Beauty in Society

Length: 4 Pages 902 Words

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A statement you may have heard many times over, but it seems that it should really say beauty is in the eye of society. So many people are influenced by what society depicts as beautiful. Every year, millions of people spend more and more money to change their outward appearance. The media presents society with unrealistic body types promoting people, especially women, to look like them. We spend so much time trying to look like what society wants that we begin to see others and ourselves as what is presented physically rather then who a person is. I will use the essays by Angela Carter and Alice Walker to show how society places so much emphasis on outward appearance that people don’t distinguish between the presentation and the form. In the essay by Angela Carter, “The Wound in the Face”, her central theme is what a woman is supposed to look like based on society’s perception. Carter begins by looking over the portrayal of beauty in magazines, specifically the faces. As she looks at the images she recognizes how fake and unrealistic they are. She later mentions how she has never seen a person like that in the street. She does however, note that she has seen many women try to Continue...

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In conclusion Carter, Gates, and Walker all point to how influential society is on what is considered beautiful. It took an innocent child to reveal to her that she had had the beauty in her all along regardless of what society though was beautiful. In fact you could say that when combined, it is a recipe for a beautiful person, or so says society. Alice remembers the exact time (even though she was so young) when her father stopped choosing her. Now that she no longer fits that mold she felt that no one, not even her family could see past her imperfections. Hairstyles have always changed with the times, but one thing has remained constant: For much of history, people have cut, colored, curled, straightened, and otherwise forced their hair into unnatural styles and colors. Walker takes a more inward approach at beauty and shows how what she perceives as beauty from others in society affected her beauty within. The ideal look was what everyone believed society wanted. Henry Louis Gates' essay, "In the Kitchen, describes the process of straightening the hair of African Americans as a means of chasing after an essentially white standard of beauty. How she used to be daddy's pretty girl. The pressure of no longer being beautiful in society's eyes made her hide away from people. Throughout her essay she talks about a number of generations. When Carter refers to the fashions of the seventies she says, 'The face of the seventies matches the fashion in clothes that have dictated some of its features, and is directly related to the social environment which produces it.


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