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Beauty in Society

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 emulate the images. Throughout her essay she talks about a number of generations. Each time showing how whatever society was experiencing at the time reflected in what was considered beautiful. 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.” 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. Gates explains what is considered good hair and bad hair as a way to convey what society deems be...

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Beauty in Society. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 21:42, November 23, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/13566.html