Nowadays women of all ages change their look in various ways: whether it’s blow-drying, straightening, or curling their hair; undergoing plastic surgery, botox, or facelifts; or simply applying makeup to emphasize certain features on their bodies. We often feel the need to alternate our appearance so that we may be appealing to those around us, though we aren’t always aware of how it may affect others. Will they be impressed, or was it all just a pointless effort? This idea is outlined in a poem by Heather McHugh called In Praise of Pain. Women get the idea from society that we need to, practically, maim ourselves in order for people to notice them. We don’t change our looks to appear more appealing to ourselves; we do it to please others. While the theme is not referred to directly by the speaker, it may be discovered through imagery of beauty that most women are able to relate to. The line “...and affection where the eye/ is least correctable...” has an emotional connotation that almost any female will understand. It refers to the way that there is always a certain part of the face that simply can’t be changed. We apply certain types of makeup to enhance certain areas of our faces and make them more noticeable, and when we are unable to make them look better, in a sense, it’s often frustrating. Women get upset when we are unable to look the way that we prefer. Later in the poem, the lines “For beauty’s sake, assault and drive and burn/ the devil from the simply perfect sun” appear. This is a hyperbole that represents the struggle that women go through in order to be perceived as beautiful to others. We don’t literally burn or assault ourselves; the beauty routines that we undergo every day are considered assault on our bodies, and the way that we use heat on our hair and bodies are perceived as us burning ourselves for beauty’s sake. The flaws on a woman’s body are referred to as “the devil” in these lines, because we loathe our flaws and consider them a horrid thing. We worry so much about impressing other people that we don’t have time to appreciate our flaws and consider them beautiful as well. Heather McHugh is an American poet who was born on August 20, 1948. McHugh is not only a poet, but a translator and an educator. She has received many awards and honors for her work, such as two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Griffin Poetry Prize, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. In Praise of Pain was published in 1994, when more and more beauty products were up and coming. In the 90s, popular hairstyles included the “Rachel Cut,” the bob, bangs, and bleach blonde hair color. Makeup was kept to a minimum; Kate Moss brought about an androgynous
06 October 2014
Beauty is Pain
In today’s society, advertisements play a huge role in people’s actions, thoughts, and appearances. Depending on who the targeted audience is, some people may interpret the ad as offensive, while others may not. In Sisley’s campaign for their “Fashioin Junkie” clothing line, two younger, Caucasian females appear to be snorting a line of cocaine, when in reality, the “cocaine” is a dress. The advertisers use a variety of social…
I chose this image because I see pain being portrayed by the elderly women. The elderly women has closed eyes, her hand on her back, her mouth open, teeth grinded together, and is leaning to one side. It looks as though she is experiencing back pain from falling down stairs. What really stands out is her hand on back because when people hurt a part of them they hold the area that pain is coming from. The image has clear body language of physical pain. When you…
more enlightened worldview.
This can be aptly observed in the world of art; where artists toil tirelessly to create works that are beautiful. This has always been the goal for most artists; however, as constant as this goal is, the definition of beauty has changed with each passing era and at times had multiple contrasting definitions because of the disparate art movements that might exist concurrently. For example, the Classical Greeks believed that the human was the ideal and to symbolize this…
reckon their attractiveness based on how glamorous or thin they are.
Body image amuses a very defining role in our nonconformist society, in
which a women’s identity is meticulously cognate to her body. Because of the
immense stress on size and beauty, the currents of general thought suggest that
material success, self-confidence, and enticing personality characteristics are all
corresponding to the level of how elegant a woman is. Improving how you look
can definitely have an effect on your self-esteem…
flaw. In the end, the birthmark turns out to be a fatal flaw. With Aylmer trying to remove it, Georgiana wishes she was dead, rather then have her birthmark. Aylmer's perfectionism is slowly but surely "killing" Georgiana in a way. The saying "beauty is pain", is very evident throughout the story: with Georgiana being hurt with Aylmer's obsession. Soon Aylmer's cure works, slowly getting rid of the birthmark. As the birthmarks disappears, it seems that In "The Birthmark", Hawthorne uses Aylmer's perfectionism…
the first poem deals with a view of the world as innocent and beautiful, the other suggests a darker theme, with the narrator having a distorted view of the world he lives in.
The world view depicted in Blake’s poem “The Lamb” is of innocence and beauty. The narrator of the poem is a young child who begins by asking a lamb “who…
“Ode on Melancholy” is a three-stanza poem addressed to people who are susceptible to fits of melancholy, and it offers a prescription for coping with “the blues.” John Keats says that the melancholy mood is full of beauty and potential spiritual instruction. Therefore, instead of seeking escape through intoxication or even suicide, the melancholy individual should savor the mood because it has divine properties. Lethe, referred to in the opening line, was one of the rivers of Hades in Greek and…
Imagine if clothes did not have anything to do with
status, and we only wanted to stay thin to be healthy. What if people fell in love with people for
their inside beauty only? Girls would not go to such extremes to meet these beauty standards.
They would not think that self worth had to do with being beautiful and that a life without beauty
is a life without fun.
A life like this will never happen, and that is nobody's fault. People are attracted to each
other for biological reasons. For instance, symmetry…
“Beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder…but also in the hands of its owner.”
Women are creatures of the heart, and displayed as embodiments of beauty in art… yet so many of these “beautiful creatures” go unnoticed. Inevitably one is lead to believe that it is hard for women globally to evoke profound inner beauty, when the world only seeks outer beauty.
From paintings to music videos, women are represented as “beautiful creatures” of elegance, seduction, innocence, fierce…
Egyptians had a goddess named Hathor, who was the goddess of beauty. Ancient Egyptians aspired to be as beautiful as their goddess as she was said to be absolutely stunning. She had many titles, one of which being ‘the one who shines like gold’. Women prayed to her asking her to help relieve their troubles and when some situations improved they praised her and tried to be as like her as possible. The ancient Greeks also had a goddess for beauty. Aphrodite was her name and like the ancient Egyptians worshiped…