Appearance: What You See Is Not Always What You Get

996 words - 4 pages

Thomas Pain once said “[a] long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” Appearances are the first thing to catch one’s attention. Whether it be a supermodel, a famous photograph, or the unmistakable golden arches: we take notice. The essays written by Judith Ortiz Cofer, Eric Schlosser, and Nora Ephron demonstrate the effect appearances have on individuals and our society undividedly.
In Judith Ortiz Cofer's essay "The Story of My Body," she shares her struggle with appearance and self-esteem. Ms. Cofer admits her definitions of appearance changed when she relocated to the United States at age eight. She states "I was born a white girl in Puerto Rico, but became a brown girl when I came to live in the United States" (Cofer 323). For instance, Cofer is identified as a palm blanca in Puerto Rico and as a colored girl during her first encounter of color prejudice. In addition to her cultural dispute with appearance, Ms. Cofer displays an internal dispute with her appearance in size. At age twelve standing five-feet tall, Ms. Cofer was viewed by her family as a tall young woman in comparison to her mother who was no taller than four-foot-eleven. Her mother exemplified this by saying “”[s]ince you are so tall, this dress will look good on you”" (Cofer 326). Her classmates at her New Jersey public school viewed her appearance very differently. Ms. Cofer was perceived as the "4F, skinny, short, bespectacled" (Cofer 326) kid on the playground impervious to competition; whereas her true competition lay in the classroom. Appearance is what creates an initial attraction to one’s significant other; for example, Cofer describes her first crush, Ted, whom she describes as "pretty with yellow hair and a smile to die for" (329). It is undeniable that Cofer was exposed to the ugliness of prejudice by the lone appearance of her Latino last name: Ortiz. Fortunately, Cofer explains her focus on education, and how she learned to embraced her exotic appearance seeing size, color, and skin as only variables. It is important appearances aren't the only cherished asset of a person, place or thing, as sometimes they are deceitful.
Eric Schlosser, author of “What We Eat,” identifies that appearances can often times be a façade. The author depicts the fast food industry as “a revolutionary force in American life" (Schlosser 491). Schlosser exhibits that the growth and jobs created by the McDonald's Cooperation represents "90 percent of the country's new jobs" (Schlosser 492). McDonald’s high demand and fast growth appears to be the basis for which 90 percent of America's new jobs have been established it the food industries entirety. Schlosser states that McDonald’s is "the nation’s largest purchaser of beef, pork, and potatoes- and the second largest purchaser of chicken" (Schlosser 492). Furthermore, McDonald's growth has facilitated its ability to control the job market in the food industry including the nation’s...

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