Impact of Appearance: Synopsis of Three Essays

Impact of Appearance: Synopsis of Three Essays

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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 ha...

... middle of paper ..., and overall creating a different public response. The appearance of a photograph can trigger emotional responses differently for everyone. Ephron believes that the appearance and interpretation of a photograph should be left up to the viewer. Ephron states that picture of events should be published because it is an event that happened, regardless of the subject. She states " That's why photojournalism is often more powerful that written journalism." When you take the first look at a person, place or photograph the initial reaction can often times be everlasting. This is why it is believed that the first impression is the most important. What we see vs. what we don't is also just as important. It is imperative to venture past the first appearance or impression. Sometimes there lies honesty or deceit. Everything is not always what it seems.

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