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Jane Martin's play "Beauty" outlines different examples of misconceptions that exist in today's culture. Carla and Bethany are the two main characters in the play. Individuals have a constant need for an image that can only be obtained by extraordinarily difficult-to-achieve acts (Martin 1100). As a result, assumptions of culture create feelings of disappointment. The play can be compared to today's world, where advertisements and television are created to entice people to constantly expect more than their potential or what they have. By persuasive advertising, the media generates photographs that convey to the audience a distorted view of attractiveness. Therefore, people struggle to meet these standards of beauty.
Carla and Bethany are considerable successful persons. However, each desires the things that they lack but are found in each other. For instance, Bethany is intelligent and desires to be good-looking while Carla is good-looking but desires to be intelligent. Their characters traits illustrate the impacts of the contemporary media on the stereotypes, which leads to discontentment. Under normal conditions, the desire to acquire what somebody else has leads to negative feelings. The play illustrates how each of these women yearns for things of others. For instance, Bethany moves into Carla’s house equipped with “… one more desire and a goddamn genie” (Martin 1108). The play is an illustration of the stereotypes in the community. This stereotype is demonstrated most efficiently via the character of Bethany because she is the one more demanding to acquire exaggerated actions to get what she desired.
Although Carla has similar desires in her life, she is not determined to exchange her veracity for somebody else’s. Moreover, Carla acts as a sign of the illusion and allure of beauty. She is a beauty pageant or an excellent representative of feminine beauty in the community. Nonetheless, she is experiencing challenges in life. For instance, although she is attractive her appearances were mutated by cosmetic surgery. She attracts many men but the types of men enticed are questionable (Martin 1121). On the other hand, she suffers from the fact that she is not intelligent which create the impression of a dumb beauty queen. In the current society, the media utilizes such impractical models to create ideal body appearance. In so doing, it makes it hard for other women to accomplish any satisfaction level with their physical appearance. Carla is the deceitful image that the media uses to lure women to desire appearance that is more beautiful. More importantly, her beauty standards are unachievable since they are outcomes of extreme measures.
However, the play illustrates that although women may try to these extreme measures to achieve ideal level of beauty, they soon understand, like Carla, they it may not be the source of their happiness. This is evident in the play as Carla demonstrates the discontentment in her life despite being beautiful (Martin 1122). The popular culture that is propagated by the media encourages women to acquire unrealistic levels of beauty. However, it fails to show how beauty models undergo life-threatening procedures to achieve satisfaction. Therefore, beauty stereotypes displayed by the media are deceitful. The idea of this beauty can be compared to a mirage, which is an optical delusion that involves both imaginations and desires.
In the current society, the media uses advertisements that serve to propagate certain stereotypes such as higher level of beauty. However, this kind of beauty is unachievable since the images create a mirage. In addition, it develops an illusion that creates imagination and desires of people (Martin 1107). Therefore, the play “Beauty” educates people to criticize the concepts of beauty in the media.
Martin, Jane. ”Beauty” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing, Backpack Edition. Comp. Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Zweig. Pearson College Div, 2011. Print.
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