“Beauty Treatment” is an ironic testament to the lives and expectations of girls and women, particularly girls of a certain social class. They are raised for the sole purpose of getting their MRS degree from college, and nothing more. To do this, they are adorned in the best clothing, “all the latest stuff from the stores,” also the goal to “marry a Jewish doctor,” where they can look forward to “live bored and frustrated in the suburbs.” What was seen by everyone as catastrophic to the narrator, “The Accident” of having her face marred and her marriageable viability tarnished, in fact liberated the narrator.
The narrator’s life changed walking down the hallway that day at school, taste of blood in her mouth, as she looked at reflection in the mirror of her scar it foreshadows changed of her inner beauty. The narrator and Kate have been friends for years until the Bitch engineers a new personification of herself, leaving the narrator lost in wondering, trying to list reasons that would lead up to the Bitch slashing her with a razor blade. The Kate never wanted anything, always having the best cars, purses and clothes, her daddy even gave her a credit card. The narrator suggests jealousy of the Kate’s material items, however, not of her family life.
After “The Beauty Treatment”, the narrator whose name is unknown has ambivalent feelings about her inner reflection matching her outer. Material items can only blanket your feelings, until someone rips off the blanket and the feeling of nakedness hits, like a ton of bricks. Consequently, sitting there looking at her friend Kate also known as “The Bitch “from whom she received the beauty treatment, she had an abundance of feelings growing as she sat there,...
... middle of paper ...
...rs to her friend/enemy throughout the entire story until the very end, has helped to save her; save her from a life of dullness. Katie is the one, albeit in a teenage rebellion kind of way, who points the narrator toward where her life goals lie: to go to a prestigious all-girl college and get a law degree to “champion the rights of the victimized and oppressed.” She does this not because she feels like the victimized, but because her eyes are finally opened to life outside her gilded walls. Since her “youthful beauty was trampled” she got to rely on what her mother termed her (57 Richter) “next best asset – the mind” (57 Richter). Beauty is what you are born with, leaving this up to the maker having no choice on what you’ll look like, but, brains on the other hand is something you can never lose and always gaining therefor, knowledge is more beautiful than beauty.
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