The Importance of Beauty
The first thing most people notice about someone is how physically attractive they are; yet we are told every day that looks do not matter. Our world is filled with hypocrisy when talking about the notion of beauty. Many quotes and inspirational messages line our halls and are often the background of choice on teenage girl’s cellphones. We are taught that “Beauty is only skin deep” from a young age, but if this really is the truth why do girls starve themselves to be skinny or bleach the life out of their hair? Countless cultures and people around the world covet physical beauty. Take a peek at any magazine and there are articles and pictures of how a girl “should look” to feel attractive. This phenomenon has been around for centuries. The late 1500’s were a completely male dominated society and in this time a woman’s looks were pretty much all she had to offer. William Shakespeare wrote a sonnet titled “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” and in this story the speaker shows the reader that outer beauty is not the most important feature in a significant other.
The speaker opens the poem with the assertion “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;” (line 1). Right off the bat he is expressing negative attributes about his mistress, or so we think. Does anyone really want to look into a person’s eyes and be blinded by them? Looking into the sun is dangerous so no wonder he would rather look into hers. Following this remark, the speaker states that, “Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white, when then her breasts are dun;” (lines 2-3). Back in Shakespeare’s time all women coveted red lips and a fair complexion. They even went as far to use products containing mercury, an element that is extremely harmful to their bodies. The features mentioned above were required in order to be considered attractive in that time. The speaker is admitting that his mistress has neither the red lips nor the fair complexion...
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