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With these characteristics, a woman will always be “beautiful, whole, and free” (Walker 255), no matter what physical imperfections she may have. The beauty of a woman is multi-dimensional, combining the tradition aesthetic notions of attractiveness and inner self-realization with a soul pursuing her most innermost desires and dream in life.
Beauty is a complex word with numerous, often conflicting, definitions. When connected to inner beauty, however, it results in a process of actualizing one’s identity by realizing one’s value. Walker first emphasizes the outer beauty. For the photographer, this is the beauty of what a photo can capture and for the artist; it is the beauty that can only be seen by the eyes when a picture is drawn. For the writer, just like most women, regardless of her age or ethnicity, to be beautiful is one of most important aspects of her life. After being blinded at a young age, Walker was so depressed about her eye, not because of her loss of vision, but because of the perceived blemish to her beauty. She was not strong enough to accept the fact that she was no longer the “cutest thing” in “biscuit-polished paten-leather shoes and lavender socks, tossing [her] head in a way that makers [her] ribbons bounce”, but instead the girl with “a glob of whitish scar tissue, a hideous cataract on [her] eye” (Walker 251, 253). She “[did] not pray for sight,” she “[prayed] for beauty” (Walker 254). She became lost inside herself. She did not find her true identity at first because she thought that her identity, or the ‘self’, was defined by how she looked.
The relationship between the ‘self’ and beauty cannot be described without being conscious of one’s weaknesses and strengths. For a long time, Walker only saw her own weaknesses and used that as a basis for defining the roots
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Before Zonya, her caretaker, wakes her up, she would see the smile on the princess’s face so she kissed her rosy cheeks as if the baby was her own child. The princess would wake up and smile at her. These moments have been most precious to Zonya for she didn’t have a child.
While there is a degree of proof that indicates our definition of beauty is inborn as a result of the symmetrical arrangement of facial features, the genetic development of a proportional body or the individual attractiveness of hair or eye color, there is far more evidence that our definitions of beauty are formed by our society.
The examples which Walker displays show how the unidentified beauty and the loss of a specific image lead to struggles by those who don’t fit a specific identification. This is based on the social, cultural and gender-specific concepts that relate to how one looks at themselves and perspectives which aren’t as common for beauty.
Modern society has always stressed the importance of a beautiful appearance. There are several factors that contributed to this increasing preference towards high physical orientation. Amongst the reason cited by Hargreave and Tiggemann was social comparison and media.
Cindy’s social self revolves around assisting others achieve lasting beauties results. She seems obsessed (if not too harsh to use the word) with remaining young and looking beautiful. This is evident on the website by analysis of her expenditure. Her beauty shop entails image and cosmetic surgery secrets, instant result lotions, living doll, microdermabrasion expenditure.
There are as well those who argue that, considering the issue of beauty in one’s daily activity is a sign of powerlessness and discrimination. A good number of cultures such as Japanese culture have high value on beauty and cuteness. On the other hand, some professional in western culture have different understanding and perceptions towards beauty.
These factors include culture, money, desires, economic conditions etc. as described by Freeland (Freeland 2001). Beauty standard changes from time to time. About 80 years back, the rich people of Europe and US kept on trying to keep their skin as white as possible.
These days, beauty pageants are at the peak of their popularity. They became the part of the American society almost a century ago, in the 1920s, and today a great number of young women join beauty competitions wishing to win the crown and title of the most beautiful and talented. However, these pageants are not limited to grown-ups anymore.
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