Personal Images in Society

Comparing three articles – “I Want to Be Miss America” by Julie Alvarez; “My Inner Shrimp” by Garry Trudeau and “Victoria’s Not-So-Secret Strategy by Marisa Kula – which deal with how society has physical expectations of a person and beauty image.

Current society is one where body image or looks is central to self image. Movies, television, beauty products, diet programs and exercise programs are all reminders of this. Every person in society is haunted by the image of what they should look like. This paper focuses on three essays, each which argue something different about the impact of our need to look a certain way. Alverez’s shows what happens when a person cannot obtain the ideal look society dictates. Trudeau’s shows that even if the ideal is attained, the impact on the person lingers while also showing that it is not only an issue for women. Finally, Kula shows how companies like Victoria’s Secret project these images and make profit by fooling women into believing they can be the ideal. This paper considers these essays and the impact of body image and shows how living up to an ideal set by society impacts on everyone’s life, whether or not that ideal can be attained. The writer concludes that the end result of this is low self-esteem for all individuals, even if some of those ideals can be attained.
1. The Alvarez family’s ritual of watching the Miss America pageant is so important to Alvarez and her sisters because it represents what they could be. The Alverez’s come from a culture where women can only be wives and mothers. The Miss America pageant represents that in America, they can aspire to more than that. The Miss America pageant also represents what it means to be American, something the Alverez sisters are trying to find out so they can fit into their new environment.”