Beautiful people, or how someone has to be ugly Essay

Submitted By Seville1983
Words: 1095
Pages: 5

People have been admiring beauty since the dawn of civilized society. Whether it is the Roman Empire, or the Victorian era Britain, people like looking at other people. But is physical appearance the only way we can define beauty? As Carla illustrates in the play “Beauty,” being “pretty” can come in all shapes and sizes, like being charming or being super intelligent. Does anyone care about those things, though? Have we really become that superficial as a society? Or have we been drilled intensely into an unrealistic image of beautiful by the finest marketing executives Wall Street can buy? Certainly big business has done a bang-up job of scaring many a person into buying expensive products and pastes. If the play “Beauty” represents one thing, it’s that beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder.
As Bethany put it, “Jealous. The ogre of jealously” motivated her to seek the unattainable dream of being a beautiful person, but as Carla put it she was already “pretty” and “charming” in her own way. So then why wouldn’t she be happy with a great personality? Because our culture is telling her this over and over in subtle messages. Take for instance someone like Princess Diana. She had grace, and beauty. She was a kind and compassionate humanitarian. She pretty much had the whole package deal as far as a beautiful person was concerned. When she died it was considered a world tragedy. People wept in the streets. Now take someone like Mother Teresa. She was just as much a humanitarian as the princess was. In the name of the Catholic church she did all kinds of good works in poverty-stricken third-world hellholes, where hope was at its bleakest. She spent a lifetime doing good works for those less fortunate.
When Mother Teresa died it was only a week and a half after the princess had passed away, and yet no one seemed to notice, or care for that matter. She spent just as much if not more time helping people, and she was completely overshadowed by the death of what society deems as a more “beautiful” person. Likewise someone like Tyra Banks or Cindy Crawford are household names, yet someone like William Sturgeon (the inventor of the electric motor) or Alexander Parkes ( the inventor of plastic) are by and large unknown names. Modern society as it is today places far more value on physical attractiveness than big brains or “charming” personalities. Just as Bethany is a public account and is successful her work is not seen as valuable because she’s not easy on the eyes. She’s not Carla. She’s not beautiful and therefore her efforts are deemed not as worthy as being a fashion model. Carla would like nothing more than to have a life like that.
Carla, unlike Bethany, sees her good looks as something of a large anchor on the relationships she really wants as she says, “Well it’s not what I want. This is me, Carla. I have never read a whole book. Page six, I can’t remember page four. The last thing I read was The Complete Idiot’s Guide to WordPerfect.” As she says “Only beautiful guys approach me, and that’s to borrow my eye shadow. I barely exist outside a mirror!” She can’t attract smart men because her beauty scares them off. Her character represents a stereotype of blond bimbos and generally beautiful people lacking in any kind of substance or personality. Her good looks generate an atmosphere around her which pushes away any real relationships of substance. More importantly though Carla’s description of Bethany earlier in the play represents something far more important than people realize.
Think about it this way: typically, views on what is beautiful vary from society to society. This has more to do with the definition of society than the definition of beauty. A society is simply a group of people bound together by common beliefs and sentiments towards things of cultural importance, such as beauty, liberty, power, etc. There is room for variety and room for change, but if everyone believed vastly different things with…