What is the true meaning of beauty? Essay.
As a society, we are out of control, spending majority of our time obsessing over our physical appearance, and worldly possessions. We have become a society that defines our lives by the amount of things we have and how we look. The media fills our minds with unrealistic images of beauty and the notion that you can never be” too much rich or be too thin”, and the reality is this information tends shape ones perception. What is the true meaning of beauty? Adolescence place value on peer acceptance for approval, while social messages about cultural norms influences them.
Beauty is something that comes from within, it being comfortable with whom you are. In the short story “The beauty Treatment” by Stacy Richter, the writer describes a situation of teenage girls acting out violently. “The Beauty Treatment” is narrated by a teenager who has had her face slashed by her best friend.
There is a type of girlfriend rivalry that is similar to any high school, but with Richter’s ability quickly change direction of the story from one place to another and surprising language, this story becomes an excellent story of empathy and forgiveness.
The voices of the narrators are very over the top and intense, but at the same time due to how specific they are it seems as if they could be sitting right on the side me, telling me why they are fighting with their best friend or why they are still friends. This story is kind of bizarre in a way because of the power of the narrator’s voices and the clear picture of every detail while telling the story.
The narrator’s best friend gets cut just because she likes a musician. Even though at the beginning of the story it seems a bit unrealistic and fantastical, it is believable, at least what happened in the context of the story. Both narrators’ ‘accentually’ reveal their selves throughout the course of the story. They are very honest about others within their circle and about themselves to an extent. The narrator from “Beauty Treatment” didn’t have a problem telling she is materialistic; Richter shows her obsession with clothes among other things. However, throughout the story we learn that she desperately wants her life to be more than what it was.
When describing her future, it was like something from a movie. During the time she sat with the Neo-Beats, she described herself as a mysterious, wanting to be the center of attention. When question about her scar she made up wild elaborate stories, as if the truth of what really happened is not wild enough. She reveals the reason she hung around the Bitch despite her obvious mental health problems, and how they became best friends. For majority of our lives we are told what is beautiful. Beauty is taught to us by parents, society, magazines, and television. Boys are told what will make them men and girls are told what makes them woman. We are taught wearing designer clothes, living in the biggest house, driving the nice cars, and having a pretty face is important.
Our youth is encourage to dress a certain way and act a certain way, are they are not consider to be not in style. Clothes and a pretty face don’t define a person; it doesn’t make them better than anyone or less than them. Is our imagination shaped by others on what beauty is or is one’s imagination filled with what we see and what we hear? Does one’s body control the imagination or does one’s imagination control their body on what is perceived as beauty? Many of us alter our beauty, changing ourselves to be accepted.
The narrator makes up stories of riding on the back of Johnny Depp’s motorcycle and him getting fresh with her and then crashing. Just as how we find ways to fool ourselves when our beauty we relie on to get us somewhere in life is altered. In the situation of the narrator, she is able to take the scar on her left cheek and make it part of her “perfect” face. When she is around her friends, she gives them an explanation about her scar in order for them to accept her. However, with the “neo-beatniks”, she didn’t give them any explanation. They are ok with her scar as it is and she begins hanging out with them while wearing “black Anna Sui numbers”.
The narrator figured out a way to maintain her beauty, even though she had to change the way she dressed. In the movie Swordfish John Travolta said, “What the eyes see, the mind believes.” The narrator figured out a way to make her scar on her face to blend into the lines on her face, “it cupped my cheekbones” (57). To be honest did her scar really cup her cheekbones, or did her eyes play a trick on her? Growing up in a society in which beauty is all that matters, we sometimes begin to believe that is what’s important. We look for ways to change ourselves, trying to live up to what is said to be beautiful, even when it’s not a good look for us.
When we can no longer afford the expensive clothes, we wear knockoffs that will make others think we are wearing the real thing. We get expensive cars, and houses that we really can’t afford, just to keep up with the Jones’s. We live in a society were image everything. Beauty is not defined by ones age, gender, color, body shape, size, clothes, car, or where you live. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” beauty is comes from within. So what is beautiful in your eyes? It is a reflection of what’s on the inside of us all. “Physical beauty only hides a cold heart and a flawed character. A lot of times really beautiful people are treated like they are special until others find out they think they are better than them, and then they are ugly”.
Physical beauty fades with time, but having confidence in yourself with a loving heart and a generous nature will last a lifetime. Everything God creates is beautiful and we are one of his many creations. Beauty is being comfortable with who you are, and just being yourself. It’s not trying to obtain what other people have, or become something we are not. We should not define our lives by how much stuff we have. Confidence makes one beautiful from the inside out and that is all that matters in the end.
Richter Stacy. “They Beauty Treatment “Portable Legacies. Boston: Michael Rosenberg 2009.53-60. Print.