In one week, I will be presenting my conference paper for the class, which will encompass the many ideas I have for my research paper. In “Uglies Confronts Issues about Insecurities in Our Society,” I will explain how Scott Westerfeld uses his dystopian novel to criticize an aspect of society. In Uglies, he uses the “pretties” to represent the many people in our society who think they have to be perfect all of the time and the girls who are constantly dissatisfied with their bodies. Technology and social media have provided young girls with skewed images of what being pretty looks like. Westerfeld realizes this is a problem, and one way in which he can spread the message about problems in the world is by using his novels.
The increasing problem that Westerfeld addresses in his novel Uglies is something we have to address immediately. Patients seeking cosmetic surgery have shifted in age from a somewhat older population to a young one. Many girls think they need to be normal, but they already are. Technology and mass media has created a false image of what reality looks like, and it is costing us young girls’ innocence. In Judith Burns’ article about pressuring girls into looking pretty has very astonishing and repulsive statistics. Among seven- to ten-year olds, “38% felt they were not pretty enough (Burns). This is absolutely insane. These girls either have not reached double digits in the ages or just have. I can’t even remember thinking about how I looked. This number increased to 66% in 11- to 21-year olds, which is crazy (Burns). All of the girls think they are not pretty enough, not good enough, but what they don’t see is that each one of them is beautiful in her own way.
Westerfeld realized that using plastic surgery to make someone look “normal” is wrong, and the shift towards this as a norm should not be happening. Critics even look to judge a woman based on how she looks instead of what she is actually saying. Women are being judged based on looks, and it is affecting how girls and women look at themselves. Young girls are still maturing, so most of them don’t realize what they’re about to go through. Body image disorders are increasing in number, more young girls are seeking plastic surgery because they think they look abnormal, and women are pressured to look pretty all of the time. All of these extreme measures are costing us innocence, money, personal relationships, physical risks, and psychological effects. Westerfeld is warning us what will happen if we continue this trend, so we need to address plastic surgery and body image issues immediately.
Burns, Judith. “Pressure to Look Perfect Hits Girls’ Confidence, Say Guides.” BBC News, 4 Oct. 2016, www.bbc.com/news/education-37543769. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017.