Essay on Analysis Of Alice Walkers Beauty: When The Other Dancer Is The Self

Today, people have seen loads of advertisement of beauty and ways young girls can attract men. The closer someone looks it is ironic how most people say everyone is beautiful in their own way. Meanwhile, the people in articles are influencing young teens and adults to look a certain way. The audience needs to acknowledge the problem with not only with race but also gender influenced in beauty standards. The Author Alice Walker passage, Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self, expresses her feelings of growing up as an accident disfigures her eye which led her to believe she wasn’t beautiful.

The accident changed her from a cute, outgoing young girl into a vulnerable girl. Walker felt mortified and self-destructed herself because of the damage to her eye has changed her to what she has thought to be her appearance. The author quotes, “That night, as I do almost every night, I abuse my eye. I rant and rave at it, in front of the mirror. I plead with it to clear up before morning. I hate and despise it. I did not pray for sight. I pray for beauty” (Walker 274). The example shows the empowerment of beauty can make a person feel whether confident or wishing to be beautiful.

It can lead the child to feel depressed and unwanted later on when they are older. It wasn’t until a surgery has fixed the problem and this led her changing into a whole new person. The author had realized beauty wasn’t just physically but also emotionally, and socially can take a toll on a person. The example led her to prove society’s ideal of “beautiful” has the ability to change one’s outlook on life. The author explains that beauty is race and gender influenced many can agree with the statement. There are proofs of culture forms beauty.

Another influenced are what the other opposite sex defines what is in the beauty category. For little girls, some may play with the boys while other choose to play with barbies with a friend or by themselves. Barbie dolls can be seen in children the idea of beautiful. The child would question their beauty in today’s society as the dolls may have some unrealistic body and beauty. Studies have shown most children prefer the lighter skin barbie because it is seen as beautiful and acceptable in today’s society. The media has sexualized women and made magazines of what women appearance should look.

That can bring trouble to the younger audience of beauty standards. Every culture around the world has different standards of the ideal beautiful. For instance, in the western culture, plastic surgery has been more accepted and can alternate one’s desire of fixing the problem of an unattractive feature in the person’s body. Every culture has different beauty standards. Though beauty standards change during the course of time, these examples show the efforts of women willing to meet the unrealistic standards of beauty and risk their health just for the sake of beauty.

Around the world, there are strange ways of being seen as beautiful. Beauty can cause serious consequence to the person’s health and bring risk to the body. Beauty is a pain as some people may say. In China, around the tenth to twenty century, foot binding was seen as a sign of wealth and marriage eligibility. The ancient practice had led to mutilation of young girl’s feet. The reason being was to attract young suitors. On the article, China’s Last Foot-Binding Survivors, journalist Nina Strochlic traveled to China to see the last binding survivors.

Strochlic states, “To me, they represented the trouble[… ] and what women do go through-to attract a partner… There was something quite tremendous about it” (Strochlic). First, the process begins by breaking the big toe and bind into the sole of the foot. The foot would then become small as four inches during the binding process. The foot binding process would take two years for it fully heal into a lotus shape. A small foot is no difference to a small waist in Europe that would represent women’s beauty. During the Victorian Era, there were amounts of beauty standards that were a risk to the woman.

The beauty standards were pale almost translucent skin, big watery eyes, and extremely clinched waist. According to Alice Robb, The Deadly Risks of a Victorian Beauty Regime, “the dying of tuberculosis look. Weakness and fragility were in, and consumptives were thought to be very beautiful”(Robb). Though the disease was horrific at the time, the tuberculosis victims were highly praised and considered extraordinary beautiful. The pale almost translucent skin was seen as innocence, beauty, and wealth. For women, skin tone has also classified their wealth because it has shown their lack of working outside.

During this time, beauty has celebrated the idea of weakness in women. In Victorian Era, women were risking their health by rubbing toxins and chemicals into their skin. Another dangerous beauty trend was having an extremely clinched waist. The hourglass shaped was visionary for women during the Victorian Period. In order to accomplish this goal, corsets were a requirement to wear during the beginning of their childhood. The ideal waist was approximately sixteen to twelve inches although twenty inches was acceptable for most women.

Young girls were molded in desirable pre-pubescent before they hit puberty. According to the article, Off the Pedestals, the writer mentions, “To achieve an extreme tight-laced waistline, a female had to incrementally decrease the size of the waist over an average two year period to allow the internal organs to settle beyond the midsection” (anonymous). The consequences of using corsets, the internal organs were pushed together and cause permanent damage to the body. The examples expose the extreme measure women are willing to take, in order, to be perceived as beautiful.

Beauty is not all valuable as some people may think. Walker states, “Ironically, the girl who was voted most beautiful in our class (and was) was later shot twice through the chest by a male companion, using a “real” gun, while she was pregnant” (Walker 275). The example shows how beauty isn’t all great as people may seem to think. Beauty can cost young girls their lives and the consequences can be quite brutal. Today’s society are still dealing with racism and finding a spot for equality for all as our nation is changing. According to Margaret B.

Spencer, a child psychologist, arranged a study whether white and black children are biased towards the light skin. Spencer has mentioned, “We are still living in a society where dark things are devalued and white things are valued” (Spencer). During the study, a dark child was asked to choose between a light or dark skin doll. The child surprisingly had picked the light skin doll and most dark skin would choose the light skin doll. This can bring despair for those children because they would feel different because of their skin color.

For instance, a white child was asked their opinion of the dark skin, the child answered back by stating the person with dark skin is bad. This issue, later on, shifts into racism to others of different ethnicity. The function of beauty mentioned in Walker’s essay is sending the readers to become more self-accepted to themselves. For people to accept themselves for who they are as a person and not to conform themselves to the rest of the world’s standards of beauty. Walker makes the readers think more in-depth about beauty. Beauty can be there is beauty in ourselves and many can not see this.