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"Perfect Dress" By Marisa De Los Santos

1115 words - 4 pages

Perfect: adj. \ˈpər-fikt\ 1. Entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings, is the first definition you find on dictionary.com for the word (perfect). Is this actually possible to attain? Has anyone actually ever been perfect? Or is it all in the eye of the beholder? These questions are asked by almost every girl, as we dream to one day reach the unattainable. This is especially true at the tender age of fifteen, where nothing seems to be going right with our bodies and everything is changing in us. This poem stresses the fact that as everyone realizes how unrealistic this dream is, the knowledge makes no difference to the wish. Marisa de los Santos comments on this in her poem “Perfect Dress”. The use of verbose imagery, metaphors, and the simplistic approach are very effective in portraying the awkward adolescent stage of a young woman and the unrealistic dream of being perfect.
The verbose use of imagery in this poem is really what makes everything flow in this poem. As this poem is written in open form, the imagery of this writing is what makes this poem poetic and stand out to you. Marisa de los Santos begins her poem with “Its here in a student’s journal, a blue confession in smudged, erasable ink: ‘I can’t stop hoping/ I’ll wake up, suddenly beautiful’” (1-3). Even from the first lines of this story you can already picture this young girl sitting at her desk, doodling on her college ruled paper. It automatically hooks you into the poem, delving deeper and deeper as she goes along. She entices you into reading more as she writes, daring you to imagine the most perfect woman in the world, “cobalt-eyed, hair puddling/ like cognac,” (5-6). This may not be the ideal image of every person, but from the intense imagery she portrays, you can practically see this dark haired beauty “stalk[ing the] runways” (8). The type of woman, any young woman would kill to look like when they grow up. As this may be unrealistic for most women, it is still a dream that everyone wishes they could achieve, especially as stated before, the young girls who are dying to find their perfect selves in a world of Cosmo and glamour. Without this intense use of imagery, this poem would not be nearly as effective in portraying the image Marisa de los Santos wants to.
As we look deeper into this poem, the metaphors portrayed throughout the poem stress just how improbable these dreams are in the chance of becoming a reality. Santos describes her imagined runway model as “leggy, outworldly as a mantis” (9). While once again hitting on the imagery, also compares this woman to that of the graceful creature that walks around on seemingly the thinnest legs on earth. Picturing this woman is exactly how every Victoria’s Secret model looks, as she glides up and down the runway, inspiring jealousy in every elegant step she takes. This is the type of image we are portraying to the young women of our generation. No wonder our dreams are being overshadowed...

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