a TV mini-series, but such is its legend that theaters continue to program its nearly five-hour arc in its entirety. A three-hour cinematic edit was prepared for US theater consumption a year later (it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was ruled ineligible for the corresponding Oscar).
Not a lot a happens but, then again, everything does. Shot over four months on a shoestring budget, its six chapters punctuate the period of a decade. The audience are voyeurs, dropped amid the precious and pivotal moments which may not make up a life, but come to define it.
We meet the affluent Swedish couple Marianne and Johan — played by regular screen collaborators Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson, both of whom clocked at least 10 Bergman credits — gloating about ten years’ happy marriage to a visiting reporter. This opening magazine photoshoot is the only time we see their two children on camera, and inevitably the image projected is as glossy, reflective and disposable as the paper it will be printed on.
The pressures, pains and communication breakdowns which tear this unsuited pair apart are sadly familiar. The series was blamed for a spike in European divorce rates. It may be difficult to survive the piece liking either lead, but impossible not to emerge sharing deep pathos with them both. Sadly, much of the script is said to be drawn from Bergman’s real-life off-screen relationship with Ullmann.
It’s a hideously humane, surgical close-up likely to leave even the happiest couple groping into the ether on their way out of the cinema.