Impact Of Appearance: Synopsis Of Three Essays

1017 words - 4 pages

Appearance is the first thing that catches ones attention. Whether it be a supermodel, a famous photograph or the golden arches almost anyone can spot from miles away, we take notice. Appearances are often time superficial, and sometimes deceiving. The essays written by Judith Ortiz Cofer, Eric Schlosser and Nora Effron help identify some instances where appearances can be powerful honest and dishonest. Through these three essays the ideas and impact of appearances will be conveyed.
In Judith Ortiz Cofer's essay "The Story of My Body," she shares her struggles with appearance and self esteem. Cofer mentions that 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 the United States." Cofer was identified as a palm blanca in Puerto Rico and as a colored girl as she describes her first experience of color prejudice. In addition to her cultural dispute with appearance, Cofer displays an internal dispute with her appearance in size. At age twelve standing five-feet tall Cofer was viewed by her family as a tall young woman in comparison the her Mother who was no taller than four-foot-eleven. " Since you are so tall this dress will look good on you," her mother says. The Children at her New Jersey public school viewed her appearance in another light. She appeared to be the "4F, skinny, short, pre-spectacled," kid on the playground impervious to competition, when in fact her competition lay in the classroom. Appearance most times is what initially attracts us to our significant other. This was the case for Cofer as she describes her first heartbreak over Ted, who she describes as "pretty with yellow hair and a smile to die for." It is unfortunate for Cofer that she was exposed to the ugliness of prejudice by the lone appearance of her last name , Ortiz. Fortunately Cofer focused on her education and embraced her exotic appearance seeing size, color and skin as only variables, she says. It is important appearances aren't the only asset of a person, place or thing, as sometimes they are deceitful.
Eric Schlosser identifies the dishonesty appearances can encompass in his essay "What We Eat." He depicts the fast food industry
as "a revolutionary force in America's life." He exhibits that the growth and jobs created by the McDonald's Corperration represents "90 percent of the country's new jobs." This appears true, but is also somewhat deceitful. If we take a close look, it is a chain reaction the fast food industry has developed with it's high demand and fast growth for which 90 percent of America's new jobs have been created. He states that Mc'Donald's is "the largest purchaser of beef, pork, and potatoes- and the second largest purchaser of chicken." This shows that McDonald's growth has enabled them to control the job market in the entire food industry down to our family owned dairy farmer. Uniformity,...

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